“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Waterloo in Monroe County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

St. Peter & Paul Catholic Church

Waterloo, Monroe Co. Ill.

— Laid out in 1818 —

St. Peter & Paul Catholic Church Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Thomas Smith, January 24, 2021
1. St. Peter & Paul Catholic Church Marker
Saints Peter and Paul Parish was founded in 1843, when, "On May 7th, 1843 the first Catholic baptisms of Catharine Glessner, Jacob Syler, and George Miller were recorded by Fr. Patrick McCabe. He was an itinerant priest from Ireland who opened the records of probably a dozen parishes in southern Illinois. … At that time; the patron of the parish was Saint Francis of Assisi." (Diocese of Belleville, 2011). The cornerstone was laid for the first church in 1849; however, the building of the church was delayed, and the parishioners were few in number and poor. Nevertheless, in 1852, a small brick building was built that served as a church. In 1859, a 20-foot-long addition was made to the church and in 1862, the church was dedicated. According to the history of the Diocese of Belleville, "It was dedicated in 1862 by Bishop Henry Damien Juncker, then Bishop of Alton, who placed the parish under the Parsonage of Ss Peter and Paul." (Diocese of Belleville, 2011). In 1870 plans were made to build a new church. It was completed in 1883 and still stands today.

In 1887, the Diocese of Alton, Illinois was divided, and
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the Diocese of Belleville and the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois were created. In 2012, the Diocese of Belleville celebrated its 125th anniversary. "The new Belleville Diocese covered 11,678 square miles in 28 counties and served about 50,000 Catholics. There were 82 churches, 53 parochial schools, three hospitals, and one orphanage." (Diocese of Belleville, 2011). Today the Diocese of Belleville has 101 parishes serving about 70,000 Catholics and 57 diocesan priests in the parish ministry and 6 Resident Religious Priests.

The exterior of the church is brick with a tall steeple (the tallest of any church in Waterloo) and clock tower topped with a gold crucifix. The steeple is topped by the most powerful symbol of our faith, the cross, for all to see. Arched stained glass windows are present on all three exposed walls of the church (west, east, and north); the south wall of the church is the sanctuary, and that south church wall adjoins the Parish Pastoral Center (parish offices). The style of the architecture of the church is Romanesque. Most arches are round, and the building lacks exterior supports called flying buttresses found in Gothic structures. The ceiling consists of several interesting arches. In the center part of the nave, these arches are all semi-circular, but over the aisles, they take a pointed shape. In the transept, the
St. Peter & Paul Catholic Church Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Thomas Smith, October 24, 2021
2. St. Peter & Paul Catholic Church Marker
form of the ceiling is the barrel vault, meaning that it is made up of only one arch. Statues, pictures, and windows were not merely decorations. They are to put us in a frame of mind that is open to God and remind us of aspects of our faith.

• In 1870 - Plans made to build a new church. New edifice to be erected on the same site as the existing church. Walls of the new church enclose the entire space previously occupied by the first church.

• In 1876 - New transept and sanctuary built and joined to the south end of existing space previously occupied by the first church.

• In 1883 - New church is complete and a solemn dedication took place on November 27.

• Stations of the Cross - Reverend Charles Krewet imported the Stations of the Cross from Munich, Germany at a cost of $850.

• Church Bell - The first bell purchased when Reverend Peter J. Baltes was pastor, (1853-1855). The second bell was blessed and named Elizabeth in 1862. Installed on October 17, 1892, the third bell weighed 2,400 pounds and named Christina.

• Church Organ - Reverend Charles J. Eschmann (1924-1937) replaced the old-style, water driven organ with the present pipe organ.

• Reverend James McCormick (1970-1971) had the 1883 tower clock repaired and replaced by the
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men in the parish.

