St.Mary History

Early in the 1840's priests from Galena and Dublin tended to the needs of the Elizabeth Mission by saying Mass in private homes.

1849: a log building on the south side of town became Elizabeth's first Catholic Church called St. Elizabeth.  Two other churches, Mehodist(1834) and Presbyterian(1847 ) were already built.

1854: second log church was built at what is currently 209 Madison Street.

1866: The congregation outgrew that location so a brick building on the north side of Elizabeth was remodeled and called St. Thomas.

1882: A wooden frame church was built on the northwest corner of Washington and Catlin to replace the brick building.  It was dedicated to "Our Lady of the Sorrows" St. Mary and was ministered to by priests from Savanna, IL.

1887: After many letters to the Bishop a priest was assigned to  St. Mary's. Reverend Joseph Ruetershoff.  This was also the same year a railroad came to Elizabeth.

1913: The Old Church was torn down and the cornerstone of our current Church as laid, October 1913.  The Church of St. Mary was dedicated in 1914.  Construction costs was $25,000 and $21,500 was raised by the parishioners and other townspeople.

Today: Our faith community still worships in the same location.  A ramp and handicap door on the far side was added as well as a parking lot.

We are about 175 families strong with a thriving Religious Education Program, new Youth Ministry Program called CIA or Catholics in Action, and many dedicated organizations.

We will celebrate 100 years in our current building in May of 1914 but our church family and faith is 165 years strong.