Monday, April 11, 2011

Photos of Saint Elizabeth Church, in Marine, Illinois

HERE ARE PHOTOS of Saint Elizabeth Church, in the village of Marine, Illinois. Located about 30 highway miles northeast of downtown Saint Louis, the church is in Madison County and is a part of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois.

Saint Elizabeth Roman Catholic Church, in Marine, Illinois, USA - exterior

Fifteen Catholic families organized in 1856 to start a new parish; with $1500 they started building a church, and the first Mass was held on Easter Monday, 1859, by Fr. Paul Limacher, Rector of Saint Paul Church in nearby Highland, Illinois.

The original church was small and quickly became dilapidated. The present church is 80 feet long, 38 feet wide, with walls 25 feet high. The tower is 110 feet high with three bells; it was completed at a cost of $10,000, and dedicated on Saint Elizabeth of Hungary's feast day in 1883. The first Mass was celebrated by Pastor Henry Eggenstein, who served the parish from 1877-1914.

The stained glass windows were installed by the next pastor, the Rev. Antoine Wieneke. In the 1990s, a catechetical center was constructed adjacent to the church.

Many thanks to Fr. who showed me a history of this parish.

Saint Elizabeth Roman Catholic Church, in Marine, Illinois, USA - nave

There are approximately 350 registered Catholics in the parish.

Saint Elizabeth Roman Catholic Church, in Marine, Illinois, USA - altar

The Sacred Heart and Divine Mercy are shown here on the altar, flanked by Saint Elizabeth of Hungary and Saint Catherine of Alexandria.

Saint Elizabeth Roman Catholic Church, in Marine, Illinois, USA - stained glass window of Saint Martin

Stained glass window, showing Saint Martin of Tours. A Roman soldier, Martin is shown here cutting his cape to give to a beggar.

Saint Elizabeth Roman Catholic Church, in Marine, Illinois, USA - cornerstone

The cornerstone. 1883.

120 North Windmill Street
Marine, Illinois 62061


  1. Is the lighting really good in that church or how did you get such phenomenal photographs of the church? I always have trouble getting my settings right on my camera to get them looking that sharp.

    Beautiful church though! Reminds me of the church in my mom's hometown.

  2. I use a Nikon DSLR camera with good optics which generally produces sharp images.

    I used a tripod and low ISO with these interior shots which helps a lot.

    Shrinking images will make them softer. I use good algorithms for downsizing, and then artificially add sharpening afterwards to restore visual crispness.

    Also, for the interior shots, I blended together multiple exposures so that I was able to get good highlight and shadow detail. I adjust the white balance of the images and adjust brightness and contrast so that the church appears to be brightly illuminated by white light.

  3. The high altar looks very similar to the altar at St. John the Baptist in Smithton, IL, perhaps even an exact duplicate. I wonder if these came from the same artisan or workshop.

  4. Thank you for posting. Just by chance, I Googled this church and found your blog/pics. My ancestors were either involved in founding this church or they moved to Marine very soon after it originated in the late 1850's. (Haven't quite been able to determine which it is) Many of them are buried in the parish cemetery. It is a beautiful church. I visited last year for their chicken dinner feast and found Marine to be a wonderful village.

  5. Thank you for posting these pictures. This church has been the center of my husband's family's life for generations. There once were beautiful murals painted by the renowned (first generation) Max Autinrieb, an artist who was well known in the St. Louis area. Unfortunately, that type of art work is becoming almost impossible to maintain in churches these days. Still, this parish remains an example of a well cared for property typical of many German Catholic towns throughout the midwest.

  6. Beautiful pictures!! Beautiful church!! me n my boyfriend of 8 Years just moved to marine, il & are getting married in March. So we are currently looking for beautiful churches. :) If you know of other beautiful kind of country setting churches please email me at