Martyred Nuns
"They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the lamb"
---Revelation 7:14---

This window, a gift of Cyril and Faye Kolmer, relatives of the martyred religious, honors the five Adorers of the Blood of Christ of the Ruma Province who were martyred in Liberia in the fall of 1992. The sisters, Mary Joel Kolmer, Shirley Kolmer, Kathleen McGuire, Agnes Mueller, and Barbara Ann Muttra were ministers to the native people through prayer, education, and health care. These sisters lived and worked in our community; they were companions on the journey. Mary Joel Kolmer and Shirley Kolmer were born and raised in Waterloo, members of our parish community, and their families remain part of our parish family.

Church Outreach Organizations
Mary and Martha Society
The Mary & Martha Society was established in 1854 with an initial mission of offering charitable work among the poor. More than 150 years later, the Society has evolved into an organization that offers opportunities for parish women to connect with each other, form bonds of friendship, and support the parish and school through prayer, service, and fundraising.

Holy Name Society
The Holy Name Society is a men's organization open to all adult men of our parish. The Holy Name Society provides various levels of support that include financial support for the needs of the parish and grade school not covered in their budgets. They provide Christmas gifts to our Parish and Ss. Peter and Paul School staff, financial assistance to students from our parish who attend Gibault Catholic High School and much of the physical manpower and leadership for the parish when required.

Knight of Columbus
The Knights of Columbus is a Catholic, fraternal, charitable service organization with more than 13,000 councils with 1.7 million members. The Waterloo Council 1334 was chartered in 1908 and currently has over 300 members from three surrounding parishes in Waterloo, Renault and Tipton.

Life is a gift from God. Science has proven that life begins at conception and ends with natural death. All life is precious, and as we Catholics are called to protect life in all its stages. In the past, our Mary & Martha Society has supported the pro-life efforts in our parish. As our culture is changing to a "culture of death" our plans to increase our pro-life efforts in our parish will be changing as well to include all parishioners - male and female, young and old.

St. Vincent de Paul
The society of St. Vincent de Paul offers tangible assistance to those in need on a person-to-person basis. It is this personalized involvement that makes the work of the Society unique. This aid may take the form of intervention, consultation, or often through direct dollar or in-kind service.

Reverend Patrick McCabe: 1843-1848 • Reverend Michael Pendergast: 1848-1853 (First resident pastor of the parish) • Reverend Peter J. Baltes: 1853-1855 • Reverend Francis Fisher: 1855-1899 • Reverend Paul Limacher: 1861-1899 • Reverend James Gillen: 1899-1899 • Reverend Charles Krewet: 1899-1924 • Reverend Charles J. Eschmann: 1924-1937 • Reverend Gustave H. Unterkoefler: 1937-1944 • Right Reverend Monsignor Marcellus J. Gruenewald: 1944-1946 • Reverend Charles Hellrung: 1946-1970 • Reverend James McCormick: 1970-1971 • Reverend Jerome Ratterman: 1971-1985 • Reverend Francis Seyer: 1985-1998 • Reverend Monsignor Thomas Flach: 1998-2009 • Reverend Osang Idagbo C.M.: 2009-2020 • Reverend Linus Umoren C.M.: 2020+
Erected 2021 by Waterloo Beautification Committee; Created and Reviewed by: Mary Brinkmann and the Church Council.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: ArchitectureCharity & Public WorkChurches & ReligionSettlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1843.
Location. 38° 20.144′ N, 90° 9.118′ W. Marker is in Waterloo, Illinois, in Monroe County. Marker is on West Mill Street just south of West Mill Street, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 204 W Mill St, Waterloo IL 62298, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Schmitt-Nobbe Building (within shouting distance of this marker); The State Bank of Waterloo (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Wissmath Property (about 400 feet away); Commercial State Bank (about 400 feet away); The Pluth Building (about 400 feet away); City Hotel (about 500 feet away); The Küenster Building (about 500 feet away); a different marker also named The Küenster Building (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Waterloo.
Credits. This page was last revised on October 25, 2021. It was originally submitted on October 24, 2021, by Thomas Smith of Waterloo, Ill. This page has been viewed 327 times since then and 25 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on October 24, 2021, by Thomas Smith of Waterloo, Ill. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.

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Apr. 18, 2024