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,
The records of Holy Rosary Church began with Mass celebrated by Fr Anton Theodore Schuettlehofer, newly appointed pastor, on Christmas Day in 1877. The first church held 125 people. Fr. Schuettlehofer served missions as far north as Ashland and south to Marshfield. He resided in Medford until June 1881, leaving Medford without a priest and a mission of Marshfield. Fr. J.W. Ritz, who came to Medford in May 1884, oversaw the completion of a new church in 1887 and renovation of the former church into a parochial school and convent for the School Sisters of St. Francis, who arrived in 1889. The school opened in September 1889. In 1900, a fire destroyed the church. During that time, Mass was offered on the second floor of the old Opera House. A new church was dedicated on July 28, 1901. In 1916, Fr. Gregory Reuter was appointed pastor of Holy Rosary and served the parish until his death in 1962. A new school was built in 1927 to replace the inadequate building. In 1952, after adding a four-room addition to the school, a new convent was built for the sisters. During Fr. Joseph Miller's pastorate, a new church was built. On September 10, 1978, the parish held a centennial mass. Construction of a new social-educational center began in May 2002 and completed in 2003. Bishop Raphael M. Fliss dedicated it on September 6, 2003. Today Holy Rosary Parish is comprised of over 1,400 households.
REFERENCE: Our Journey through Faith: A History of the Diocese of Superior,
by Sam Lucero, 2005.