On April 1, 1940 the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City paid $240.00 to Union Electric
Land and Development Company for 2.4 acres of land in Lake Ozark. By the following
year, pledges made by local resort owners, business owners, residents and visiting
Catholics made it possible for construction of a Church to begin.
The quaint stone Church, or “Little Chapel at the Lake” as it was called, was dedicated
in May, 1942 by Archbishop Edwin V. O’Hara, Bishop of Kansas City Diocese and was
completed in November of that year. Atop the Chapel’s roof was a wooden cross,
outlined in blue neon that became a common landmark for night boaters on the lake.
No resident priest was assigned to the Chapel; the priest from Eldon’s Sacred Heart
Church served the “Mission” parish. As visitors to the lake increased, so did crowds at
the Church. To accommodate the ever increasing parishioners and visitors, masses
were offered both on the main level and in the basement of the Chapel. By the
summer of 1962, nine masses were celebrated each Sunday. Within the next few
years, the number of Sunday masses increased to twelve.
After a decision was made to build a larger Church and a Rectory, the Chapel was torn
down and the property on which it stood sold and replaced by the Arrowhead Plaza
Shopping Center (currently Monarch Plaza). The existing Church and Rectory were
completed in June 1966. At that time, a resident pastor was assigned to serve the
parish at the Lake of the Ozarks. In March 1980, Bishop Michael F. McAuliffe, Bishop of
Jefferson City Diocese, dedicated the Church.
During 1993, an addition to the Church provided the parish with a Chapel, a fellowship
area, and needed office space. In 1999, a new Rectory was purchased, allowing the
old Rectory to be used for more classrooms. From a small Chapel to a large Church
that can seat 1200, Our lady of the Lake continues to serve the parishioners, summer
residents, and visitors to the Ozarks area. While the Church has grown in size and
membership, the parish has maintained its mission of a faith community and spirit of
welcoming visitors to the area.
|Modified: 27 April 2009 Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church