St. Lawrence Church at 120 Gatewood Avenue, Lawrenceburg, KY 40342-1126 US - SAINT LAWRENCE

SAINT LAWRENCE


 

The history of the Catholic Church in Lawrenceburg dates to the late 1800’s. Historical accounts of the early years of Sts. Peter and Paul Church in Danville note that in the 1870’s and 1880’s the congregation at Lawrenceburg was served by the priests of the Danville parish. In 1873 the congregation purchased a half acre lot on the east side of Main Street. A foundation and cornerstone were laid at this site, but no further building occurred. In 1893 Fr. Paul Volk came to the Danville parish. He was instrumental in the purchase of the land on which the church is located today. The site was originally owned by the Anderson County School Board. The congregation bought the lot and a school building that was on the lot for $1600 in 1894. The building was remodeled, and the cornerstone from the earlier site was made into a holy water font for the new church.

        The name given to the new church was St. James the Less. The church gradually deteriorated in 1921. During this time the congregation struggled to survive. From the mid 1920’s to the late 1940’s the needs of the congregation were met by priests from St. Leo in Versailles. In 1948 St. Andrew Church in Harrodsburg began meeting the needs of the congregation in Lawrenceburg. Fr. Gabriel Germann came to Lawrenceburg for one Mass on Sunday. At this time, discussions began about the need to build a new church. In October 1949 a contract was signed for construction of a new church on the site occupied by the previous building, which had been razed in 1939. The cost of the new church was $16,300.00. The first Mass was said in the new church March 11, 1952. The new church was known as St. Lawrence Church.
 
       The dedication of the Church was held June 4, 1952. Archbishop John Floersh was assisted by Fr. Gabriel Germann, Fr. James T. Blandford, and Fr. Damien Gusmus. Fr. Julian Pank succeeded Fr. Germann as head of St. Andrew in Harrodsburg, and served from 1952 to 1960. From 1960 to 1965 Fr. Thomas Caldwell served as priest for St. Andrew and St. Lawrence. Fr. Joseph Hayden served from 1965 to 1968. In August 1968, Fr. Bernard Boone came to St. Andrew and assumed spiritual care of St. Lawrence Church. He was a strong advocate of placing a resident priest at St. Lawrence. Fr. Boone was succeeded by Fr. John Weyhing in June 1971. Fr. Henry Vessels came to St. Andrew in November 1972, but only remained a short time due to poor health. Fr. Stanley Osborne came to Harrodsburg in June 1974. Fr. Osborne was one of the people who initiated the construction of the current Gabriel Hall adjacent to the church which was completed in late 1975. Fr. Osborne served until June 1981, when he was succeeded by Fr. Joseph Miller. Fr. Miller served until June 1982, when he was succeeded by Fr. James Pottinger. Fr. Pottinger served only a short time until his unexpected death on February 17, 1983. Fr. Robert DeWitt served as priest until June 1983 when Fr. James T. Blandford, who had retired from the Louisville Diocese, volunteered to come to St. Lawrence and serve as a resident priest for the Congregation. It was during Fr. Blandford’s 10 year tenure that the plans were made for the construction of the new sanctuary.
 
     In March 1988 the parish of St. Lawrence was moved from the Louisville Diocese into the newly created Lexington Diocese. As the plans for construction of a new sanctuary were becoming more refined, Fr. Blandford was succeeded by our first resident priest, Fr. Charles J. McDonald in June 1993. Construction began in November 1995 and the dedication was on August 25th, 1996. July 31st, 2006 Fr. Charles McDonald retired after 13 years here at St. Lawrence. July 1st, 2006 we were assigned our 2nd resident priest, Fr. A. Charles Savarimuth, now in India. Father Chris Clay, our current priest July of 2009 - .



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