Attendance has grown enormously at St. Charles Parish in Hartland, filling the worship space and spilling over into the parish hall for two to three Masses every weekend. The parish and school are the fifth-largest and fourth-youngest of 190 parishes in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.

Construction began in April on a new church building for the parish, and they should be holding Mass in it next year. Located at 313 Circle Drive, the new church building is being constructed on the same property, next to the existing church.

The new church will be able to accommodate 1,000 parishioners at each Mass, said Terrie Carew, who serves as assistant to the pastor and team lead.

“We will have the option to expand in the future,” she said. “This is an increase of our capacity of 750 at this time.”

Constructed in the old Italian style, the new church will be reminiscent of older European churches. It will have a dedicated Adoration Chapel in the rear of the church, offering 24 hours a day, seven days a week prayer in front of the Blessed Sacrament.

Fr. Ken Omernick, pastor of St. Charles, wants to ensure the church is timeless and traditional in design, allowing space for future growth.

The $13.9 million, 23,000-square-foot project will offer many energy-efficient upgrades, such as LED lighting and a high-efficiency heating and cooling system. In addition, there will be a bell tower, and the dome on top of the tower will extend 110 feet. Carew said the new church building will house current church art, as well as new art, such as statues, sculptures, icons and other traditional aspects found in the sanctuary.

“Initial plans do not include an altar rail, but they will build the altar space to add one in the future potentially,” she said.

To fund this project, Carew said the parish launched a five-year pledge capital campaign in 2016.

“St. Charles completed the first stage of the parish expansion project in 2017 for a growing school that included the addition of six multi-purpose classrooms and workrooms, including a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) classroom and a music/choir room,” she said. “The second stage is the construction of our new church. The third phase will be to renovate our current church to meet the programming needs of our parishioners, such as small groups and child and teen formation.”

Parishioners are excited to be moving toward their new church home, Carew said.

“We have received an overwhelmingly positive response from our parishioners, with the great support of the community of Hartland,” she said. “They will evaluate our current church space for the future programming needs of our parishioners, such as small groups, and child and teen formation. Our parish will also provide childcare services in the existing church building.”

Corporate Contractors Inc. is the construction manager for the project, and Zimmerman Architectural Studios is the architect for the project, which they plan to complete by November 2022.

For more information or to follow the progress, visit