Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church

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Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church is a Catholic church located at 980 Huffman Road in Huffman.


The parish was created in 1958 with Andrew Gavin splitting duties between the new church and the former St John's Catholic Church. Ground was broken on January 13, 1959 for the new $90,000 church building designed by architect Harry Hester and built by the R. S. Harris Construction Company. The 50 by 120-foot modern-style sanctuary seats 400 and includes a 150-seat parish hall with a full kitchen at the back. Tennessee sandstone veneer for the exterior as well as an altar slab were provided by Henry Garner of Garner Stone Company. Francis and Sam Campis donated funds for an organ. The first midnight mass was celebrated inside the next Christmas. The service was marked by the donation of the refinished crucifix from St John's.

The church was officially dedicated the next summer on Pentecost Sunday, June 5, 1960 by auxiliary bishop Joseph Durick. Gavin led the parish through several years of growth before he retired due to poor health in 1966. Modifications to the chancel and the addition of an education building were undertaken under the direction of his successor, Desmond Regan.

Under Father Roland Inkel Our Lady of Lourdes became the first parish in the Diocese of Mobile-Birmingham to commission lay leaders to administer communion, under a special induit from Pope Paul VI. Regan had left the pulpit in 1969 to serve as principal of John Carroll Catholic High School, but returned to the church the next year and served until 1977, assisted by Matthew Brennan. A rectory at Westminster Place was purchased in 1973, as well as a new organ. A new carved-stone sign was erected in 1977, the same year that Edward Foster assumed the pulpit.

Monsignor Foster oversaw renovations to the sanctuary, included a new altar, new fonts, a vestibule, aisle rugs, a canopy and outdoor loudspeakers. In 1978 ground was broken for the Lewis Chase Memorial Youth Building. It was dedicated on October 7, 1979 and served the growing kindergarten programs provided by the parish.

In 1980 the creek running through the 7 1/2-acre site was covered over during construction of the Martinwood subdivision to the east, helping prevent incidents of flooding which had caused damage to the church. Assistant pastor Paul Donnelly assumed the pulpit when Foster departed, but was himself transfered in August 1981, opening the way for Patrick Murphy to lead the parish during its peak membership of over 900 families.

On May 19, 1985 the church broke ground for the Andrew Gavin Family Life Center, designed by parishioner Dean Arrington to incorporate the existing kindergarten building. It was built by the Caddo Construction Company and dedicated on December 1 of that year.

Beginning in 1987 the church renewed its celebration of St Thomas on the Hill each Labor Day with a day-long festival. The choir loft was expanded that same year. The following year an expansion of the youth building was contracted to provide additional office space.

Another new pipe organ was installed in 1994. In 2006 Our Lady of Lourdes begin hosting the PAWS across the Parkway, an annual festival held on Parkway East in Roebuck. Sponsored by the Parkway East District Business Association, the festival is held the last Saturday in September. Billed as a "Celebration of Eastern Birmingham", the festival centers on pets, and features pet-centered exhibitions and competitions, along with food, craft vendors and live music.


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