14: Church of the Good Shepherd

The Church of the Good Shepherd
Corner of 5th and Idaho

In 1918, Daniel M. Gorman, the third Catholic Bishop of Idaho, purchased two residences on this site that were remodeled by architects Tourtellotte & Hummel into the Church of the Good Shepherd and accompanying rectory. On March 2, 1919, Father Bernardo Arregui dedicated the nation’s only known Basque Chapel. Seating around one hundred people, the church held daily Masses as well as baptisms, weddings, and funerals, all while reinforcing a strong sense of community.

During the early 1920s, however, the American Catholic Church closed many of its ethnic parishes in an effort to unify congregations and emphasize loyalty to the United States. In 1928 Bishop Edward Kelly converted the church into his private chapel and moved the diocesan chancellery office here. This forced the Basques to worship at St. John’s Cathdral. The rectory, which served as the Bishop’s residence and office space, was torn down in 1964 and replaced by a parking lot. The building was sold by the Diocese in 1989 to a private business.

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