In June of 1991, Archbishop Daniel Sheehan appointed Rev. Dennis Hanneman as Pastor of a new parish to be built in West Omaha. In deference to his fondness for the work of the St. Vincent de Paul Society, Archbishop Sheehan decided the new parish would bear it's name. Sixty families attended the first weekend liturgies which were held at Ezra Millard Elementary School.
The planning process for construction began almost immediately. Research was done on the needs of the parish community, selection of an architectural firm and transformation of our data to meet the needs of a parish with a vast potential for growth. Masses were moved to the Boys Town Music Hall in August 1992, to gain additional seating for the weekend liturgies.
Construction of our first phase of building was started after a ground-breaking celebration on September 27, 1992, the feast of our patron. As the St. Vincent de Paul family continued to grow to more than 850 families, the Rev. William L'Heureux was assigned as Associate Pastor in June 1993. Then, upon his retirement as a Pastor in June 1996, Fr. Tom O'Brien joined our parish as Senior Associate Pastor. The parish then included more than 1,600 families and was expected to show rapid growth through the year 2,000.
The first phase of the St. Vincent de Paul Pastoral Center was completed in March 1994. This phase included an educational facility with 20 rooms for school and parish religious formation programs; educational and administrative offices; and a multi-purpose area for weekend worship, large meetings and recreation. Until the completion of the church, weekend Masses, funerals and weddings were conducted in this large multi-purpose room/gymnasium. It was converted and tastefully camouflaged into a worship area as was needed. A small chapel to accommodate up to 50 people was also available for use as a daily Mass chapel, reservation of the Blessed Sacrament and the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
The second phase was completed in the spring of 1996, and included additional rooms for the educational center. Dedicated on February 6, 1997, this traditional church borrows many architectural designs from 17th and 18th century France during the time of St. Vincent de Paul. In addition to the main worship area, the church also houses a Lady Chapel for daily Mass, a Reconciliation Chapel and a Blessed Sacrament Chapel used for Perpetual Adoration.
We believe that religious formation is a lifelong commitment. Today St. Vincent de Paul Parish serves over 11,000 parishioners and the community continues to row in faith and numbers. A wide variety of ministries is offered for parishioners young and old. Education is a key component, with 877 children attending St. Vincent de Paul 5-day school and more than 510 in Faith Formation classes.