Bulletin Article December 14, 2014
Becoming a Mission Church
The Catholic Church of Algonquin became a mission of Cary’s parish, being attended first by Father Lonergan and later by Father Francis A. Kilderry. 26 families made up the parish in 1915, with that number growing to about 30, until October 1929, when the Stock Market crashed and the start of the Great Depression. The community remained the same until the building boom during and just after World War II. The parish was expanded by the creation of such subdivisions as Lake in the Hills, Haeger’s Bend, Riverview, Camp Algonquin, Algonquin Shores, Merril’s Sunnyside, Bonnie Rae, Oak Hills, Buffalo Park, Algonquin Heights, Chewing Addition, and Indian Grove.A possible list of families living in the area at the time includes: Dvorak, Perkny, Lazansky, Suchy, Kvidera, Kanka, Rezak, Stanek, Nixbaur, Krupicka, Strnad, Stasenka, Pokorny, Grossmeyer, Hopp, Piksa, Hezdra, Homola and Jelinek.
Bulletin Article November 16, 2014
A faith community organized
In 1914, the Catholic community of Algonquin continued to grow. Father Joseph M. Lonergan, founder of several parishes, including Saint Peter and Paul of Cary, inquired about property to build the first Catholic Church in Algonquin. He was able to buy the lot along the Fox River on the west side just below the dam by the creek from Mrs. F. J .Kelahan for a nominal price. The lot was in need of fill before it could be built on. It took two hundred loads of gravel and almost a week of work to fill the area. Father Lonergan hired “summer resident” Robert Layer Sr. Architect and Engineer to design the church. On July 11, 1915 a Cornerstone Setting Ceremony was held for the lovely brick Greek Revival edifice designed church. Originally the church was a mission church under the guidance of St. Peter and Paul of Cary, called the “Corpus Christi” church of Algonquin. The ceremony was attended by nearly 3,000 people, mainly summer residents from Chicago, and others from local communities. The church was completed and then dedicated on Thanksgiving Day, November 25, 1915 by Bishop Muldoon as “The Sacred Heart of St. Margaret” Roman Catholic Church. This beautiful church served the community of Algonquin until 1954. Father Joseph M. Lonergan was the first priest, followed by Father Kilderry, also of St. Peter and Paul of Cary.
Bulletin Article October 19, 2014
Saint Margaret Mary parish in Algonquin comprises one of the oldest settlements along the Fox River in McHenry County, the original plot for the village being drawn up in 1836 and adopted in 1844. By that time a large Bohemian settlement had been founded and thus Catholic services first began in 1845. The Bohemians settled along the river in both Cary and Fox River Grove. They established Saint John Nepomucene Church on North River Road, the first Catholic Church erected in our vicinity. By the mid-1880’s, Algonquin, which had started out first as Cornish’s Ferry and then as Osceola, was an established resort area. Its growth was matched by an increase in the number of Catholic families.
Missionaries were the first to provide convenient services for Algonquin area Catholics. In the first part of the 20th century, Father Joseph Molitor, pastor of the first Bohemian parish (Blessed Agnes) in Chicago, regularly visited Algonquin. In 1911, Bishop Peter J. Muldoon provided Algonquin with twice a month services by the appointment of Father P. J. Hogan, a hospital chaplain from Saint Joseph Hospital in Elgin, to that duty. Mass was celebrated by Father Hogan in Kelahan’s Hall, located at 329 Jefferson Street at the corner of Railroad and Jefferson Streets just north of the Northwestern Railway tracks. That building stood until the early 1970’s. (It remained an empty lot until the old Lutheran Parsonage was moved onto the property when Saint John Lutheran built their new activity center.) The Algonquin parish became a mission of Cary’s parish, being attended first by Father Lonergan and later by Father Francis A. Kilderry.