Pastor: Rev. Benjamin E. Nwosu
Deacon: Larry W. Mitchell
About St. Mary Catholic Church
Many of the 185 plus households who make up the present St. Mary’s congregation trace their ancestry to the English Catholics of Maryland who migrated westward to settle claims in Monroe and Shelby Counties. The first priest to visit the new town of Shelbina was Rev. Fr. John J. Hogan, the famed Irish pioneer missionary priest of western Missouri, who would stop there on his way to Macon and Chillicothe.
In 1878, Fr. James O’Reilly, a young priest, was made pastor, and plans were made for a church building. The church was named St. Mary’s in honor of the Mother of Christ. When Fr. Edmund Casey was pastor, (1884-1889), a rectory was purchased and five acres of land in the southeast part of the city was acquired for a cemetery.
By 1923, the congregation had outgrown its first home and a new church was planned, built and dedicated on October 13, 1924. In 1969, a large church hall was built on property east of the church and named the Father Buhman Center, in honor of the pastor, Fr. Leo T. Buhman, who worked to see it completed. The hall was enlarged during the pastorate of Fr. Chris Cordes.