Under the guidance of Fr. Thomas Carroll,c.s.c. the people on the west side of St. Joseph River began to see their dream to have their own parish come to fruition. In 1858 a small brick and stone structure was erected on Division (now Western) and Scott Streets.

Legend has it that a stone mason carved the name St. Patrick in sand stone above the entryway to the church.

In 1886, Fr. Haggerty purchashed property extending from Taylor St. to Scott St. and in that same year, the cornerstone, a massive block of buff Bedford stome weighing two tons, was laid as the foundation of St. Patrick Church. A shamrock wreath and an anchor surround the emblem on the cornerstone. The church was completed in 1887.

Since 1866 there have been four schools associated with St. Patrick Church. In 1898, the first school building was built on the current property by Fr. John W. Clark, C.S.C. This was an all boys school taught by the Sisters of the Holy Cross. It was not until 1950 that the school became co-educational. In 1961 the old school was torn down and a new structure built. This building had five more classrooms, a gymnasium, kitchen and dining room, and a boiler room that provided heaat for the church, school and rectory. St. Patrick's school was closed in 1974 after 108 years of faithful service to the community.

In 1920, St. Patrick's Church was raised to a higher order with its consecration. In 1972, the federal government granted Historic Landmark status to St. Patrick Church.

Art and Architecture

St Patrick's is known for its beauty and eleagance. The stained glass windows, the main altar and the side shrines make the church a very prayerful place.

The main altar is carved from Carrara marble and onyx. In addition to the main altar there are two side shrines. On the left side, a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary stands with outstretched hands in welcome. To the right, a statue of St. Joseph stands holding a sheath of snowy lillies in one handand his carpenter's rule in the other.

Located above the main altar are five glorious stained glass windows portraying from left to right- St. Columcile, the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Patrick, St. Joseph and St. Brigid. Surrounding the altar are the Doctors of the Church: St. Alphosus Ligouri, St. Gregory, St. Augustine, St. Jerome, St. Ambrose and  St. Thomas Aquinas.

In 1992 renovation of the church building repaired and restored the slate roof and other exterior features of the church.

The spring of 2004 marked the completion of renovations that repaired, cleaned and restored the original interior artwork of the church insuring the beauty of St. Patrick for future generations.

St. Patrick Parish..." A Christian Community, working and praying together to bring ourselves and others closer to Christ."


Original Church 1858

Vintage Postcard from Mishawaka Public Library Genealogy