Parish History


Words in the church dedication book that was published in 1956 remind us that our predecessors made sacrifices which provided resources for generations to come:
“Mindful of those who have gone before, and grateful for their many sacrifices in bequeathing to us the spiritual and material goods we now enjoy, the present parishioners…undertook the building of the new St. Patrick’s Church.” And, “there would be no St. Patrick’s Church today were it not for sacrificing love and faithful service of our former Pastors and their Assistants. There would be no Dedication of a new and larger St. Patrick’s Church were it not for sacrifice, fidelity, and cooperation of the former members of the parish.”

    • In 1880 Bishop Francis Silas Chatard determined to establish a fourth parish in Terre Haute and appointed Father Thomas Logan to do so at the southeast corner of Poplar and 13th Streets. The parish was formally established in January, 1881. The building of St. Patrick Church was an expensive undertaking at the time. A school was opened by the Sisters of Providence in 1882.
    • Father Victor Schnell, the 3rd pastor, established a program to retire the parish debt, constructed the tower at the northwest corner of the church, built a large rectory, and, in 1902, constructed a large brick building east of the school to meet the need for a hall for parish gatherings.
    • Both Terre Haute and St. Patrick Parish showed considerable growth by the 1920s. Father James Delaney acquired several pieces of property on the west side of Nineteenth Street from Poplar to Oak and, in addition, acquired the two residences on Poplar between this property and Eighteenth Street. On 19th Street, he constructed a fine school building which housed an elementary school and girls’ high school. It was dedicated on November 25, 1923.
    • While it had been intended to build a church on the site as soon as possible because of the disadvantages of the separation of the church and school buildings, that intention had to be delayed. Because of extensive financial operations and a large debt, further building projects had to be delayed.
    • Father Fintan Walker replaced Father Delaney in 1937 and during his first years practically all of the property was reconditioned. The entire school building was renovated.
    • Father Herbert Winterhalter succeeded Fr. Walker in 1950. During the 1950s, St. Patrick Parish engaged in fund raising to construct Shulte High School and to build a new church and rectory at 19th and Poplar. The completion of the new church was on the 75th anniversary of the founding of the parish, with its dedication on February 5, 1956.
    • The new primary classroom and cafeteria wing was added to the school building, opening for the fall of 1959.
    •  The new convent on Poplar Street was built in 1967 and opened in 1968. In 1978, the convent was converted to a home for senior citizens. It is now called the Simeon House and is managed by Catholic Charities.
    • Monsignor Larry Moran became pastor of St. Patrick in 1985.
    • The Building in Faith capital stewardship campaign began in 1994 and culminated with the dedication of the new Parish Family Life Center by Archbishop Buechlein on Sunday, March 8, 1998, after 11:30 Mass. The project included six major aspects: (1) renovated stained glass church windows and renovated church organ; (2) construction of a new Parish Family Life Center with gymnasium and meeting rooms; (3) repairs and renovations to the school building, including air conditioning; (4) additional school classrooms and Sister Mary Moeller Media Center with library, video, and computer resources; (5) state-of-the-art kitchen connecting to the school and (6) to be completed next, cleaning of the stone for the church building.
    • The Office of Stewardship & Development was established in January 20, 2001 to focus on the current and future community development and renewal in the areas of Time, Talent and Treasure for all parishioners.
    • Monsignor Larry Moran celebrated his 50th year as a Catholic priest in May 2002.
    • Monsignor Moran retires – July 2005.
    • Fr. Rick Ginther becomes pastor of Saint Patrick and Saint Margaret Mary Church – August 1, 2005.
    • Legacy for our Mission Campaign was launched in 2007 to address the capital needs of the parish: new roof on the Church and Rectory, tuck-pointing of the church as needed, handicap accessible restroom in the church, and renovation of the sidewalks leading to the church and rectory. The campaign continues even in 2010, with the first project to get underway in the spring or early summer
    • Formation of Shamrockers, our retiree group, which meets once a month, in 2008.
    • Father Rick celebrated his 25th anniversary of ordination with Mass and dinner on June 17, 2008.
    • Cooperative / shared staff and activities with our sister parish, St.Margaret Mary, have developed with Director of Religious Education, Music Director, Youth Minister (also shared with St. Joseph University Parish), Faith Formation adult series, Shamrockers and Retirees.
    • In 2009, the Parish Pastoral Council initiated the Parish Strategic Planning Process.
    • “dot dot dot”, and in 2016 Father Rick is asked by the archdiocese to become pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes in Indianapolis. We welcome Father Dan Bedel as new pastor of Saint Patrick parish.