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Cover200.jpgClick the image to read our 125 year parish history!

Parish History:
Roman Catholic Heritage in Coal City

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church had its beginning dated back to the coal mining days of our city in 1889. The immigrants that settled Coal City brought with them their hopes and dreams but more important their Faith. So it was soon reported in the Morris Herald in 1888, that "the Catholics of Coal City are taking immediate steps toward erection of a church." (Note: The bricks for the church were mostly of Italian descent and so Father DeParadis, an Italian himself, became the first pastor of our church in February of 1889. As can be expected with the passage of time, our Parish has become richly diverse in the Body of Christ as people of one faith.)

Our Church was dedicated on the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, August 15, 1892; and since that time has continued to bring to faith, hope, compassion and the Love of Jesus to both parishioners and non-parishioners throughout the Coal City area. From the beginning, our Parish has been blessed with many good and holy priests who served well both God and fellow man.

As a parish, we have always shared our blessings in good times and bad with each other and our community. For example, during WWI our Parish was blessed with Father James A. Griffin. He served not only our parishioners but the people at large in Coal City. He was on the war review board, he wrote letters and acted on behalf of miners (who could not read or write) whose sons were missing in action in France. He also was the chairman of Coal City War Savings Club, chairman of the financial committee of the Red Cross, and director of the drives for membership and funds for the national organization. He was the first to open a school for the Americanization of foreign-born persons living in Grundy County. During the flu epidemic, when the high school was used for a hospital, very often the only "doctor" many people saw was Father Griffin. As a final feather in his cap the dear pastor built the school.

Of course as good as he was we could not keep him to ourselves. He was pastor here from 1917 to 1921; sometime after that, his holiness earned him an honor of Bishop of Springfield in 1924. Fortunately for our Parish, through the years we have kept the same goodness exemplified by Father Griffin. Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary parish today still offers meals to the less fortunate through St. Vincent's Table and we lend a helping hand to those who are struggling through Our Lady of Mercy fund. We participate in Coal City Food Pantry and each Christmas lend our facilities to gathering, sorting, and distributing food and goods needed by the poor throughout our area. We are ready at every moment to help mothers in distress and look for ways to assist and comfort those suffering from disasters.

Spiritual formation is an important part of every parish, so in our Chapel, Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is available 24/7. We encourage parishioners and friends to come for prayer in the Sacramental Presence of the Lord. As with most parishes, our church provides for the faith, service, and social formation from childhood to senior years. We offer an early childhood program for children ages 3 to 6 called "Footsteps" and from 1st through 8th grade we offer Religious Education. Our youth group (Teens "4" Christ) keeps the teens growing for Christ. Assumption also offers Rosary groups, service groups, like the Martha's, and a variety of other ministries within our Parish.

Father Robert Noesen was named pastor in June 2009. Previously, he served as associate Pastor at Holy Trinity Parish in Westmont and was the Parochial Vicar there since 1991. In these few years since his arrival, our parish is growing and thriving spiritually under his direction.

We invite everyone to come and experience apostolic faith and all its works, alive and well here at the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church, where the faith of the people has remained strong and carried them through the years since 1889.

For our 125th Anniversary in 2014 we have compiled a complete history of Coal City and our parish.  You may view it by clicking here.