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. Anthony the Abbot Parish's early Catholics came from various backgrounds to worship together for the first time in 1883. The initial church, St. Mary's of the Wayside, was completed in 1884 and formally dedicated by Bishop Kilian Flasch of La Crosse on October 24, 1888.
Italian immigrants outnumbered other Catholics, and they decided to establish their own ethnic church. In 1885, they withdrew from St. Mary's and erected a church one mile south of Cumberland and named it St. Anthony the Abbot.
In 1973, the two churches were merged and became the Cumberland Area Catholic Community. Due to the size of the combined congregation, Masses were held only at St. Anthony's and St. Mary Church was sold in 1984.
In 1986, the parish officially returned to the name of St. Anthony the Abbot. A parish center was built on land across the street from St. Anthony Church in 1993. In 1997, the parish was clustered with Sacred Heart in Almena and in 2002 with St. Ann Parish in Turtle Lake.
REFERENCE: Our Journey through Faith: A History of the Diocese of Superior,
by Sam Lucero, 2005.