The roots of Catholic life in Massac County and St. Rose of Lima Parish date back to the year 1702 with the arrival of Fr. Jean Mermet who was a Jesuit missionary. He brought the Good News of the Gospel to the Mascouten, Chickasaw, Shawnee, and Cherokee Nations of this area. He celebrated Masses and administered sacraments for the soldiers at Fort de L’Ascension (later Fort Massac) and the early settlers, as well as for the Native American converts.
Masses were celebrated in the homes of Catholics of the area until the first church was built in 1894 for $1,400.00 and donated materials and labor. The church was a mission until 1946 when the first resident pastor was assigned. The original frame building was used until May of 1968 when the current church was built and then dedicated in 1969.
St. Rose School was built in 1949 and staffed by Sisters of the Adorers of the Most Precious Blood. The school operated for twenty years until it closed in 1970. The building now houses the Parish School of Religion and also serves as parish center.
The people of St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church are continuing to strive to live our mission statement and will strive to face all challenges of the present and future as our forebears did in the past.
Parish Mission Statement
St. Rose of Lima Parish is a community of Roman Catholics in union with the Diocese of Belleville on a pilgrimage to God in response to the call of Christ.
We come to recognize the Lord Jesus by a re-awakening of faith through the opening of Scriptures and the celebration of Eucharist.
We strive to develop an atmosphere of acceptance, through prayer, and reconciliation.
We encourage promoting the quality of parish life by inviting people to be participants in church ministries and activities.
We respect the dignity and value of every person and reach out to human need.
In a spirit of good will we respond with openness to all brothers and sisters of every faith.