Immaculate Conception Parish is the oldest Catholic parish in Jefferson County, Missouri. The present church was built in 1895; its Gothic spire has been a landmark in Jefferson county for more than a century.
The parish was founded in 1840 by fourteen families who had emigrated from southern Germany and Alsace-Lorraine. Bishop Joseph Rosati sent Fr. J.P. Fischer, an assistant to the Cathedral of Saint Louis, to serve these immigrants. Fr. Fischer purchased 160 acres of land for the parish in 1839, celebrated the first Mass in 1840 and directed the building of the first church, a log building, in 1842. A stone church was built in 1851, and the present church in 1895. The church was redecorated in 1995; the church and its new altar were solemnly dedicated (consecrated) on October 13th of that year, one hundred years to the day from its original dedication as a church. The parish was served by diocesan priests from its foundation until 1991 when the Capuchin Franciscans assumed administration for the next ten years. In June 2001, the Archbishop of St. Louis again appointed a pastor from the archdiocesan clergy.
The parish school was begun by a group of parishioners in 1857 with the rectory serving as the school building. A log school was built in 1860 and a stone school in 1871. Franciscan Sisters, who later founded St. Anthony’s Hospital, taught in the school from 1883 until 1889. Ursuline Sisters arrived in 1893 and remained until 1993. A brick school building was built in 1922. The present school building was dedicated in 1957 and an addition was added in 1984. In 1988 the school combined with St. David’s parish school to form Holy Child School. The parish school is probably the oldest parochial school in the Archdiocese of St. Louis. In 2007, St. John Parish of Imperial joined Holy Child School, and all grades are taught at the Immaculate Conception campus, 2316 Church Road.
In early 1996, the I.C. Tomorrow Capital Campaign was introduced to request financial support of a new parish center. The groundbreaking ceremony for the parish center was held on August 2, 1998. A dream came true on April 9, 2000, as the new parish center building was officially opened and dedicated To Mary Immaculate.
In August 2004, Holy Child Pre-School was opened in the renovated convent, which was dedicated on November 17th, 2004.
In 2011, it became necessary to accommodate the growing enrollment of Holy Child Pre-School. The pre-school moved to the St. David facilities in order to support this thriving program. The pre-school will return to the Immaculate Conception campus in 2014 and will occupy the primary building. Also, St. David and Immaculate Conception parishes formed the Jefferson County Youth Ministry (JCYM). This youth ministry serves our young people, sixth grade through high school, and uses the former pre-school building as a Youth Center.