In the early 1900’s, very few Catholics resided in Clinton, having to travel to Jackson to attend Sunday Mass. The establishment of St. Mary’s Parish on Claiborne Ave. in west Jackson gave Clinton Catholics a new home. Some of the Clinton residents also enrolled their children in St. Mary’s school located adjacent to the Church. By the early 1960’s, the city of Clinton had grown considerably along with the Catholic population.
The Catholics in Clinton petitioned for a Parish, and Bishop Gerow established the Parish of Holy Savior on August 12, 1966, with Father George Uricheck as the founding pastor. The inaugural Mass was held in the upper room of the Student Union Building at Mississippi College. Within two months, the parish family grew to 45. Immaculate Conception Mission Church in Raymond became the host church for Holy Savior parishioners, offering masses on Sunday at 8:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
In September of 1967, property was purchased at the corner of Old Vicksburg Road and Lindale Street in Clinton to be the home of Holy Savior. A triple-wide trailer was donated by the Extension Society and placed on the property. The following month, Bishop Gerow, along with Bishop Brunini and Father Patrick Farrell, dedicated the church, which was the first Catholic Church in Clinton.
Land adjoining the church property was purchased in 1968 to accommodate the growing parish. To the disappointment of the parishioners, in that same year Father Uricheck was reassigned from Holy Savior to a parish in Virginia. His departure left Holy Savior without a permanent pastor. Visiting priests celebrated Mass until the appointment of Father Marion Spadini as pastor toward the end of the 1960’s.
Under Father Spadini’s guidance, the first parish council was elected and a building committee was appointed to begin making plans for a new church building. Several months later, following Bishop Brunini’s approval, construction was started on a permanent church for Holy Savior. In November of 1976, celebrating the parish’s 10th anniversary, Bishop Joseph Brunini dedicated the new church. Mass, religious education, and social activities were all held in the new church. This building now serves as an activities center for the parish.
In 1980, Father Spadini left for an extended sabbatical and Father Martin Ruane was appointed the third pastor of Holy Savior Parish. He began the remodeling of the rectory along with acquiring the house adjacent to the rectory for religious education. It was later renovated, and a second religious education facility was built immediately behind it. This was necessary to accommodate the growing number of children in the parish. As Father Ruane remarked: “Our parish is a young parish, weak in funerals and strong in baptisms.” The parish also experienced extensive growth through RCIA under Father Ruane, resulting in many converts and a return to the Church by a number of Catholics who had drifted from their faith.
By 1984, parish leaders had identified a definite need for a new church. The parishioners wanted a building solely for the purpose of worship, with an atmosphere conducive to the celebration of the Eucharist and the other sacraments. Father Ruane appointed a building committee, and in 1985 plans were initiated to build a new church on the northeast corner of the church property. Following nearly two years of planning and construction, a new church was dedicated in 1987 by Bishop William Houck. It was designed to seat 750 people, and as demanded by Father Ruane, the aisles are wide and pews are comfortable! Finally, the people of Holy Savior had a building where they could worship in reverence.
In accordance with diocesan rules, Father Ruane left Holy Savior Parish for a new assignment in 1991. Many were saddened by his departure, as he had worked hard to bring together Catholics and non-Catholics in Clinton. Father Noel Prendergast was appointed the fourth pastor and second Irish priest of Holy Savior. He proposed the construction of a new building which would house religious education and parish offices. At the time of this proposal, the classrooms were scattered over three different buildings and the parish office was located in the rectory. The master plan called for demolishing the old education buildings and the rectory, with the new combined facility occupying their place.
Following approval by Bishop Houck, a new rectory was purchased and the building project was started. During the construction stage, a trailer was placed in the church parking lot a temporary parish office. The new building was completed and dedicated by Bishop Houck at the end of 2002. In January of 2003, Father Prendergast was reassigned. He had served longer than any previous pastor at Holy Savior Parish. His many friends expressed their appreciation for his loyal dedicated service as pastor at Holy Savior. Father Thomas McGing then assumed duties as pastor of Holy Savior Church.
In July of 2004, termites destroyed portions of the two beams that support the roof of the church. An inspection revealed that the building was unsafe and had to be vacated until structural repairs could be completed. These repairs entailed a major restoration of the entire church, which took almost fifteen months to complete. During this period, Mass and other services were held in the parish center. On October 17, 2004, Bishop Joseph Latino celebrated Mass and rededicated the church.
Church affiliated organizations include: the Altar Society, a Catholic Youth Organization, the Golden Oldies (a senior citizen social group), Knights of Columbus Council No. 7854 and its associated Ladies Auxiliary, and Boy Scouts. Religious education is taught at all levels and a nursery is provided for infants and small children during Sunday Masses. Holy Savior continues to grow, with the number of registered families well over 350. We welcome you to our parish and hope we can find a way to get you involved!