Holy Family Memories

Parish History

Father Louis Marchino, an assistant pastor at Holy Trinity Parish in New Albany, was delegated by Archbishop Paul Schulte on March 15, 1953 to begin organizing a new parish. Father's written comment was: "Surprised - Elated - Bewildered - Happy - Confused - O God, will need a lot of help from You."


The new parish site was to be located on 6.25 acres at 129 W. Daisy Lane. The archdiocese had purchased 5 acres from the old Doctor Johnson estate in 1951 for $8,400. In 1953 an additional 1.25 acres was purchased for $3,200 from an heir, Thomas Johnson. The latter was land for the convent.

On March 20th 1953, Father Marchino contacted architect Clarence Edward Bedan of Paoli Pike for help with design and contractors. Plans were drawn by Edward and Robert Bedan. On April 13th the archbishop gave "go ahead" on plans and  estimates. The Leo Miller Corp was to construct the building under the direction of George Grable. Plumbing & Heating to be by Bud Drake and Electrical work by Louis Bulleit.

Catholic parishes had strict boundaries and Catholics had to attend the parish within the boundaries where they lived. Holy Family’s area was a 6.5 square mile area in the northwest section of New Albany. The boundaries were roughly, Grantline Road on the east, the top of the knobs on the west and Old Vincennes Road on the south. Chartres Street was in the St. Mary’s/Holy Trinity boundaries but Daisy Lane was all Holy Family.

On March 31st, Father Marchino had a meeting at the K of C at which around 34 women agreed to take a census of all Catholic families within the new Holy Family boundary. They accomplished this by house to house visits.

To provide nuns to teach at Holy Family School, Father Marchino contacted several religious orders but all refused. From June 10th to 13th Father attended a retreat at Saint Mary of the Woods. He visited with the Reverent Mother and showed her the plans for the new Holy Family convent. She agreed to send 4 Sisters of Providence to teach at Holy Family School. 

On June 14th, 1953 Father Marchino began visiting each family of the parish. He blessed each home and gave the family a picture of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, saying a prayer consecrating the family to the Sacred Heart. Some parishioners say they still have the picture. A Sacred Heart of Jesus statue was placed in the church.

Some of Father Marchino's trips relating to parish construction:

July 21 - Trip to Tell City for prices on brick. To St. Meinrad for prices on sandstone and statues.
July 23 - Trip to Effingham about pews.
July 31 - Trip to Milwaukee, Meyer Studio concerning statues.
Aug 1 -  Trip to Chicago, about tabernacle at Del Prieto
Aug12 - Trip to St. Meinrad with plans for sandstone
Aug12 - Trip to Bedford for price on sandstone


Ground was broken on August 15th, 1953, the Feast of the Assumption. Work began 2 days later.

Father Marchino would go to Holy Trinity and St. Mary’s to get the part of the collection that was from the Holy Family people. The church was under construction, so his parishioners were still going to the old established churches. Carl Wolford remembers how he would go door to door asking for donations and reminding people that they were within the new Holy Family boundaries.

The first Mass was celebrated on Memorial Day, May 30, 1954. Also on this day Fr. Marchino took up residence in a school room until the rectory was built.

The first parish picnic was August 8, 1954.


Four Sisters of Providence arrived on August 16, 1954. The first day of school was September 7. The enrollment for the first year was 188 students. Twenty three students graduated from the 8th grade the first year.

The original school had 8 classrooms on the second floor. Only the four on the Daisy Lane side were used for classrooms as there were only 4 nuns. There were 2 classes per room, 1&2, 3&4, 5&6 and 7&8.

The four classrooms on the south side of the hall were the living quarters for the pastor and the four nuns. Father Marchino lived in one classroom until the rectory was built in 1957. The next room was for storage. The nuns lived in the next two rooms in 1954 and 1955 until the convent was completed in 1956.

The formal dedication of the Church and School was held by Archbishop Paul Schulte on September 19,1954. 

The Rectory was built in 1957. The gym (now Marchino Hall) was built in 1965. The first school addition was completed in 1960. In 1994 a new addition was completed which connected the existing building to the gym.

Merle Denny donated $700 for the first organ. Jim and Miriam Thornton donated the colored glass windows. Joe Binford of Hoosier Panel donated the wood paneling around the altar.

The Marian Guild started meeting in October 1953, at St. Mary’s in New Albany before the church was finished. Clara Wolford was the first Marian Guild President. Tommy Lancaster was the first basketball coach. Joe Grantz reminisced about how he and Dave Fricke were the 1st grass cutters at Holy Family.

Seven handwritten pages by Father Marchino were found in the Holy Family archives. They describe his efforts in establishing the parish. See it here.

The Beginning

Click on any image to view a larger version and to begin a manual slide show. You can cycle through the photos with the screen or keyboard arrows.

