Parish History

Early on, a small group of leaders had a vision for what St. Malachy Parish could be. The land for the church was purchased on April 20, 1866, and the note required for the construction of the church was signed by six parishioners: Timothy Casserly, Thomas Corliss, Martin Dugan, Thomas Maloney, Timothy Quinn and Thomas Ward.

2013 - first churchThree years later - on Sept. 26, 1869 - St. Malachy Parish was established with Fr. John Brassart as the founding pastor. The first church was a 30' x 40' wood frame building with a beautiful white altar.  

This was our humble - and exciting - beginning. Other key dates that mark our history and growth include:

1893: First cemetery was consecrated by Bishop Chatard. It is a five-acre plot three miles west of Brownsburg which cost the parish $1,500.00.

1900: The Altar Society was formed under the direction of Fr. Michael Lyons.

June 26, 1904: A new brick church was dedicated. The local Catholic newspaper account of the new church read in part:

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“More than a thousand people were present last Sunday at Brownsburg when the handsome new St. Malachy Church was solemnly dedicated to the service of God ... A special train of six coaches left Indianapolis at 11 a.m. There were several societies, including the Y.M.I. (Young Men’s Institute), The Knights of St. George, Father Mathew Boy’s Brigade and Band, with Captain P.J. Kelleher and Captain P.J. Carney in command, and a large number of Catholics from the different city parishes and adjoining towns. At the Brownsburg station all formed in line and marched to the grove near the new church, where a bountiful repast was served by the ladies of St. Malachy’s.       

“The new church is one of the handsomest in that section and the most costly of any denomination in Hendricks County. It has a seating capacity of about 300, and the edifice as it stands costs about $13,500.00. The main altar is beautiful and was the donation of the Altar Society.”
The Catholic Columbian-Record, July 2, 1904.

1909: Second cemetery was dedicated. This cemetery is a two-acre plot located “just a short distance north” of the church.

1951: Fr. Edward Bauer was assigned to St. Malachy for the express purpose of organizing a building committee and building a school. This committee determined that in 1948-49 there were 45 children in the parish of school age. Therefore, the building required three large classrooms and living quarters for three nuns. The initial cost was estimated at $30,000.00 with an annual upkeep that would not exceed $2,500.00.

May 15, 1955: The cornerstone for St. Malachy School was laid.

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Oct. 9, 1955: St. Malachy School was dedicated by Archbishop Schulte. The faculty consisted of three Sisters of Providence.

1974: The first Country Fair was held. It has continued to be an annual event where St. Malachy hosts our parish family along with our community for a fun and joyful event which also raises money for our parish.

Feb. 23, 1975: A new “modern” church was dedicated. A newspaper account of the facility read:

“The new church seats 650 people and is fully carpeted and air-conditioned. The windows are amber colored in line with the modern architecture for a feeling of openness.”  
The Guide, February 19, 1975

1976: St. Malachy School was expanded to include parish hall.

1979: Bell Tower was erected. The bell tower holds the bell which was originally in the belfry of the 1904 church. The bell is inscribed: St Malachy Church - July 1912 - St Malachy Pray for Us - Mother of God Pray for Us - Sacred Heart of Jesus - Have Mercy on Us

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Aug. 7, 1994: Celebration of the 125th anniversary of St. Malachy Parish with Archbishop Daniel Beuchlein and Fr. Wilfred Day presiding.

1995: Additional classrooms were added to St. Malachy School.

1998: Medical missions to St. Marguerite Parish, Port Margot, Haiti, began. Mission trips now occur three times per year. In addition to serving the area’s medical needs, the group brings clean, safe drinking water to the area and through our “Sponsor a Child” ministry brings educational supply and support to Ste. Teresa School.

1999: Knights of Columbus Council was established; St. Malachy hires its first business manager for the parish. We began our twinning programs with St. Andrew, a center city parish in Indianapolis and Ste. Marguerite Parish in Port Margot, Haiti.

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2001: Long range planning began for a new church/school campus.

2005: 50th anniversary of St. Malachy School. The school now included two classrooms for each grade as well as specialty classes such as library, gym, health, art, music, Spanish and technology.

June 24, 2007: Archbishop Daniel Beuchlein was present as ground was broken for the newest St. Malachy Church facility on acreage donated, in part, by a parishioner. This property - at the corner of County Road 750 N. and County Road 1000 E. - will eventually house the entire St. Malachy campus: church, school, parish hall, rectory and athletic fields.  

2007: St. Malachy hired its first Pastoral Associate.

June 28, 2008: The first permanent deacon was ordained and assigned to St. Malachy.

Dec. 16, 2008: The church was dedicated by Archbishop Daniel Beuchlein with many former pastors and associate pastors in attendance. The structure is over 28,000 sq. ft of modern architecture and handmade artistry which recalls our Irish roots while strongly representing our Catholic traditions and beliefs. This newest church seats 1,500 worshippers.

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Jan. 2011: Parish office was moved to the new church.

2011: Planning, Building and Relocation committees were in place to prepare for the fundraising and relocation of the school.

2012: Capital campaign to build a new school began. Entitled, “Fulfilling the Promise,” this campaign came with the hopes of moving our school to its new campus.

2013-2014: We reached our goal and began construction on our new school. Construction was complete in June of 2014 and with the help of parishioners and school families, we moved into our new school structure. The 2014/2015 school year began with new hopes. The Parish theme was “God makes all things new!” Archbishop Tobin celebrated Mass at St. Malachy on September 3, 2014 and then moved over to our new school to offer a blessing in each classroom. It was a very special day. In addition, our parish rectory was constructed and our priests moved in on October of 2014. With the rectory completed, all parish facilities were once again on the same campus.

 

 

A list of our previous pastors is here.