ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST CHURCH AND RECTORY - MARIA STEIN|
St. John the Baptist is the oldest Catholic Parish in Mercer County and as such is the "mother
parish". The first mass was celebrated on June 24, 1836, by Father Henry Damien Junker, then
pastor at Minster. There were 45 people attending. By the following spring the new parish had
built their first church building. This frame building was blessed on April 9, 1837. Within ten years it became apparent that it was being outgrown, and in 1849 a new church was being built, being dedicated on October 13, 1850. It stood approximately where the present church stands, with the main doors facing west.
The parish continued to grow and on August 15, 1887, the congregation voted to build a new and larger church. This present church had the cornerstone laid on May 5, 1889 and was dedicated on November 11, 1891.
The Precious Blood community assumed the care of the parish in 1845, providing pastors to the
present day. Until 1906 the pastors lived at the Maria Stein Convent. A rectory was built and the pastor, Fr. Otto Missler, moved in September, 1906.
Today St. John the Baptist Parish lists approximately 341 households.