--1948: Property north of the rectory is purchased from St. Procopius Abbey

--1950: On February 10th, the cornerstone of the brick school building and social center is laid on 15th and Wesley. The $450 000 building, designed by the architectural firm of Meyer and Cook, will be dedicated on September 2, 1951.

Also, under Father Mastny's leadership, the former "picnic grove" in the north land of the parish block is transformed into the baseball field and the parish's little league program begins.

--1955: The old wood-frame church and school building is torn down to make way for an addition to the convent.

--1958: On November 23, the renovations and addition to the convent are dedicated.

--1960: In May, the parish celebrates its Golden Jubilee.

--1979: In May, Fr. Mastny celebrates the 50th anniversary of his ordination with a special mass and open house. In October, he is named pastor emeritus and retires to St. Procopius Abbey in Lisle.

--1979: The Benedictine Fathers of Lisle requests the Chancery Office to assign future priests and pastors to SMC. On October 1, Rev. Cyril Nemecek is installed as the first diocesan pastor of SMC.

--1979-1984: Old embellishments in the church are painted over to restore the church to its original interior.

--1984: In January, Father Mastny dies, having served the people of St. Mary of Celle for forty-six years.

--1984: The parish celebrates its seventy-fifth anniversary.

"...memories tend to focus on memorable and unique events of the

past. Too often, they ignore the richness of the day-to-day events

which constitute the majority of the time being commemorated. The

seemingly hum-drum and ordinary appear unworthy of recollection.

Yet it is precisely those years of quiet, dedicated, and truly

worthy service...that represent what is truly special to our

parish family. I am particularly moved by the example of Father

Bob Mastny whose own self-effacing yet heroic ministry for

forty-two years stands as a true testimonial to the simplicity

of the Gospel message. And the efforts of so many of our parish

family in the variety of service and ministry which enrich

our lives is likewise a real witness to their committment to

the simple command of Jesus, 'Love one another as I have

loved you.'"


-Rev. C. Nemecek, "Celebrate 75"

--1992: Rev. Richard J. Prendergast is installed as SMC's tenth pastor.

--1992-2004: SMC's Food Pantry expands to serve the Berwyn-Cicero-Stickney area, Public Action to Deliver Shelter (PADS) is established at SMC, and the Spanish Mass is instituted. Also, the nine parish Cooperativo of Berwyn and Cicero is established. These churches will work together to share resources and ideas and generally support one another in ministry.

--2001: Fr. Prendergast oversees a major renovation of our church building with the Mass of Rededication held on November 4, 2001, Bishop Jakubowski presiding. This work is the largest renovation of the church building since its original construction. The scope of the renovation allows the parish to reclaim some of the original beauty of this magnificent place of prayer.

--2004: Fr. Prendergast ends his tenure as SMC pastor. He moves to become pastor of St. Josaphat parish on the North Side of Chicago.

--August 2004: Fr. William Zimmer is assigned as administrator while the search for a parish pastor continues.

--Spring 2005: The parish mourns the Archdiocesan decision to close SMC's beloved parish school. 170 children will enter other area Catholic and public schools in the fall of 2005.

--July 2005: Rev. W. James Clavey is installed as SMC's eleventh pastor.

--September 2006: After the departure of the School Sisters of Notre Dame, the Sisters of Christian Charity--refugees from Hurricane Katrina--move into the parish convent and begin their ministry at St. Mary of Celle.

--Fall 2007: After a major renovation of the school building by Catholic Charities, the St. Mary of Celle Family Center opens. This center, a partnership between St. Mary of Celle parish and Catholic Charities, will provide early childhood education to one of the neediest areas in Illinois.


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