In the late 1840s, settlers in the Jackson County community of St. Donatus purchased 40 acres of land from the government at $1.25 an acre for a new Catholic church. A log frame church was constructed on the site in 1848, with a larger frame church constructed three years later. The first version of the present church was completed in 1860 but destroyed by fire in 1907. Stone was salvaged from the fire, with the church opening one year later from recycled materials.
Masses are held alternating Sunday mornings with St. Catherine Catholic Church in Dubuque.