The story of St Patrick's begins in 1854 with Catholic Irish immigrants arriving in Illinois. The town of Sheffield was laid out by the Sheffield Mining and Railroad
Company in 1852. The first recorded missionary priest, Fr Lynch, was pastor at St. Patrick's in LaSalle. For years, priests traveled throughout the area and would come to Sheffield every three months
at first, to serve the needs of the Catholics in the area. At first, Masses were offered at Mr. Egan's home, then Mr Murtaugh's home, and then at the Whipple's Hall.
The Sheffield Mining & Railroad Company deeded the property for a Catholic church and school to the Most Reverend James Duggan, Archbishop of Chicago and his successors in 1864. The parochial school was never built. The purchase price was $2. The first wood church was built, (40 foot by 80 foot in size) on the corner of Reed and Walnut Street. Fr O'Farrell was the pastor in Mendota, who began coming every month to our mission church in Sheffield, until 1867. The Diocese of Peoria was established in 1867 with Most Reverend John Lancaster Spalding as the 1st bishop.
In 1877, property was purchased on the south side of West Aktinson Street, the current church site. The wood church was moved 2-1/2 blocks to a new stone foundation on the south east corner. St. Patrick's then became a parish, no longer a mission church of, at that time, St. Malachy's of Geneseo. The first resident pastor, Fr Grogan, moved into a house east of the church.
On May 31, 1885 a new brick church was completed at its current location, 233 W Atkinson, dedicated by Most Reverend John L. Spalding, with Fr Kelley the pastor. A rectory was built just east of the church in 1889 at 231 W Atkinson. In 1898, Fr Murtaugh was named pastor, and with a succession of assistant priests up to 1905, St Patrick's in Sheffield was providing priest coverage to mission churches in the area.
A beautiful church organ was installed in 1917, built by the Hinners Organ Company of Pekin, IL. In 1920, two wings were added to the church on the east and west sides. A parish hall was built in 1961, and is just east of the rectory.
Currently, 115 families call St Patrick's in Sheffield their home.
Past Pastors: (administrators/assistants are indented)
1854-1856, Fr Lynch, attended from St Patrick's, LaSalle
1856-1863, Fr Leichner, attended from Immaculate Conception, Lacon
1863-1867, Fr Thomas O'Farrell, attended from Mendota
1867-1874, Fr Smith, attended from St Malachy, Geneseo
1874-1877, Fr H. OG. McShane, also from St Malachy
1877 - St Patrick's parish is established
1877-1882, Fr J.J. Grogan, first resident pastor
1882-1887, Fr J.A. Kelly
1887-1889, Fr E. McCartney
1889-1898, Fr P.H. O'Connell
1898-1930, Fr William F. Murtaugh
1898, Fr Jacobs, assistant pastor
1899-1901 Fr Manion, assistant pastor
1901-1904, Fr Durmmey, assistant pastor
1904, Fr Fitzgerald, assistant pastor
1904-1905, Fr Grimmy, assistant pastor
1930-1961, Fr Peter E. Hand
1961-1967, Fr Lyle Sheen
1967-1968, Fr Francis A. Dauss
1968-1971, Fr George M. Thompson
1971-1977, Fr Gerald Verhoye
1977-1985, Fr John Mahoney
1985, Fr John Niemeyer
1985-1998, Fr Paul Meismer
1998-2002, Fr Jeffrey Windy
2002-2004, Msgr Donald Fitzpatrick, while pastor at Aktinson
2004-2008, Fr Timothy Sauppe, residence in Annawan
2008-2010, Fr Jerry Logan, residence in Annawan
2010-2012, Fr Sebastian Tumusiime, residence in Annawan
2012-current, Fr Mark Miller