Our Parish History
The roots of Catholicism in the North Platte Valley go back to 1859. The Union Pacific Railroad was being built along the Platte River, and early priests carried the faith along the route of the Railroad as far west as Cheyenne and Laramie. Both towns had churches built in their localities. It is one of the quirks in the history of Catholicism in Nebraska that they bypassed North Platte for sometime.
In 1867, Father James Ryan came from Columbus to minister to the people of his faith and celebrated Mass in a house west of the Union Pacific depot. Father Ryan returned at intervals to offer Mass and administer the sacraments until 1875 when Father Patrick Lynch was appointed the first resident priest. The earliest baptismal record kept in North Platte is an entry for the baptism of James Charles Grooner, born September 14,1874, who Father Lynch baptized February 4, 1875.
Before the construction of a church, records indicate that Mass was offered occasionally in local homes. In 1874, Father Lynch built the first frame church at Fourth and Chestnut. Because of the growth of the Catholic population, in 1883 the frame church was replaced by a larger brick church on the southwest corner of the parish lot.
And so, it was under Father Murray's leadership that the present brick church was constructed in 1949 at a cost of $300,000. on the north west corner of the parish lot. The cornerstone was laid later that year and the church was dedicated November 7, 1950. A distinguishing feature of St. Patrick's Parish is its concept of community. An open and friendly spirit has drawn and continues to attract members to our church family.
Remodel of St. Patrick's Church
In 1989 Fr. Harold Kurtenbach initiated plans for a remodel of the current Church. Later, in 1991 under Fr.. Bernard Berger the remodel of the Church began. The general contractor was Mr. Martin Piskorski.
On the 18th of February 1996 the Most Reverend Lawrence J. McNamara, Bishop of the Diocese of Grand Island, rededicated the remodeled Church.
Church's Mission Statement:
"We are a community,