On March 25, 1868, the Feast of the Annunciation of the Lord, a group of German immigrants broke ground for St. Mary of the Annunciation. The parish site was purchased for $650 and the church was built on the corner lot at Sprigg and William Streets. The cornerstone was laid on August 2, 1868 and the first Mass at St. Mary's was celebrated on February 2, 1869.
No history of St. Mary's is complete without mentioning the Reverend Eberhardt Pruente, who served as pastor for more than 50 years. During his tenure, a rectory was constructed (1885), the familiar bells of St. Mary's were installed, the church was redecorated and heat was added (1891), land for St. Mary's Cemetery was purchased (1903), a new convent was built (1905), a new brick grade school (the main part of the present building) was constructed (1912), and St. Mary's High School was founded (1925).
A gymnasium, parish hall, and kindergarten were added to the grade school and facilities of the parish in 1978. The church has been redecorated and remodeled with major renovations in 1954, 1968, and 1985. The stained glass windows depicting "The Magnificat" were added in 1954. In 1984, the steeple of the church was restored to its original height and the people of St. Mary's purchased a new organ in 1990-91.
Recent additions were the purchase of property on the corner of Frederick and William Street in 1996-97 (location of the current school playground), a new parish office building was completed in January 2000, and improvements were made to the interior of the school office, classrooms, library, and the gym in 2004 and 2006.
In 2010 a new school building was added with major renovations and additions completed including heating and air conditioning systems, handicap accessibility, library increased, and the computer lab enhanced.
in 2014 our Cathedral was renovated with the addition of two beautiful murals: "The Annunciation" by Esteban Murillo and "The Heavenly and Earthly Trinities" also by Murillo. Ceramic tile floor replaced the carpeting in the sanctuary and front nave of the church, new stained glass in the north and south confessionals was replaced, new stained glass added to the front doors, new glass doors inside the entrance.
St. Mary Cathedral History Pictures