ABOUT US
The story of Our Lady of Victory Parish is one of remarkable growth from a faith community of no more than 50, in 1908, to one of about 5,000 members currently.  Over a century ago, the students of the Pennsylvania State College traveled by horse-driven hack to Sunday Mass at St. John's Church in Bellefonte.  In 1908, the students petitioned Bishop Eugene Garvey who then directed Father Byron O'Hanlon, a Benedictine priest assigned to St. John's, to visit State College every second Sunday to celebrate Mass.  The first Mass offered in State College was on November 15, 1908, in the Armsby Building on the College campus.  

In 1913, Father O'Hanlon moved his residence to State College  and began efforts to build the first Catholic church in State College.   Our Lady of Victory Chapel on the southwest corner of West Fairmont Avenue and Fraser Street was dedicated in 1917.  As the number of Catholics at the College and in the surrounding area grew, the Fairmont Avenue church soon became inadequate.  On adjoining land, the parish built a basement that was to serve as a foundation for a larger church.  For many years, Sunday Masses would be celebrated both in the church and the basement.  Soon both of these venues were overflowing with Mass attendees.



For nearly three decades after Fr. O'Hanlon passed away in 1932, Our Lady of Victory was ably served by a succession of pastors and administrators, often under very trying circumstances. 

In 1961, Father Patrick Fleming was appointed pastor and met with the parish to discuss overcrowding and the need for a parish school.  The parish purchased land on Westerly Parkway and broke ground on October 7, 1962, for the school, convent, and auditorium.  The first classes began in September 1963.  The church, offices, and rectory were begun on May 14, 1967, and dedicated by Bishop James Hogan on April 13, 1969.  Twenty years later, the parish having grown so large, another parish, Good Shepherd Church, was established across town on Gray's Woods Boulevard.

Monsignor Fleming retired in 1993 and was succeeded by Monsignor Philip Saylor.  In 1995, Father Martin
  McCamley was appointed pastor.  The growth of parish activities, organizations, and services indicated a need for a parish center to provide adequate space for 50+ groups to function.  The parish also decided at this time to expand the existing school to include 7th and 8th grades. The original convent was converted into a pre-school, so our parish education program now extends from pre-school through middle school.

Monsignor David Lockard was appointed administrator of the parish in March 2003 and pastor in July 2004.  The School Addition and the Activities Center were dedicated on June 29, 2003, by Bishop Joseph Adamec.  Besides the space for meetings and social events, the Activities Center has provided the parish with a religious goods shop, a library, a suite for the music program, a youth ministry meeting room, and rooms for liturgical and floral arts.

We thank Almighty God for the good things we have received as a parish and especially for our brothers
and sisters in Christ, spanning many generations and diverse backgrounds, who are the heart of our parish life.


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Fr. Matthew Baum,
Jun 9, 2011, 4:52 AM
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annachristineh@ourladyofvictory.com,
May 24, 2011, 11:13 AM