In 1925, Father Charles A. Meagher, a young Irish priest, was assigned to Father Charles A. O’Reilly (his uncle) who was then pastor of St. Mary’s Church in Edwardsville, IL. Filled with enthusiasm to spread God’s word, Fr. Meagher began offering Mass at Glen Carbon on Sunday mornings in the old frame school house. He began to envision a small church to serve the needs of the people and he set about to accomplish this dream. Taking a census of the Catholic population, the resulting figures indicated to him that there were both sufficient need and financial support to maintain a church in Glen Carbon. He petitioned Bishop James A. Griffin for authority to start a parish and, in January 1926, the Bishop granted his approval. The site elected was on the highest spot at the south entrance of the village. The dream of this young priest and the Catholic families of Glen Carbon became a reality when the small Spanish style Church was completed and dedicated on June 24, 1927. At this time the parish consisted of 62 families. It has been told that the name of St. Cecilia was suggested by Fr. Meagher after he had heard the first choir perform. (St. Cecilia is the Church’s patroness of Liturgical music.)
In 1976, St. Cecilia’s celebrated its 50th anniversary as a parish. With the collaboration of the parish advisory board, a 14.5 acre tract of land along Glen Carbon Road just north of I-270 was purchased. Plans were drawn up and approved and the groundbreaking ceremony took place. Construction progressed rapidly, and on May 24, 1980, Fr. William J. Stanley, 5th resident pastor of St. Cecilia’s, offered the first Mass in the new Church. The formal dedication of St. Cecilia Church took place on May 31, 1981, with Bishop McNicholas acting as Celebrant of the Mass. The old Church, which had served its people so long and so well, was finally dismantled in December of 1980.