St. Ignatius Loyola Catholic community is an ethnically and culturally diverse parish located by City Park in Denver, Colo. The story of St. Ignatius Loyola Parish begins with Sacred Heart Parish, the first Jesuit parish in Denver. Founded in 1879, Sacred Heart grew rapidly, and in 1909 Loyola Chapel was built. Additional land was later purchased, and St. Ignatius Loyola Church was finished and dedicated on October 12, 1924. Twenty years later, St. Ignatius Loyola became fully separated from Sacred Heart Parish.
St. Ignatius Loyola has played an extraordinary role in bringing about racial integration in the Denver Catholic Church. By the end of World War II, many African-Americans were moving into the area just west of the church. Fr. William Markoe, S.J., working at both Sacred Heart and Loyola, insisted that African-Americans should not be segregated. Fr. Markoe laid the groundwork for the efforts of Fr. Edward Murphy, S.J., pastor of Loyola from 1950 to 1970. He worked hard to keep Loyola and the neighborhood integrated.
St. Ignatius Loyola takes pride in its rich history and continued ethnic and cultural diversity of its parishioners. The parish has several special ministry groups, including a Senior Legacy Project, which recognizes that the elders of their church are the wisdom-keepers, carrying heritage and critical values to be passed down to the next generation.
In 1996, through the efforts of Fr. Steve Yavorsky, SJ, and many of the parishioners, Loyola’s beautiful, Gothic-style church, was placed on both the National and Colorado State Registers of Historic Places.