Looking back and looking ahead, on Dec. 28, 2013 the parish family at St. Stephen in Caseyville celebrated the parish’s 120th anniversary at the 5 p.m. liturgy.
A reception and dinner followed the liturgy with games for young and not so young in the parish hall.
Bob Stephens, a life-long resident of Caseyville talked about the town’s and the parish’s history.
As with any family, the evening concentrated on people sharing a meal, looking after the children who are entrusted with St. Stephen’s future and sharing stories.
At the parish’s 100th anniversary, celebrated in 1993, Msgr. James Margason, diocesan administrator, said: “We remember the past because history and memories are realities we have to take notice of. Mostly, we remember how far God has brought us and how much God has taught us.”
Parishioners at the first church, established as a mission to St. Philip in 1893, welcomed their first resident pastor, Father John Grote, in 1948.
Father Grote led a capital campaign that resulted in the building of the present church.
Presently, Father Ray Schultz serves as pastor of St. Stephen and Holy Trinity in Fairview Heights. Youngsters from St. Stephen are part of the Holy Trinity school family.
In the last few years, St. Stephen has added a liturgy in Spanish every Sunday.