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A brief history of St Patricks




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The St. Patrick Preservation Group was honored to be a part of the Erin Historical Society’s hosting of the Irish Genealogical Society of Wisconsin on August 2, 2010. Over 50 Irish Genealogical Society members travelled to Erin Township to visit the former Kenealy Blacksmith Shop turned Lucy’s Horseshoe Inn and now the current home of the Erin Historical Society. After spending time looking at founding family displays and miniature replicas of Erin’s historic buildings, they visited our historic, 155-year old St. Patrick’s Church and Old St. Patrick Cemetery, where the first recorded burial was 1850. They completed their tour with drinks and dinner at Tally Ho Pub & Restaurant.

Thank you to Ron Weber of St. Kilian’s parish for opening the church, where Evarist & Nancy Henke shared their extensive knowledge of St. Patrick’s Church, which is outlined in their 150th Anniversary History Book of St. Patrick’s Church of Erin. Maureen Fitzsimmons-Vanden Heuvel shared information about the founding and activities of the St. Patrick Preservation Group. The Irish Genealogical Society then spent time in Old St. Patrick’s Cemetery searching for their Irish ancestors. Many thanks to Gay Griesbach of the West Bend Daily News for her wonderful article and photos.

As we go to press, the St. Patrick’s Church Rectory is being updated in anticipation of a new rental family. Interior renovation work and a new roof have been completed and occupancy can begin on September 10, 2010. Description: 5-6 bedrooms, remodeled kitchen (no appliances), large dining room and very large living room, office, one full bathroom and two half baths. Lawn mowing and snow removal are provided for the renters. Spacious yard and 3-1/2 stall garage with new roof. For more information contact St. Kilian Offices: 262/673-4831

Pat Nickols of California, whose family donated well over $100,000 to Old St. Patrick Cemetery, met with St. Kilian’s Parish on August 4, 2010. She is happy to report that there has been some growth in the trust fund which translates into more headstones being repaired in Old St. Patrick’s Cemetery. On August 17, 2010, Old St. Patrick Committee Members John Collins and Dave Schippers met with Gehl Monument Company and Dan Leischer, Maintenance Supervisor of St. Kilian’s and marked 15 gravesites north of the entrance for upcoming work. One of the large oak trees on the west side of the cemetery is hollow and its removal will be the first priority before work begins. If you have a family member buried at St. Patrick’s and would like to contribute to headstone repair, please contact St. Kilian Parish Office at 262/673-4831.

The 153-year old St. Patrick’s Altar Society commenced meetings in September after their summer hiatus. The ladies continue to meet at the Erin Town Hall the second Wednesday of each month at 1 p.m., September through May. The Society helps support the Hartford Food Pantry and the Pregnancy Help Center through donations and also has memorial Masses said for deceased parishioners. Newly elected officers are: Janet Jones - President, Joan Walsh - Treasurer and Vivian Whelan - Secretary. If you would like to be a part of the camaraderie and spirituality, please call President Janet Jones at 262/673-4046.

For continued updates, please visit our web site at www.savestpatrick.com (check out the latest pictures) or join us the second Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Erin Town Hall. Coffee, dessert and catching up with family, friends and neighbors follow the meeting. If you would like to become a member of the St. Patrick Preservation Fund, Inc. (reasonably priced at $5/Single and $10/Family), please contact Maureen Fitzsimmons-Vanden Heuvel at 262/670-0975 or E-mail her at SaveStPats@aol.com. To get a copy of the 150th Anniversary History Book of St. Patrick’s Church, please contact Nancy Henke at 262/673-5219 or E-mail Mary Hasslinger at mary.weddingday@att.net.

We again thank you for your ongoing support during the past eleven years, as we continue our goal to preserve St. Patrick’s Chapel--an important part of the history of the Town of Erin.