St. Nicholas Catholic Church - Santa Claus, IN
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Odyssey Posse
N 38° 07.343 W 086° 55.527
16S E 506534 N 4219396
Quick Description: St. Nicholas Catholic Church is located 0.10 miles north of the junction of Rt. 245 and Louis J. Koch Boulevard in Santa Claus, Indiana.
Location: Indiana, United States
Date Posted: 8/13/2009 8:58:31 AM
Waymark Code: WM709B
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 4

Long Description:
From the church's website (

The History of St. Nicholas Parish

In the late 1960’s liturgies were celebrated at Lincoln State Park. This served both campers and local people. This was followed by liturgies being held in the Chapel at Lincoln Boyhood National Monument.

In 1967 the Catholics of the Santa Claus and Lamar communities began worshiping as a mission church. At Bishop Leibold’s request, Fr. Fidelis Jent, O.S.B. was assigned to serve the people.

In the 1970’s the Catholics of St. Nicholas worshiped in the St. Paul Evangelical Church in Santa Claus. Later, and until 1996 a small building that had served as a toyshop many years before was used as a gathering place to worship for St. Nicholas parishioners.

In 1990 Sr. Mary Terence Knapp, O.S.B., was assigned by Bishop Gerald Gettelfinger to serve as Pastoral Life Coordinator of St. Nicholas. Fr. Gordon Mann from nearby St. Martin Parish in Chrisney served as Pastoral Moderator.

On December 6, 1991 Bishop Gettelfinger canonically established St. Nicholas as a parish with its own boundaries within the Jasper Deanery.

In March of 1992 a Planning Committee was formed to oversee the building of a new church. A Pledge Drive Committee was also formed.

In September of 1992 William and Patricia Koch deeded a 6.4-acre plot fronting Highway 245 North to the Diocese of Evansville. This was for the sole purpose of building St. Nicholas Catholic Church and later, a cemetery.

In December of 1992 Edmund Hafer Architect, Inc. of Evansville was awarded the architectural commission for the project.

In April of 1993 the architect, the planning committee, and the pledge drive committee presented their plans to Bishop Gettelfinger and the Diocesan Building Commission.

In May 1993 the “St. Nicholas BUILDS!” three-year pledge drive was initiated with the goal of raising $750,000 to finance the project with its total cost of $1.132 million. The church community was given a CHALLENGE GRANT of $60,000 from the Habig Foundation. An additional challenge of $30,000 was made by each of two couples. With the success of the follow-up campaign, “Project Jump Start”, 80% of the total cost of the project was committed for by February 1995. The remaining 20% of the project’s cost was financed by a 10-year loan from the Diocesan Loan Fund. This loan was paid in full in 2003.

On March 2, 1995 Bishop Gettelfinger gave the verbal “PROCEED!” to the church community.

On May 24, 1995 ground was broken for the building of St. Nicholas Catholic Church.

In November of 1995 construction was begun by Jasper Lumber Co., the general contractor.

On December 8, 1996 St. Nicholas Catholic Church was blessed and dedicated by The Most Reverend Bishop Gerald Gettelfinger.

On January 1, 1997 St. Nicholas was officially transferred into the Newburgh Deanery.

Among the priests who have so generously given of their time were Fathers Terence Gerkin, O.S.B., Joseph Ziliak, James Blessinger, Joseph Kirsch, John Lefler, Greg Spencer, Gordon Mann, Jim Sauer and presently John Brosmer.
Type of Church: Church

Status of Building: Actively in use for worship

Date of building construction: 12/08/1996

Associated Shrines, Art, etc.: The Cross in the cemetary

Archdiocese: Indianapolis

Diocese: Evansville

180 N Holiday Blvd
Santa Claus, IN USA

Relvant Web Site: [Web Link]

Date of organization: Not listed

Dominant Architectural Style: Not listed

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