Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, 426 N. Sixth St., completed in 1866, was closed in 2001 and demolished in 2002.
St. Pete’s, as it was known, was formed when Irish and German Catholics decided to form separate parishes in the 1850s. They had been worshiping together at a small church, St. John the Baptist, in the 800 block of East Adams Street. As the congregation grew, the Irish built St. Mary’s Church at Seventh and Monroe streets, and the Germans kept the Adams Street location, renaming it Ss. Peter and Paul Parish.
The German congregation then purchased land from the Ursuline Sisters at Sixth and Reynolds streets and began building their new church and school.
Fred Rauth, one of the founding 64 parish families in 1859, did the brick work on the church, using bricks hand-made from the kilns of August Kloppenburg, another founding member.
The first service in English was held in 1905.
“On the first Sunday in Advent the sermon in the first Mass was preached in English, which has been the custom ever since, and the people were quite satisfied with the change,” reported the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois Diamond Jubilee History, written by Joseph Thompson in 1928.
Rev. (later Monsignor) Linus Kipping (1884-1960) was pastor at St. Pete’s from 1930 to his death.
YouTube video history: Much more of the history of St. Peter and Paul Parish and School is contained in a 28-minute video available on YouTube. The video, compiled in 1995, was written by Bill Becker and produced by Michael Bross. Narrators are Bruce Bagg and Lisa Crocker.
Hat tip: Thanks to Chuck Tisckos for the photo contributions and for directing us to the video.
Original content copyright Sangamon County Historical Society. You are free to republish this content as long as credit is given to the Society.
Where are the records for the Irish from 1854 to 1860?
Mr. O’Neill: Take a look at the entry on Church of the Immaculate Conception, which was commonly known as “Old St. Mary’s.” I’m not sure it totally answers your question — I need to look at that a little more myself — but it should help. Thanks for reading.
Thank you for posting the St Petes pix. I attended the ‘dutch penitentiary’ k-8 back in the 50s and 60s. Back in those days the Ursuline nuns were called ‘mother’ not ‘sister. I have a pic from the mid 1950s from my first communion that shows what the altar looked like compared to your pic from the early 1900s. I also have a kindergarten class pic. Would have posted here but saw no provision for that. Hope you are interested. Email me back if you are.
Chuck: I think we were at SHG (when it was just plain “G”) about the same time. Yes, send me the photos at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll also email you to make sure you see this. And thanks for reading.
I am in both of those photos and have the original photos at home.
Thanks for reading, Bill.
I, Carl R. Maurer, graduated from SS peter & Paul in 1946 with the prospect of entering the seminary. It didn’t work out but I was finally ordained, by the grace of God, August 2001 at the age of 68.
Congratulations, Father Maurer, and thanks for commenting.
Who were the priests serving Sts. Peter and Paul in
Ms. Clark: I didn’t look through every newspaper mention of Ss. Peter & Paul in 1958, but the ones I did look at all listed Msgr. Kipping as, for instance, wedding or funeral celebrant. He was the pastor there from 1930 until his death in 1960. If he had one or more assistants in 1958 (he might have, because he apparently had been in failing health already for some time), I didn’t turn them up. Father Kipping’s first name was Linus. His findagrave web site is here: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/43233749/linus-g.-kipping
Sorry I couldn’t be more help.
For Sarah Clark:
The priests who ministered at St. Pete’s in the 1950’s-1960’s included Fr. Adamski and Fr. Schmidt, along with the pastor Fr. Kipling. I especially recall Fr. Adamski as he drove the first Edsel I ever saw (vroom vroom!) and he could say mass faster than anyone else alive.
Fr. Anthony Schmidt was replaced by Fr. Medard Labocki (who later left the priesthood) in 1958, and Fr. Ed Adamski (now deceased) was replaced by Fr.. Martin O’Hara in 1960. Fr. Joseph Miller became pastor after Msgr. Kipping died. Hope this helps.
I was just wandering through things and found this site. I attended SS Peter & Paul from 3rd grade on, graduatng in 1962. I fully gree with Fr. Adamski’s fast mass…..almost as fast as the Choir loft 16 min special at another Springfield churc while i was in High school (GHS). FR Schmidt was a great priest as was Fr. Labocki. Fr. O’hara did not stay long.
Fr. Miller’s Easter mass was an annual event that included the same sermon every year, but a nice guy!
Pat: Thanks for the memories. (And on a personal note, great to hear from you — Mike Kienzler, Griffin ’66)
Mike, can you confirm that the services at St. Peter & Paul were in English after 1905? I’m pretty sure you didn’t mean just that one Sunday in advent every year, but all the services.
My Grandfather died from a fall while working and building SSPeter and Paul. Charles Doody.
I truly enjoy reminiscing about historical facts. Thank you for sharing! It is always so interesting to me how large these classes were…children from the baby boom that occurred after the soldiers returned from World War II. As a retired teacher, I am always particularly aware of the teacher/pupil ratio.
Where can I find baptism records for 1979-1980? Were they lost? Thanks
Ms. Longmeyer: I’m pretty sure they still exist. The diocese web site says historic sacramental records are available on ancestry.com, but you also can contact the diocesan archives office. There’s a contact form on the archives web site: https://archives.dio.org/
Thanks for reading SangamonLink.