The Catholic presence in our area goes back to 1942 when Bishop Duane G. Hunt invited the Paulist Fathers to move their ministry north from the Uinta Basin to Davis County. The Paulists established St. Olaf’s parish in Bountiful. From there, they extended their mission northward toward Ogden. They held Masses in trailers and at various sites in and around Layton.
After the end of the Second World War, the population of the Layton-Clearfield area was more than large enough to support a permanent parish. In 1946, while traveling to the Dedication of St. Benedict’s Hospital in Ogden, Bishop Hunt stopped to approve the property on 85 Church Street, in Layton. The groundbreaking was held on March 24, 1947.
During the next nine months, the building site was rarely vacant. Under the direction of Father James McLean, the people of St. Rose donated their time and talents to the project. On January 11, 1948, Bishop Hunt celebrated the Mass in the new church. Three months later, on April 11, 1948, the church was officially dedicated. The parishioners’ efforts had raised a visible symbol of the Catholic faith in the heart of Layton.
The parish never stopped growing and as Catholic families moved to Utah to serve at Hill Air Force Base, they found a community of faith at Saint Rose of Lima. Through the efforts of groups such as Missionary Sisters of Victory Knoll, the Guild of St. Paul, and the Junior Legion of Mary the members of the parish grew in faith and new members and converts joined the community. In order to provide more room for parish activities, a warehouse adjacent to the church was purchased in 1960 and later remodeled as a social hall and as the parish grew it was used as a social hall and chapel for Masses.
By the end of the decade, in 1969, Saint Rose of Lima parish dedicated the Education Center north of Layton High School. It served as a released-time facility for high school students, an Education Center and a Community Outreach Center.
Through the 1980’s the parish roll swelled as more families joined the community of Saint Rose of Lima. In 1986, the parish purchased six acres and a house located between Chapel and Whitesides streets in Layton. With the property secured, it was time to plan for the construction of a new church.
In 1988, the first Building Fund Campaign was launched with the efforts of Dennis Hennessy as Chairman. Under the guidance of the Building Committee, the drive eventually raised over eight hundred thousand dollars. In January 1989, Saint Rose of Lima became a diocesan parish and bid the Paulist Fathers farewell. Father Victor G. Bonnell moved from Salt Lake City to Layton to assume the duties of Pastor.
As the first Building Fund Campaign drew to a close, the parish hired the architectural firms of Sanders Herman to design a new home for the parish. Ray Bertoldi was designated as the project architect. Working closely with Father Bonnell and the Committee, Mr. Bertoldi designed a building which reflects the origins of our faith and looks to our future. It is a building for the twenty-first century.
With the funding in place and the plans approved, all that remained was construction. Bishop William K. Weigand approved the project and the ground-breaking was held on August 7, 1993. R&O Construction began construction of the new church. The project includes a church, administration, social center and meeting room for a total of 18,000 square feet.
On January 25, 1994, the spire was mounted. The cross which rises 117 feet above the street was visible from much of Layton and Kaysville and from Interstate 15 to the west. After a long wait, the people of Saint Rose of Lima moved into their new parish home in September of 1994.
In July of 1998, the debt was paid off for the new church and in June of 2007, the construction of the new Education & Conference Center was approved by the Diocese of Salt Lake City and a fund drive began with the assistance of Walsh & Associates. The Groundbreaking for the Center was September 7, 2008. Our new Center was designed by Ralph Stanislaw the principal architect of Archiplex Group and constructed by Culp Construction. After a year of construction, the Education & Conference Center was dedicated by Bishop John C. Wester on October 4, 2009.
During the tenure of Msgr Bonnell, there were number of priests who assisted the parish as Parochial Vicars, and they were the following: Fr. Francisco L. Gomez, Fr. Michael Sciumbato, Fr. Langes Silva, Fr. Lawrence J. Beck, Fr. Reyes Rodriguez, Fr. Francis Van Bergen, Fr. Oscar Ramirez-Ruiz, Fr. Alexis Davila, Fr. Jose P. Lachica, Fr. Jose A Barrera and Jose Fidel Barrera.
Saint Rose of Lima parish welcomed many deacons to the parish to serve in many ministries such as Deacon Robert Quintana, Deacon John Weis, Deacon Manuel Velez, Deacon Willis Bassett and Manuel Trujillo who have served or are serving with dedication.
On June 5, 2011, Msgr Bonnell retired from the Diocese of Salt Lake City and departed from the parish to Ohio and then Fr. John Evans took on the pastoral service until Fr. Clarence J. Sandoval arrived at the parish on August 3, 2011.
Today, our community comprises of many cultures and languages and gratefully served by Fr. Clarence. In a nutshell, that’s our “living history.”