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,
St Patrick, Our Lady of the Pines, Our Lady of the Holy Rosary ---> Our Lady of the Lakes
On June 28, 2003, Bishop Raphael M. Fliss dedicated Our Lady of the Lakes Church. The new church came to be through the consolidation of three parishes: St. Patrick Church in Centuria, Our Lady of the Pines in Balsam Lake, and Our Lady of the Holy Rosary in Georgetown.
The first St. Patrick Church was built on Long Lake in 1875, although Fr. Nicholas Stehle of Hudson celebrated the first Mass in 1859 at the home of a local family. In 1898 the church was destroyed by fire. It was rebuilt and the first Mass was celebrated on August 1, 1900. Because of the population growth, St. Therese Chapel was begun in Centuria, with the first Mass celebrated by Fr. Philip Gordon in October 1930.
In 1955 the church building from Long Lake was moved into the Village of Balsam Lake and renamed Our Lady of the pines. Our Lady of the Pines took on mission status while the church in Centuria became the “Mother Church” and was renamed St. Patrick Catholic Church.
In 1904, Our Lady of the Holy Rosary in Georgetown was built on donated land. The church was completed in October 1905 and attended by Franciscan priests from Long Lake. In July 1913, it became a parish mission of St. Joseph Church in Amery.
In 1995, a consolidation of Holy Rosary and Our Lady of the Pines began, with plans of a new church in Balsam Lake. With a growing shortage of priests and shifting demographics, it was later decided to add St. Patrick of Centuria to the consolidation. To reflect the new beginning, the church was renamed from Our Lady of the Pines to Our Lady of the Lakes. Artifacts and treasures from all three churches make the new church building a combined effort, representing each church. Today the parish shares its faith through time, talent and treasure under the leadership of its current pastor.
REFERENCE: Our Journey through Faith: A History of the Diocese of Superior,
by Sam Lucero, 2005.