Rev. Henry George Van Pelt, pastor of Sacred Heart Catholic Church, is one of the highly esteemed and influential
men of Joliet. He was born at Racine, Wis., July 26, 1863, the son of Henry and Margaret (Mertage) Van Pelt.
Henry Van Pelt was a native of New York, being a direct descendant of one of the earliest Dutch families of that
section. He was an architect and builder. His wife, who was born at County Monoghan, Ireland, was of French descent.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Van Pelt are deceased.
Henry George Van Pelt obtained his early schooling in Chicago. He was graduated from St. Ignatius College in 1884
and from St. Mary's Seminary, Baltimore, Md., in 1890. He spent the following three years in Europe, being enrolled
for two years in the College of Propaganda, Gregorian College of Rome. He later studied Medicine at the University
of Berlin, from which he received the degree of Doctor of Medicine. Upon his return to the United States he decided
to devote his life to church work and was appointed assistant pastor of St. James Catholic Church, in Chicago.
Later he spent seven years at St. Mel's Church, Chicago, and was also pastor of St. Mary's Church, Sycamore, Ill.,
for 18 months. On Nov. 1, 1905, he was assigned to the pastorate of the Sacred Heart Church of Joliet. This parish
has developed into one of the leading church organizations of the city and is proof of the good judgment and keen
business ability which Rev. Van Pelt possesses to a marked degree. He is ably assisted in his work by several priests.
Rev. Van Pelt is widely known throughout the State as an orator of exceptional talents. He is a man of the highest
ideals and is greatly beloved and respected by all who know him.
History of Will County, Illinois
By: August Maue
Historical Publishing Company
Will County, Il
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