CATHOLIC HERALD STAFF
Like all modern parishes should be, Holy Apostles in New Berlin is a work in progress.
You can see it from National Avenue.
In its attempts to become one of the most welcoming parishes in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee through its “Love God. Love Others. Transform Our World” mission statement, the parish is building a new welcome center it hopes to open in June.
It’s the latest step for the 2,200-family, 6,000-member parish that has imbued its mission statement throughout every fiber of its DNA over the past few years.
“Part of this building out there is to honor this,” said Fr. Don Thimm, who has been at Holy Apostles since 2010. “People can sense there’s a place to come and to be formal or informal. It also affirms this mission of wanting to invite people. We have to have something here for them when they come.”
The new mission for the parish has been slowly rolled out to parishioners, staff and school families since February 2017, and is the result of four years of research and questioning.
“We made a clear decision that we were going to regroup and refocus ourselves to form disciples,” Fr. Thimm said. “That was the great commission. We needed to come up with something very clear. We engaged more conversation.”
In 1855, 11 years after the first Mass was celebrated in New Berlin, Bishop Henni established a German parish in New Berlin named St. Valerius. The white frame and log church was built at a cost $1,100 and was served initially by missionary priests.
In 1889, a cornerstone was laid for a new brick and cut-stone Gothic church to meet the needs of the growing parish. The name of the new $10,000 church was changed to Holy Apostles.
Holy Apostles School opened Sept. 3, 1893, and the school is celebrated its 125th anniversary this year with 428 students enrolled.
The current church building was built in 1966 and the interior of the parish was remodeled in 2005 in conjunction with the parish’s 150th anniversary celebration.
The parish has an adoration chapel, which is open from 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Through the parish’s relationship with the community of La Sagrada Familia, Holy Apostles supports the Haitians living in Sabana Yegua, Dominican Republic, near the border with Haiti.
Holy Apostles also has a relationship with All Saints, including a day of service where youth groups and families pack more than 200 food boxes on a truck for the food pantry. Others have traveled to All Saints to unpack, set up and share a meal, and pass out food boxes and other gifts at Christmas.
Lapham Park, a senior housing development located in the central city of Milwaukee, has also been the beneficiary of a relationship with Holy Apostles.
PLAN A VISIT
Holy Apostles Parish
16000 W. National Ave.
New Berlin, WI 53151
Saturday: 4:30 p.m.
Sunday: 7:30 a.m., 9:15 a.m., 11:15 a.m.
WHO ARE THE HOLY APOSTLES?
Holy Apostles Parish is named after Ss. Peter and Paul.
Jesus’ invitation to Peter to become a disciple was, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.”
The rock upon which Jesus built his Church, Peter was the first pope and when he was martyred in Rome, he asked to be crucified upside down because he didn’t believe he was worthy to die the same way Jesus did.
Saul experienced a powerful vision that caused him to convert to Christianity while on the road to Damascus. He was duly baptized and took the name Paul.
Before the conversion, he presided over the persecution of Christians.
Paul is one of the most prolific writers in the Bible.