Last year this parish celebrated its 150th anniversary.
The moon appears on the right of this limestone church. Stone for this church was quarried from nearby Shoal Creek. These photos were taken on the eve of the first Sunday in Advent, November 28th, 2009.
IN HONOREM ST DOMINICI A. D. 1867
The church was completed in December of 1869, and was designed by Otto Koenig, whose firm Koenig and Brothers also designed the first synagogue west of the Mississippi (now destroyed), in downtown Saint Louis for the B'Nai El congregation.
As Mass was scheduled soon after I arrived, I was unable to take many photos here, which is a pity, for it is such a beautiful church.
According to a history of Breese:
Surrounded by high prairie grass and wild animals, the first settlers of Breese arrived by way of the Goshen Road, which passes through the north part of the township. The first two land entries were those of George Green and Joseph Johnson during the year 1816 . Other settlers soon arrived and developed toll bridges across the Shoal Creek waterway. A store and post office was developed at the Toll Bridge on Old State Road in the year 1822.
German farmers began to settle in the area around 1835. The prairie land settlers battled malarial diseases which thrived in the poorly drained flatlands. The worried farmers built crosses on their properties in the hopes of protecting their families from disease. Some of these crosses still stand today.
Growth was slow for Breese until the completion of the Mississippi and Ohio Railroad in 1855. The railroad brought new settlers and business for the area now that travelers no longer had to battle the enormous prairie land grasses which slowed travel. The town was laid out into twenty four blocks in February of 1855. The Shoal Creek Post Office was moved into the Robert Donne home, which was the first house built in the township.Click here for a history of the church.
S. Isidore Ora pro nobis
S. Zita Ora pro nobis
SUMMO CHRISTO DECUS
The church's patron is Saint Dominic, Santo Domingo de Guzmán Garcés (1170-1221), founder of the Order of Preachers, also known as the Dominicans.
Dominic was accompanying a diplomatic delegation from the King of Castile, who were traveling to Denmark to secure a bride for the Crown Prince. Along the way, they found Cathar heretics; as these were cultured, educated men, Dominic realized that combating this heresy would require an equally high-calibre of preachers. He later lived among the heretics, winning souls with austerity, holiness of life, and intellectual rigor.
From Saint Dominic and his order of friars we get the devotion of the Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Our Lady of Fatima.
Looking up to the church's impressive towers
Across from the front door of the church is a small park maintained by the Breese Historical Society. This side of the pyramidal monument depicts three churches in Breese; other sides depict the history, industry, and coal mining in this town.
Click here for photos of other churches in Clinton County.
493 North 2nd Street
Breese, Illinois 62230