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Holy Trinity Catholic Church, founded by Slovenian ancestors, welcomes all who seek Christ, want to worship and wish to belong to a diverse community of faith. Through hospitality and outreach we plan to increase membership and worship with other community organizations to preach the glory of Jesus Christ and build the kingdom of God. We desire to renew ourselves in the Spirit by learning more about our faith, sharing God's Word, and joyfully celebrating the Sacraments. We commit ourselves to being good stewards of God's abundant blessings, sharing his many gifts with one another and all of God's people.
The history of Holy Trinity Parish begins before the official founding of the parish. In 1880, Benjamin Haugh, the owner of an iron foundry, moved his plant just west of the city of Indianapolis, across White River. The area quickly became known as Haughville.
The Cleveland Malleable Iron Company, another foundry, also moved into the area in 1882. The Malleable soon sent an agent to Slovenia to recruit workers for the plant. These immigrants settled in the area and Haughville became the home of a large eastern European population.
The Catholic Church was present in the area with the establishment of St. Anthony Church in 1891. However, there was a great deal of tension with the Slovenian community and the predominantly Irish parish. St. Aloyisius Lodge #52, of the American Slovenian Catholic Union (KSKJ) petitioned the bishop of Indianapolis for a separate parish. In 1906, the petition was granted and Holy Trinity was established. The founding pastor was Fr. Joseph Lavric, a Franciscan priest from Ljubljana. The beginning of the parish was recorded at April 29, 1906.
The first school was built in 1911 and the parish continued to grow after that. Eventually more space was needed for the school, so a second three story school building (now known as Bockhold Hall) was built in 1926. Franciscan Slovenian priests contined to staff the parish throughout and Franciscan sisters from Oldenburg, IN staffed the school.
A major change took place in the parish in 1933 when the bishop assigned the first diocesan priest to be pastor of the parish. Due to a number of financial considerations, the dicocese took the parish over from the Franciscans.
The next major change took place in 1948 when the designation of the parish was changed from that of a national parish to one of a territorial parish. The change was not well received as it was seen as an anti-Slovene act.
At the same time, the city of Indianapolis was undergoing a number of changes. After World War II, many people were moving to the suburbs, including the descendants of the Slovenian immigrants. The African-American community began moving west across White River. As a result, the population of the parish dropped dramatically.
In 1976, the school was closed and joined with three other parishes in the consolidated school of All Saints. However, the parish met the challenges of the new situation. A Day Care and Kindergarten was started to meet the needs of the children of the neighborhood. In 1980, the parish began the first Adult Day Care in Marion County.
By 1990, the census listed the population of the area as 60% African-American. Evangelization has become a major priority of the parish and many activities have been revived or created to meet the needs of the current mix of the population. And so now, as ever before, Holy Trinity is proud to see itself as being an important part of the community and the heart of Haughville.
The complete history of Holy Trinity Parish, from the founding until 1981 - the 75th anniversary - can be found in the book Slaves To No One by James Divita, professor of history at Marian College, Indianapolis, Indiana, published in cooperation with the Indiana Historical Society.