For those who appreciate learning about our antecedents, from time to time we will post snipets of our research descriptive of some of the most interesting events over the 139 years of the parish's existence.
The person most responsible for the initial growth of Old St. Patrick was one of its first pastors, Father James A. Dunn. He was appointed as pastor of St. Patrick in March of 1873 where he found an Irish community of great poverty and no suitable church building. Through Father Dunn's tireless efforts and much of his own personal wealth, the parish was able to construct a church, a school and a rectory over the span of just a few years. The existing church building housed its first services in 1875.
Father Dunn virtually worked himself to death with great sacrifices and extraordinary diligence. He died in 1888 at the age of 48 years old. He was initially accorded a great honor by his parishioners by being buried in the church, but in 1927 his remains were disinterred and re-buried in the priests' lot in Mt. St. Mary's cemetery.
During the renovation of the Oratory, Father Dunn's tomb was discovered under the center of the sanctuary. We'll show a photograph of that in a future post.