The beginning of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Shelbyville, Indiana, is linked with the history and traditions of St. Vincent Church near Prescott (in Shelby County) and the early Catholics of Indianapolis. Here is a time line with major events in the history of our parish:
1865Rev. John Gillig, pastor of St. Vincent’s Church purchased a lot on East Broadway.
1866(Aug. 6th) Ground was broken for the first church building to be name St. Joseph Catholic Church (currently, the rectory)
1868(June) First Mass was celebrated (before the completion of the church).
1870Rev. Francis J. Rudolph is appointed first pastor.
1874Fr. Rudolph acquires ground and a large frame house (with his own money) to start educating children.
1876School opens with 60 children, under the direction of the Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis.
1880School grows to host 125 children.
1886Fr. Adelrich Kaelin, first resident pastor, builds the first rectory.
1898A new plan was put into action for a new church.
1902(Sept 8th) Groundbreaking for new church (current building).
1908(Aug. 2) Dedication of new church.