In the 1960’s St. Patrick parish began in a gym where Taylor Mill Elementary School allowed parishioners to gather for Mass, until we had an official church. The original parishioners, the founding fathers and mothers of the parish, were graciously assigned from St. Cecilia, St. Anthony and Holy Cross to begin a new parish and yes - a school. From these three parishes, we have come to build a solid foundation and a future. Things have changed since then. Demographics have favored our location and our mission more than ever over the years. The need to evangelize through Catholic school education has become a great opportunity. We also have the opportunity to be a more contributing light and outreach to the many public school parents and families in our area. Holy Cross High School is no longer Holy Cross parish high school, it is a district high school to which St. Patrick will be able to make a significant impact as we grow.
Here is the key! Each family is called to evangelize and expand our parish. Because of our active families, we have made many good changes, especially to reach younger families and make our liturgies more teen and young adult friendly. We have expanded our services to the homebound and elderly at the same time via video and personal contact. The grieving group and parent “Return” group have been well attended, as well as the Women’s Bible Study.
It is also our hope to expand the school up to eighth grade. We are looking to begin an endowment process to help.
The phase we are now in is called the new evangelization. It is not a program. It is a new way of life we are all called to live. This new way of life involves spirited parishioners who look around the neighborhoods for people who are unchurched or fallen away and gently invite them to events we would like to sponsor for them.
We have much work to do to form a new mentality of evangelization here at St. Patrick. But it is exciting!
We can start within our own families.
As always, we need some lay leadership. Let us know if you are interested.
Of course, we will also be hearing more about the synod as well. And stay tuned.
Blessings and Christ’s Peace,
If you are interested in volunteering to help with leadership in the parish’s New Evangelizationyou may sign-up through Flocknote: https://stpatricktm.flocknote.com/signup/79887 or contact the Parish Office.
St. Patrick Church began under the leadership of Father Eviston, along with the hard work of many parishioners, hence, St. Patrick was established in 1966. Bishop Ackerman selected Reverend Cyril Eviston, as the first pastor of this newly established parish in the diocese. The jovial Irishman had the support of many people in the area, so the parish began to build.
After saying Mass in the gym at Taylor Mill Elementary School, the cornerstone was laid in September 1968; and the first Mass was celebrated in the new building on December 22, 1968.
Father Reilly was appointed pastor; and he continued to foster the growth planted by Father Eviston. Upon his retirement in 1983, Father Edwin Heile was appointed as the new pastor; who watched the parish grow. He was instrumental in raising money to purchase the stained glass windows for the church that are present in the church building today.
Holy Cross High School became a district high school adding an Academic Enhancement program in 1997 to serve students with learning disabilities. Since 2001, It continues to operate at full capacity with 432 students or more since 2001. St. Patrick Parish and Shrine continues to be a feeder parish of this school.
Father Heile was reassigned, and Father Gerald Witzemann became pastor, who continued the supervision of the installation of the remaining stained glass windows.
Father Heile retires in July, 2000, and Bishop Muench appoints Father Jeffrey VonLehmen as the new pastor. Father Jeff is not only responsible for leadership of changes in the appearance of the church building itself, but he is also responsible for acquiring the beautiful statue of our patron saint, St. Patrick and the parish sign out front. His style of spiritual leadership and shepherding continues to help parishioners and visitors grow in their faith by staying centered on the True Presence of Christ Himself in the Blessed Sacrament. Not a day goes by where Jesus is not kept company in the beautiful adoration chapel, which was part of the new building construction.
On October 7, 2007, Bishop Foys designated St Patrick Church as a Shrine, with our devotion being to Our Lady of Knock.
In May of 2009, Knock Shrine in Ireland blessed St. Patrick Shrine with a piece of the gable wall where Mary appeared in 1879. Each year the relic is brought out for parishioners and visiting pilgrims for the opportunity to touch the relic during the nine day novena as they offer their pray intentions to Our Lady of Knock asking for her intercession, which helps foster a deeper love of Jesus, His peace and guidance of His holy mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary.
July 2015, Fr. Jeff meets with the Pastoral Council to discuss the 50 years anniversary and Jubilee of Mercy. It was decided the parish would focus on God’s Mercy and would celebrate its bright future together with its pastor. So, Father Jeff is inviting everyone for dinner together as a parish family. Because it is not possible to have a dinner for all the parishioners at one time, it was decided there will be four dinners held at various times throughout the year, so that we may celebrate our bright future, faith and God’s mercy together as a parish family with our pastor.
In June 2016, St. Patrick will experience the fruits of these many labors with a 50 year anniversary. It is by no mere accident, the Catholic Church will also celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the closing of the Second Vatican Council with an Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, which begins December 8, 2015 and ends November 20, 2016.
Parish announces opening of new Primary School starting with Pre-school and Kindergarten.
Primary school adds 1st Grade and breaks ground to complete the new classroom addition with four new rooms from a very generous donation made by Paul and Annie Naberhaus.
St. Patrick opens enrollment for new second grade and begins New Evangelization as the ground work to help the parish extend the Primary School to a full elementary for enrollment of students Pre-School through 8th grade in the near future.