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November 4, 1994     The Message
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November 4, 1994

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4, 1994 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 25 The Catholic Community00Of Washington celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the Diocese of Evansville ST MARY CHURCH Founded 1 Pastor. Rev Ron 874 eaSt0ral a--" '.  aid Zgunda oclate  Mrs Total farnil ........ Yvonne Evans == 36 Total parishioners 1.250 ST. SIMON CHURCH Founded 1837 Pastor - Rev. David A. Martin Deacon -- Michael Morris Associate Pastor -- Rev. Gordon Mann Celebrating the 50th Anniversary with the Catholic Diocese of Evansville ST. CO. 1888 Will Oners: 80 ST. PETER MONTGOMERY Founded 1818 Pastor-- Rev. Lowell Will Total families 162 Total parishioners: 448 SECOND OLDEST CHURCH IN DIOCESE ST. PATRICK DAVIESS CO. Founded 1840 Pastor-- Rev. Lowell Will Total families: 31 Total parishioners 80 Vincennes Deanery: Tradition old and new By PAUL R. LEINGANG Message editor The Vincennes Deanery comprises 10 parishes among them, the "Old Cathe- dral" which is the oldest parish in Indiana. The deanery also includes Holy Name Church, Bloomfield -- the first parish in the Diocese of Evansville to be placed under the leadership of a person who is not an or- dained priest. Father Donald Ackerman, pastor of St. John Church, Vincennes, is the dean. "The Cradle of Catholicism in the old Northwest Terri- tory" was established in 1732 in Vincennes, the oldest per- manent European settlement in Indiana. Jesuit missionary Father Francois Xavier de Guyenne arrived in 1734, and named the church for his patron saint. Parish record keeping began in 1749 at what is now known as the Basilica of St. Francis Xavier, the Old Cathedral. In the first church, George Rogers Clark negotiated the surrender of the British-held fort at Vincennes, during the American Revolution. In 1795, Father John Fran- cis Rivet of Vincennes became the first public school teacher in the United States. At the re- quest of President George Washington, the U.S. Con- gress appropriated $200 a year to pay for his teaching ser- vices. Students from parishes in Vincennes now attend Flaget Elementary and Rivet Junior and Senior High School. The Diocese of Vincennes was established in 1834, with Bishop Simon Brute as the first bishop. His body, and the bodies of three other early bishops, are buried in the crypt at the Old Cathedral. Recent developments at the parish include the construction of a new parish center, under the guidance of Father Robert Bultman, former pastor. Currently, efforts are under- Washington Continued from page 24 Rose Chapel w which had been built at nearby Mt. Pleasant in 1840. Irish immigrants and first- generation Irish-Americans formed the "Haw Creek. Con- gregation  in the 1850s and 1860s. The church survived two fires -- one in 1837 and an- other in 1957. The parish serves an area near the Martin-Daviess County line. Many parishioners have an Irish heritage. Msgr. Carl Shetler is the pastor.St. Michael Church, Daviess County, was built in 1888. Mass had been cele- brated in the area -- in the Michael Ryan home m as early as 1860, according to parish history. Many Amish families now live and farm in Daviess County. Father Lowell Will serves way to expand access to the Brute Library and to continue understanding development of the historic role of the church the Old Northwest Territory. Father John Schipp is the current pastor. The parish at St. Thomas was established in 1843. Priests from the cathedral in nearby Vincennes served the area. Father John F. Stanton was the first resident pastor, ap- pointed in 1895. Parish facilities expanded, with a rectory built in 1896 (re- cently replaced); a convent'- school combination in 1900, the church tower in 1913 and a new school in 1918. The school -- with 146 stu- dents enrolled at the time became part of the public school system in 1933. It re- verted to a parochial school in 1968 and was closed in May 1973. Father Francis Allega is the current pastor. St. Vincent de Paul Church'has several begin- nings -- as  home for a retir- ing bishop, e seminary, an or- phanage and a parish (in 1847). Bishop Celestine de la Hai- landiere began building "High- land  near Vincennes as his re- tirement home. Plans changed, however, and he instead re- turned to his native France. The frame house was com- pleted in 1851 u"SL C"iu Seminary." It was closed in 1860 and Bishop St. Palais turned it into an orphanage for boys and re-named it in honor of St. Vincent de Paul. A brick building, added in 1864, was destroyed by fire in 1889 and replaced in 1890. The former bishop's mansion was used as a granary and farm hand residence in 1915, when it was destroyed by fire. The orphanage later was ex- panded with help from Evans- ville philanthropist Francis Joseph Reitz. A church was See VinCENNES Page 26 I I I I I the parish from St. Peter, Montgomery. Many Irish Catholics were among the families who came Indiana because there was work in the mines and on the . railroad near Cannelburg. Fa- ther Bartholomew Piers, who often traveled from Mont- gomery to Cannelburg on a railroad handcar, helped estab- lish All Saints Church, Can- nelburg, in 1893. A 30-foot addition to the original church was built in the 1900s; the church was re- modeled in 1977; the tower was added in 1979. All Saints Church, along with nearby St. Mary Church, Daviess County, were the first two parishes in the diocese to be under the leadership of a permanent deacon, Don Lahay, who served the parishes from 1989 to 1992. Father Frank Renner is the current pastor.