Hickory was a mission of the Asheville Parish from 1889 to 1903 and connected to the Salisbury Parish from 1904 to 1913. On December 7, 1913 a small group gathered for Mass in the parlor of Mr. and Mrs. John Callanan at which time St. Aloysius was conceived. Less than two years later, on April 18, 1915 the Rev. Haid, Abbot Ordinary and Vicar Apostolic of North Carolina, came to Hickory to bless St. Aloysius Church, which was housed in an abandoned church building near the present site of Episcopal Church of the Ascension. The $1500 used to purchase and improve the property came from Dr. Joseph Kelly of Philadelphia. St. Aloysius was dedicated to the memory of Dr. Kelly’s deceased son, Aloysius Kelly.
It was not until 1928, when the congregation had grown to some 50 members, that Mass was celebrated every Sunday in Hickory. By 1937, the congregation had outgrown the first building and a tract of land was purchased where the present church complex now stands. The original, small granite church was dedicated on September 28, 1938 by the Right Rev. Vincent Taylor, OSB, Ordinary of Belmont Abbey. That building is now known as Sebastian Chapel.
In 1944, Hickory was placed in the Diocese of Raleigh and Rev. William McShea was appointed the first diocesan priest to serve as pastor of the parish. On Holy Thursday, May 10, 1963, when St. Aloysius had a membership of about 150 families, The Most Reverend Vincent Waters, Bishop of Raleigh, blessed the new brick church adjacent to the original building. Since the new building was not intended for permanent use as a church, it was not consecrated. In the late 1980’s it became apparent that St. Aloysius had again outgrown its facilities. The new church, our present church, was dedicated on August 28, 1993, with Bishop Michael J. Begley as celebrant. The present church seats 520 and is designed for a parish of 800 families.
Today, St. Aloysius parish family exceeds 1700 families. The parish’s faith formation classes and youth ministry programs serve hundreds of students. Through a strong faith community, St. Aloysius provides a solid foundation for Catholics of today to grow in their faith and continues to spread the good news of Jesus Christ throughout North Carolina and beyond. Now, enriched by the leadership of dedicated priests and deacons, the assistance of the faithful community of Maryvale Sisters and numerous lay people, St. Aloysius looks forward to years of fruitful service to the Hickory community.