History by Year
1886 – Father A. Neuvese said the first Mass in Pasco
1896 (Nov) – 1906 (Dec) Father H. J. Van deVan
1900′s – 1940′s
1906 – 1906 Father J. Brucker
1906 – 1908 Father J. S. Cunningham
1980 (Oct) – 1910 (Dec) Father Emil Frederick
1910 (Dec.) – 1914 (Feb) Father Francis Jones
1914 (Feb.) – 1914 Father Terence Fitzpatrick
1914 – 1915 (May) Father P. A. Flavin
1915 (May) – 1918 (Dec) Father W. B. Bender
1919 (Jan) – 1925 Father Patrick T. Kileen
1925 – 1942 Father William Campion
1942 – 1970 (Apr) Father William Schmitz
1949 – 1950 Father George McCabe
1950′s – 1970′s
1951 – 1952 Father Aloysius Bresneker
1952 – 1956 Father George Morbeck
1956 – 1958 Father John O’Day
1958 – 1961 Father Arnold Schofflemeer
1962 – Father Bernard Osterman
1963 – Father Joseph Marto
1963 – 1972 Father Victor Briones (Spanish)
1965 – Father Weeks
1966 – Father Walter Strickhart
1966 – 1967 Father Charles Eis
1967 – 1968 Father Jim McGreevy
1968 – Father Dave Bruxer
1970 (Apr) – 1976 Father Robert O’Neil
1970 – Father Marvin Lavoy
1972 – 1973 Father John Birk
1972 – Father Pelais (Spanish)
1973 – Father Carlos Villabona (Spanish)
1975 – 1976 Father Tom Caswell
1976 – 1980 Father Charles Skok
1976 – 1978 Father Leonard Forsmann
1977 – 1979 Father Dave Brumbach
1976 – 1980 Father Filiberto Gonzales (Spanish)
1978 – Father Moises Padron (Spanish)
1978 – 1980 Father Arthur Mertens
1979 – 1988 Father Pedro Ramirez (Spanish)
1979 – Father Gary Sumpter
1980′s – 1990′s
1980 – 1982 Father Joseph Danneker
1980 – 1985 Father Leonard Forsmann
1980 – 1984 Father Roy Floch
1980 – present Rev. Mr. Gary Franz, Deacon
1980 – present Rev. Mr. Robert Kalinowski , Deacon
1982 – 1985 Father Tom Caswell
1982 – Present Rev. Mr. Andres Espinoza, Deacon
1985 – 1991 Father Leonard Forsmann
1985 – Father Tom Wilson
1987 – 1988 Father Phillip Ballinger
1988 – 1991 Father Hiliodoro Lucatero (Spanish)
1988 – 1993 Father Terry Grant
1991 – 1992 Father Ed Marier
1991 – 2007 Monsignor Pedro Ramirez
1990 – 1994 Father Patrick Kerst
1994 – 1995 Father Richard Poole
1995 – 1998 Father Rory Pitstick
1997 – present Father John Birk
1998 – 1999 Father Steve Werner
1999 – 2000 Father José Luis Hernandez
2000′s – Present
2000 – 2002 Father Daniel Barnett
2000 – 2001 Father Miguel Mejia
2002 – 2003 Father
2004 – 2007 Father Thomas Bunnell,SJ
2003 – 2005 Father Jose’ Jaime Maldonado
2005 – 2006 Father Gustavo Ruiz
2006 – 2006 Father Alejandro Zepeda
2007 – present Father Daniel Barnett (pastor)
2007 – 2007 Father Luis Alfonso Rivera
2008 – 2008 Father Alejandro Zepeda
2008 – 2009 Father Fernando Maldonado
2009 – 2011 Father Matthew Nicks
2011 – present Father Lutakome Deo Nsubuga
2012 – present Father Jose Luis Hernandez
History Dates in Detail
According to Captain W. P. Gray Pasco counted one hotel run by a Mrs. Water, four stores, one bakery, two saloons, about 20 private houses and about 200 people. Fr. A. Neuvese from Sprague offered the first Mass in Pasco in a section house occupied at the time by a Levin family, very good Irish people, probably in 1886. An occasional sick call at intervals was about all the religious demands Pasco made on him.
