PARISH HISTORY

Our parish has seen many changes in leadership in recent 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.