Our parish formally began on October 12, 1890, with the dedication of Sacred Heart Catholic Church at First and E Streets. That building, which accommodated 50 people, still stands today at the original site. Sacred Heart School opened in September of 1938 with three teachers. At about the same time, and with great foresight, the parish acquired the present property to accommodate future growth.
First to move to the present site was the school, with six classrooms at its opening in 1942. For a time, the school gymnasium served as a temporary church. In 1951, the rectory was completed, with the second floor used for additional school classes. On Mother's Day in 1951, the request of the parish for a name change was granted, and we became Our Lady of the Lake Parish, to honor the Blessed Mother and better identify our location. In 1955, a block adjoining the school property was purchased for a future convent and for the school playground. That same year, ground breaking for the present church took place. On June 24, 1956, Archbishop Edward Daniel Howard and the parish dedicated Our Lady of the Lake Church.
The new church brought a surge in the number of parishioners and school children. The convent was completed in 1963 as a residence for the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, who were faculty at the school. In 1980, the Sisters began the process of gradually withdrawing from the parish school they helped establish 40 years earlier.
During the late 1980's, a facilities Master Plan was developed and begun. The former convent was converted to our Parish Center in 1986. In Phase I of the Master Plan, we renovated and updated the church, to accord more closely with the liturgical guidelines of Vatican II. We completed Phase II of the Master Plan in 1993 and transformed the parish hall into a brighter, more functional multi-purpose facility. In 1996, improvements to access for the handicapped created a formal courtyard area, between the church and school buildings.
Although the Sisters no longer remain on the school faculty (the last religious retired in 1994), The Holy Name Sisters, fondly remembered for their dedication to Catholic education, were honored at a Mass and activities during National Catholic Education week in January 2009, and will always be welcome at the school.
In 1996, we completed Phase III of the Master Plan that created a formal courtyard area between the church and school buildings, and provided a fire warning system for the school. Starting in 2009, and under the leadership of Fr. Joseph McMahon, the "building in faith" campaign successfully built a new parish center and school and Archbishop John Vlazny dedicated the new building in 2012. View photos from the "building in faith" campaign.
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