St. Nicholas Parish History
St. Nicholas began as a mission of St. Leo's in Tacoma. Prior to 1914, Mass and sacraments were offered by visiting priest in the homes of some of the pioneer Catholic families. Many of their descendants are active in the parish to this day.
In late 1913, one-half acre of land was purchased from Mrs. Mary Oliver for $300 as the location of a permanent church. Construction began in December 1913, and was completed in the spring of 1914. Fr. Vasta offered Mass in the newly completed church on Easter Sunday 1914.
Money needed to build the church was raised through subscriptions and was also collected
from canneries and fishermen’s' supply houses. Bishop O'Dea blessed the new church, although the exact date was not recorded.
The first marriage performed in the new church was that of Annie Ross and John Masnow
of Hoquiam. Anna Stanich was the first baby baptized.
The first permanent pastor of St. Nicholas was Fr. Robert Kreutz who received this appointment upon his arrival from Germany in 1931. A small rectory was built in 1933 with the most of the work being accomplished by the parishioners. In 1936, Fr. N. H. Hen replaced Fr. Kreutz.
On December 24, 1943, Fr. James Toner became Pastor. Then, on April 14, 1945, Fr. Henry Kruft was appointed as administrator of St. Nicholas.
On December 3, 1958, ground was broken for the new (and current) church. On March 22, 1959, Fr. Kruft offered the first mass in the new church. Fr. Kruft retired in 1970 and was succeeded by Fr. Anthony V. Domandich.
In May 1970, construction began on the religious education building and first used on January 21, 1971 by Our Lady Good Counsel Guild.
On June 22, 1974, Fr. Michael Angelovic became pastor. Shortly thereafter, a new rectory was built.
In 1973, restoration of the old church building began. The facility was used for many years as a space for meetings, receptions and other non-profit events. In 1981 and 1997, the Peninsula Historical Society leased and occupied the basement of the old church. The Old Church was permanently closed in 2011.
In July 1986, Fr. Kurt Wuellner was appointed as pastor, replacing Fr. Angelovic. In July 1987, Fr. William Lane became Pastor. Upon Fr. Lane's reassignment, Fr. Gary Weisenberger became pastor for the next 13 years. Fr. Renaldo Bocateja was assigned Priest-Administrator in 2004, when Fr. Weisenberger left for assignment in Fife.
Parents began Holy Family School, an independent Catholic school, in 1995 with 14 Students in leased space at St. John Episcopal and the Assembly of God church. As the school grew, classes were added and it was apparent the school needed its own building. In 2000 the school was recognized by the Archdiocese of Catholic Schools. In 2001 it moved to its present location behind the church. Currently it serves over 150 students in Preschool-Grade 8, most of which are from parish families. The new school has attracted students from St. Gabriel Parish in Port Orchard.
In 2005, Fr. Hung Nguyen was appointed pastor and served here until 2011 when Fr. Larry Bailey replaced him.
Fr. Mark Guzman was installed as Pastor July 1st, 2014.
St. Nicholas Catholic Church aspires to fulfill the threefold mission of Jesus Christ:
to proclaim the Good News of God's saving love for all people,
to establish a prayerful community of believers,
to give practical expression to the Gospel by serving the needs of others, thereby witnessing to the reality of God's saving Love.