A Brief History of St. Ambrose Parish

Rev. Daniel F. Monaghan was transferred to Milan from Keithsburg on Sept. 19th, 1924 by Bishop Edmund Dunne, D.D. Fr. Monaghan was instructed to purchase property in the village and build a new church. He made arrangements with the village council to rent the Town Hall each Sunday and Holy Day for the celebration of Mass. The first Mass was said in the Town Hall on September 28, 1924 with about 300 people in attendance. A lot for the church and rectory was bought from Walter Walker; it was known as the Vanderslice Property. The laying of the cornerstone took place July 26, 1925; the first Mass was said in the new church in November, 1925. The formal dedication was on May 31, 1926. The architecture includes an oak beamed cathedral ceiling and above the front entranceway is a stone replica of a beehive. The beehive represents St. Ambrose, who was a beekeeper and had his days as a lecturer cut short because of bee stings to his mouth which rendered him mute for a time. With the establishment of Alleman in 1949 the enrollment from St. Ambrose for 1950 was 19, increasing to 22 in 1951. The purchase of joined property to the south was completed in 1962. Construction began on the Parish Center on August 22, 1962 with completion in February, 1963. The dedication ceremony was on May 12, 1963. A six room addition to the rectory was completed in 1964. In 1962 the western boundaries of the parish were divided to establish the present St. Patrick’s Parish. From 1962 until 1977 while the new St. Patrick’s Parish was building a church and becoming established it remained a mission of St. Ambrose. In 1965 another division of the parish boundaries was made to the east in order to prepare for the eventual new parish growth in the Coal Valley area. Thus on July 2, 1967 the first Mass of the newly formed St. Maria Goretti Parish was said. It too remained a mission of the mother church, St. Ambrose, while becoming an established parish in its own right during the seventies.

church  center 

Pastors assigned here have been:

  • Rev. Daniel F. Monaghan  Sept. 19, 1924
  • Rev. E.A. O’Connor  May-June 1946
  • Rev. John F. Crowley  August 1, 1946
  • Rev. John H. Callahan  May 5, 1949
  • Rev. Eugene E. Gould  June 12, 1974
  • Rev. Richard L. Barclift  July 1, 1976
  • Rev. Msgr. Dale L. Wellman  June 6, 1990
  • Rev. Anthony M. Ego June ,2014
  • Rev. Charles Klamut  Present…..