Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church
Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church

Parish History

The origin of Our Lady of Lourdes parish began in 1950 when Archbishop John Floersh announced that two new parishes would be established in eastern Jefferson County. The original Holy Trinity parish would be divided into three parishes – – Our Lady of Lourdes, St. Margaret Mary, and Holy Trinity.

On February 28, 1951, Monsignor Anthony Gerst was officially appointed as our first pastor. Under his direction the school was built and opened in September 1950 with 224 children enrolled in kindergarten through seventh grade. (The eighth grade stayed at Holy Trinity in order to graduate with their original classmates.) The Ursuline Sisters taught six of the eight grades; the two lay teachers taught kindergarten and fifth grade. Although the school opened in September, the Lourdes parishioners continued to attend Holy Trinity until the church was completed in December. The celebration of the first Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes was on the feast of our Blessed Mother, the Immaculate Conception, December 8, 1950. The formal dedication of the church was on Sunday, December 10, 1950. The church at this time was in the school building. By 1954, the school building had been expanded and by 1955, the convent was built housing the eleven Ursuline Sisters who taught in the school. By 1963, the current church building was built and the new church was dedicated on the Feast of the Assumption, August 15, 1963. The original church facility was then converted to a parish hall/gymnasium. In 1971, the current rectory was built, with living space for priests on the second floor. After six completed building projects and 27 years as pastor, Fr. Gerst clearly laid a solid foundation for the parish.

In 1977, Fr. Richard Friedrich was assigned as the second pastor of the parish. Because of all the completed building projects prior to his arrival, there was little change in the parish during his short five-year pastorate at Lourdes.

In 1982, Fr. Robert Osborne, fondly nicknamed “Father Oz”, was named our new pastor. He encouraged everyone to be actively involved with their church and school. To thank parishioners for their involvement, in 1983, he began the annual Lourdes Night, a tradition that continues today. In 1990, under his direction, Lourdes began the practice of Living Stewardship as a Way of Life. The principle guidelines by which we practice Stewardship today are the same as originally set. The last major undertaking by Fr. Oz, before his retirement, was the building of the Parish Life Center and the remodeling of the school and church along with the construction of joining all these facilities together under one roof. This major project was completed in 1997 in time to celebrate Easter in the newly remodeled church. The church was rededicated on April 19, 1997.

In 1997, Fr. Nick Rice was named the fourth pastor of the parish. As pastor, Fr. Nick continued to promote Living Stewardship as a Way of Life. In 2004, with the guidance of Fr. Nick and as part of the second 5% of stewardship gifting, the parish began a Debt Reduction campaign. Because of the success of this campaign and several years earlier than scheduled, the parish was able to retire the debt from the 1993 construction project on December 31, 2008. Also in 2008, Fr. Nick and our principal, Laura Glaser, accepted the National “Blue Ribbon” Award on behalf of the excellent work of the teachers and students in the school. Fr. Nick retired in June of 2011.

In June of 2011, Fr. Scott Wimsett was named as the fifth pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes parish. Under his direction, we continue to work to bring about the Kingdom of God and our Stewardship Way of Life. May we continue to support all ministries of the parish through our gifts of Time, Talent, and Treasure. May we always appreciate the many gifts we have received and may we always live a Stewardship Way of Life!