PARISH HISTORY

The parish has seen many changes in leadership in the last few years, but the character of the parish persists because of the deep faith and strong personal relationships within the parish.  Our small size enables us to be welcoming and very friendly; it is easy to get to know people and become involved, yet we are large enough and have enough talent to offer many programs.  IC Maplewood continues to be influenced by the LaSalette missionary priests and the lay LaSalette Associates in the parish.  Their spirituality focuses on the importance of reconciliation and accepting the goodness in other people and cultures.

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BEGINNINGS

Before the turn of the 20th century, families had begun to settle beyond the limits of St. Louis city. Around 1890, the Maplewood Realty Company purchased several hundred acres of land from the heirs of James C. Sutton. This new housing development was named Maplewood and attracted approximately 75 families.

 

Responding to the needs of these people, on February 8, 1904, Archbishop Glennon authorized Rev. Daniel Clarke to organize a parish. Mass was first celebrated in March 1904, in a transformed abandoned feed store at Bellevue and Manchester. Later, property was purchased on Anna Avenue and work began almost immediately on a two-story brick building to serve as both church and school for the 324 families of the parish. On November 26, 1905, Archbishop Glennon dedicated this building to Our Lady, under the title of the Immaculate Conception. In 1906, the parish school, staffed by three Sisters of Loretto, opened with 115 students. The sisters commuted from Webster College until 1921 when a house next to the present church was rented for their use.

 

Under the direction of Rev. John P. Ryan, the cornerstone for the present church building was laid on August 23, 1925. The present convent on the corner of Marshall and Anna was built in 1937. By 1944 new altars and windows were installed in the church and the last of the debt was paid. In 1951, the annex to the rectory was purchased; and in 1952, Rev. William McCarthy directed construction of the gym/parish hall addition to the school building.

LASALETTE PERIOD
1975 -2006

The 1970’s were a time of great change for the parish. In 1971 the school closed because of declining enrollment. The interior of the church was renovated; the altar was moved closer to the people and the communion rail was removed. On June 12, 1975, the Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette assumed pastoral responsibility for the parish. The La Salette Priests and Brothers brought an attitude of renewal and collaborative leadership to the parish, and they played an important role in the faith life of the community.

PASTORS
2006 - 2016

In February of 2006, the La Salette Community found it necessary to return the parish to the Archdiocese and Fr. James Gray assumed pastoral leadership of the parish.  In September, 2015, Fr. James Gray was transferred to St. Jude Parish and Fr. John Paul Hopping became Parochial Administrator of Immaculate Conception.

PARISH LIFE COORDINATOR 
2016 - PRESENT

On March 28, 2016, Deacon Ken Clemens became Parish Life Coordinator, with Fr. John Paul Hopping serving as Sacramental Minister, and Very Rev. Msgr. John Leykam being named Pastor.  Under Deacon Ken Clemens the parish adjusted to being led by a deacon, the second parish in the archdiocese to do so.   Major repairs were done to the roof, west wall and sanctuary of the church.  Mary's garden was established between the church and rectory.

 

      October 1, 2016 Fr. Ken Brown became our (Canonical) Pastor.

      April 1, 2017  Deacon Ken retired and Deacon John Flanigan became Parish Life Coordinator.

      July 1, 2017  Fr. Peter Blake became our Sacramental Minister.

      August 1, 2017  Fr. John Seper became our Pastor.

      August 15, 2018 Fr. Mike Esswein became our Pastor.

 

The parish is slowly beginning to grow based on its deep roots in the Maplewood community and rejuvenation in Maplewood.  Our Lenten fish fry is increasingly popular.  Our outreach through the food pantry is well-known.  Our liturgy and music is strong and vibrant continuing a strong tradition established years ago by Sister Georgeanne Hanson, SL.    On July 1, 2018 Sr. Mildred Glosemeyer SSND retired. Our Pastoral Council adopted a new mission statement in 2017 which is guiding us into the future.