The history of the Diocese of Superior dates back to the 17th century. Our Journey Through Faith offers a glimpse into the historic events that played a role in the growth of Catholicism in Northern Wisconsin. Diocese of Superior - Statistics
Our Journey through Faith: A History of the Diocese of Superior,
With the help of Fr. Francis Xavier Willms of Medford, local Catholics, mostly of German descent, met in January 1891 to establish a mission church. The first Mass in the log church was celebrated Sept. 8, 1891. Construction cost was $98, with most of the labor and materials donated. Members agreed to pay 25 cents per month toward the priest’s salary.
From 1881-1931 the parish had services once a month; however, they gathered for prayer hour every Sunday. Under the direction of Fr. August Birsner of Medford, a larger church with an 81 – foot white tower, which was seen for miles around, was built. It was customary for women and girls to sit on one side of the church, men and boys on the other side, and the children to sit in the first two rows. Mass was celebrated in Latin and the homilies in German.
The Society of Precious Blood Fathers began tending to this mission in 1924. When Fr. Roman Schwieterman came to the parish in 1938, Mass was celebrated every Sunday and holy days. Between 1948 and 1953, six different priests served, some of whom were released army chaplains. When St. Ann Church in the Town of Greenwood closed in 1963, some parishioners joined OLPH. At the recommendation of Bishop George A. Hammes, a new church was built in Whittlesey in 1967. The first Mass was celebrated at the present site by Fr. Augustine Hanchak on June 11, 1967. Fr. Linus Evers (1989 to 1995) was the last Precious Blood priest to serve the community. Since then, diocesan priests and deacons have administered the parish.
REFERENCE: Our Journey through Faith: A History of the Diocese of Superior,
by Sam Lucero, 2005.