1953 blessing of property
1953 groundbreaking
Mary Wolford says that George Grable is the tall man and the other man without the hat is Walter Bedan.
1953 - Holy Family site from Daisy Lane
1953 - Holy Family site from Daisy Lane before construction.
School construction
Servers at Dedication
Holy Family dedication
Church dedication
Blessing of the Cornerstone
First Mass
First Mass, May 30, 1954
1st Mass
Consecration at the first Mass on May 30
End of gallery
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The future Holy Family property in 1949

These 6 not very clear, aerials photos show the progress of the construction phases of Holy Family Parish. (some dates on the photo side bar are incorrect)

1955 - Original buildings
1955 - The original church, school and convent
1957 Rectory added
1957 - The rectory was added
1960 first school addition
1960 - The first school addition
1965 gym added
1965 - The gym had been added
1994 2nd school addition
Another school addition was built in 1994 to connect to the gym
Better image
Better image of completed buildings
End of gallery
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Parish Highlights of 1954

The First Year of Holy Family

Four Sisters of Providence arrived in August, 1954 to teach at Holy Family School. The school opened in September, 1954. The enrollment for the first year was 188 students. 23 students graduated from the 8th grade in 1955.

The following 1954-1955 photos are of the first year at Holy Family school. Four sisters taught 188 students in 8 grades.

Click on any image to view a larger version and to begin a manual slide show. You can cycle through the photos with the screen or keyboard arrows.

1st Grade 1954-1955
1st Grade, 1954-1955
2nd grade 1954-1955
2nd grade 1954-1955
Grades 3 and 4
3rd and 4th grades, 1954-1955
Grades 5 and 6
5th and 6th Grades, 1954-1955
Grades 7 and 8
7th and 8th Grades, 1954-1955
1st Graduating Class
1954-1955 graduating class.
There were 23 students in the first graduating class. See larger next photo
1st Graduating Class
Larger photo. See previous photo for names.
Virginia Lipps
The caption notes that Virginia Lipps was the first teacher for Holy Family School. She was a parishioner and the niece of Cardinal Ritter. I assume the caption meant that Virginia was the first lay teacher.
1955 Mission Meeting
Robert Hublar, trumpeter
Flagpole ceremony
Flagpole ceremony May 13, 1955, the first school year for Holy Family.
1955 Basketball Big Team
1955 Basketball Little Team
1955 May Procession on Daisy Lane
1955 May Procession on Daisy Lane. Sister Marie Justin and Sister Rose Imelda
1955 May Procession
May Procession
May crowning 1955
May crowning of the Blessed Mother
May 1955
Crowning Party May 1955
5th and 6th grade choir
7th and 8th grade choir
Students at Mass
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Holy Family statistics 1954 & 2003

Msgr. Louis Marchino

Louis Henry Marchino was born on Dec. 21, 1912, in Vincennes, Indiana to Peter and Sophia (Brommelhaus) Marchino.


He graduated from St. John School and Gibault High School in Vincennes, then enrolled at the former Saint Meinrad College and completed his theology degree at Saint Meinrad School of Theology.


He also studied at the Navy Chaplain School at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va.

He was ordained to the priesthood by then-Bishop Joseph E. Ritter on May 30, 1939, at Saint Meinrad Archabbey Church.

Father Marchino celebrated his first Mass on June 4, 1939, at St. John the Baptist Church in Vincennes, which was then a part of the Diocese of Indianapolis. The Diocese of Evansville was erected in 1944.

His first assignment on June 24, 1939, was as associate pastor of St. Celestine Parish in Dubois County.

On Sept. 13, 1940, he was named associate pastor at Holy Trinity Parish in New Albany.

On June 25, 1943, he began service as a chaplain with the U.S. Navy during World War II. After the war, he resumed his service as associate pastor of Holy Trinity Parish.

Pope John Paul II conferred the title of Prelate of Honor upon Father Marchino on Aug. 26, 1997. Archbishop Daniel M. Buechlein invested him with this title during a liturgy on Jan. 18, 1998, at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis.

Msgr. Marchino was pastor of Holy Family for 29 years, 1854 to 1983.

A four minute video by Father Marchino about the beginning of Holy Family Parish >  here

                        The five pastors of Holy Family Parish.

left to right --- Fathers  (5) Jeremy Gries, 2018 - . . .,   (3) Wilfrid (Sonny) Day, 1996-2010  -  (1) Louis Marchino, 1954-1983  -  (2) Gerald Burkert, 1983-1996  -  (4) Dan Atkins, 2010-2018

This non-professional website was created by a Holy Family parishioner and is not an "official" Holy Family webpage. The Holy Family staff is aware of its existence and have offered their support.


The original intent was to post information and photos of the Fr. Marchino/Burkert years at Holy Family but the time-frame has been extended to ???.

The Holy Family archives have been the source of virtually all photos and information. Some of the history is from parishioners. There is also slight input from web pages.

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