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Polish immigrants built St. Mary’s more than a century ago

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 5 June 2013 at 12:00 am

Photo by Tom Rivers – Our Light of Victory now owns St. Mary’s, which was closed by the Catholic Diocese in 2007.

Albion has a reputation, in a good way, for the seven historic churches that are part of the Courthouse Square, a cluster of about 30 buildings that are on the National Register of Historic Places.

The former St. Mary’s Catholic Church on Brown Street doesn’t get the same recognition as a historical and community treasure, but the site should be considered on par with the churches by the courthouse.

I think the former St. Mary’s, built by Polish immigrants, may be most striking of all the Albion churches. It opened in 1893, predating some of the churches on the Square.

The Catholic Diocese closed the church in 2007. Our Light of Victory acquired the church and has Sunday services there.

I’d like to see a historic marker prominently placed on the property, honoring the Polish families who sacrificed and gave generously to build this church.

Matt Ballard has developed a wonderful web site, www.albionpolonia.com, that details the history of the church and many of Polish families who were drawn to Albion the late 1800s.

I passed by the church today. I had to stop and take a picture.