Immaculate Conception Parish, Springfield, MO, Founded 1868
General parish info
Pastor: Fr. Thomas Kiefer
Associate Pastor: Fr. Charles “Chaz” Dunn
Secretary: Becky Wieberg
Finance Manager & RCIA Director: Tina Miller
Director of Family Life Ministries and Religious Education: Sharon Wiedelman
LifeTeen: Dan & Mindy Pfaff
PSR Coordinator: Doris Trotter
Bulletin Secretary & Data Coordinator: Mary Ann Davis
Principal, Immaculate Conception School: Theresa Colman (see Parish Related tab)
Assistant Principal, Immaculate Conception School: Jenny Pendleton (see Parish Related tab)
Phone: (417) 887-0600 — Fax: (417) 887-0027
Mailing address: 3555 S Fremont Ave., Springfield, MO 65804-4237
Weekend Mass times
7 a.m. & 9 a.m.
11 a.m. Life Teen Mass 2nd & 4th Sundays
4 p.m. Vigil
Daily Mass Times
6:20 a.m. & 8:30 a.m.
(Thursday– 6:20 a.m. is Communion Service)
Monday – Friday
8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Immaculate Conception Church was the first Catholic parish in the city of Springfield, established at the request of Archbishop Kenrick after Fr. Francis Graham investigated the area. On Jan. 22, 1868, Fr. Graham was appointed pastor and was also placed in charge of the Catholic Church in Southwest Missouri. Beginning in 1870, Sisters of Mercy of St. Louis staffed Immaculate Conception School. With decreasing enrollment, the school closed.
In 1873, Fr. Thoedore Kussman purchased land for a larger church building. Additionally, he opened an academy with the assistance of the School Sisters of Loretto. The school was open from September of 1878 to the summer of 1919.
Under the direction of the next pastor, Fr. Louis Porta, the gothic church was completed. When Fr. Porta died, Fr. Marcus Eckstein, a Benedictine priest from Conception Abbey, was sent as pastor for the growing German Catholic community in the parish. After 14 months, he established St. Joseph parish for the German-speaking Catholics. Fr. John Lilly was appointed pastor of Immaculate Conception.
During WWI Immaculate Conception was served by Fr. William Brophy. His successor, Fr. Dennis O’Driscoll, arrived as pastor in 1923. Fr. O’Driscoll kept the church in financial order during the depression years. In 1941 a new pastor was assigned to the church, Fr. Michael Baumgarten.
Fr. Baumgarten was a leader in the community as well as in the parish. He was a chaplain at O’Reilly Veterans Hospital and also ministered to the African-American community. Recognizing the need to replace the oldest church building in Springfield, he oversaw the demolition of the existing building and made plans for a new structure.
In 1957 Fr. Joseph Brophy was appointed pastor and built the new church. Fr. Brophy raised additional funds for a new school and rectory. In 1968, Fr. John Rynish was appointed pastor. Land was purchased and plans laid for new church buildings.
In 1977, Fr. Phil Bucher was appointed pastor and completed the building project. Succeeding pastors Fr. Stephen Schneider and Fr. Lewis Hejna fostered the growth of the parish community, which now numbers more than 1,400 families.
A more comprehensive history of Immaculate Conception, Springfield, MO can be found here.
Brophy, Fr. Joseph W., Apr. 22, 1957 – June 14, 1965
Rynish, Msgr. John J., June 15, 1965 – July 31, 1977
Bucher, Msgr. Philip A., Aug. 1, 1977 – Aug. 18, 1991
Schneider, Fr. Stephen A., Aug. 19, 1991 – Aug. 16, 2001
Hejna, Fr. Lewis E., Aug. 17, 2001 – Jun 30, 2014
Kiefer, Fr. Thomas, Jul 1, 2014 –
Above is compiled from diocesan archives.
“D” designates information compiled from The Catholic Directory or Year Book.
GPS coordinates: N37° 08.912’, W093° 16.340’ (click here for map)
Immaculate Conception School
3555A S Fremont Ave., Springfield, MO 65804-4237
Phone: (417) 881-7000 — Fax: (417) 881-7087
Web site: www.scspk12.org