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SAINT CLEMENT PARISH HISTORY

On June 24, 1859, the lot for St. Clement Church was purchased for the sum of $200
The first church was built for a cost of $580.55.  It was known as the Rock Church.
The first Mass in the church was celebrated on Christmas Day in 1859.
Saint Clement Church was originally going to be named St. Bartholomew, but because there were other churches in the diocese by that name, the bishop suggested that the church in Lancaster be called St. Clement.
The parish did not have a resident priest until 1870 so other priests in the area helped out.
By 1861, the parish was not able to pay its bills for the land or the construction costs and there was danger of losing everything.  The interest rate was 10%.
To save the church, 28 members each signed personal notes for $25 and became the first benefactors of the parish.
The first church was small and the seating capacity was less than 200.  Men had to stand in the back of church.  A system of renting pews was started.
In 1870, St. Clement Parish got its first resident priest.  The parish purchased a home for him at a cost of $2150.
The first pastor remained for 3 years and during that time, there were 123 baptisms, 13 marriages, and 2 deaths.
In 1866, work was begun on a second church for the cost of $10,000 with the understanding that the parish supply the rock, sand and lime and also dig the foundation and basement.
The second church was built of red brick, was well lighted and had stained glass windows.  It was consecrated on December 1, 1886.  It could seat about 320.
The old church was purchased by the Grant County Herald newspaper after a fire destroyed their building.  Later the church was used as a boarding house.
The present St. Clement Church was built in 1967.  It can seat  about 1100.
In 2009, St. Clement Parish celebrated its 150th Anniversary.
RECONCILIATION:
Monday - Saturday:  7:45 - 8:05 a.m.
Saturday      4:00 p.m.
  Also by appointment


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