Immaculate Conception Parish, New Madrid, MO, Founded 1789
General parish info
Pastor: Fr. Jaroslaw Skrzypek, JCL
Deacon: Deacon James D. Darter
Secretary: Gail Shy
RCIA Director: Harry Gremore
DRE: Cathy Gremore
Principal Immaculate Conception School: Lynette Fowler (see ‘Parish related’ tab)
Phone: (573) 748-5183, Fax: (573) 748-7718
Mailing address: Immaculate Conception Church, 607 Davis St., New Madrid, MO 63869-1705
Weekend Mass times
5 p.m. Vigil Mass
Daily Mass Times
8:15 a.m. School Mass
4 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.
7:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., First Friday of each month
7 a.m., First Friday Mass
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday
8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
7 a.m. – 1 p.m.
The oldest parish in the diocese has experienced three patron saints and five church buildings. Two were lost to earthquakes, one to flooding and one to fire.
Fr. Pierre Gibault, the “patriot priest of the west,” was the first resident priest in New Madrid, arriving in 1789. The first church, built in 1799, was dedicated to St. Isidore, patron of farmers and of Madrid, Spain. In 1811, from December of that year until February of 1812, the great earthquake changed the course of the Mississippi River. All the parish buildings were totally destroyed.
With the death of Fr. Gibault in 1804, itinerant missionary priests periodically attended the New Madrid parish. In 1820 Bishop William DuBourg of Louisiana assigned Fr. Francis Cellini to visit three or four times a year.
St. Louis Bishop Joseph Rosati sent two priests to the 60 families in New Madrid in 1832. The Bishop also encouraged the Sisters of Loretto to found a monastery and school. The Sisters served in New Madrid six years and again in 1916 for 60 more years.
In 1837, Fr. Ambrose Heim built a wood church dedicated to St. John the Baptist. When he left in 1841, the parish was served by numerous pastorates of short duration. From 1859 to 1867, it once again had itinerant missionaries. During several important Civil War Battles, the church and its records were destroyed by fire.
In 1867 Fr. Francis McKenna was appointed pastor. In 1869 a new wooden edifice was dedicated under the title of the Immaculate Conception. Brief pastorates followed, including that of Fr. James Connolly who arrived in 1878 and opened a parochial school, which has been maintained ever since.
Fr. James Furlong, appointed pastor in 1889, stayed for 19 years. His successor, Fr. M.J. Taylor, was responsible for building a new brick church in 1911. It served the parish until 1952 when it was condemned and torn down. A new, earthquake resistant church was constructed and dedicated by Bishop Charles Helmsing, first bishop of the Springfield-Cape Girardeau Diocese on Passion Sunday, 1957.
Craig, Fr. Walter G. J., Apr. 12, 1954 – Aug. 18, 1967
Brath, Fr. John A., June 15, 1968 – July 14, 1968
Ellinger, Fr. Wallace, Aug. 19, 1967 – June 17, 1971
Bauer, Fr. Sylvester W., June 18, 1971 – July 31, 1977
Stevens, Fr. Alois J., Aug. 1, 1977 – Aug. 1, 1982
Gregovich, Fr. Lawrence E., Aug. 2, 1982 – Aug. 11, 1985
Hahn, Fr. Quentin V., Aug. 12, 1985 – Sep. 4, 1988
Hulshof, Fr. David F., Sep. 5, 1988 – Dec 29, 1992
Swalina, Msgr. Michael F., STD, Dec. 30, 1992 – Aug. 12, 2003
Tochtrop, Fr. Randolph G., Aug. 13, 2003 – June 30, 2009
Bartolomeo, Fr. Thomas (Tom) (Parochial Administrator), Jul 1, 2009 – Aug 8, 2010
Skrzypek, Fr. Jaroslaw Z., Aug 8, 2010 –
Above is compiled from diocesan archives.
“D” designates information compiled from The Catholic Directory or Year Book.