Building on a Proud Past

St. James Parish was officially created by Archbishop Gerald T. Bergan on June 13, 1963, as the offspring of St. Bernard's Parish on North 65th St.  Our territorial boundaries then were 78th Street on the east, State Street to the north, 132nd Street on the west (currently the west boundary is the Interstate,) and Maple Street to our south.  The 8.45 acre site for the parish at 90th and Tomahawk Boulevard was purchased from the James Investment Company by the archdiocese.

Our founding pastor, Fr. Jerome H. Dickes, was appointed on June 13, 1963, and Bishop Daniel Sheehan and Msgr. Kluthe of St. Bernard's helped him locate the church property near an old barn standing in a field of sunflowers.  The house at 9130 Tomahawk Blvd. was purchased for $18,000 and became the first rectory.

On June 23, 1963, Boyd Elementary School, affectionately dubbed "St. Boyd" by parishioners became the site of four Masses each Sunday.  Fr. Dickes, aided by the Creighton Prep Fathers, celebrated Sunday Masses there.

The architectural firm of Steele, Weinstein & Associates prepared blueprints for the new parish plant, and contracts were awarded to Russell Construction for a 16 room school, a multi-purpose room, and a temporary church.  Ground was broken May 15, and construction completed in June, 1965.

St. James School opened its doors in September, 1965 with 500 pupils in grades 1-8.  The order of the Servants of Mary was assigned and Sr. Ruth Arnott was the first principal.

In 1965, a parish census showed 450 families (which grew to 650 in 1967 and 1,400 in 1971.  In 1971 St. Alice Kotwick OSM, became principal of the school and 840 students.  The current rectory was built in 1972 at 9025 Larimore Ave.

After thirteen years as pastor, Fr. Dickes transferred to Schuyler and Fr. Robert Eimers succeeded him.  During his tenure, the church interior was remodeled.  In 1980 Fr. Bill Fitzgerald became pastor, and Sr. Suzanne Vandenheede OSM, became the third principal.

The parish rapidly grew to 2,200 families, and a sister parish was formed in 1981 to our west, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish at 114th and Fort Street.  The School was renamed St. James/Seton to reflects its two-parish commitment.  Fr. Dick Swolek took over in 1987 as pastor, and ground was broken for an 11,000 square foot Parish Center which adjoined the school on two levels.  The upper level has since been remodeled into classrooms.

Fr. Kenneth Potts became pastor in 1991.  Fr. Raphael Walsh was an interim pastor during 1995 and 1996.  Our current pastor, Fr. Michael Grewe, arrived in June 1996.  He was also appointed Vicar General of the Archdiocese in the spring of 2000.    Our new church facility was dedicated on December 1, 2002.  Fr. Richard Reiser was pastor before being reassigned to St. John Vianney.

Fr. Tom Weisbecker is pastor.  We currently have about 1,450 families in the parish.   Our associate is Fr. Toby.   They, and you, represent our past, our present and our future.

Our Pastors

Fr. Jerome Dickes  (deceased)  1963 - 1976
Fr. Robert Eimers (deceased) 1976 - 1980
Fr. William Fitzgerald  1980 - 1987   
Fr. Richard Swolek  (deceased)  1987 - 1991   
Fr. Kenneth Potts (deceased)  1991 - 1995
Fr. Raphael Walsh (Administrator) 1995 - 1996   
Fr. Michael Grewe 1996 - 2005 
Fr. Richard Reiser  2005 - 2013
Fr. Tom Weisbecker 2013 - present