History of the Catholic People of Moab
To attempt to present a comprehensive history of the Catholic people in Moab since the first Catholic family came into this Valley would be almost impossible. We do not have any way of knowing if any Catholics lived here before 1923. We do know that Ella Garcia, her father Jose Garcia and her children were living here in 192 and there was only one other Catholic family living in Moab at that time.
The names of Missionary priests who passed through Moab are written in the annals of time. Some of the priests who served the area from Carbon County were Msgr. Gioinoni, Father Ruel, Father Collins and Fr. Freegard. Father Sanders was named Pastor of St. Joseph Chuch in Monticello in 1937 and was in charge of serving Moab. He was later assigned as Pastor of Good Shepherd Church in East Carbon and traveled to Moab and Monticello monthly for Mass.
St. Pius X Parish had its beginnings during Father Sander’s visits to the area. The Parish grew with the arrival of new Catholic families to the area in the early 1950’s. The first Catholic baptism in the Parish took place in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Mohler in April 1953.
In 1953 Father Thomas Kaiser was assigned as Pastor of Grand and San Juan Counties and St. Pius Parish was erected on February 2, 1954. Mass was celebrated in local homes prior to 1954 and then it was celebrated in the American Legion Hall after Father Kaiser arrived. The first Mass celebrated on this present site was on October 30, 1955 in the newly built Parish Hall.
In 1954 Sisters of the Atonement came to Moab to conduct the first Summer Catechism classes. They returned in the summer of 1955 to prepare the first Holy Communion class of six children.
in May, 1955 ground was broken for the construction of the Church and the dedication by Bishop Duane Hunt took place on November 27, 1955.