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      The history of Holy Rosary Roman Catholic Church in Woodland is the record of over sixty years of continuous and successful religious effort and during all of this period this church has been an important factor in the spiritual life of the community which it serves.  The church had its inception when the Rev. P. Kelly came here from Sacramento and held the first Catholic service, the home of Peter Fitzgerald, in Woodland, being utilized for the purpose.  Later, meetings were held in the Good Templar hall, and afterward in the courthouse.  In the course of the service held on April 12, 1869, Father Kelly appointed C. D. Morin, John Schnerle, Anton Miller and Charles E. St. Louis a committee to secure a site for a Catholic Church in Woodland.  So successful was the work of this committee that on June 12th of that year it reported the purchase of two lots, one hundred and twenty by ninety feet, on Main street.  On this ground was erected a brick structure, fifty by seventy feet in size, and the church was dedicated by the Very Rev. Jacob Croke, vicar-general of the diocese, on the first Sunday in October, 1870.  As that was Rosary Sunday in the Catholic almanac, it was only fitting that the church should be dedicated to the Holy Rosary.  The only incident that marred the course of the church’s progress during that period was the collapse of the building during its erection.   

       In 1870 Holy Rosary Church received its first resident priest, the Rev. Lawrence Scanlan, who later was made bishop of Salt Lake.  Following him there came in succession, the Revs. D. Spellman, P. Gallagher, P. Kaiser (who built the church in Davis), Luciana Oscuna, J. Largan, P. Ward, John Nugent, C. O’Connor, John McGinty, M. Coleman, James Hynes, J. Hunt, P. Greely, Michael Wallrath, T. W. Horgan and P. J. Connors, the present able and popular pastor.  Father Connors is not only an able preacher and efficient shepherd, but in the community has shown an interest in civic affairs which has enabled him to contribute in large measure to the general welfare, so that throughout Woodland and vicinity he commands the highest esteem, regardless of denominational lines.




Transcribed by Joyce Rugeroni.

Source: Wooldridge, J.W. Major History of the Sacramento Valley California, Vol. 2 Pages 253-254. Pioneer Historical Publishing Co. Chicago 1931.

© 2010  Joyce Rugeroni.



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