Monday, October 24, 2011

Immaculate Conception Church, Rapid City South Dakota

This is Immaculate Conception Church (formerly chapel) in downtown Rapid City, South Dakota. This Catholic church is somewhat unique for the region in that it says its masses, one daily and one on Sunday morning, in Latin, using the Tridentine Mass.

The church obviously once had another name, as the corner stone reveals, which appears to have been St. Mary's, but I do not know the history of this particular church.


  1. Churches and cathedrals are probably my favourite places to visit. Needless to say I also collect postcards of them. Like you, I prefer more traditional styles though sometimes interiors can be very different from the exterior.

  2. My great-great grandfather, Christof Birnbaum of Bavaria, was the stonemason hired for the construction of ICC. My husband and I own a roofing contracting company. In 2010 we were hired to replace the roof at ICC - what a privilege. We were able to extract an original nail from the copper spire.

    The interior of ICC is just as beautiful, if not moreso, than the exterior - marble altar, ceiling murals, an amazing choir loft that is stilled used every Sunday morning.

    A full history of ICC can be found in Volume VII of the annual publication distributed by the Society of the Black Hills Pioneers. Copies are $6.00 and can be obtained by writing to 19915 St. Onge Road, St. Onge, SD 57779.


  3. That's a neat memory. Thanks for posting it.

    I had wondered what the history of this church was, including the "chapel" designation. Off hand, do you know why it is a "chapel", as opposed to being designated a "church"?

    I've also noticed that this church seems to have a frequent Latin Mass, which is interesting.

    1. ICC was the original Cathedral for the Diocese of Rapid City. It lost that distinction when the Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help was constructed in the 1960's to accomodate a growing population. Eventually it was no longer in use. It reopened in the late 1980's/early 1990's to allow for the Latin Mass to be celebrated in the area. Daily Mass is celebrated and, on Sundays, people come from up to 100 miles away to hear the Mass in this form. As of July 2012, it is no longer a chapel under the adminstration of OLPH Cathedral. It is now considered its own parish. Blessings!