Immaculate Conception Church - Fairmont, West Virginia
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member outdoorboy34
N 39° 28.914 W 080° 07.924
17S E 574643 N 4370614
Quick Description: The Immaculate Conception RC Church is located at 329 Maryland Avenue in Fairmomt City, Marion County, West Virginia
Location: West Virginia, United States
Date Posted: 9/2/2014 4:58:11 PM
Waymark Code: WMMD1Z
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 0

Long Description:
In 1909, during the tenure of Most Reverend Bishop Patrick J. Donahue, D.D., St. Joseph's parish was established with Reverend Antonio Michieli as the first pastor. When St. Joseph's Church was built, it was in the center of the Italian population of Fairmont. St. Anthony's mission church was erected in 1911. As the city of Fairmont expanded, many of the Italians moved to the East Side. For their benefit a second mission church, the Immaculate Conception was built in 1931.

In August 1924, Bishop John J. Swint, D.D. entrusted St. Joseph Parish to the LaSalette Fathers at which time Reverend Walter Green, M.S., and his assistant, Father John J. Callahan, M.S., took over the administration of the parish. This situation existed from November 1925 until January 1926 when Reverend Simon Forestier, M.S., provincial of the LaSalette Fathers, wrote Bishop Swint offering two more priests with the hope of getting the parish on a firm footing. The Bishop accepted the offer and in the same month, Father Francis Schnyder and his assistant, Reverend Oswald Loretan, M.S., began their duties in Fairmont. Father Doyle took over the duties of the parish until the arrival of Father Cotter, M.S. Father cotter and Father Doyle visited the home of every parishioner and organized a large Sunday school under the direction of two Sisters of St. Joseph and a few devoted young women of the parish.

On January 16, 1930, Father Doyle was transferred and was succeeded by Reverend Ralph Mealey. This particular year was a very busy one for it was during this time that final plans were made to build a new mission church on the East Side of town. In 1930 property was purchased on Maryland Avenue and a small wooden church was built. In 1931, the Immaculate Conception Church, a mission to St. Joseph's Church of Fairmont, and ministered to by the LaSalette Fathers was completed. However, while the church was under construction, the worshipers attended Mass in a vacant store in the Gaskins Building located on Market Street.

The guilds of the Immaculate Conception Church were started in March 1950 with a general meeting conducted by Rev. Edward Heald. He explained the purpose of starting three guilds instead of two to avoid the danger of ending up with only one. Father Heald appointed Mrs. Frank (Mary) Merendino as chairlady of the new guilds. The purpose of these guilds were first and most important to get more of our people back into the church and to receive the sacraments as often as possible, second, to work together under the same rules and to help with our church debt. The three guilds newly organized were St. Paula Guild, St. Rita Guild, and St. Magdalen Guild. The Chaplain and Religious Instructor for all three guilds was Rev. Joseph J. Nolan, M.S. The Immaculate Conception Church was completed in 1931. The Hentzy and Romano families of Maryland Avenue and the Ladies of LaSalette aided Father Cotter immensely during this period. Father Mealey, who had served his term as assistant, was succeeded by Father Francis X. Baldwin. Father Francis X. Baldwin, M.S. was appointed pastor with Father John Tobin, M.S. as assistant. Father Bernard Kelley, M.S. was assigned to Fairmont in 1945 to replace Father Thomas Nolan and served until 1947 when he was replaced by Father Thomas McNamara. Reverend Aloysius Spielman, M.S. was assigned to help with the work of the parish. In 1948 Father McNamara was transferred and was replaced by Reverend Joseph Nolan, M.S. Father Speilman passed on to his eternal reward and was replaced by Reverend James O?Connell in November 1958.

In August 1953, a general meeting was held and Father Heald explained the purpose of starting a General Fund for the church. The process of building a new Catholic school for the East Side was later changed when it was decided upon that the Immaculate Conception needed a larger church. During the 1950's the need for expansion brought about a new building program, which included a parish hall and the present new church. Father Heald organized a drive to build a new Immaculate Conception Church and Parish Hall on the East Side. The new Immaculate Conception Church was under construction when Father Heald was called to assume new duties in Danielson, Connecticut on July 31, 1959. The hall, completed in 1959, served as a church while the old structure was raised. The new church was dedicated in 1960. The new Marian Hall was built in 1980. As the city grew, so did the mission churches of St. Anthony and the Immaculate Conception. Both mission churches became larger than St. Joseph. It was at that time, 1964, that Bishop Joseph Hodges established three new territorial parishes: St. Joseph, Immaculate Conception and St. Anthony. As a result of this transition, the LaSalette Fathers returned St. Joseph and its mission churches to the Diocesan priests.
Type of Church: Church

Status of Building: Actively in use for worship

Date of organization: 1/1/1965

Date of building construction: 1/1/1931

Diocese: Wheeling-Charleston

329 Maryland Avenue
Fairmont, WV USA

Relvant Web Site: [Web Link]

Dominant Architectural Style: Not listed

Associated Shrines, Art, etc.: Not listed

Archdiocese: Not listed

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