Immaculate Conception Parish, New Madrid, MO

Immaculate Conception Church, New Madrid, MO. (Photos by G. Eckl)

Immaculate Conception Church
607 Davis St., New Madrid, MO 

Phone: (573) 748-5183

Mailing Address: PO Box 65, New Madrid, MO 63869-0065

Parochial Administrator: Reverend Suresh Samala, [email protected]
Deacon: Deacon James D. Darter
Administrative Assistant: Christy Jones
RCIA Director: Kevin Carlisle
DRE: Tammy Bennett
Email: [email protected]  Website:
Also attends to Sacred Heart Church, Caruthersville, MO

Immaculate Conception Catholic School
560 Powell St, New Madrid, MO 63869-1718
Principal: Allison Fowler, [email protected]
Phone: (573) 748-5123, Fax: (573) 748-5150



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.

Parish related

For current parish Mass times and other activities and events click HERE. Or, call the parish office.

GPS coordinates: N36° 35.244’, W089° 31.734’ (click here for map)

Immaculate Conception School
560 Powell St, New Madrid, MO 63869-1718

Principal: Allison Fowler, [email protected]

Phone: (573) 748-5123, Fax: (573) 748-5150

Attends to: Sacred Heart Church, Caruthersville, MO