Parish History

Our Lady of the Lake is not simply a church, but a parish church.

When the Catholic population of a district reaches such proportions that it is deemed necessary or worthwhile that a special priest be assigned, the Bishop of the Diocese appoints a pastor, who will care for the spiritual needs of the people, and authorizes him to construct a church.

The parish is a normal point of contact between Christ and His faithful. The parish with its pastor, its altar and its baptistery, its pulpit and its confessionals, its schools and its programs, its sinners and its saints, is the whole Church in miniature. The parish does for a limited group what the Church does for the world.

Christ is worshipped in the parish liturgy; Christ is preached in the parish pulpit; Christ is praised by the parish choir; Christ is taught in the parish schools; Christ is imitated in the lives of unknown parish saints. For 75 years, Our Lady of the Lake has been a community of faith-filled people who have kept Christ as their foundation.

The parish of Our Lady of the Lake, like most parishes, had a humble beginning. In fact, its first church was a converted log cabin at 35th Avenue Northeast and East 85th Street. That cabin sat on a forty-acre site that was planned as a new campus of Seattle University, a dream that died in the depression of the 1930's.

At its beginning, the parish was known as St. Ignatius. Its first pastor was a Jesuit Father, the Reverend Robert V. Burns. Records show that he offered the first Mass on November 24, 1929, before 128 persons, who so crowded the rustic building that many had to kneel on the porch steps.

Parish Mission Statement

Our Lady of the Lake Parish, welcoming and generous in spirit, is a Catholic community of faith.  From our Sacramental life flows the desire to be the hands, feet, and heart of Christ, Wellspring of justice and mercy.  Lives are deepened by compassion, commitment to the Gospel, and outreach to others.


For a more detailed look at our parish history, please click HERE.

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