Parish celebrates 90th anniversary

Dec 9, 2021
Bishop John Noonan greets parishioners at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Melbourne before celebrating a Mass in honor of the parish’s 90th anniversary, Dec. 5. (ANTONIO MOGOLLON)

MELBOURNE | Brevard County could not boast of even one resident Catholic priest as late as the year 1900. Missionaries – religious and diocesan – would come from great distances on horseback, by boat, by bicycle, or on foot to minister to the spiritual needs of the few isolated Catholics in the area. All that changed Dec. 8, 1931 when Our Lady of Lourdes Parish was established. The parish celebrated their 90th anniversary with Bishop John Noonan presiding at a Mass, Dec. 5.

Parish records state the original building, located where the current church now sits, was dedicated in honor of Our Lady of Lourdes, Dec. 8, 1931, on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. In actuality, it was a mission church, established as a parish in 1951. It was eventually “parent” church to three mission parishes: Ascension in Eau Gallie, Holy Name of Jesus in Indialantic, and Immaculate Conception in Melbourne Beach.

In 1953, the parish school started with the construction of a four-classroom building and 105 students. Ninety years later the school has doubled enrollment and the parish has 1,300 registered families.

Staff report, December 09, 2021