St. Lawrence Church at 1916 Meharry Street, Lafayette, IN 47904-1497 US - St. Lawrence ChurchSt. Lawrence Church
St. Lawrence Parish of Lafayette, Indiana has a memorable history which originated in 1895. It was the year the Monon Railroad realized Lafayette was the ideal place for a business enterprise and decided to move their shop yards here. They located in the north end of the city in an area previously known at Linwood which had just recently been annexed by the city. As the new shops were being built many jobs were created and soon a large number of families built their homes in that vicinity. The Right Reverend Bishop Rademacher gave the task of founding the parish to the Franciscan Fathers of the Province of St. Johsn the Baptist of Cincinnati, Ohio. It was decided to erect a building that would serve as chapel, school, and residence for teachers and pastors until the congregation could build a suitable rectory. The new structure was dedicated to St. Lawrence the martyr, Sunday, November 8, 1896, by Bishop Rademacher. The parochial school opened prior to the dedication in September, 1896. The school was free and supported by a school society. The number of parishoners continued to increase as the Monon Shops were completed. Additional property was purchased and a rectory was constructed and a house was purchased for the Sisters of St. Francis, who also served the parish as teachers. Efforts were made to provide for the religious instruction of the children living in rural areas. One resident priest, Fr. Wurth, would travel by bicycle to rural schools and offer instruction to the children. St. Lawrence continued to grow primarily as a working class parish with an emphasis on education. In 1922, our current church was built. The new church was dedicated in June 1923. The Franciscan priests and sisters continued to serve our parish until the late 20th century. Over the years many programs were offered to enrich and encourage the spiritual growth of the parishioners. In May 1991, the Franciscan Fathers bid the parish farewell and Diocesan priests were assigned. St. Lawrence continues to be a community committed to worship, education, and social justice. St. Lawrence Parish still operates a school for Preschool through Sixth Grade; a Religious Education Program for children in Preschool through Eighth Grade; a Youth Ministry Program for high school youth; the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults; Christ Renews His Parish; Adult Religious Education Classes; a Parish Nurse Program; and Friends and Neighbors, which is a neighborhood outreach.