History of St. Mary's
St. Mary’s (1852-2013) began because of a need for another house of worship and a dream of bringing a little bit of Ireland to Pittsfield. In October 1867, Father Recouvreur harnessed his horse and buggy and began calling on his people to gather pledges to build the new church. On September 17, 1868 the laying of the corner stone was celebrated. With concerted effort, the outline of a splendid church began to take definite shape. The work and sacrifice continued, and although there was still work to be done on March 7, 1869, the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was celebrated. St. Mary’s was finally completed on November 16, 1870. The people celebrated with their Pastor, visiting priests and Bishop Baltes of the Diocese of Alton.
Over the years, St. Mary’s Church has been served by 39 priests, several nuns and many of our own teachers to continue the teachings of Christ to the children and adults of Pike County.
In 2007, a new addition was added to the church, thanks to the generosity of Dr. and Mrs. Frank O’Connell. At the present time, the parish is served by Father Mark A. Schulte. In May 2013, we started an annual Festival for the community. In October 2012, the Knights of Columbus renewed their charter after several years of being inactive. The Altar Society is still in existence and active.
The families who have lived, raised their children and said their prayers in St. Mary’s parish since the first baptism was recorded in 1852, are a credit to the church. For the most part, the descendants of those families are here today and faithfully carrying on the noble traditions which were handed down to them. The faith which Patrick brought to Ireland, Boniface to Germany and Augustine to England, thrives in the hands of the present parish of the Immaculate Conception.