A History of A History of Our Lady of the Springs
French Lick, INDIANA
In 1886 a church building was erected. It was dedicated in 1887 and thus named Our Lady of the Springs. The funds to procure the building were gained through the cooperation of the Right Reverend Silas Chatard of Indianapolis and Bishop McCloskey of the Louisville Diocese. In 1890, the first resident priest was Rev. F. W. Wolf. The land on which the church is located, was donated French Lick Springs Hotel and Hiram E. Wells. The building measures 80 x 35 x 30 ft. high with a steeple measuring to 70 ft. and valued at $10,000 according to records.
After the West Baden Springs Hotel fell on hard times during the Depression, it was sold to the Society of Jesuits in 1932 for $1.00. The Jesuits accepted responsibility at the request of the Most Rev. Joseph Ritter, Bishop of Indianapolis, for the pastoral duties of Our Lady of the Springs. Many Jesuits were Pastors from 1936-1964. A Parish Hall was built in 1950 under Fr. Francis Macke and thus named for him.
In 1948, a small number of Catholics organized by Fr. Koch, established a Mission in Paoli named Our Lady of Perpetual Help. This later became Christ the King.
After the Jesuits left in 1964, secular Pastors were appointed. And assistance came from the St. Meinrad Archabbey. It is now under the service of Archdiocese of Indianapolis and served by its priests.
At present it has 121 families in the register and is served by Rev. J Peter Gallagher.