The Catholic Parish of Edgefield (East Nashville)

Beginning 1857


If you are new to the parish or did not receive either a Holy Name history book or Stained Glass window book, please contact Renee in the parish office. These were prepared in 2017 to commemorate our 100th Anniversary as the Church of the Most Holy Name of Jesus and our 160th Anniversary as the Catholic Parish of East Nashville (formerly Edgefield).


We look forward soon to sharing our all new (updated) History Page which will rely on the information uncovered and rediscovered during the big anniversary year!!


For now, please enjoy a timeline from 1854-2007 when the parish celebrated 150 years as the Catholic Parish of Edgefield.



(Source: Program for Holy Name's 150th anniversary celebration Mass.)

Christmas 1854 - After Midnight Mass at St. Mary's Cathedral, a delegation presents Bishop Richard Pius Miles with a petition for a parish in Edgefield

October 12, 1857 - Father Ivo Schacht [Scat], a native of Bruges, Belgium, assigned pastor of Edgefield Mission

November 8, 1857 - Laying of the cornerstone of St. John the Evangelist church

December 22, 1857 - Dedication of St. John the Evangelist, the third Catholic church in Nashville and tenth in the diocese, by Bishop Miles

April 27, 1862 - Bridget Morgan, the first recorded baptism at St. John the Evangelist


1871 - Michael Meagher, S.J., a native of Roscrea, County Tipperary, Ireland, assigned to St. John's and makes plans to build a larger church, to be named St. Columba

April 9, 1871 - Laying of the cornerstone of St. Columba by Bishop P.A. Feehan

July 20, 1873 - Dedication of St. Columba by Bishop Feehan

August 16, 1873 - Helen Irwin, first recorded baptism at St. Columba

Fall 1873 - St. Columba School opens in the former St. John rectory; Lizzie Flynn and Katie Connell, first teachers

1877 - First St. Cecilia Dominicans staff the school

1878 - St. Columba School moves into the old St. John Church

1879 - Father Eugene Gazzo, a native of Genoa, Italy, assigned as pastor of St. Columba

1881 - Old St. John Church/current St. Columba School burns down. New school built, burns down; another new school built in 1883

Early 1880s - Irish Travelers adopt St. Columba as their parish church

1880-1900 - Church frescoed; new sanctuary and sacristy added; tower and bell donated by Father Gazzo's mother; Felgamacher organ installed; heating plant finished; school enrollment 120; parish free of debt

June 1901 - Father Daniel Ellard assigned as pastor; re-frescoes church; installs new pews and stained-glass windows


1904 - Little Sisters of the Poor open home for the aged across Main St. from St. Columba

1904 - Little Sisters of the Poor open home for the aged across Main St. from St. Columba


1908 - Francis Dominic Grady, first St. Columba native son to become a priest, ordained in Belgium

February 25, 1915 - Father Gazzo returns as pastor, appointed P. R. (permanent rector)

March 22, 1916 - East Nashville Fire: St. Columba Church, school, rectory, Little Sisters of the Poor Home for the Aged (picture below) completely destroyed; 20 parish families lose homes


May 1916 - Construction begins on rectory and combination church/school building facing Woodland St.

September 28, 1916 - New rectory finished and occupied

February 1917 - School (capacity 200) on second floor of the combination building occupied

March 4, 1917 - First Mass said in the new, unfinished church

March 25, 1917 - Dedication of the Church of the Most Holy Name of Jesus by Bishop Byrne; Father Grady celebrates the Mass; Walter G. Scanlon, O.P., preaches

1922 - Father Alois Maurath assigned as pastor; improvements include windows and new altar

1923 - Father Gazzo returns for a third time to his beloved parish; redecorates church and repaints school

April 6, 1925 - Father Gazzo dies in the Holy Name rectory at age 78

November 12, 1925 - Father John Hardeman assigned as pastor and P.R.; women of the parish raise money through card parties and other activities, enabling tuition to be abolished; Holy Name becomes a free school with free text books

1931 - Addition to Holy Name School: additional classrooms auditorium, cafeteria


March 14, 1933 - First East Nashville Tornado; many parishioners lose homes

March 1946 - Father Joseph H. Siener succeeds Father Hardeman as P.R.; church (110 baptisms per year) and school (enrollment 400) grow rapidly in the post-World War II years

June 12, 1953 - First daughter parish of Holy Name, St. Joseph, dedicated in Madison; Holy Name parish becomes landlocked; baptisms and school enrollment decline

June 1955 - Father Charles O'Donnell becomes pastor; major improvements to the church: wiring, flooring, pews, windows, new altar, microphones, air conditioning of church and cafeteria

1963 - Father Eugene Eiselein becomes pastor

1965 - Father Paul Caldwell becomes pastor

1967 - Father William Grannis becomes pastor

1968 - Father James Zralek becomes pastor

1969 - Holy Name School closes, 96 years after the opening of the first parish school; CCD program established

1970 - Father Joseph Tarpy becomes pastor

December 13, 1972 - Holy Name Parish Council holds first organizational meeting

1975 - Father Robert Roeser becomes pastor

1976 - Father James Murray becomes pastor

1977 - Father Charles Strobel becomes pastor

September 1977 - 3rd, 4th and 5th grades of St. Vincent de Paul School begin classes in former Holy Name classrooms

1982 - Loaves & Fishes, offering meals to homeless persons, inaugurated

1982-1986 - A group of parishioners known as the "Cut-ups" design, construct, and install new stained-glass windows depicting the Holy Names

mid-1980s - Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) program begins; Parents' Day Out (PDO) operates out of former school addition

Winter 1985 - Room in the Inn, providing shelter for homeless persons on cold winter nights, inaugurated

1988 - Father Joseph Sanches becomes pastor


Late 1980s - Parish Center debt retired

April 16, 1998 - Second East Nashville Tornado damages rectory and church, levels St. Ann Episcopal Church, leaves parish families homeless; Holy Name shares space with St. Ann for two years; church and rectory repaired

2000 - St. Henry's Emmaus group refurbishes grounds, paints rectory; builds new playground, constructs grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes

2002 - Loaves & Fishes, now twenty years old, is hosted by 18 schools, churches, and agencies and serves more than 30,000 meals a year; Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement, Hispanic Social Services, Bridges to Care offices located in former Holy Name classrooms

2005 - Father Edwige Carré, a native of Haiti, becomes pastor


2007 - Holy Name celebrates the sesquicentennial anniversary of the parish with a year-long series of events, opening with a Mass on January 3rd, the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus. Celebrations included many retreats, prayer services, parish activities, and the renovation of the auditorium

June 9, 2007 - A pilgrimage, in honor of the 150th year of the parish, to St. Mary's on the Feast of St. Columba, re-enacting the journey of the Catholics who petitioned Bishop Miles for a church



We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world!