The church has a very tall spire for its size.
According to a history of Saint Cecilia Church and town of Bartelso, dating from 1913:
Bartelso is a pretty little village situated in Santa Fe Township, and occupying the original site of Santa Fe. Its immediate neighborhood was settled by the whites prior to 1816. Up to 1876 it was a part of Carlyle and Germantown, but at the aforesaid date it was made a separate precinct...The church will be celebrating its quasquicentennial in June, 2009.
The church was erected 1884 by the present Vicar General Rt. Rev. Msgr. William CLUSE, at that time rector of St. Boniface’s church, Germantown, Ill. It is a brick building of 500 seating capacity and the cost of its erection was approximately $25,000.00. Rev. Joseph SPAETH was appointed first pastor of the new congregation and on January 19, 1885, the first mass was said in the new church... Father BARTELS donated the site where the present church and other buildings were built and also donated the cemetery where he found his resting place. The village of Bartelso is named after him. The original name of the congregation was Santa Fe [Spanish: Holy Faith].
This was originally a German-language parish.
A Saint Cecilia church pastor, Fr. Bernard Kunkel, here founded the Purity Crusade of Mary Immaculate on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, December 8th, 1944, and continued it until his death in May, 1969.
Virtuous young ladies should understand that dressing modestly does not mean that they cannot appear attractive. However, the attractiveness of their attire should be a modest reflection of the beauty deep within their soul rather than an improper exposure of sensual beauty that has an attraction that is only skin deep.Three years before his death, Fr. Kunkel realized that the earthly battle for purity was lost; subsequently, immodesty became the cultural norm, continuing to our present day.
I have a feeling when I fade out of the picture that will be the end of the Crusade. I cannot find anyone to help who will carry out my principles, as I would like them carried out... Of course we cannot worry too much about these material things; I will do what I can while I am able and after that, if it should continue, it will be in Our Blessed Mother's hands.
Sanctuary decorated for Advent.
Tabernacle, located in the elaborate old high altar.
Altar of Saint Joseph.
The baptismal font.
11th Station of the Cross: Jesus is nailed to the cross.
Stained glass window, showing Apostles Saint James the Greater and Saint Andrew.