Father Hanauska’s pleas for courage during those times of crisis and opportunity were answered by the members of St. Patrick Parish. Only seven months after suffering a devastating fire, St. Patrick members celebrated Christmas Eve Mass in the newly restored church.
On May 14, 1958 ground was broken for a new elementary school thanks to the vision of Father Joseph Hanauska. On September 8th, Sisters Mary Frances, Mary Jane and Mary Gabriel, School Sisters of Notre Dame arrived; Sister Mary Frances was the first principal. The Sisters lived in the rectory while the pastor made his quarters in the sacrity of the church. School supplies including desks, books, etc. were stored in Columbus Hall. On September 19th, the men of the parish transported the school supplies to the school. The following day, Sisters, lay teachers, women and children made preparations for the opening of the school. Much work, sacrifice, and love were put into these preparations.
“All things are possible with God” Mark 10:27
On September 22, 1958, opening date of St. Patrick School, two newly acquired school buses brought children from outlying areas. About 150 students registered and 199 arrived on the first day. The dedication took place on May 17, 1959, Pentecost Sunday. Blessing of the $390,000 parochial school was officiated by the most Reverend Archbishop William E. Cousins. The first graduation (26 students) took place on June 2, 1960.
A statue was placed in front of the school in honor of Fr. Hanauska’s role in establishing our parish school. In 1963, a convent was built across the street from the school at 529 Sunset Drive. The residence was home to a number of School Sisters throughout the years. The convent was sold in May of 1995.
1978 marked the centennial of St. Patrick Parish. This milestone was celebrated with the publication of a Centen- nial Directory and the celebration of a Centennial Mass.
Following the retirement of Father Hanauska, Father Joseph Haas became pastorate in 1983. Father Haas de- scribed his mission here in three distinct periods. The first was a period of stabilization. Initially there was a need for financial stabilization during which time a detailed financial system was established. Not only was this to im- prove the financial security of the parish, but to also bring the parish into the period of Vatican II. Financial advice was sought and two professional stewardship drives were held.
St. Joseph statue in honor of Fr. Hanauska
Church interior 1978