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,
A traveling priest celebrated the first Mass in Phillips in 1876. Catholics, numbering five
families, built a small, log hut church and named it after St. Patrick. In 1888, St. Patrick Parish received its first resident pastor. In July 1894, the entire city of Phillips was destroyed by fire. Plans were made for a new church, which was completed in April 1900. In July 1900 the church again was demolished, this time by a cyclone. By Christmas Day 1900 another church was constructed. Disaster struck again when another cyclone destroyed the church in May 1918. The
parish once again started construction of a new church. In 1923, priests of the Benedictine religious order arrived in Phillips to serve the parish, with the stipulation that a Catholic school be built. A building fund quickly began, and on November 11, 1951, construction started on the school. St. Gregory School was blessed on August 17, 1952. In October 1915 another Catholic church was founded in Phillips. The first Mass was celebrated at St. Mary Church in October 1916. A new church was blessed and dedicated on May 24, 1933, by Bishop Theodore Reverman. The brick structure served people of the rural area and many tourists. On April 26, 1991, St. Mary and St. Patrick parishes merged into one community, and on December 18, 2004, a new church under the patronage of St. Therese of Lisieux was dedicated.
REFERENCE: Our Journey through Faith: A History of the Diocese of Superior,
by Sam Lucero, 2005.