About Saint Patrick's Guild
Saint Patrick's Guild has been a source of religious gifts, books, music, and church supplies since 1949. As your partner in faith, we are honored to serve churches, schools, those in the religious life, and the general public through our retail stores, our Church Supply department, and our catalogs.
All of us at Saint Patrick's Guild look forward to your call or visit. As a family business, we think of all our customers as family, too. Since families tend to grow, our company has grown over the years as well. Over the past 60 years, we have operated four retail locations, done extensive work with church remodeling and renovations, and have become a major art and environment resource for the Midwest and beyond.
While our roots are Irish / Catholic, many avenues of faith find a home here. We hope these web site pages will give you a glimpse of our days at the "Guild". If you like what you see, be sure to add this website to your list of favorite places and visit us often!
The History of Saint Patrick's Guild
In 1947 Bob Doran was working at the St. Paul Catholic Youth Center as a 24-year-old World War II veteran when a few local priests spoke to him about supplying pamphlets to the back of their churches. St. Patrick’s Guild was born.
Bob chose the name “St. Patrick’s” because of his Irish heritage, and he picked the “Guild” because he liked the idea of a team of people working together for the same cause.
Bob started working out of the basement of his mother’s house and soon had over 100 churches buying his pamphlet rack service. Each week he would go into the back of a participating church, restock the racks and collect the money from the coin box.
He incorporated St. Pat’s in 1949 and after more coaxing from the local clergy, he opened a 1,000 square foot store at 1554 Randolph Avenue in the Highland Park area of St. Paul, Minnesota.
Business grew. He doubled the size of the store in 1958 and added a church good annex in an adjacent house. He opened a Minneapolis store in 1960 and business continued to flourish. Then Vatican II happened and like most of the Catholic stores in the mid 60’s sales stagnated and the annex and Minneapolis store were closed. Bob died in 1971 at the age of 48 but left a rich legacy as his oldest son Mike stepped in.
Mike expanded the company to 4 stores over the next 30 years. The original store in St. Paul (now 10,000 sq. feet), Minneapolis, Richfield, and the Mall of America. Many key employees were hired in the 70’s including Mark DePalma (church goods manager) and Tim Doran (Mike’s younger brother), who are still affiliated with St. Pat’s today.
In 1976 Mike met Dan Stutte of Catholic Supply of St. Louis, and over the next few years, the St. Louis Catalog Group was formed with Tom Cousineau of Henninger’s and Bill O’Connor of O’Connor’s. Today, the St. Louis Catalog Group is the oldest NCGA catalog group without a change of membership. Today, the group celebrates over 40 years together. The 4 members have been a wonderful support group for each other’s store and staff and have helped each others business grow through the exchange of ideas and group collaboration.
After 33 years as president, Mike decided it was time to pass on the reins. His brother Tim took over as president in June of 2004 and along with Mark DePalma is leading St. Patrick’s Guild into the wonderful challenges that lie ahead in the church good business.