Catholic Community of Waukesha

Parish History

 

In response to a petition from St. Mary's parish to relieve overcrowding, St. John Neumann Congregation was canonically established in March, 1981.  Father Michael Neuberger became our first pastor on July 1, 1981, and offered our first mass on September 13, 1981 in the gym of Rose Glen School.  For the next six years, our new congregation established a special spirit with the understanding that the PEOPLE are the church - not the building.  The congregation was formally dedicated by Archbishop Rembert G. Weakland on November 29, 1981.  The Archdiocese of Milwaukee purchased 24 acres of land at the present church site in January 1982, but slow growth of the area postponed the ability to build.  Meanwhile, the faith community grew strong at its temporary Rose Glen home.

In 1986, we received the approval of the Archdiocese to proceed with building on the property.  Construction continued through the summer of 1987, and was completed in September.  The first Mass in the church was held on the sixth anniversary of our first Mass at Rose Glen, on November 29, 1987.  In June 1993, Fr. Neuberger, received a new assignment.  Fr.Thomas Demse was assigned as our 2nd pastor, and served through January 1997.  Joining Fr. Tom, Fr. Dennis Budka served as our first Associate Pastor from 1994 through June of 2000, when he was reassigned to a in solidum team ministry in Fond du Lac.  Our 3rd pastor, Fr. Glen Graczyk, was installed by Bishop Richard Sklba on July 6, 1997 and retired from active ministry in July 2003.  Fr. Don Zerkel came out of retirement to serve as interim pastor until Fr. Jim Loehr took up the reins as pastor on June 22, 2004, and he served until his retirement on June 20th, 2010.  Fr. John P. Schreiter served as pastor June 27th, 2010 through June 8th, 2012.  Fr. Curt Frederick began ministry as our current pastor, along with Fr. Kevin Barnekow as our Associate Pastor on June 10th, 2012.

THE EAGAN CHAPEL STORY

During the last 3 years at Rose Glen, the parish was blessed with a visitor from the Marquette High School staff, Fr. John Eagan, SJ. who served as the first helpout priest.  Though only a weekend visitor, he soon became “one of the family”.  In late 1986, illness caused him to miss more and more of these visits, and early in 1987, he was diagnosed with advanced cancer.  In a move which characterized his love of life and nature, he chose to live naturally — including one last bike excursion -- over prolonged treatment.  He went home to the Lord on Palm Sunday, 1987. The chapel is named in his honor.

 

OUR PATRON SAINT

St. John Neumann Congregation was named after the first American male saint, John Neumann, CSSR, the fourth bishop of Philadelphia (1811-1860).  He was born in Prachaitz, Bohemia.  After completing seminary studies in 1835, ordination was delayed because his native Diocese of Budweis was sufficiently staffed with priests.  He decided to become a missionary in the United States, and was finally ordained by the Diocese of New York after serving four years near Buffalo, NY.  After being consecrated Bishop of Philadelphia in 1852, he established over 80 churches and 140 schools.   Bishop Neumann, while small of stature and humble in manner, possessed superb organizational ability and knowledge of six languages.  Beatified in 1963, his canonization was in June, 1977.