St. Edward Church History

 

The first Mass in Lebanon was offered in about 1903 by a Chinese missionary priest at the home of Mr. and Mrs. S. P. Bach. At that time Lebanon was a mission of St. Boniface Church in Sublimity. For about two years Masses were held at the homes of J. E. Drucks, Edward O’Neill, and S. P. Bach. The church building and property at the corner of Main and Academy Streets were purchased in 1904 from the Cumberland Presbyterian Congregation, which had moved to a new location on Second Street. The purchase price was $850. After remodeling and installing the stained glass windows the cost ballooned to about $4000.  In 1905 the newly acquired church building was dedicated to St. Edward and blessed by Archbishop Christie. St. Edward was a mission of St. Mary Church in Albany until Fr. William Hampson became the first resident pastor in about 1912.  

In 1954 the residence at 251 Second Street was purchased to be used as a convent. The Benedictine Sisters arrived in 1955 to open the new St. Edward School, which is pictured at the right. The school was dedicated by Archbishop Edward D. Howard on September 12 of that year.  The school closed in 1972. 

Groundbreaking for the new St. Edward Church at Second and Academy Streets occurred on June 26, 1977. The cornerstone was blessed by Archbishop Cornelius Power on April 2, 1978.  After moving the stained glass windows, statues, and choir rail to the new church, the original church was razed. At that time, new additions to the church included the statue of St. Edward that currently sits in the narthex.