Significant Dates in the Life of the Catholic Community of Manitowoc

The history of the Catholic Community of Manitowoc is colorful and rich in the movements of the Holy Spirit. The following dates are a few of the highlights of our incredible journey as a faith community through the 19th and 20th centuries:

1850 - Fr. Kasper Rehrl establishes the first Catholic church in Manitowoc County, The Maternity of Mary, in Manitowoc Rapids. The addition of a school occurred in 1857.St. Boniface Church 1853

- Fr. H.J. Nuyts begins the erection of a small frame building dedicated in honor of St. Boniface in the Village of Manitowoc at the corner of 10th and Marshall Streets.

- St. Peter’s Church, 3 miles southwest of Manitowoc, becomes a mission of St. Boniface until 1929 when the church is razed.

1868 - Fr. Joseph Fessler erects a parochial school and an addition to the Church at St. Boniface. 

- Polish speaking people of St. Boniface organize to form the new parish of St. Mary’s.St. Mary's Church 1870

1881 - Fr. William Peil becomes pastor of St. Boniface for the next 50 years and builds a new church, parochial school, rectory and convent.

1899 - St. Mary’s Church is dedicated by Bishop Katzer of Milwaukee.

1902 - Irish members of St. Boniface organize to form Sacred Heart Parish on the north side.

- Sacred Heart Parish is dedicated by Archbishop Messmer of Milwaukee.
1908 - Sacred Heart School is opened.

1920 - Crowded conditions at St. Boniface initiates the establishment of St. Paul’s Parish to serve the needs of the southwest Manitowoc.

1922 - St. Paul’s Church is dedicated by Bishop Rhode with a parish membership of 93 families.

1923 - The matter of overcrowding at St. Boniface School prompts Bishop Rhode to give permission for the organization of St. Andrew Parish.

1928 - Bishop Rhode dedicates the new red brick St. Andrew School and Church building.

1928 - St. Paul’s School opens with an enrollment of 170 students.

Holy Innocents1932 - Due to the growth of Sacred Heart Parish, the new north side parish of Holy Innocents was formed from the membership of Sacred Heart.

1933 - The Holy Innocents Church and School are dedicated by Bishop Rhode.

1950 - The new St. Andrew Church is dedicated by Bishop Bona.

1950 - The new Holy Innocents Church is dedicated by Bishop Bona.St. Andrew Parish

1956 - A new, three-story St. Andrew School and Convent addition is dedicated.

1965 - Roncalli Catholic High School is opened.

1989 - Manitowoc Area Catholic School System is formed as a consolidated Catholic School System for the city of Manitowoc.MACS Logo

2003 - An initial meeting is held with the six Catholic Parishes to discuss the reorganization of the parishes serving the Catholic Community of Manitowoc.

2004 -Letter is sent to Bishop Zubik with the request that he suppress the six parishes of Manitowoc and establish one new parish for the entire city.

2005 - Church bells ring at midnight on July 1st to proclaim the establishment of the newly organized St. Francis of Assisi Parish serving the needs of the entire city of Manitowoc at the St. Francis on Grand, Marshall and Waldo worship sites.

2006 - The St. Francis of Assisi Parish & School Office is opened at the former Park Medical Building located at 601 North 8th Street.

2006 - The Manitowoc Area Catholic School System becomes St. Francis of Assisi School with St. Francis Xavier Elementary, St. Francis de Sales Elementary and St. Frances Cabrini Middle School campuses.

2009 - St. Francis of Assisi Parish is comprised of 5,300 families with a total membership of over 12,000 parishioners.