St. James Church Jamestown, North Dakota

Road Trip Stop: Jamestown, North Dakota Basilica of Saint James

After visiting the quirky roadside attractions of the World’s Largest Buffalo and the Frontiertown we headed to downtown Jamestown to the Basilica of St. James.

Basilica of St. James in Jamestown, North Dakota

Like many towns in the west the history of Jamestown is intricately entwined in the history of it’s church and the people of God. The Basilica of St. James is a great place to feel the history of this small Dakota town come alive and connect with those who have worshiped there in generations past.

St. James Church was one of the first places mass was celebrated in the Dakota Territory back in the 1870s. In time the town and it’s parish grew and in the early twentieth century the current structure was built.

Pope St. John Paul II elevated St. James Church to a minor basilica in 1988 and it was dedicated in 1989. Coming from Washington, DC the church seems somewhat small to be a basilica, but when you consider the vast landscapes through which we just traveled to get here the reality is that for the population of the surrounding area it’s pretty impressive. What it lacks in size it makes up for in it’s pioneer spirit.

The Basilica of St. James is a beautiful church and a lovely little pilgrimage stop on our way to Alaska. Because of the pandemic we won’t be able to stop in Canada for mass or even a Church visit and must drive through. Therefore, I was glad to have some quiet time in the presence of the Body of Christ united in prayer with the brave pioneers who have worshiped here through the years.

After our little respite in Jamestown we continued on our way to Minot, North Dakota.

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About Mary

Mary Stephens holds a degree in international affairs from Georgetown University and a Masters in Teaching from the American University. Mary spent almost twenty years homeschooling her four children and is now navigating post homeschool life in Alaska. She offers personal insights, recipes, homeschooling tips and tricks and travel advice on her website penciltreks.com. Mary also owns Christopher Travel, a luxury travel company specializing in exquisite vacations around the globe.

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