Lisa Kochanowski
Assistant Editor/Reporter
March 12, 2024 // Diocese

St. Patrick Church Arcola Brings Faith to Farm Life

Lisa Kochanowski
Assistant Editor/Reporter

Nestled among the cornfields sits St. Patrick Catholic Church in the outskirts of Fort Wayne. The beautiful stone church was officially established in 1862, and the church cornerstone was laid in 1898 and dedicated October 29, 1899. Later this year, the 427 families within the congregation will celebrate 125 years of active ministry to the community.

Today’s Catholic file photos

“Many parishioners are lifetime members dedicated to St. Patrick’s,” said Father John Eze, Pastor at St. Patrick, who was appointed to the parish last June. “It is a family farming community. This church has many dedicated families who love the family togetherness and care the parishioners have for one another. St. Patrick Church Arcola is also a welcoming community and has joyfully welcomed many international priests and parishioners from every conner of the United States and the globe.”

According to their mission statement, St. Patrick Church is guided by the Spirit of God, the Scriptures, and the Traditions of the Church. Its mission as a parish community is to “continue the works of Jesus Christ” and to make His name be “known and loved,” to proclaim the Good News to all, and to serve all in need, especially the poor.

“Our goal is to open to every member of our church community opportunities to grow in their relationship and friendship with God and with each other. Every parishioner is encouraged to be actively involved in the spiritual and social life of our parish community by being intentional disciples of Christ and active members of our Church,” Father Eze told Today’s Catholic. “The love and dedication of our parishioners to Jesus and the sacraments is very evident in this parish, and as we continue our pilgrimage of faith together every day, come and join us.”

Father Eze said the parish community is filled with dedicated volunteers.

“St. Patrick Church would not be what it is today were it not for the countless hours of service of the many volunteers through the years. The uniqueness of giving of their time, talent, and treasures is priceless. Many parishioners are continuously available to step up and volunteer to help any day and any time. To witness this love of service and stewardships for the Lord and St. Patrick’s is so edifying,” Father Eze said.

The parish offers many programs and organizations for members to get involved and be active in parish life, Father Eze said.

“St. Patrick’s has a very active Knights of Columbus Council, adult ministry, youth group, St. Zelie Mosaic groups, Seven Sister Apostolate, St. Paula’s Ladies Widow group, a Pro-Life Committee, St. Patrick’s Shamrocks Decorating Committee, a ministry that cares for the homebound, and a wonderful religious education program,” Father Eze said. “St Patrick’s is also well-known for its famous fish fry – the best in Indiana – as well as the annual bike blessing, which began with only eight bikes some decades ago but has grown into a full-blown Arcola community event that now attracts more than 500 motorbikes from within and outside Indiana on the last Saturday of April, and our many Knights of Columbus Sunday breakfasts and dinners to enhance the growth of faith, fun, fellowship, and friendships.”

Father Eze has been working with the Parish Pastoral Council since his arrival to invite every parishioner to get more involved in the life of the parish by identifying one of the six missions of the Pastoral Council – evangelization, education, liturgy, pastoral ministry, social concerns and outreach, and ecumenism and interfaith relations – where they can participate and suggest ways the parish can become more vibrant. This outreach ensures they are serving all of God’s people in the Arcola community – Catholics and non-Catholics alike. They do not want anyone left behind.

Father Eze passed along testimony from parishioners on their love of St. Patrick.

“Many parishioners view the Church as being part of every event of their life from the cradle to the grave,” Father Eze said. “Many parishioners testified that ‘St. Patrick Church has been accompanying and supporting our families from baptism to the grave and even beyond, because after a funeral, our church family continues to pray and support us; the thought of this is so refreshing and rewarding,’” Father Eze said. “Another parishioner said, ‘Giving back to my parish is done in appreciation for the many blessings that God has given to me to have such a wonderful parish church family that offers me a wholistic nurturering and nourishment with the sacraments as we make our pilgrimage to our eternal home.’ Another witness from the parishioner put it this way: ‘St. Patrick Church has helped me in a profound and unique ways to understand and value the salvation gifted to me through the death and resurrection of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and how my participation in the life of the Church must not be seen as a fulfilment of obligation but an invitation to develop and grow my relationship with God, His Church, and with my fellow parishioners.’”

“St. Patrick Church in Arcola is a special place with special people,” Father Eze said. “God has surely blessed St. Patrick’s. Come and experience it for yourself. If you want to take a drive and travel off into the countryside, stop by and experience the beauty of this pretty Catholic church in Arcola with a loving and welcoming people.”


St. Patrick Church Arcola

12305 Arcola Rd., Fort Wayne

Founded: 1899

Phone: 260-625-4151


Pastor: Father John Eze

Saturday – 5 p.m.
Sunday – 7:30 a.m., 10 a.m.

Parish population: 427 families

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