Compiled by Ricardo Torres, using information provided by Fr. Gerald Brittain, pastor, and the parish website.
First church: The current church, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary, is actually the third church building. The first church was built in 1852 and was just “a wood frame thing,” according to Fr. Gerald Brittain, pastor. The second church was built in 1866.
The first parishioners were made up of about 400 families.
Current church: The parish would outgrow the second church and on June 20, 1915, the new church was dedicated and blessed by Archbishop Sebastian G. Messmer. On that date, after Mass and first Communion in the old church, parishioners moved to the “new” church where it was blessed and the individuals who received first Communion were confirmed.
First pastor: The first priests commuted from nearby St. Lawrence Parish, Hartford. Fr. Michael Kuckengurber served as the first pastor, from 1870 to 1888.
Current pastor: Fr. Gerald Brittain has served the parish since 1995.
School: This is also the 150th anniversary of Holy Angels School providing Catholic education to families of the parish community. The first school was housed in the original church, sometime in 1865 or 1866. The first student body was comprised of 40 students. Throughout the years, the school has been housed in different buildings. The current school was built in the 1940s and the student body has grown to over 200 students in grades K4 to eighth grade. Several members of the School Sisters of Notre Dame, whose order served the school from the 1800s to late 1900s, and alumni, from as far back as the Class of 1932, attended a celebration and all-year school reunion, May 16.
Worth noting: According to Fr. Brittain, before he arrived, the church was looking to finance a “church project,” and one night the pastor at the time was at a local resturant playing sheepshead when a conversation began between him and restaurant owner’s son. The son had a farm loan business and offered to help the priest finance the project. Eventually, that farm loan business would grow to become Waukesha-based Ziegler Wealth Management, which, according to its website, specializes in health care, senior living, education and religion sectors, as well as general municipal and structured finance.