Rev. H. J. Van deVan, successor to Fr. Neuvese in the Sprague Parish from November 6, 1896 to December 23, 1906. He visited Pasco on Sunday, November 28, 1896 to offer Mass in the section house occupied by Mr. Barney Mchugh. He Had 8 Catholics and 20 Non-Catholics in attendance. Fr. Van deVan attended the spiritual needs of the Catholics between Sprague and Wallula until becoming rector of the Walla Walla Parish in 1906.
1900′s – 1940′s
Some Pasco ladies formed a society to aid the poor families. Most of the ladies belonged to the Methodist Church so the society was named “The Methodists Ladies Aid Society”. A few years later when the society decided to engage in strictly sectarian work, the two Catholic members dropped out and were given $6.00. Mrs. Margaret Page laid the sum aside should Catholics ever decide to build a church (there were no banks in Pasco at this time) .
Rev. J. Brucker of Odessa attended to the needs of the Pasco Catholics for a time until Rev. J. S. Cunningham of Sprague took over the burden, extending his missionary activities to the small town of Kennewick. During these years the Diocese of Nisqually included all of Washington State, with the Bishop residing in Seattle.
The Marriage of B.B. Harrigan and Benice Crotty took place . Bernice was the first Catholic teacher in the local Public School.
In October 1908 the Right Rev. Bishop J. O’Dea appointed Rev. E. Frederick as pastor of the territory from Sunnyside to Connell and from Wallula to Priest Rapids. His first Mass was said in the home of Mrs. W. Kouba for the repose of her son, William, who had died in Spokane in January and had been buried in Walla Walla.
A few weeks later Fr. Frederick held public services in the old courthouse before a congregation of some 12 to 14 Catholics and a few non-Catholics. Fr. Frederick’s accounts: ” With the judge’s desk serving as an altar, a hastily improvised choir occupying the benches of the jurymen, and the congregation comfortably filling the courtroom.”
Fr. Frederick decided to transfer his headquarters from Prosser to Pasco. He celebrated Christmas Midnight Mass, with the Bishop’s permission, in the Episcopal Church at Pasco. He announced at that time that he would at once take steps toward the erecting of a creditable church.
Fr. Frederick appointed a Board of Church Trustees consisting of: B.B. Harrigan, Smith O’Brien. Sam Stebbins, and Sam Hastings.
In the early part of the year Charles O’Brien approached the Northern Pacific Railway Land Office in St. Paul for a tract of land suitable for Church and School Purposes. The negotiations were slow and tedious and the first deed of conveyance was not acceptable to the Bishop of the Diocese.
A small group of Catholic ladies who had started with $6.00 and raised more, handed over $250 to Fr. Frederick for the new church. The little band dissolved and joined the Altar Society organized on November 11,1908. In addition to the $250.00 the Catholic Ladies donated an organ. The balance of the debt was covered by donations, half of which came from non-Catholics.
The Board of Trustees gave the new parish its name SAINT PATRICK. The first altar boys were Bill Hogan, David Hastings and George Shannon. Mrs. Daniel Page McIntyre taught the first Catechism class.
Fr. Frederick was installed as first rector of Saint Patrick in Pasco. He lived with the O’Brien Family at the corner of 2nd and Lewis Streets.
On October 2nd the Northern Pacific Railway Land Office in St. Paul donated to the corporation of the diocese 1-18/100 of an acre in consideration of $10.00 on the sole condition that within a year from the conveyance of title a church would be erected on the property.
Fr. Frederick and his board of trustees had come to a decision months before to get temporary building for the time being. They purchased an old drug store near the rail road tracks from Charles Cunningham for $400.00, had it moved to a vacant lot on Lewis Street between 2nd and 3rd Streets and remodeled and furnished it. This little structure with its scanty furnishing, all paid for, was the place of worship from the Spring of 1909 until May of 1910 when the building was sold for $200.00.
