History of St. Francis Xavier Parish


"As a community of Faith of St. Francis Xavier Parish, we see ourselves as followers of Christ with a long tradition of Prayer, Service, and Christian Lifestyle. As a sacramental people, under the leadership of the Holy Father, we are called to be a sign to the broader community of the love of Jesus - growing and sharing Christ's Light with them."

About our Parish Emblem

  • Triangles symbolize the Trinity
  • The white space between the triangles form an "X" for Xavier
  • The 4 triangles form an abstract cross
  • The icons represent Jesus/Christianity, The Precious Blood of Christ, His (our) Mother Mary, and the Holy Eucharist (Body of Christ)
  • The "crown" on the top represents the Kingship of God, and His reign in Heaven/Earth
    The arrow on the bottom represents the gifts which God sent to Earth (Mary/Jesus/Holy Eucharist) to help us to get to Heaven

1885 - Father Joseph Connolly, Pastor of Immaculate Conception Church in New Madrid, came once a month for Mass in the home of Frank Heisler or Mrs. C.H. Harris.

1887 - A small chapel was constructed on the corner of S. Kingshighway and Trotter Street. A tornado destroyed the almost finished building, so homes were again used for Masses with priests from Poplar Bluff and Charleston coming on a monthly basis.

1891 - A small vacant church located on the corner of Front and Stoddard Streets was purchased from the Methodist Congregation.

1892 - The church was dedicated to St. Francis Xavier by Archbishop Kain.

1905 - Father Conrad Brockmeier, the first resident pastor, arrived. A Rectory was built by Frank Heisler.

1921 - St. Francis Xavier School was opened with 3 Sisters of Mercy and 50 students.

1930 - The Smith House was purchased for a school and convent. This is the present day Rectory.

1938 - The present brick church was built.

1951 - A new school and convent were constructed next to the church.

1956 - We became part of newly established Diocese of Springfield - Cape Girardeau. 

1970 - The Parish School closed.

1987 - St. Francis Xavier School reopened.

1991 - The Parish center was constructed.

2006 - School enrollment is 174 students with 17 lay teachers. The Parish consists of 575 families or approximately 1358 individuals.

Historian - M.A. Maevers