??The Church of St. Mary was incorporated on September 26, 1911 by Archbishop John Ireland of St. Paul. The Parish included Catholics living south of Center Street in New Ulm, plus Cottonwood and Courtland Townships. Because of difficult economic times during World War I, "southsiders" attended their Mother Church, Holy Trinity, until 1923. September 1, 1921, Archbishop Austin Dowling appointed Fr. Anthony Losleben as the first pastor. St. Mary's first church/school (pictured above) and convent were dedicated February 2, 1923. At that time there were 300 households and 1,300 members.(Continued on other side)
??By 1968 there were over 700 households with 2,500 members. The old Washington School nearby was acquired and demolished to build a new church. The first Mass in the new St. Mary's was offered on Palm Sunday, March 27, 1971. In 1999 an administrative addition was blessed by Bishop Raymond Lucker of the Diocese of New Ulm, and a new rectory constructed at 416 South German Street. In late 2004 the former church/school and convent were razed. In 2006 St. Mary's became part of the five-parish Holy Cross Area Faith Community. The current church and sanctuary were remodeled in 2009. Bishop John LeVoir dedicated the new alter on December 27, 2009.
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??St. Mary's Elementary School opened in 1923 with 225 pupils in 8 grades. Enrollment peaked in 1967 at 377. The Sisters of Christian Charity served the school from 1923 to 1987. They wore long, flowing black habits with big white bows under their chins, and had mysterious names such as Sister Secundilla, Expedita, and Euphebia. In 1969 the school joined the Central Catholic School System, and in 1983 became part of the New Ulm Area Catholic Schools. When the school closed in 1999 there were 177 students in grades K to 4 who transferred to the new St. Anthony Elementary School. During its 76 years St. Mary's School educated over 2,400 students.
??Over the course of the last 100 years St. Mary's has celebrated 4,340 Baptisms, 2,798 First Communions, 3,210 Confirmations, 1,515 Marriages, and 1,847 Funerals. In accord with demographic trends in southern Minnesota, the Parish now numbers 1,125 households and 2,500 members.
??Building on its strong history of faith, the Church of St. Mary looks forward with great promise and enthusiasm to carrying the faith into its second century.
The Parish gratefully acknowledges the efforts of George L. Glotzbach in conducting the
historic research and rendering of text for this centennial memorial plaque.
September 26, 2011