Parish Vision Statement
Our parish is to be a vibrant community that is “magnetic” and is a hub for Catholics of the area with active connected participants. There will be outreach to those in need, both physically & spiritually. We will actively seek out individuals to join the parish and welcome the inactive back to our Church community. We will be a community that grows, is self-sufficient and takes care of each other.
Saint Stephen Parish has brought the presence of the Catholic Church to the village of Caseyville and surrounding area for 118 years. The first celebration of the Eucharist to take place in the frame church was on December 26, 1893, the feast of St. Stephen.
During the years 1893 to 1942, the parish was under the care of the pastor and assistant pastor of St. Philip Church in French Village (now East St. Louis). Saint Stephen was formally made a mission of St. Philip in 1905. By the late 1920’s Caseyville experienced growth which impacted the church. By the late 1940’s, Fr. John Grote, was appointed as the first pastor. He was assigned the responsibility of building a school for the parish by Bishop Albert Zuroweste. The ground was broken on Easter Sunday 1951 and the school opened August 31, 1952, staffed by the School Sisters of Notre Dame of St. Louis, MO. For the first few years, the sisters lived in part of the upper level of the school until a convent was purchased next door.
The parish has seen much growth, several pastors, a return to just one priest serving the parish and a changing church at large with much more lay involvement in parish ministry. Voigt Hall, the Delaney Annex, and gym are used for parish activities, catechesis and meetings. Each pastor since his leadership of the parish has followed his example worked to help the parishioners appreciate and fully participate in the Liturgy of the Church as reformed by Vatican II so that the parish has become known for its attempt to strive for excellence in the liturgy. Committees to assist the poor of the area, pastoral and finance councils, various lay ministries, Bingo and Fall Festival have been a continual part of parish life.
The parish of St. Stephen continues a self-evaluation and “visioning” for the future as new challenges face it in the 21st Century, including a shifting population base, different cultures moving into its boundaries and the rediscovered responsibility of lay ministry as the obligation of all the baptized. With gratitude that God has brought this community through challenges since its beginning in the 19th century, the people of St. Stephen continue to make present the compassion of Christ in the 21st, carrying on His mission in the Caseyville, Collinsville and Fairview Heights territory assigned to its care.