The parish purchased a larger building, on Main street, to accommodate the growing number of school students. The Sisters of Mercy, from Cincinnati, arrived and began to staff the school. The student body number 360 children!
A new, larger and more elaborate church was constructed. A rectory and a schoolhouse were also built.
St. Mary Parish School opens, with classes conducted in the church building.
John Purcell, now the Archbishop of Cincinnati, appoints Rev. Augustus A. Grogan as pastor of the new parish, named in honor of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The cornerstone for the church was laid on the Feast of Corpus Christi, 1853. The first Mass was celebrated in the small, and unfinished church on Christmas Day 1853. The church building was eventually completed and dedicated in 1856, for a total cost of $14,000.
The Catholic population of Urbana greatly increases, with the arrival of many Irish immigrants who came here as laborers for the railroads.
John Baptist Purcell, the second bishop of Cincinnati, visits Urbana, and preaches from the steps of the old Courthouse on the Square
Benedict J. Flaget, of Bardstown Kentucky, then one of the four dioceses in the United States, visits Urbana and celebrates the first Mass here.