The new church on North 4th Street between Park and Yakima Streets was begun in early August and completed in early November. Breezer Brothers drew the plans for the Church and A. Schommer was the contractor. In the meantime Mass was celebrated in a Public School building. The cost of the church and furnishings was $4696.10. This lot is now the south parking lot of Lourdes Medical Center.
To reduce the outstanding indebtedness the Pastor and the Catholic Ladies planned a big fair the week before Christmas, chaired by Mrsl Leonie Hogan. It was a big success, netting the parish $723.10.
Fr. Frederick was transferred to the Lower Big Bend Country with Headquarters in Cheney. The Rev. Francis Jones succeed Fr. Frederick December 23, 1910.
Fr. Francis Jones had the first rectory erected, just South of the Church.
The Knights of Columbus Pasco Council 1620 received their Charter on March 24th. Joseph Horrigan was the first Grand Knight.
The Diocese of Spokane was erected from part of the Diocese of Nisqually (now the Archdiocese of Seattle). August Francis Shinner, Bishop of Superior, Michigan, was named the first Bishop of Spokane.
In February the Rev. Terence Fitzpatrick came to Pasco where he served for a few months. He was succeed by the Rev. P.A. Flavin.
Fr. P.A. Flavin served until May 12 when he was assigned to the missions attached to Pasco, with headquarters in Kennewick, by the Right Rev. August Schinner, Spokane’s first Bishop.
On May 15 Rev. W. B. Bender took charge of the parish. His first endeavor was to put the church and its property in first class condition, making many alterations. His second endeavor was to bring a Sister’s Hospital to Pasco.
Through Fr. W.B. Bender’s efforts, Mother Borgia, Sister Superior of St. Joesph’s Hospital in Lewiston, Idaho, brought 5 sisters to Pasco to open a hospital in a building that had been used as the Montana Hotel, located at 100 South 5th. This replaced a tiny 3-bed facility that had been operating in a private home on 9th and Columbia Streets. The old Montana Hotel was leased from B. B. Horrigan’s mother for conversion into a 15-bed hospital. Housewives helped clean the two story building. Donations of $800.00 were collected and nearly $200.00 were raised by selling tags to residents. The hospital officially opened on September 24, 1916 with six pyhsicans on the medical staff.
The hospital was named Our Lady Of Lourdes in thanksgiving for a favor received from prayer. Fr. Bender’s house keeper, Margaret Nolte, had a seriously infected eye. Her eyesight was threatened and the Sisters prayed to the Blessed virgin under the title of Our Lady Of Lourdes that God might cure the infection and within a short time the infection subsided.
Rev. Patrick J. Killeen became pastor of St. Patrick church on January 1st.
The present site of Our Lady Of Lourdes Hospital was purchased from the Northern Pacific Railway for $1.00. The Cornerstone was laid on August 28th.
The new Lady Of Lourdes Hospital with 50-beds opened on July 29th. on land just North of the Church. The Hospital admitted 607 patients the first year.
A Nurses training school was opened by Our Lady Of Lourdes Hospital.
Fr. William Campion became pastor.
Charles D. White became the second Bishop of Spokane.
Fr. Campion celebrated his 25th annerversay as a priest on July 25. The altar boys who assisted at the Mass were Leo Horrigan, John Rogers, Billy Leroux. The Mass was sung by Mrs. R.R. Glen, Mrs. F. R. Leroux, Mrs. Hill Williams, Miss Alice Brown and Miss Marion Reel. Mass was followed by a luncheon at the hotel Pence with B.B. Horrigan presiding. The Altar Society held a reception for Fr. Campion in the evening on the lawn of the church.
Fr. William Schmitz became the pastor of St. Patrick’s Church in Pasco following the death of Fr. Campion. Fr. Schmitz had been previously assigned in Walla Walla.
An addition to the rear of the church increased the capacity to 300 people.
1950′s – 1970′s
A $750,000.00 addition to Our Lady Of Lourdes Hospital started in 1941 was dedicated on October 29th by the Right Rev Charles D. White, Bishop of Spokane.
In September an 8 classroom school was opened on property 10 blocks west of the church and rectory. Beginning with 5 grades and 4 teachers, it was staffed by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondalet, who lived at the Hospital until 1955, when a convent was built. This was the first parochial school in the Tri-City area. It was built at the cost of $200.000.00 and is still serving the young people of this parish.
