St. Mary Church is in Buffalo Grove. In 1847 monthly masses were begun by a priest from St. Joseph in New Trier (Wilmette). In 1852 the parishioners decided to build a church of their own. In that year they also became a mission of St. John the Baptist in Johnsburg. The first mass in the new building was in 1852. Before it could be dedicated, the church was robbed. The church was dedicated on 26 July 1853. On that day there were also confirmations performed in the church. A few months later the church was vandalized, and it was burned down on 19 February 1855. It is believed that anti-Catholic sentiments were present in the area. Masses were said in a log school house until the church was rebuilt in 1856.
In 1869 St. Mary got a resident pastor. A new building was constructed in 1898. In 1912 a school was built. It was replaced by another building in 1947. As the area became more populated, St. Mary lost territory and the following parishes were formed: St. Alphonsus Liguori in Prospect Heights, St. Joseph the Worker in Wheeling, and St. Edna in Arlington Heights.
Additions to the school were built in 1961 and 1966. St. Mary Cemetery in Buffalo Grove is associated with the church. An addition to the church was built in 1979.
The earliest parishoners were German farming families. The parishioners were still mostly German in the 1940s. A 1947 jubilee history made special mention of the Raupp and Weidner families, even showing genealogies of these families.
The Chicago Archdiocese has allowed the Family History Library to film some sacramental records for St. Mary Church. Microfilms of these records can be rented for a small fee at any local Family History Center. Information on the film (FHL # 1548218) which covers St. Mary Church can be found here. The film covers 1853-1915. *Note that you will need to check items 22-25 on that film in order to be looking at those for St. Mary Church. A church history is also available through the FHL. It includes the Weidner and Raupp genealogies. Be sure to check item 3.
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