St. John Parish History

st-johns-menashaThe beginning of St. John the Baptist Parish began on February 25, 1888, when seventy-five families broke away from St. Mary’s.

With much enthusiasm and joy, plans were made to build a two story building to accommodate a place of worship, a school, and a residence for the Sisters who staffed the school. The building was dedicated on August 12, 1888. A few months later on December 29, 1888, the church bell was consecrated and rang out.

In the following years because of parish growth and natural events, the following took place:

  • 1890 – new church
  • 1888-1917 – lightning struck the church four times
  • 1934  – new school
  • 1950 – new rectory
  • 1950’s – addition to convent and school

One can see with the constant building since its early beginning that the membership had a great love for their parish.

What joy must have been in their hearts as they celebrated its 75th birthday on June 9, 1963. In celebration of the Diamond Jubilee of St. John’s Church, a special Mass of Thanksgiving was held at 10:30 a.m., Sunday, June 9, 1963, with the Most Reverend Stanislaus V. Bona, Bishop of Green Bay Diocese, presiding.

With the Second Vatican Council in the early 1960’s, many changes came about which affected the Liturgy as well as Religious Life.

Recently, the Sister’s residence became a low cost housing facility for elderly people. Minor changes within the parish church took place in line with documents of the Second Vatican Council also.

In 1988, the parish celebrated its 100th anniversary with many events throughout the year. On August 12th, Bishop Adam Maida and Bishop Aloysius Wycislo, along with many other priests, celebrated mass. The day itself holds memories for many parishioners.

Church members were always dedicated to giving their children a Catholic Education. However, due to finances and lack of students, the school closed its doors in June of 2002. Today, the school is used for office space, religious education classes, and parish meetings, and is rented out to various groups.

There is a saying, “Through death comes new life.” This saying became real when a Stewardship Committee was formed.

“Stewardship is a way of life. For Christians who follow in the way of the Lord Jesus, stewardship is an expression of discipleship. When we recognize that God is the origin of all, the giver of everything that we have and are, the source of our freedom and giftedness, the healthy person responds by thanking God through prayer, by serving God and God’s people through ministry, by sharing our financial resources with those in need. Stewardship is a way of life based upon conversion of heart.” Quote by Bishop R. Morneau.

On August 17, 2013, Bishop David L. Ricken along with past and present clergy brought to a close a wonderful year long celebration of our 125th Anniversary with a beautiful Mass followed by dinner and dancing at Germania Hall.  The year was full of events which celebrated the past, present and future of our blessed parish which included Donut Sundays, a Picnic and Alumni Mass and Lunch.

Presently, Rev. Paul J. Paider is the pastor of St. John the Baptist and St. Mary’s Parish.