July 1, 2024 // Bishop

South Bend’s Historic St. Patrick Parish and St. Hedwig Parish to Merge

The Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend is pleased to announce that the process has begun to merge the historic parishes of St. Patrick and St. Hedwig in South Bend. St. Patrick, founded before the City of South Bend, in 1858, and St. Hedwig, the oldest ethnic Polish parish in South Bend, founded in 1873, have requested the merger for the greater glory of God, in order that the combined parish might be strengthened and more faithfully serve the greater community. These historic parishes and their churches have been twinned since 2001. Father Eric Zimmer, Pastor of St. Patrick and St. Hedwig, said: “I expect that the merger of the two parishes, already intertwined in so many ways, will allow us to better minister to what we expect will be a growing community as downtown South Bend continues in its redevelopment. These great churches have witnessed the founding of South Bend in 1865, its development as an industrial hub attracting immigrants to its factories, the phenomenal growth of the University of Notre Dame, and so much more. We are poised to flourish with this merger and look forward to all it brings.”

A merger would combine operations internally. Both churches would remain open for sacraments.

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