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 1887, a half-acre of land was donated to becomethe site of St. John the Baptist Church in Bloomville. The first church building was constructedin 1889. At that timethe parish waspart of the Diocese of Green Bay. A new church was builtin 1966, and on Christmas Eve the first Mass was celebrated inthe church. The orignial church bell, which was blessed in 1912, was salvaged andis still being used.
In 1945, St. John the Baptist became a mission of St. Augustine Parish in Harrison, with apriest assigned to both parishes. In 1981, Bishop George A. Hammes appointed Sr. Marla Lang, a Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration, as pastoral administrator of the Harrison-Bloomville parishes. She was the first woman and layperson tos erve in this capacity inthe diocese and Wisconsin. In 1993, Sr. Lang rsigned andMichele Rein assumed the role of parish direcotr with priest from Merrill, Rhinelander, and Tomahawk leading sacramental Celbrations. In 2009, Fr. Ron Serrao, a priest from India, became Parachiol Adminstrator of the two parishes. In 2013, Fr. Don Kania became pastor for a short time. In 2014, St. John the Baptist and St. Augustine were separated, and St. John the Baptist became clustered with St. Francis Xavier in Merrill.
REFERENCE: Our Journey through Faith: A History of the Diocese of Superior,
by Sam Lucero, 2005.