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,
Fr. Chrysostom Verwyst established St. Mary of the Seven Dolors Church in 1886. He first held services in private homes and public halls before making plans to erect a large frame church. His successor, Franciscan Fr. Gilbert Nuonno, and Italian, oversaw the church’s completion the same yea. Fr. Nuonno also began the erection of a Catholic school in 1890, which was completed and opened with an attendance of 120 students in January 1891. St. Mary School served the Hurley community for 100 years before closing in 1991. In 1905 the new Diocese of Superior was formed and one of the first requests that came to Bishop Augustine F. Schinner was from Fr. Nuonno to build a new church in Hurley. The church’s cornerstonre was laid in 1906 and completed in 1908. With the mines and the bustling lumber industry on a decline, Hurley had seen its heyday. It became more independent on smaller industries, winter recreation and a service economy. St. Mary has shared in the city’s declining population as it falls in number with increasing age. Over the last two decades St. Mary has clustered with Sacred Heart Church, Montreal; Holy Redeemer Church, Pence; and St. Ann Church, Saxon. On August 5, 1990, Bishop Raphael M. Fliss rededicated and blessed the newly renovated St. Mary Church. At a cost of $500,000, the project addressed the structural and aesthetic needs of the aging church. St. Mary faces the same challenges and opportunities as other parishes in the diocese and around the country. The shortage of priests has made the parish look directly at the need for consolidation and cooperation with other parishes.
REFERENCE: Our Journey through Faith: A History of the Diocese of Superior,
by Sam Lucero, 2005.