Episode 25: Manteno St. Joseph Church with Josh LaMore

St. Joseph’s “Mammoth” Double Spired Church. It burned down July 29th, 1898.

Early Postcard of the Church’s exterior with Our Lady Academy Administration building to the right. There are no known photos of the church before the Academy’s construction in 1907. 


Early postcard of the Church’s interior, when the church had gas lights.

Side view of the first Our Lady Academy building. 

My oldest brother, Josh LaMore, just released a new book about St. Joseph Church in Manteno entitled, Coming Home: The Story of Manteno Saint Joseph Church and Our Lady Academy. Not only will you hear Josh talk about how he wrote the book, you’ll also hear clips of conversations I had with five of the church’s parishioners. In 2019, I helped Josh record oral histories from Richard Balgeman, Franklin & Anna Weber, Elmira Wilkey, and Pete Henrisey. Each one of them has a unique view point of the parish’s history. Richard Balgeman passed away early this year in February. It’s especially bittersweet to hear his voice on this episode. Josh’s book focuses more on the history surrounding the church rather than the Catholic faith. So no matter what your beliefs are, I think you’ll find Coming Home to be a very fascinating read. 

Purchase a copy of, Coming Home: The Story of Manteno Saint Joseph Church and Our Lady Academy, by clicking the image below.

Josh LaMore

Much Love,

Jake LaMore