History of St. Patrick

Since March of 1834 when the first eight settlers arrived in this area, the needs of the Catholic community have continued to grow and expand. The little white chapel was built in 1840 by Irish immigrants. It is believed to be the oldest existing frame Catholic Church building in the Lower Peninsula. By 1870, as the community grew, the structure became too small and members traveled to Pontiac and Milford for services. 

After World War I, Detroiters began to come to this area for summer vacations. The little chapel was reopened after a cement block foundation and electric lights were added. Priests came from Pontiac to celebrate Mass during the summer months. The first 40 arrivals would squeeze into the chapel and the others stood and knelt outside the adjacent cemetery. In 1948, the chapel ws proclaimed "St. Patrick Chapel" when Cardinal Edward Mooney, Bishop of Detroit, established St. Patrick Parish. 

In 1950, St. Patrick Catholic Church held services in its first church which was moved to Union Lake from Detroit in five sections. St. Scholastica's Parish in Detroit had planned to build a new church and it's old structure was dismantled and trucked to Hutchins Road and reassembled. On September 6, 1965, ground was broken for the existing church. The new church was dedicated by Cardinal John Dearden on December 13, 1966.

St. Patrick School was established in 1956. The office building, adjacent to the church, was dedicated in 1978. The William and Myrtle Hess Center for Education was build in 1986 and dedicated on August 24, 1986 by Archbishop Edmund C. Szoka. 


St. Patrick Catholic School History