Our History

French Catholics migrated to the northern area of what is today the City of Fort Wayne, Indiana in the 1830’s.  At that time there was no diocese and few priests.  The Miami and Potawatomi Indians inhabited the area and did receive Catholic spiritual teaching from early priests.  The new immigrants called the area of the present church site New Gaul or New France.  They were seeking farm land and the opportunity to enjoy political freedom from French rule.  As French speaking people, priests who spoke English were required for communication.

From its beginning, Mass was said in local catholic homes with a few Catholics attending.  As the numbers grew, the first church was built in 1846 and the first pastor was named in 1843 -
Father Julian Benoit.  Father Benoit is remembered as the founder of St. Vincent’s parish.  He cared for early settlers and Indians and traveled in a one hundred mile radius of St Vincent’s to serve.  He built St. Augustine’s church in the inner city and it became the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. 

The growth of St. Vincent’s parish has been great with a membership of 70 souls in 1900, 192 souls in 1946, 4,400 souls in 1968 and 5,420 souls in 1974.  Today St. Vincent’s parish serves 3,367 families and 10,588 souls.

Our Patron Saint

Saint Vincent de Paul is the patron saint of our church and his charity ideals are integrated into our culture.  St. Vincent was born in 1581, was canonized in 1737.  He told his followers that “Poor people are our masters; they’re our kings; they must be obeyed.”  “Whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.”  His 3 fundamental virtues were simplicity in being like God, humility in submission to God, and gentleness as tolerance of our neighbor.  He died in 1660 in Paris, France but his holy teachings live worldwide today, as at this parish bearing his name.

Church Buildings

The first of six St. Vincent de Paul churches was built in 1846 as a small wood building, and the sixth in 2001 as shown here which was built and dedicated by Monsignor John Kuzmich, pastor from 1984 to 2014.  Thirty pastors have served this parish from 1843 to now. 

Our School

Bishop Joseph Dwenger (1837-1900) developed the parochial school system and St. Vincent’s school was started in 1955.  Today it is a K-8 grade school.

Our Clergy

Since 2014, Pastor Daniel Scheidt has served St. Vincent’s church with the assistance of
Fr. Polycarp Fernando, Fr. Jonathan Norton and Deacon James Fitzpatrick.

Rev. Daniel
Scheidt
Rev. Polycarp
Fernando
Revr. Jonathan
Norton
Deacon James Fitzpatrick

 

 


Father Julian Benoit –
Founder of St. Vincent’s parish


St. Vincent de Paul


The sixth St. Vincent de Paul
church building, dedicated in 2001


St. Vincent Catholic School

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