St. Joseph Mission Church, White Church, MO, Founded 1886
General parish info
Pastor: Fr. Sherman B. Wall, OMI
Deacon: Deacon Alan G. Bandy
CRE: Belinda Eldringhoff
Phone: (417) 469-2447
Mailing address: Sacred Heart Church, 1050 W Business Hwy 60-63, Willow Springs, MO 65793-9224
Weekend Mass times
Daily Mass Times
Catholic German families in Starkenburg and Rhineland, MO, left in 1872 to begin new homesteads out West. During their journey in covered wagons, sickness broke out. Having completed almost 200 miles of the trip, the pioneers decided to stay where they were in the community of Peace Valley, also known as White Church. The latter name came about because of a white Methodist church considered a landmark on the wagon trail blazed by early settlers and merchants who traveled the trail from Rolla to West Plains.
In 1895 Fr. John Waelterman was assigned as the first resident pastor. The tiny Catholic community grew. Eventually a parochial boarding school was built, staffed by Ursuline nuns. Students came from Willow Springs, Mountain View, Cabool, Thayer, Dallas, Texas, and Corsicana, TX. The school closed in 1907, but was rebuilt and reopened, staffed by Daughters of Charity in 1937. As the population shifted to Mountain View and West Plains, the school closed in 1956.
A mission center and the “Mother Church” for many of the parishes in the south central area of the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau, St. Joseph Mission Church stands as a proud reminder of the presence and growth of the Catholic community.
Bauer, Fr. Sylvester W. (Pastor then administrator), June 22, 1953 – Apr. 18, 1955; Administrator, Apr. 19, 1955 – Apr. 22, 1960
Eschbacher, Fr. Jerome J. (Priest in charge, in residence), Apr. 23, 1960 – Oct. 16, 1962
Westrich, Fr. Donald J. (Priest in charge), Oct. 17, 1962 – May 29, 1964
Rehagen, Fr. Harold W. (Priest in charge), June 9, 1964 – June 14, 1965
Cernauskas, Fr. Daniel (Administrator), June 12, 1965 – Summer, 1965
Landewe, Fr. Robert A., Aug. 17, 1966 – Aug. 13, 1970
Rehagen, Fr. Harold W. (Administrator), Aug. 14, 1970 – June 30, 1974
Clavin, Fr. M. Oliver, Aug. 15, 1974 – July 14, 1979
Reynolds, Fr. James L., July 15, 1979 – Aug. 31, 1980
Wall, Fr. Sherman B., OMI, Aug 12, 1985 –
Above is compiled from diocesan archives.
“D” designates information compiled from The Catholic Directory or Year Book.