The Court of Our Lady of Fatima, #1611, Catholic Daughters of America was chartered on April 20th.
The Our Lady Of Lourdes Hospital Auxiliary was organized.
Fr. William F. Laroux celebrated his first Solemn High Mass at St. Patrick’s Church on June 30th.
Bernard Topel became the third Bishop of Spokane. A convent was built for the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondalet on land adjacent to the school.
A group of dedicated men and priest from St. Patricks put together a plan to purchase a building to better serve the indigent and transient people of the Tri-Cities. Fr. Arnold Scheffelmeier provided $750.00 toward the purchase of a $6,000.00 building at 115 West Lewis. This became the center for the charitable activities of the local St. Vincent dePaul Society.
St. Vincent dePaul Store opened on February 22nd with Don Thomas of Richland as Manager.
The ninth grade class was started at the parish school and housed in the basement of the Church.
The seventh, eighth and ninth grade students moved into the new St. Patrick Jr. High School building, just to the south of the main school.
George Grant Construction began work on a new church and rectory at Henry and 14th Streets, on the same campus as the parish school and convent.
The new church was dedicated on June 25th. In addition to the dedication of the new church this year was highlighted by the celebration of Fr. Schmitz’s 25th anniversary as a priest. Following the dedication ceremony Fr. Schmitz celebrated Solemn High Mass assisted by Fr. John O’Brien as deacon and Rev. Roy Thelen as subdeacon. A jubilee dinner was held in his honor with Msgr. Pautler as toastmaster. St. Patricks Parish gave Fr. Schmitz a trip to Rome in appreciation of his work as pastor.
The old church building on North 4th Street became a youth center. Fr. Charles Eis was director of the Catholic Youth Organization and Tom Brandon, a 6th grade teacher at Mark Twain, was director of the Center. The program included 5 year olds to college sophomores. The facility provided space for basketball, volleyball, weight lifting, boxing , a game room, pool table, ping-pong tables, a television, a phonograph, showers and locker facilities.
In July Fr. Victor Briones came to Pasco to begin Spanish language ministry in the parish and surrounding communities. He was the only Hispanic priest in the southeastern Washington and Northeastern Oregon areas. Since then St. Patrick has become, in many respects, a regional center of ministry and faith formation to the Spanish speaking population.
The community of Eltopia to the north, which had been a mission of St. Patrick’s, became the parish of St. Paul the Apostle. They constructed a new church, hall, and priest’s apartment built entirely by volunteer labor. The community of Connell, a mission of Sacred Heart Parish, Othello became the parish of St. Vincent DePaul. The two parishes are served by one pastor.
St. Patrick’s School was unable to accommodate all the students seeking admittance. The religious education program of the parish included 470 students in the school, 319 CCD students and 203 High school students.
The first Spanish Catechism Classes were organized.
The Dioceses of Spokane celebrated its golden Jubilee.
Fr. Briones (1963-1972) celebrated a Mass in Spanish each Sunday at 3PM. It was through his efforts that a Hispanic Church Choir, a migrant day-care, and a Tri- Cities Latin American Association were formed. He was instrumental in the establishment of the Washington State Commission on Mexican American Affairs. The first Spanish adult religious education classes were formed. Rose Armijo became the first Hispanic to sit on the Parish Council.
The Altar Society modernized and enlarged the organization by setting up guilds: Our Lady of Cana – Parish Receptions and Funeral Dinners; St. Therese – Care of the Altar Servers’ Vestments; St. Bridget – Baptismal Stoles; St. Dorothy – Flowers; St. Jude – Sewing and Crafts; St. Monica – Sunshine; St. Patrick – Missions and the St. Vincent de Paul Society. A Guild for Spanish speaking parishioners, Grupo Guadalupana, was added in 1981.
Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital celebrated its 50th birthday.
St. Patricks Parish hosted the convention of the Spokane Council of Catholic Men.
