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.
Our Journey through Faith: A History of the Diocese of Superior,
In 1903, a group of Catholics organized into a congregation. Priests from Tony, beginning with
Fr. Albert Wuchter, served the community. The parish was established in 1906. The church was a wooden frame building on the corner of East Second Street and Washington Ave. In 1907,
Fr. Paul Deininger took up residence in Ladysmith as pastor of Our Lady of Sorrows Parish. At that time the parish at Tony became a mission of the Ladysmith parish. Diocesan priests served the parishes until 1910, when the Servite Fathers took charge. Fr. Matthew McCann, OSm was the first Servite to serve as pastor. Fr. Andrew Bauman replaced Fr. McCann in 1911. On April 8, 1912, Matt and Joe Haasl, Jr. Broke ground for a new building to house the church and school. After much searching, five sisters arrived from Chicago. They formed the nucleus of the new branch of Servants of Mary in America. St. Mary School opened on October 10, 1912 with 95 pupils. The next year, high school courses were added to the school. The high school closed in 1925 due to an increase in enrollment in the grade school. Presently students from several neighboring churches, both Catholic and non-Catholic, are enrolled at Our Lady of Sorrows School. Servite Fathers served the parish until 1955, when diocesan priests were put in charge. Upon completion of a new school building in September 1957, the parish began using the name of Our Lady of Sorrows Parish and School, rather than St. Mary’s. A new rectory was completed in 1975. Dedication ceremonies for a new church were held on Sunday, June 17, 1979. In 1992 Our Lady of Sorrows was joined by St. Anthony’s in Tony and St. Mary’s in Hawkins to form a cluster of parishes.