St. Mary's Catholic Church and Visitation School

        History of St. Mary's Church

    In northern Allegan County is a beautiful stone Catholic Church perched majestically upon a hill.  It is surrounded, as it has been for almost 100 years, by farmland and age-old oak trees.
    More than a century ago, the New Salem area was settled by German immigrant farmers who established St. Mary's Church in 1866.  In 1908, using volunteer labor and making the blocks one-by-one on site, they laid the cornerstone of the building.  In 1981, St. Mary's merged with Visitation Church of North Dorr, about 2 miles northwest and became St. Mary's Visitation.

    Many descendants of the original settlers and new families who have left urban life for the simplicityy of county living are deeply involved within our church and community, and are committed to furthering the works of God through ministry and education.

    In 1989, a long-awaited dream was realized with the completion of a new seven-classroom school.  Currently, St. Mary's Visitation School is offering Preschool and Young 5s programs, kindergarten through 6th grade.  It is accredited by the Michigan Assoc. of Non-Public Schools and works closely with the Hopkins Public School district to ensure that the children receive a full rounded education.  The school offers small class sized, and a fully certified staff that enables plenty of one-on-one interaction between teacher and students.  A unique feature about St. Mary's Visitation School is that it is supported by an Education Foundation.  This enables payments for school t be tax-deductible, as well as qualifying for the Matching Fund programs from companies like Steelcase.  Attached to the school building, is a large hall - the Community Center.

    The parishioners of St. Mary's Visitation are a close-knit group who welcome the value of tradition.  One tradition is the Annual Chicken and Game dinner plus the summer festival provide opportunities for fun and
fellowship while providing revenue for the school.


Transcribed//Scanned by ES
Created: 19 Jan 2014