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 establishment of St. Bridget of Ireland Church in the mid-1860’s resulted from the persistent determination of early settlers from Irish Ridge, located north and east of the Village of Wilson. At that time, Mass was celebrated infrequently by missionary priests from Chippewa Falls, Hammond, Hudson and other surrounding areas. A permanent wooden structure was built in 1887 on the site of the present cemetery. The large white wooden cross in the cemetery marks the approximate site of this first church. The church was destroyed by fire in the winter of 1945. Mass was celebrated in the American Legion Hall until a new church was completed in 1952.
During the pastorate of Fr. Joseph Canfield (1971-1976), the church interior was painted and the sanctuary remodeled. The parish kitchen and hall were remodeled during Fr. Dennis Dhooge’s pastorate (1976-1979). Other remodeling took place in 1990. In 1987, St. Bridget became a mission of St. John the Baptist Church of Glenwood City and later was permanently clustered with Immaculate Conception of Hammond. The parish proudly boasts 10 religious vocations among its membership: nine sisters and one priest, Fr. Leonard Fraher.
REFERENCE: Our Journey through Faith: A History of the Diocese of Superior,
by Sam Lucero, 2005.