Narrative compiled by Virginia Trainor Goodfellow—
For the Rite of Dedication Holy Spirit Parish December 11, 1994
Because Bishop Eldon Curtis felt there would be a population shift from the north side of Butte to the south, land had been purchased for a new parish south of Butte. In a letter dated July 6, 1978, it was announced to the people of Butte who lived the area south of of the Interstate Highway and east of Harrison Avenue that Holy Spirit Parish was a reality.
Holy Savior Parish had been disbanded. Shortly before the church, convent and school were buried by the growing Berkley Pit, the rectory was moved to its present location at 3930 East Lake. Father Joseph Patrick Sullivan was appointed as the first pastor.
Holy Spirit commenced as a parish on the weekend of July 8-9, 1978 using the Home Atherton Fire Hall for its four Masses. This was a temporary home for Holy Spirit until the renovated rectory was completed and the basement became a Chapel for the parish which seated 120 people. Because of the size, the number of weekend liturgies was expanded to five. Father James McCarthy traveled from Carroll College each weekend to assist with the liturgies. In July 1980 he became pastor of St. Catherine Church in Boulder MT. and Father Edward Courtney began his weekend ministry at Holy Spirit. In February of 1983 Father Courtney was named Administrator of Holy Spirit in absence of Father Joe Pat Sullivan, who was later assigned as Assistant Pastor at St. Richards Parish in Columbia Falls, MT. Father James Burns was appointed Pastor of Holy Spirit in July 1983 where he remained until his death in March of 1994.
In 1979, pastoral associates were appointed to Holy Spirit, beginning with Sister Maureen Hall SCL. Sister Kathleen O’Sullivan, BVM, followed in 1984. In August of 1993 Sister Sharon Smith replaced Sister Kathleen when she retired.
The basement chapel soon became overcrowded and because of fire regulations it was suggested that we find a larger place to worship. In 1983 when Hawthorne School closed its doors, the parish, still a pilgrim church took up residence in two converted classrooms of the school. This remained home for Holy Spirit until December 19, 1993 when our building was completed and ready for occupancy.
Father Jim Burns worked tirelessly to make this parish center a reality. He was so happy when we finally moved into it. The parish that had moved so much now had a place to call home. It is sad he is not here to celebrate this happy day with us., but we can be sure he is present in spirit. We celebrate this dedication today with prayers, gratitude and memories of all who served and helped prepare this day.