St. Peter Church History


In 1840, Holy Cross Fathers began traveling from Notre Dame to LaPorte to encourage and support the growing number of  Irish Catholic settlers.  Thirteen years later, in 1853, St. Peter was founded as the first Roman catholic parish in LaPorte County.  Rev. Michael Rooney served as the first resident pastor.  The original 15 families celebrated mass in a very primitive, 30x40 church building located on property obtained from Fr. Sorin (the founder of Notre Dame).  The altar was constructed of dry goods boxes and the faithful knelt on bare ground.  A "proper: altar was acquired at the beginning of the 20th century by Rev. George B. Schramm.  The Catholic School was established soon after the Church in 1855, and the children were taught the faith by 3 Sisters of the Holy Cross.  the present church, school and rectory were built in the 1920s under the guidance of Rev. John C. Wakefer.  The beautiful French Romanesque style church was appropriately dedicated on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 27th 1930.  In keeping with the tradition of our Catholic Church, the early St. Peter parish was responsible for outreach missions in the neighboring communities of Chesterton, Warsaw, Walkerton, Wanatah and Westville.  today we continue reaching out to people with a welcoming and inviting spirit.  Currently over 600 families are at home at St. Peter.


We know that our history has shaped us and helped us to become people of God.  We hope you will join in our Celebration of Liturgy, grow with us in faith and share in our common Christian values as we beginning this third millennium of Christianity.