Fifty years for St. Francis: Incline church nears golden anniversary |

Fifty years for St. Francis: Incline church nears golden anniversary

Ann Demolski and Charlotte Curtis
Special to the Bonanza
The orriginal parish sign seen in 1969. Note Mass times are the same 50 years later.
Courtesy photo |

Editor’s note

This is the first in a four-part series of feature stories leading up to the 50th anniversary mass scheduled this summer at St. Francis of Assist Church in Incline Village.

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — This year, 2015, marks the 50th anniversary of the Catholic community of St. Francis of Assisi here in Incline Village. It is a year marked with celebration of the joy of the Gospel as we reflect on the future of this wonderful parish.

We would be amiss, however, if we didn’t recognize the dedication of those original Catholic families who persuaded the Diocese of Reno Bishop Dwyer to send a priest to Incline Village.

These early pioneers of the Village were working families striving establish a community of faith on the North Shore.

In October of 1965, Father Francis Cohan was sent to the lake to celebrate Mass on the weekends.

These Liturgies were celebrated at the various North Shore Casinos … not altogether a bad idea as the collection basket often contained chips won on the walk through the casino floor on the way to Mass.

Noreen Crom, Genevieve Brockelsby and Patricia Crow, members of the newly formed St Francis Women’s Guild, sent off a plea to the Sisters of the Sacred Heart to teach faith formation to the children and teens of the community.

The teens met at the bowling alley the Chateau served as classroom for the grammar school children.

A private home on Kelly Drive was eventually purchased to serve as church, rectory, and meeting place to house all activities under one roof.

As the parish grew, a plot of land was purchased by the diocese and gifted to the parish. Faber Brothers was the contractor but most of the sub-contract work was completed by the men of the parish.

Everyone brought gifts to the project. What they lacked in money, they gave in time and talent. Several of the Lakeshore parishioners covered the hourly wages of the finish carpenters and the new Church was dedicated in June of 1969.

Just as those early pioneers of the Catholic Community ministered to the spiritual growth and needs of Incline back in 1965, we now are called to minister to all people of North Tahoe in our diversity, life challenges, spiritual growth and respect for our precious resources.

Currently, St. Francis has approximately 350 full-time families, 100 seasonal families and multiple visitors.

Please join our parishioners for Mass or an activity that interests you and/or your family. For more information, please contact our web site at or telephone 775-831-0490.

Our parish is truly a welcoming community. Please join us as we celebrate our 50th year as a parish.

Ann Demolski and Charlotte Curtis are parishioners at St. Francis of Assisi.

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