St. Patrick’s Church, Wall, turns 100
Wed, 04/19/2017 - 8:43am admin
St. Patrick’s Church in Wall is holding a 100-year celebration, Sunday, April 23. A free-will dinner is set for 11:00 a.m. through 1:00 p.m. in the church, 701 Norris Street, Wall.
One hundred years ago, before a building was established in Wall for a Catholic congregation, three mission priests – Father O’Hora, Father Goergen and Father Hirsch – had held services in private homes. Services were sometimes held in the Oddfellows’ Hall.
In April 1917, Reverend John Connolly became the region’s first resident pastor. He was responsible for parishioners in Wall, Quinn, Wasta and New Underwood. That year, the Wall parish purchased the unused Congregational Church building for $1,000, and a rectory for $1,300. The loans were paid off in four years. Over those years, and a few more, Wall grew to became the only mission under Connolly.
In 1925, this building was moved one block and relocated on the current church location. Eventually electric lights were installed. Connolly led the congregation until his death in 1964. Reverend James Brecht then took over the leadership responsibilities. Plans were begun for a new church building.
Brecht was transfered to Deadwood, and Father Craig Cower was transfered to Wall. Over his years, Cower donated collections of crosses and books for the new building, which was being used in June 1974, even before completion of the entire structure. For awhile, when ongoing construction made use of the building impossible, the congregation met in the Methodist Church building. The actual dedication of the current Catholic structure was April 1977. It was designed so platforms and pews can be re-arranged for special purposes.
In 1980, Cower’s term came to an end. The duties were temporarily filled by various leaders – Rev. Cornelius Meade, Rev. Peter Wilke and Rev. William Philbin. Rev. John Corry presided from 1983 to 1991, then Rev. William O’Connell lead until 1992. Rev. Robert Baden shepherded the congregation from 1992 to 2004. Again, temporary leaders took over – Rev. Patrick McCorkell, Father Leo Hausmann and Father Johnson Kuriappilly.
In 2015, the leadership was taken over by Father Timothy Hoag, who was raised in the Philip area. Currently the congregation consists of approximately 100 attendees, representing approximately 60 households.