Saint Peter Church
Saint Peter Church is a Roman Catholic Church located in the northern part of the Archdiocese of Chicago near the intersections of Routes 12 and 120. It offers the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in both the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms. The Ordinary Form of the Mass is offered in both English and Spanish. The Extraordinary Form of the Mass, referred to as the Tridentine Latin Mass, according to the Missale Romanum of 1962, is offered daily. The parish is currently staffed by the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius
St. Peter’s was originally founded by German immigrants but now boasts a very diverse ethnic base. It is presently a vibrant, fast-growing family parish that is rooted in the rich traditions of our Catholic faith. Its catechetical and spiritual formation program for young people are particularly important aspects of the parish.
The History of St. Peter Church
Once known as Forksville, Volo is located approximately five miles from Fox Lake, Round Lake, Johnsburg, McHenry and Wauconda. In 1868, the dairy farmers in Volo banded together and erected a small wooden structure. This building was swept away by fire as the parishioners prepared for the day of dedication and for the first Mass. The hearty German pioneers built a second frame church. St. Peter’s was only a mission Church looked after by various pastors of nearby Churches and continued so until 1904. In August, 1904, Archbishop James E. Quigley named Father Joseph Rempe as the first resident pastor of St. Peter’s. The present rectory was completed in 1904.
Father George L. Schark began his long pastorate at Volo in April 1916. He recalled that Archbishop Mundelein had told him: “Father, Volo needs a new church. Go and see what you can do.” It was nearly 10 years before Father Schark could carry out the order. At first, construction was delayed because the outbreak of WWI had driven up the price of building materials. A history of St. Peter Parish written in 1920 contained the information that the opportunity to celebrate the golden jubilee of St. Peter’s was passed in quiet on June 29, 1919, for very good reasons. The old spirit of the parishioners reasserted itself, in the resolution not to celebrate until the completion of a grand new church, a modern new school building, and a new sisters’ dwelling, all to cost in the neighborhood of $60,000. The old buildings were sold to Edward Lusk who moved them from the parish property.
Father Schark recalled that men from the parish hauled more than a million bricks, a few thousand loads of gravel, several car loads of cement, and several cars of lumber from the siding of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul railroad to the church site – a distance of 5 miles. The 1926 financial report of St. Peter’s contained the information that the parish also undertook to save the money for excavating and the men of the parish, with their teams and shovels, made the ground ready for their new church and new school.
The cornerstone was laid on October 24, 1925. By then construction was well underway on a combination school-convent. Mass was celebrated in the new Gothic church for the first time on June 20, 1926, the opening day of the XXVIII International Eucharistic Congress. According to the parish’s 1926 financial report, the cost of constructing the church and school was nearly $100,000. This was an enormous undertaking in any parish in the Chicago Archdiocese, but especially so because St. Peter Parish numbered 44 families. On July 3, 1927, Auxiliary Bishop Edward Hoban dedicated St. Peter Church and the school-convent building.
For decades, St. Peter Parish remained a small community of dairy farmers. In 1980 the family count was still 45 families. Today we have over 350 families.
The Church Buildings
The first church was built in 1868, 147 years ago. The present church is about 89 years old. This is the third church building at St. Peter. The present school is about 89 years old. This is the second school building at St. Peter. St. Therese House is about 103 years old, St. Joseph House is about 50 years old, a gift from Henry Diedrich. The present St. Mary House is the current rectory.
Pastors of Saint Peter Parish
|St. John of Johnsburg|
|1868 – 1883||15 years||Father Hubert Fegers|
|1883 – 1884||1 year||Father Otto Groenebaum|
|1884 – 1889||5 years||Father Henry Mehring|
|St. Mary of Freemont|
|1889 – 1901||12 years||Father Joseph Rohde|
|1901 – 1904||3 years||Father George Thiele|
|Ten (13) Resident Pastors (111 years)|
|1904 – 1911||7 years||Father Joseph Rempe|
|1911 – 1913||2 years||Father Arthur A. Riss|
|1913 – 1916||3 years||Father Francis J. Epstein|
|1916 – 1959||43 years||Father George L. Schark|
|1959 – 1973||14 years||Father Edmund L. Slingerland|
|1973 – 1983||10 years||Father Charles Heaney|
|1983 – 1994||11 years||Father James Lyons|
|1994 – 1998||4 years||Father James P. Doyle|
|1999 – 2007||9 years||Father Donald Dietz, OMI|
|2007 – 2010||3 years||Father Dennis Kolinski, SJC|
|2010 – 2011||10 months||Father Eduardo Garcia|
|2011 – 2015||4 years||Father James Isaacson, SJC|
|2015 – 2020||5 years||Father Anthony Rice, SJC|
|2020 – Present||Father Nathan Caswell, SJC|
|Six (6) Groups of School Teachers (68 years)|
|1892 – 1910||18 years||Sisters of St. Francis, St. Francis WI|
|1910 – 1915||5 years||Lay Teachers|
|1915 – 1927||12 years||Sisters of St. Francis, Milwaukee, WI|
|1927 – 1951||24 years||Sisters of the Divine Savior, Milwaukee, WI|
|1951 – 1952||1 year||Fr. Schark & housekeeper Louise Bloom|
|1952 – 1960||8 years||Sisters of St. Casimir, Chicago, IL|