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History of Parish & Churches

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St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church

In 1839, Father John Baptist Lamy of St. Luke Parish, Danville became our first pastor. In 1847, he went to Covington, KY serving until 1850 when he was appointed Bishop of Santa Fe and in 1875 became the Archbishop. The novel “Death Comes for the Archbishop” by Willa Cather deals with our parish founder.

The first Catholic Church in Mount Vernon was begun in July of 1842. A fire of mysterious origin devastated that structure in 1844; a new edifice was dedicated on October 14, 1849. This building was eventually outgrown. Mount Calvary Cemetery on Mansfield Avenue was established in October of 1849.

Our present church, built in 1922 is English Gothic architecture using Ohio limestone. Featured at the main entrance of our church is the biblical quotation (in Latin): “My House will be called a House of Prayer.” More than a thousand parishioners and friends of Saint Vincent de Paul gather each weekend to celebrate Mass.

Our bell tower houses three bells dated from 1875: St. Mary, St. Joseph, and St. Vincent; 1,567, 965, and 575 pounds respectively.

On July 8th, 2014, St Vincent de Paul Parish was combined with St Luke Parish in Danville and Church of the Nativity in Utica to form the Knox-Licking Consortium of Catholic Churches. This arrangement will ensure the pastoral care of the Catholics in these parishes for years to come.

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St. Luke Catholic Church

1805: The history of Danville and its parishes intimately connected with the lives of its founders the Sapps. The first generation of the Sapp family had come from Holland and arrived as early as 1650 in Lord Baltimore's Maryland colony. George and Catherine Sapp emigrated from Allegheny County Maryland to Union Township, Knox County Ohio in 1805. 

1809-1810: The first log church was constructed about 1809-1810, which seems rather early.  There seems to be more historical weight that the church was constructed and used in 1819, but not formally dedicated until October of 1822.
1814: The first priest to minister to the flock around “Sapp’s Settlement” was Dominican Father Fenwick who visited the area in 1814.
1828: A series of Dominican Fathers served the Mission traveling the 50 miles from Somerset Ohio by horseback until Father O’Leary O.P. was appointed to serve the Mission in 1828 and visited St. Luke regularly every three weeks.
1839: Father John Baptist Lamy, first resident pastor, appointed in September 1839. 
1840: Father Lamy built the first wooden church in the cemetery, which was dedicated on November 15, 1840.
1847: Father Thomas J. Boulger became the second resident pastor in October 1847.
1851-1874: Father Julius Brent became the third pastor, he remained for 23 years.
1874-76: During the years 1874-76 the parish was cared for by priests coming from Columbus: Fathers Hugh McDevitt, E.J. Murphy, and J.B. Eis.
1876:  Father Francis Mortrier became the fourth resident pastor, and saw the need for a new church.  

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