St. Marcelline Catholic Church was founded in 1966. Cardinal John Cody, Archbishop of Chicago formed a new parish in Schaumburg, Illinois and called upon Rev. Charles Diemer to be its first pastor. It was to one of the first parishes in the community to be created without a school. Father Charlie began his pastorate it what was fondly called ‘St. Frost.’ It was in it’s gymnasium that this young community rolled out tarps, set up chairs so they could celebrate Eucharist together. Only to put it all away before heading home.
In 1968 St. Marcelline held its first Mass in the new church. The facility was smaller than it is now and to make budget the present Religious Education Center was left a large open space. The men of St. Marcelline on evenings and weekends converted that open space into eight classrooms that would eventually house as many as 900 children for religious education classes. The basement of the church was not an approved part of the structure. Father Charlie’s wisdom, and maybe a little sneakiness, managed to slip it in without detection. In 1974 Father Diemer built the existing rectory as a four apartment structure at the south end of the parking lot.
Father Charlie watched this new community grow to over 2500 families. He instituted many of the ministries that continue to serve God’s people. Under him some of the first women Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharistic distributed Holy Communion; the St. Vincent DePaul Society was formed and Deacon Ed “Doc” Boggio served as its first and life long servant-leader; and the parish community planted trees, cleaned bathrooms and taught the children. A beloved Pastor, Father Diemer retired in 1976.
On March 1st 1976 Rev. Warren McCarthy was named the second pastor of St. Marcelline Catholic Church. In a difficult and changing era Father Warren enthusiastically lead the people of St. Marcelline into the 80’s and 90’s. The physical structure grew with the needs of the parish and the Family Life Center was added in 1981. Later, in 1983, an addition was made to the Rectory and the Parish Administration Center came into being. Then in 1998 the church building underwent a complete renovation of its interior. The community moved closer to the altar so that they could “gather around the table of Lord” in praise and worship by centering the altar in their midst. An upper narthex was added as a place to gather and welcome one another. The lower narthex houses a handicapped accessible ramp, offers ease of entry into the church and Diemer Hall and expands the space available for welcome.
Father Warren responded to the ever growing needs of the people by inviting five men to enter the diaconate as servants of the people. Many other men and women grew in faith while participating in adult faith formation, serving in existing and new ministries and being served by a faithful core of volunteers. It was under Father Warren’s leadership that the concept of stewardship was first introduced to the people. As a people gifted by God we are called to respond to this outpouring of love. Our response is a proportionate sharing of what we have, our time, talent and treasure. We were to learn that God does not need us but God’s “least ones” do. Our sharing helps many different and struggling people at home and around the world. Our sharing helps this community to be for each other. Many people have been changed and become closer to God because of their understanding and commitment to a steward’s lifestyle. Father Warren retired after 22 years in December of 1998.
January 1, 1998 began the “Era of the Spirit” to St. Marcelline by bringing to the community Rev. Denis Condon as its new and present pastor. After years of growth it was time to pay off the debts and the mortgage was finally burned to the delight of all the people. Sadly it wasn’t long before an aging parking lot brought back the debt but we has a different feel about it this time – there can and will be an end!
Father Denis established a new lay leadership team using a commission based system that encourages – requires- the involvement in a grassroots level from the community. Town Hall Meetings are held so short term and long term goals can be established. Commissions composed of representatives from all our ministries work on the issues that will lead to achievement of the goals. The Parish Pastoral Council oversees the process and aids the pastor in the decision making process through leadership consensus. As the community becomes more diverse it can no longer grow without participation from an active community. This is the challenge of the new millennium that St. Marcelline must face and must change with.
Our “Senior” Deacon, Ed Boggio was called to his reward and our founding pastor Father Charlie Diemer also died. Both of their lives were celebrated at the altar of the church they did so much to build and with a community that they joyfully served. St. Marcelline Catholic Church continues on its journey. Two new deacons were ordained to its service; Christ Renews His Parish began its slow process of filling the men and women attending with the fire of the Spirit; Youth Ministry and a staff level Youth Minister is attending to growing need of the people; the first Pastoral Associate was added to the staff; and Whole Community Catechesis has broken onto the scene in the form of LIFT (Living In Faith Together). Father Denis and the St. Marcelline community continue hold the core belief that the stewardship way of life is how we are to respond to Jesus call to “follow him.”
What will the future be for St. Marcelline? We are on a journey led by the Spirit and strengthened by Prayer, Sacrament and the presence of God among us. Since its inception when the people of this community took hammer and shovel into their hands and set out to finish classrooms and landscape the grounds sharing of self has been in our hearts. Together, as disciples of the Risen Lord, it is our desire to know and serve God and all God’s People.
In the summer of 2010, our 4th Pastor was called to lead St. Marcelline into the future. Fr. Harold B. Stanger officially became Pastor on October 24, 2010 with the Most Reverend George Rassas as Bishop and Principle Celebrant.