About Our Parish

Our Patroness St. Thérèse of Lisieux said, "In the heart of the Church, I will be love!" Nestled in the heart of Appleton on Wisconsin Avenue, our parish strives to imitate St. Thérèse's "Little Way" of seeing our primary vocation as Love. To love God with our whole heart, and to love our neighbor as ourself. The four marks of our parish are "Grow, Pray, Serve, and Belong" capturing the four desires we believe everyone has when they set foot in a parish with hopes of growing closer to God.

  • Grow - through study of our Catholic Faith
  • Pray - through living a life of prayer, virtue, and the sacraments
  • Serve - through parish ministries and parish outreaches
  • Belong - through our time together and through our common identity received in Baptism, when we became beloved sons and daughters of a God who loves us.

Furthermore, the Catechism of the Catholic Church summarizes the role of the Parish in our Life:

"A parish is a definite community of the Christian faithful established on a stable basis within a particular church; the pastoral care of the parish is entrusted to a pastor as its own shepherd under the authority of the diocesan bishop."115 It is the place where all the faithful can be gathered together for the Sunday celebration of the Eucharist. The parish initiates the Christian people into the ordinary expression of the liturgical life: it gathers them together in this celebration; it teaches Christ's saving doctrine; it practices the charity of the Lord in good works and brotherly love" (CCC 2179).

We hope you feel at home here with us, and find here a place where you can grow in knowledge of your faith; deepen your relationship with our Lord Jesus; find ways to respond to God's love through service; and thus enter more fully into a new family of faith. Please let us know if we can assist you in any way, and May God bless you always!

Fr. Ryan Starks 







1927 - Parish Founded

1940 - Current Church Building Opens

1984 - School Closes (After serving us well for 56 years)
1986 - Major Renovation of Church Completed

2002 - The Appleton Area Hispanic Community was invited into our family

We have a beautifully vibrant parish, with cultural representation from several European and Latin American Countries, as well as a significant part of our family from Micronesia in the southwest Pacific. However, this doesn't mean you won't find someone worshipping here from another country or culture. We take pride (the good kind of pride) in our rich history, and our culturally diverse family. Through the Catholic Faith, we become one - the true beauty of the name "Catholic" which means "universal" We'd love to have you a part of the next 90 years of history. Welcome, and God bless you!







Our parish of Saint Therese was founded in February of 1927 with 275 families that previously belonged to the downtown parishes of St. Mary's and St. Joe's. Land on the far north side of the city was purchased for $15,000 and in April ground was broken for the two story building that served as church and school. Fr. Matthias Hauch was named pastor in May of 1927, and the building was dedicated in November by Bishop Rhode.


The new church was begun in 1938, and the first Mass was celebrated in May of 1940. A major renovation was done in 1986. Our school served parishioners for 56 years, 1928-1984. In 1984, with rising costs and enrollment declining, the parish decided to close the school.

A majority of the founding families came from a German Heritage. In 2002 the Hispanic ministry and community in the greater Appleton area was invited to join our parish. Their mainly Mexican heritage is reflected in our December celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe. We celebrate our being one parish with our patronal feast day on October 1st, Saint Therese of Lisieux.

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