On Sunday April 30th Fr. Schmitz celebrated his 25th year as pastor of St Patrick’s Parish. During these years Father was a bus driver, a wicked handball player, a baseball player and a friend to all. He also was one of the 12 charter members of the Tri-City Communty Action Committee. A well equipped library opened at St Patrick’s School.
Fr. William Schmitz died on April 14. He had served St. Patrick’s for 29 years and is buried in the Pasco Cemetary. Fr. Robert O’Neal became pastor.
Fr. Charles Skok became the pastor. Fr. Skok appointed a committee, chaired by Dr. Len Suhadolnik, to lay plans for a Parish Center. Fr. Filiberto Gonzales (1976-1980) was ordained a priest at St. Patrick’s and resident priest for the Hispanic community. He initiated Spanish Bible studies, formed St. Patrick’s Hispanic organization and the Hispanic Liturgy Committee.
Lawrence Harold Welsh became the fourth Bishop of Spokane. The groundbreaking for the Parish Center occurred on the 10th of September. The new building would include a full size gymnasium with dressing rooms and showers, meeting rooms, a kitchen and religious education offices. Marianne Grant and Carl Perry were appointed co-chairpersons for the fund raising functions.
Bishop Lawrence Welch dedicated the Parish Center on May 26th. He made the first baket in the gym following the dedication.
1980′s – 1990′s
Fr. Joseph Danneker became pastor. On August 21 Bishop Lawrence Welch ordained Robert Kalinowski and Gray Franz to the permanent Diaconate.
The “Grupo Guadalupana”, the Spanish language Guild of the parish Altar Society, was organized on Easter Sunday, April 26.
Fr. Tom Caswell became pastor. Bishop Lawrence Welch ordained Andres Espinoza as the first Spanish speaking Permanent Deacon on June 26.
Fr. Leonard Forsmann became pastor.
A four – plex was purchased for the home of the priest and the former rectory became a church office building.
A childcare and Montasorri preschool program was started at the parish school.
St. Patrick celebrated it’s centennial year with a parish wide bilingual Mass at Edgar Brown Memorial Stadium.
William S. Skylstad, Bishop of Yakima, became the fifth bishop of Spokane.
Fr. Pedro Ramirez became pastor. While he was an associate here from 1980 to 1988 he had begun a Spanish language radio ministry, which he continues today.
Fr. Ramirez was named a monsignor.
The parish school building, built in 1951, underwent a complete renovation. Most of the effort was accomplished by volunteer work crews. The Campaign was chaired by Leonard and Marylin Hanses.
Tri-Cities Prep, an independent Catholic High School, opened with its first class of freshman. The completely new facility, located in Pasco, draws students from all three Tri-Cities parish schools, as well as other public and private schools in the area.
Msgr. Ramirez celebrated the 25th anniversary of his ordination on August 3rd. He celebrated Mass that day at Santa Cruz Church in Juventino Rosas, Mexico where he had been baptized and had received his First Communion and Confirmation. It is also the church where he ordained in 1974.
2000′s – Present
St. Patrick began the first week of the New Year by being host for the traveling Icon of the Holy Trinity.
On Ash Wednesday, March 8, St. Patrick joined the other parishes of the Tri-Cities and surrounding area for an area wide Mass at the TRAC facility in Pasco, concelebrated by Bishop William Skylstad of Spokane and Bishop Carlos Sylvia of Yakima. Over 7,000 attended the Mass.
For the month of April St. Patrick’s was the diocesan Pilgrimage Church, part of the new millennium Jubilee Year celebration.
St. Patrick’s joined the other 80 parishes of the Diocese of Spokane for a Jubilee Mass on June 11, the Feast of Pentecost. Over 8,000 gathered at the Spokane Coliseum for the Liturgy presided at by Bishop Skylstad and concelebrated by the priests of the Diocese. Special guests included His Eminence, Edmund Cardinal Szoka, President of Vatican City and the special emissary of the Holy Father, the Most Rev. Raymond Hunthausen, retired Archbishop of Seattle, and Gary Locke, Governor of Washington State.
In the summer two newly ordained associate pastors joined our parish community: Fr. Daniel Barnett and Fr. Miguel Mejia.