Parnell, Grattan Township, Michigan

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St Patrick's Catholic Church, Parnell MI

Parnell is a small, unincorporated community in Grattan Township, located in northeast Kent County, Michigan. Its latitude is 43.043 and its longitude is -85.411.[1]


The area in which it is currently located was once the home of the Ottawa people. After the 1836 Treaty of Washington opened up the land for European settlement, the former inhabitants were quickly replaced by Europeans. In the late 1830s and '40s, Irish immigrants settled the area, which had the advantages of prime farmland and a location reasonably close to a metropolitan center, Grand Rapids, Michigan. By 1844, it is estimated that 20-30 Irish families were settled in the area now known as Parnell. That year, the community came together to worship with a priest sent from Grand Rapids, most frequently in the home of Michael Farrell. By the end of the year, planning for St. Patrick's Catholic Church had begun. The current structure, dating from 1878, is located across the street from the original church.[2] The steeple of the church was renovated in 2005. [3]

Saint Patrick School in Parnell was founded by Catholic priest James Crumley in 1893, and moved into its current building in 1963.[4] The school serves children from preschool through 8th grade.

Parnell is also the home of a monastery of Discalced Carmelite nuns, founded in 1916. [5]


  1. ^ MI Hometown Locator, Parnell
  2. ^ History of St. Patrick's Catholic Church
  3. ^ "St. Patrick Catholic Church Steeple Renovation". The Church Construction Portfolio. Retrieved August 2, 2014. 
  4. ^ "History: Parish and School History". Saint Patrick School. Retrieved August 2, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Carmelite Nuns of Ada (Parnell) Michigan". The Discalced Carmelite Nuns of the Monastery of Our Lady of Guadalupe Ada (Parnell), Michigan. Retrieved August 2, 2014. 

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