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St. Patrick's Church

Wabash Valley profiles : a series of tributes to hometown people and events that have shaped our history

Description: One typed page including photograph of St. Patrick's Church in 1888; a brief history of St. Patrick's Church, Terre Haute's fourth Catholic parish.
ABASH VALLEY WP R O F I L E SA series of tributes to hometown people and events that have shaped our history.St. Patrick's Churchormally established in January 1881 as 1888 Terre Haute's fourth Catholic parish, St. Patrick's Church has served the community for 120 years. The Rev. Thomas X. Logan, a native of Ireland, was assigned by Bishop Francis Silas Chatard to be the first parish priest in 1880. No stranger to the community, having lived in Terre Haute with his parents as a youth, Father Logan appointed esteemed local architect Josse A. Vrydagh to design the church. Gothic in syle, it was located at the southeast corner of 13th and Poplar streets. The cornerstone was laid Aug. 29, 1880. Before the church was finished, Father Logan engaged the Sisters of Providence to establish and operate St. Patrick's School in a small frame building known as Plymouth Chapel, immediately east of the parish. When endeavors to raise the $22,000 necessary to pay for the new building stalled, Bishop Chatard appointed the Rev. Denis J. McMullen, an experienced administrator, to succeed Logan effective June 20, 1883. Father McMullen placed the parish in sound fiscal order and the Rev. Victor A. Schnell, who replaced him two years later, effectively managed the parish for 34 years until his death at age 77 on Nov. 21, 1919. When the Rev. James B. Delaney became pastor on July 23, 1920, he laid plans to relocate the parish farther east to accommodate parishioners. First, he acquired an entire block between Poplar and Oak streets on South 19th St. to found a new elementary school and new girls high school. The schools were dedicated on Nov. 25, 1923. Before a new church was erected at the location, the Depression intervened, interrupting Father Delaney's vision. He resigned due to failing health in 1936 without reaching his goal. Between 1936 and 1950, the parish was administered by the Rev. Thomas Finneran and the Rev. (later Monsignor) Finton Walker. World War II postponed plans for a new church but, in 1937, St. Joseph Academy for girls, next to St. Joseph Church, was closed and merged into St. Patrick High School. After the merger, the school was called Central Catholic High School. Monsignor Walker died unexpectedly on Jan. 26, 1950, and Father Herbert Winterhalter, then pastor at St. Margaret Mary Church, was appointed to succeed him. By that time, the parish had swelled to 2,400 members and the school enrollment exceeded 350. Father (later Monsignor) Winterhalter promptly established a building fund and initiated a fund drive to build a new church at a cost exceeding $400,000. Ground was broken on March 17, 1955, at the southwest corner of 19th and Poplar. The cornerstone was laid on June 19 of the same year. The Indiana limestone building, designed by Indianapolis architect Charles Brown, accommodates 900 people, twice as many as the former church. The present St. Patrick's Church and its connecting rectory were dedicated on Feb. 5, 1956.FTERRE HAUTE(812) 238-6000NATIONAL BANKAlways Close to HomeDate published: Jan. 18, 2001Filename: St. Patrick's Church profile
Origin: 2001-01-17
Created By: McCormick, Mike
Publisher: Terre Haute Tribune-Star
Collection: Vigo County Historical Society
Copyright: Copyright Undetermined
Subjects: Churches
Catholic churches
Religious facilities
Religious education

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