Catholic Community of Waukesha

Parish History

The story of St. William Parish began in June, 1955, when the Most Rev. Albert G. Meyer, Archbishop of Milwaukee purchased a ten acre plot of land and designated it as a future site of a planned third Catholic parish in the City of Waukesha.
 
Archbishop Meyer announced the establishment of the new parish two years later on June 25, 1957.  He named it St. William in honor of Rt. Rev. Msgr. William Miller who had been pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Waukesha for forty years.  The Archbishop also designated Rev. Francis C. Sutschek to be the founding pastor of St. William.  The Congregation first met in the Park Theater in downtown Waukesha until the church building was completed in 1960.
 
Father Sutschek continued as pastor of St. William until 1972 when Father Donald Quartana was appointed pastor.  Father Quartana served as pastor until 1986.  Father David Filut was appointed pastor in 1986 and he served until 1998, then Father Leonard Barbian was appointed pastor and served until 2009 when the present pastor Father Curt Frederick, was appointed.
 
St. William School opened in 1961 with grades 3-8.  Grades 1-2 were added in 1971.  Kindergarten was first offered in 1985 and a four year old program in 1987.  The Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity from Manitowoc, Wisconsin administered and taught in the school until 1989.  In 1990, St. William School consolidated with the other three parishes of Waukesha, (St. Joseph, St. Mary and St. John Neumann) to form the Waukesha Catholic School System (WCSS).  St. William Campus and St. Mary Campus have K4 (4 year olds) through Grade 5 and St. Joseph Campus has Grades 6 through 8.
 
The present rectory and former convent were built in 1961.  Physical expansion of the main building took place in 1967 with the addition of the Gymnasium and another classroom wing to the school.
                                                                               
The St. William Parish Council was formed in 1968, the first among the Catholic parishes of Waukesha.  Various committees of the Council were also established at that time.  St. William celebrated its 25th Anniversary as a parish in 1982.  The Parish Staff grew with the addition of two full-time professional positions:  Youth Minister in 1984 and Adult and Family Minister in 1986.  In 1994 the Adult and Family Minister position became part-time and we shared a Minister with St. Joseph’s and St. John Neumann.  In 1997, a full-time Adult and Family Minister was hired to meet the needs of a growing parish.
 
In 1991 after much study, ground was broke for a new church building to be built in front of the existing structure.  On Easter Sunday, April 19, 1992 the first Mass was held in the new church.  In addition to the new church, a new parish office was added as well as a conference room and a larger office space for the pastor.  Since that time the “old church” has been remodeled to become the present Parish Hall complete with a working kitchen and additional storage space. In 2000 the interior of the Annex was totally remodeled and a wing was added to accommodate growing parish needs and is now called the Vercelli House.  In addition, two wings of the school were enclosed to accommodate a new kindergarten room and a pre-school room, along with an enlarged area for the school office, the Secretary’s and Principal’s office. 
 
A canopy was erected over the front entrance of Church in 2007 to commemorate the Golden Anniversary of the Parish.
 
St. William Parish has more than tripled in size from 552 founding families to over 2200 families or households at present.  St. William’s celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2007.