History of St. Lambert Parish
St. Lambert Parish began in 1955 when Bishop Brady, acting for the Diocese of Sioux Falls, purchased ten acres of land on Hilltop. Originally a mission parish of St. Therese Parish, it came into existence on the Feast of All Saints Day in 1958. The parish was founded Bishop Lambert Hoch and was named for his namesake – St. Lambert of Maastricht, a bishop of the 7th century.
The first house of worship had been a church on the Sioux Falls Air Base during WWII. Leaving the air base, this building was ultimately moved and used by the congregation of St. Mary Parish. When they built their own new church, St. Mary’s gifted the people of St. Lambert with the building.
This original St. Lambert Church sat on the area of what is now the east-side parking lot–and after the current church was built, it was used as a parish social hall for church events.
With the expansion of St. Lambert, that “old” church was sold and moved to the southwest corner of 14th and Phillips Avenue downtown where it serves as an office building today.
About 50 people attended the first Mass at St. Lambert. Father Casimir Mocium, the founding priest, was a carpenter. He and his brother with the help of parishioners, built the rectory and convent–on the north side of 16th Street–directly across from the church property.
New Church and School are Built (and Expanded)
The first grade school was completed and opened in September, 1959. The present church building and four additional classrooms were completed in 1966. They were consecrated by Bishop Hoch on June 12th, 1966. Two pioneer, identical twin brothers, Edward and Fred Muller, bequeathed their estate which provided much of the funding for constructing the new church.
In 1982, a chapel, kitchen, gymnasium, family social area, and offices were added to the existing church and school. In 1995, a large addition was built increasing usage space for the church and school. The new rectory on the south side of 16th Street was built in 1998, and the sanctuary flooring was replaced in 1999.
Present Day Improvements
In 2003, St. Lambert became a diocesan pilot program in the Stewardship Capital Campaign.
The East Foyer was upgraded and family-social area remodeled in 2005. The entire kitchen was remodeled in 2006. A new addition in 2008 greatly improved the Bahnson Street entrance making it handicap accessible. New offices, a youth room and St. Raphael Conference Room were added.
The St Gabriel Faith Formation room was remodeled in the winter of 2008. A beautification of the sanctuary was undertaken in 2010, adding marble flooring, a new altar, ambo, tabernacle stand and baby grand piano.
The brick background of the sanctuary was sheet rocked and painted and the wall behind the tabernacle was painted to look like marble by Marianne Mason. New Stations of the Cross, Baptismal Font, tile flooring, padded pew seats and Icons have greatly improved the nave.
The generosity of many people shows in countless other areas of our parish home. We are proud of St. Lambert. . . and hope always to meet the goals outlined in our Mission Statement.