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The Rev. John Francis DeGroot, C. S. C., pastor of St. Patrick's Church, of South Bend, is one of the most esteemed and able pastors this church has ever had. Yet a young man, Father DeGroot has won a high place in the church, and has evinced all of those qualities that must rapidly advance him in his chosen life. Father DeGroot is a native of Indiana, and was born in Mishawaka, August 27, 1866. His father was Benjamin DeGroot a native of Belgium, and a prosperous farmer of St. Joseph County. and his mother was Catherine (Woods) DeGroot, and she was a native of Ireland.
Until he was fourteen years of age Father DeGroot lived at Mishawaka. and was educated in the parochial schools of St. Joseph County. In 1881 he entered Note Dame University, taking a classical course, with a view to preparing for the priesthood, and he graduated from that famous institution in 1887. He later went to Austin, Texas, as Prefect of Discipline at St. Edwards' College, where he remained one year, when he was called to New Orleans, La.. as Prefect of Discipline at the Holy College in the Crescent City. Here he remained four years. Father DeGroot was ordained to the priesthood in 1893 at Notre Dame, by Bishop Rademacher. of Fort Wayne. While In New Orleans he was assistant pastor of Sacred Heart. In March, 1899, Father DeGroot was called to South Bend as pastor of St. Patrick's Church, to succeed the late Father Clark. Under his careful and intelligent pastorate the church has advanced in usefulness, and Father DeGroot has given to his charge his earnest thought and unselfish labor. He is a man of rare mental graces, a deep thinker and an eloquent speaker. and is loved by all who know him regardless or church ties.

Source : (collective work) : South Bend and the men who have made it : historical, descriptive, biographical; South Bend: Tribune Print. Co., 1901, 458 pgs.