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,
A new church built in Bruce in 1896 as a mission of Turtle Lake was incorporated under the patronage of St. Mary. Fr. Peter Rice became the first resident pastor of St. Mary in 1907, living in the sacristy. In the 1940s, the Servite Fathers of Ladysmith served the parish. In 1948, Fr. Paul Dwyer became pastor. A building was started for a new church after World War II, and it was dedicated in 1958 during the pastorate of Fr. Irving Meyett. In 1984, St. Mary was clustered with Ss. Peter and Paul in Weyerhaeuser, Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Strickland and St. Francis in Flambeau as one of the first four parish clusters in the diocese. In 1996, Fr. John Long oversaw the construction of an entryway to the church, with an elevator to make the building handicap accessible. Under Fr. George Gleason, following the Second Vatican Council, St. Mary began working with the local Methodist and Lutheran churches to combine resources to serve the area’s poor, and for ecumenical prayer services during Lent. These churches continue to work together in prayer and for the poor with a “Good Samaritan fund,” and working to bring Habitat for Humanity to Rusk County.
REFERENCE: Our Journey through Faith: A History of the Diocese of Superior,
by Sam Lucero, 2005.