The first Catholic settlers were immigrants from Baden,Germany, and from Switerland, and arrived between the years of 1844 and 1850. They settled on farms located to the northwest of the present township of St. Rose and attended the Catholic Church at Highland, Illinois. Other families moved into the area from Germantown, St. Libory, and Lively Grove, Illinois between the years 1850 and 1870. When, in 1858, St. Dominic Parish was founded in Breese, the Catholics of the St. Rose area joined the parish.
St. Rose Parish
By 1867, an estimated twenty-five Catholic families were living in the vicinity of St. Rose. True to their characteristically independent nature, these people decided to have a church of their own in thier own vicinity. Having come to this conclusion, a committee was formed to negotiate for the established of the St. Rose Parish. The lay committe consisted of the following members: Gerhard Bixschlag, Ben Henrichs, Bernard Hillen, Adam Jordan, Heinrich Koerkenmeier, Bernard Nordmann, Daniel Reiss, Gerhard Schumacker, and Heinrich Vosshoeller. This committee met with the Most Reverend Henry Damian Juncker, D.D., Bishop of Alton, who granted the request for the founding of a parish at St. Rose.
Two pieces of property were available for the site of the new church, one at the price of $500 and the other, less favorable, for $250. Since money was a determining factor, ten acres of land were purchased from Philip Maxey for the sum of $250. Plans for the new church were drawn up by a Mr. Dreuden, an arhitect of St. Louis, Mo. and the contract let to Bernard Albers, a carpenter from Breese, IL.
During the winter of 1867 -1868, time, much labor, and great enthusiasm were the ingredients with which the newly organized parishioners began gathering and preparing material for the construction of the House of God. Bricks were burnt in Breese and Aviston; stones were quarried from the local quarry; timbers were felled, hauled, and prepared. Finally on August 30,1868, the feast of St. Rose, the cornerstone of the Church was laid. Performing the ceremony was the Reverend August Reinecker of Breese, assisted by Father P. Peters of Highland, a priest who had encouraged and advised the congregation in this project. In the spring of 1870, the new church was under roof, but the walls were not plastered, no floor or pews were as yet installed, and a debt of $3,500 had accrued.
As in countless similar situations, where men and women had deep faith and a zeal for the things of God, so also in this community, there was a spirit of sacrifice, a fervor for progress not only spiritually, but also materially, but not too much money. The Parish record of 1868-1869 lists twenty five contributors, who had given $6,102.94. This amount revealed the poverty of the people, since most of this money was borrowed by individuals at a 10% interest rate. By 1870, the number of contributors had increased to 30. On the occasion of the cornerstone laying, a collection amounting to $37.00 was taken up. It is estimated that the cost of the church was $10,000.
Up to this time, no permanent pastor had been assigned to this young parish. Services were held occasionally by Father S. Wagener of Collinsville, IL. On the occasion of Confirmation at St. Paul Church, Highland, Bernard Nordmann and Ben Henrichs called upon the Right Reverend Bishop Baltes with the request for a resident pastor. The Bishop, sympathetic with their wishes, advised them to contact the Pastor of St. Clare Church, O'Fallon, IL the Reverend Father Theodore Kamann.
The committee met with Father Kamann on the Feast of the Ascension and he agreed to come to St. Rose and meet with the congregation on Pentecost Monday. Father Kamann sang a High Mass on that day and after meeting with the parishioners consented to become the pastor of St. Rose. He did not do this, however, without a condition. He insisted that a rectory be built. The parishioners, will have a permanent pastor, gladly agreed. That same summer they constructed a six-room brick building , at the cost of $1,640.00. Father Kamann assumed charge of the parish on August
In 1881, a school was dedicated and staffed by the Precious Blood Sisters of Ruma who are still with the parish today.
In 1988, the church was completely renovated in the spirit of the liturgical requirements of Vatican Council II. The idea was to bring out the basic lines of the building which were predominately Romanesque, characterized by the rounded arches and pillars of the nave of the church.