Sunday, January 1, 2017

You Can't Buy your way into Heaven

But you CAN buy a little piece of it in the form of the former St. Bernard's catholic church. St. Bernard's started holding services in 1880 in a wooden structure and the sturdy brick church building was built in 1895 for a cost of $7000.00 (Over 190,000.00 in today's money). The parsonage was added a few years later in 1902.

The church served its parishioners needs until November of 1991 when it closed it's doors. A few months later it was bought by a couple who held craft shows and fairs in the cavernous building.  The day that Lil' Nick and I stopped it was bright and sunny and the church and house were showing us their best sides. There's still stained glass in the windows and the bell is still in the tower!  If you're ever driving down around Streator I encourage you to stop and take a photo or two. Or if you're in the market for a truly one of a kind property this former church and parsonage are currently on the sellers block.

It's located on state route 17 between Streator and Dwight, IL. A big thank you to William Sole of Sancken Sole Realty for his kind permission in allowing me to use his interior photo's of the parsonage.


  1. Very interesting, John. The slate roof (actually, probably asbestos) is virtually indestructible, barring large hail. Nice find.

  2. John, thank you for the excellent article. All the best! Bill Sole w/Sancken Sole Realty

  3. Thank you for this sweet post. My mother and stepdad bought this in 1991. It was the place that hosted many functions in our family. My son planted a peach pit from a peach he shared with his "Tata" and it grew into a tree on the property.

    My children and niece and nephews danced in the home while their Tata played guitar and sang.

    Many fine dogs lived there over the years. One who used to actually climb the tree that used to stand in the front yard. I have pictures of him in the tree.
    My brothers rehearsal dinner was held in the church. His wedding reception in the hall that is no longer standing.

    A little bit of fun info; my late father was a United Methodist Minister. We always lived in a parsonage next to the church he served. When my parents divorced, my mom vowed she would never live next door to another church again. Well, that didn't prove true. She not only lived next to another church, but she owned it. It's a bittersweet time to see this property pass to another to carry it further into the future. But it's time and it's importance to the history of our family will remain. - Stephanie Durdan

    1. What a Great piece of information! I love stories like this, the stories that take an inanimate object or an empty building and makes it come Alive again, if only for a short time. Thank you!

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