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,
In 1887, the Tomahawk Land and Boom company offered two lots to any group of people who would build the first church. Local Catholics accepted the offer and the following year they built their first church, measuring 46 feet by 28 feet, on the east side of Fifth street between Wisconsin and Spirit avenues.
Fr. Nicholas July of Rhinelander oversaw the mission church until Nov. 1, 1889, when Fr. Charles Hoogstoel became the first resident pastor and administered to the 36 families registered in the parish. On Dec. 30, 1890, the parish became incorporated with Bishop Kilian Flasch of La Crosse as president and Fr. Hoogstoel as vice president. Plans soon began for a new church. The cornerstone was laid on May 23, 1892.
St. Mary built a school in 1916, which burned down in 1926. A second school was built in 1927, and it is still in use today. On July 3, 1960, a new St. Mary Church was dedicated under the direction of Msgr. William Smits. In 1994, a parish hall was added to the church. Called the Corpus Christi Center, it serves the parish in many ways. The center was funded and built under the direction of Fr. Gerald Harris, pastor from 1989 to 1996.
REFERENCE: Our Journey through Faith: A History of the Diocese of Superior,
by Sam Lucero, 2005.