Parish History

According to the chronicles of St. Lawrence Parish, Catholics in this area were ministered to as early as the mid-nineteenth century. It is known that Fr. Daniel Maloney would come from Indianapolis on a regular basis to celebrate Mass in the homes of Patrick Tuhey and Peter Munch. The first church was built by Fr. Lawrence Lamour in 1869. It was a one-room brick structure, 35 x 60 feet in size. It was dedicated to St. Lawrence in honor of Fr. Lamour. The current church was built in 1893, and the cornerstone was laid on July 4. Since then the church has undergone several renovations and additions to enhance the beauty of the church and the celebration of the sacraments. One of the first renovations was the marble altars donated by the Broderick Family and installed in November - December 1923. They are Gothic in design and reflect the craftsmanship of the Italian artists. In that same year, Fr. E.J. Houlihan commissioned the Chicago artist Bernard Mellario to paint the murals. They represent the Resurrection, the Ascension, Jesus blessing the children, and feeding the multitude. In 1951 the cross on the steeple was replaced by the Brand family. To accommodate the change in the liturgy promulgated by the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, the church was again renovated in 1965. The main altar was brought out from the reredos, and new pews, linoleum, and carpet were installed. In the spring and summer months of 1980 immediate need for repairs made renovation a necessity. Under the direction of Co-Pastors Rev. John Schultz and Rev. Raymond Wieber, the church was once again repaired and renovated. The mosaics at the side altars were added and the baptismal font was moved in front of Mary's altar. Time and wear takes its toll, and another renovation was needed in 2000-2001. Wood beams were strengthened in the attic and a new slate roof was installed. The interior was repaired, and many of the decorative moldings were replaced, as were the pews, carpet, and linoleum. The four cherubs above the side altars were restored, and the decoration and color scheme reflects a more traditional ambiance. Thanks to the generosity of you, our parishioners, we were able to accomplish this renovation.