Compiled by Ricardo Torres, using resources provided by St. Francis Xavier Parish, Brighton.
First church: The parish started as a community of faith in 1838 with Mass celebrated in residents’ homes until 1843 when a log cabin church was built and named for St. Patrick. In 1849, a permanent structure was built and kept the name St. Patrick. On May 18, 1883, a tornado destroyed the church and the present church was built in August 1883 and renamed St. Francis Xavier.
First pastor: Fr. Francis Xavier Etchmann, serving 1848-1851 and again from 1881-1895.
|On Sept. 15, St. Francis Xavier Parish, Brighton will celebrate its 175-year anniversary. It is one of the oldest parishes in Wisconsin. Mass celebrated by Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki, 10:30 a.m. Historical Faith Museum, featuring artifacts and memorabilia, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Luncheon with music by Ceol Caride and German Male Chours and showing of 175th anniversary video, noon. Concert in the church, 2 p.m.|
Current pastor: Fr. Russell Arnett
First congregation: Masses were said in the homes of Michael Ward and Francis McGuire and it is believed that 16 families were part of the community at the time.
School: Built in 1857, it was one of the first Catholic schools in the state and is the oldest Catholic school in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. School enrollment is 65 students from kindergarten through eighth grade.
Present congregation: 216 families belong to the parish.
Worth noting: Several descendants of the founding families are represented in the parish today.