Our History

February 18, 1900: St. John the Baptist Church in Johnsburg burned. Thirty German Catholic farm families in Spring Grove thought it was time to have their own parish. Chicago Archbishop Feehan gave them permission to start a new parish if they could find a priest to take on the task. St. Peter’s Church of Spring Grove was born. Reverend Clement Duerr delayed his retirement to lead the new parish. A white wood frame church with stained glass windows and a German wood carved altar was dedicated on Candlemas Day, 1901.

First baptism: Christina Freund was baptized on February 4, 1901.

First marriage: Anthony Gaides married Frances Kinne on July 17, 1901.

First burial in parish cemetery: Raymond Hoff, an infant, was buried on May 5, 1901. These parish records are written in German.

  • 1902: Rectory was finished.
  • 1905: A brick addition was added to the back of the church for a school. Lay teachers taught the children for the first ten years.
  • 1906: On Tuesday, Oct. 17 Archbishop Quigley of Chicago arrived by train to celebrate Confirmation and inspect the new parish. A confirmation class of 50 and the rest of the community including flag bearers and marching band greeted the Archbishop at the train station located on Blivin Street and escorted him to the church.
  • 1908: Spring Grove and St. Peter Church becomes a part of the new Diocese of Rockford under the leadership of Bishop Muldoon.
  • 1910: Father Duerr retired and Reverend William Dommermuth became pastor.
  • 1915: Convent was finished and School Sisters of St. Francis of Milwaukee started to teach at the school.
  • 1919: The parish Christian Mothers Society was established.
  • 1926: Reverend Anthony Schunicht became pastor. During this time the church purchased the house just west of the church owned by Father Duerr and this house became the rectory.
  • 1929: Reverend Ambrose Weitekamp became pastor.
  • 1932: Reverend Charles Meehan became pastor.
  • 1933: Reverend John Daleiden became pastor and led parish through the Great Depression and World War II.
  • 1942: Annual report asked for prayers for safety of those in military: Arnold May, Merlyn Engels, Leo Lay, Robert Kilbride, George Waspi, Martin May, Clarence Karls, Edward Klein, Stanley Kattner, James Flanningan, Lawrence Gantner, Alfonso Gantner, Arthur Nimsgern and Lawrence Nimsgern. Margaret Zugg of Chicago, niece of Father Duerr, donated 10 acres of land north of the church for a school playground and baseball field. During the 40’s and 50’s. local baseball teams were very popular. Spring Grove had a team that competed with teams from Richmond, Johnsburg, McHenry and other surrounding towns. The field boasted having bleachers and lights!
  • 1947: Marilyn May, daughter of George and Mary May, was the first vocation from St. Peter’s Church of Spring Grove. She entered the order of the School Sisters of St. Francis.
  • April 1, 1948: ground was broken for an enlarged church and new school. Ben May moved the old school building to 1904 North Street to make room for the new building.
  • 1949: The Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception joined the parish to teach in the new school.
  • 1950: Eugene Jung was ordained as a member of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart.
  • 1952: Shrine to Our Lady of Fatima, which still attracts many people, was dedicated.
  • 1956: Newly ordained Reverend Andrew Plesa was assigned as our first associate pastor.
  • 1958: Reverend Alfred Kruk is assigned as associate pastor.
  • 1959: Reverend Lawrence London is assigned as associate pastor.
  • 1960: Father Daleiden is transferred and Reverend Edward Lehman was installed as pastor
    and Reverend Thomas Monahan is assigned as associate pastor.
  • 1962: Reverend Robert Hoffman is assigned as associate pastor.
  • 1963: Reverend William Meyers is assigned as associate pastor.
  • 1964: Mary Kay Amore, daughter of Robert and Mary Amore, took final vows as a Missionary Sister of the Immaculate Conception.
  • 1965: Father Lehman was transferred and Reverend John Kilduff was installed as pastor.
  • 1966: Father Meyers is transferred and the diocese no longer had enough priests to provide
    associates. Reverend Eugene Lutz of Pistakee Bay served the parish on weekends for several years. After he was no longer able to help parishioners, the priests of the LaSalette Shrine, in Twin Lakes, assisted the parish until 2005.
  • 1967: Michael Tierney, of the parish, was ordained.
  • 1967: Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception were no longer able to run our parish school. Unfortunately, it was closed in December after the parents were unable to keep it open with lay teachers. The CCD program for religious education was established.
  • 1971: Brother Gale Tinney, OGM, of the parish, professed solemn vows.
  • 1975: David Kagan, son of Dr. and Mrs. Kagan, was ordained to the priesthood.
  • 1982: Parish Council was established.
  • 1984: First Eucharistic ministers were appointed.
  • 1985: After extensive renovations, the church was rededicated by Bishop Arthur O’Neill
    on October 15, 1985.
  • 1988: Father Kilduff retires and Reverend Andrew Plesa returns to St. Peter’s as pastor.
  • 1990–2000: St. Vincent de Paul Society and Knights of Columbus are started. Church hall is
    renovated and air conditioning is added. Old convent is converted to office and meeting spaces. Landscaping was done, trees planted and St. Peter’s rock was placed in the enlarged parking lot. Church cemetery was doubled in size; angel statue and columbarium were added.
  • 1997: Under the leadership of Aimee Thomas and Diane Barycki, St. Peter Preschool is started.
  • 2000: A yearlong celebration of the parish’s centennial included balls, dances, a trip to Rome,
    concerts and an outdoor Mass with Bishop Doran and native priests, nuns and LaSalette priests in June. Following the Mass, Bishop Doran consecrated the new cemetery area and blessed the
    centennial time capsule.
  • 2001: Father Plesa retired and Reverend Steven St. Jules is appointed pastor.
  • 2003: Father Steven St. Jules is transferred and Reverend Steven Lange is appointed parochial administrator.
  • 2004: Father Steven Lange is appointed pastor.
  • 2009: Father Lange is transferred and Monsignor Joseph F. Jarmoluk is welcomed as our new pastor on July 1, 2009 - Present.