Then and Now: St. Rose Church, Wilmington
January 9, 2013 6:44PM
St. Rose Church in Wilmington as it appeared early last century. FROM THE DAVE BELDEN COLLECTION
Updated: February 11, 2013 6:58AM
In 1844, the Catholic community in Wilmington was served by the Rev. John Ingoldsby from St. Patrick’s Church of Joliet. In 1851, the parishioners of St. Rose began construction of a small church building that was completed in 1855. Before that, Masses were celebrated in homes. In 1865, they built a larger church with seating for 500 people. As the congregation continued to grow, this church also became too small, and in 1883, construction of a new church began with a seating capacity of 700. The large stone church, shown in the Then photograph, cost approximately $45,000 to build, and the first Mass was on Christmas Day 1886. The St. Rose Catholic School, just south of the church, was built in 1948 and now serves grades one to eight. For more than 150 years, the St. Rose Parish has served the Catholic community of Wilmington. The Now photograph shows a similar view of the church today.
The Then photograph is from David Belden and the Local History Project digital collections. The Now photograph was taken by Christine O’Brien. Belden is looking for Joliet and Lincoln Highway photos or postcards for a new publication. Email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org call 815-467-2140, Ext. 260.