History of Holy Trinity Catholic Church

When the town of Goldendale was platted by John Golden in 1872, the Catholic missionary activity was well established.  The first missionaries to reach the Klickitat Valley were the "Oblates" from the Athanum Mission near Yakima.  Rev. Charles Pandosy from Marseilles in France was a missionary priest with the Oblates who was well regarded by the Indians and white settlers.  Father Pandosy and Father Eugene Chirouse were the first Catholic priests ordained (1848) in the present state of Washington.  The Indians called the priests "black robes" and many of them became converts.


In 1870, the Jesuit Fathers were sent from the Province of Turin in Italy to replace the Oblates at Athanum Mission.  Rev. Augustine Laure, S.J. attended to the spiritual needs of the Catholics scattered throughout Klickitat County.  Mass was occasionally held in the house of M. J. Kinney of Klickitat Creek, 5 miles north of Centerville and finally a Catholic Church, called "Holy Family" was built there.  Mass was celebrated for the first time on Februay 17, 1884, by Rev. Carruana.  It is said that Father P. Gard, a priest and old country Frenchman with a black beard and a jolly personality, traveled about the remote parts of Klickitat County in a two-wheeled cart drawn by an Indian Cayuse.  His cart was equipped with a "stage boot" compartment in which he carried sacramental wine, Bible, prayer books and rosaries.  Many of the old parishioners were from the bogs of Ireland and their conversations were accented with quaint Irish wit and philosophy.  In 1887,  the Rev. P. Cuniffe from Ireland was appointed Pastor.  He made improvements to the Church in Centerville and also purchased 4 acres of land in Goldendale.


In 1905, Rev. V. C. Couvrette was appointed pastor in Goldendale.  The present Holy Trinity Church was built about 1907 by a contractor named Thomas Twohig.   It is of wood construction, 60' x 36' and capable of accommodating 200 persons.  Later a large sacristy was added to the back of the church along with a front entry.  In 1923, Rev. Thomas Edwards became the parish priest in Goldendale.  He tore down the old Holy Family Church in Centerville and built our present Parish Hall with the lumber.  Over the years, our current buildings have undergone minor renovations and have been improved with CCD classrooms added to the Parish Hall.  The buildings have retained a quaint historical charm.  The original Rectory was sold and removed in the 1980's.  The Parish purchased the current rectory across the street at that time.  Originally, the Parish included Stevenson, White Salmon, Klickitat, Centerville, Wishram, Dallesport and Lyle.  Stevenson and White Salmon now have their own Parishes.  The Catholic Mission church in Wishram was closed and eventually sold.  Holy Trinity currently serves approximately 90 families.