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. Diocese of Superior - Statistics
Our Journey through Faith: A History of the Diocese of Superior,
When the first settlers arrived in the Hawkins area, they did not have a place to worship. The first priest traveled by train and horse and buggy to South Fork to have religious services in the South Fork-Hawkins area. According to diocesan records, the parish was founded in 1913. With the help of Fr. Wenceslaus Kruszka from Milwaukee, the first church was built in 1915 on 10 acres of land donated by the Ellingson Land Corporation. The church was named after the famous shrine in Poland known as Our Lady of Czestochowa. Fr. Kruszka obtained a copy of the original picture of the Black Madonna for the church. The picture, according to tradition, was painted by St. Luke, and hangs in the shrine of Czestochowa, Poland, the namesake of the new community. After 52 years, the congregation outgrew the church and in 1967 a new church, located two and one half miles north of the village of Hawkins, was built on land donated by Albert and Barbara Bebak. The old church was demolished, but the cemetery is still located there. The pastor resided at St. Anthony's in Tony and also served St. Augustine in Ingram. The church has an attached parish hall with kitchen and bathrooms. The hall is used for religious education classes, dinners, social events, and other parish events. In 1992, St. Mary's was clustered with St. Anthony de Padua in Tony and Our Lady of Sorrows in Ladysmith. In 1993, St. Mary's religious education program became part of the cluster programming, which includes adult formation. Students are part of a cluster-wide Youth Ministry program.
REFERENCE: Our Journey through Faith: A History of the Diocese of Superior,
by Sam Lucero, 2005.