Hennepin Church Celebrates 150 Years

Image credit: Putnam County Record
St. Patrick’s parish in Hennepin celebrated its 150-year anniversary on March 17.

The evening began with Mass and the baptism of its newest member, Silvia Anne Boggio, the daughter of Frank and Heather Boggio. Following Mass, the parishioners enjoyed a traditional St. Patrick’s Day dinner of corned beef and cabbage. A written history of the church, composed by lifelong parish member Terry Judd, was provided. Lifelong members who were in attendance at the dinner were honored.

The village of Hennepin has Catholic roots. It was named after Father Louis Hennepin, who first explored along the Illinois River under Robert de La Salle in 1680, nearly 140 years before it was incorporated. Missionaries of faith would visit the village at intervals depending on the needs of the community.

It was not until 1852 that the first Catholic building was erected and was named St. Anthony Church. In 1868 the church received parish status from the diocese of Chicago. There are no known pictures of the original St. Anthony’s. More than 50 years later in 1902, a second church was built. The Dore family donated the new church and it was renamed St. Patrick in memory of their ancestor Patrick Dore who emigrated from Ireland. The hall and church are still standing today.

The hall is now used as the public library and the church is a private residence. The current St. Patrick church was completed in 1990. Much of the furnishings from the old St. Patrick church building, including stained glass windows, side and high altars from the were incorporated into the new church. St. Patrick Parish is located on 920 E. Dore Drive with Fr. Patrick DeMeulemeester as pastor.

Source: Putnam County Record