Our Parish History

A Short History of Saint Therese Catholic Church and School

On July 31, 1923, land was purchased for $15,000 for a new church in Appleton.   The parish was established and dedicated to St Therese, The Little Flower by the Bishop of Green Bay, the Right Reverend Paul Peter Rhode, on July 11, 1926.  

In April of 1927, ground was broken for the two-story red brick building that would serve as the church (temporarily) and the school. The first floor was used as the church and there were six classrooms on the second floor.  Father Mathias Hauch was appointed as the first pastor of St Therese Parish.

On November 6, 1927, Bishop Rhode dedicated the church in the red brick building.  Two hundred and seventy five families that previously belonged to St Mary and St Joseph parishes formed the nucleus of the new parish.  

In September of 1930 the school opened with 420 students.  

On August 20, 1938, the cornerstone was laid and construction began on the modified Gothic style church and the new rectory.  The total cost of the new church and rectory was $158,735.

In May of 1940, the first Mass was celebrated in the new church.  In 1949, the sanctuary was refurbished and a convent was builtfor 19 nuns.  In 1952 for the Silver Jubilee of the parish, Carillon Bells were installed.  Another major renovation was completed in 1986.  

In 1953, an addition was added to the school that provided 8 more classrooms.  Our school served the parishioners for 56 years.  In 1984, with rising costs and enrollment declining, the parish decided to close the school.

In 2020, ground was broken for a new building next to the church.  This building will include a gathering space and multipurpose room for parish events.  In addition, the convent will be renovated and used as classrooms and meeting rooms.    

We are proud of our rich history, and our culturally diverse family. A majority of the founding families came from a German Heritage. In 2002, the Hispanic ministry and community in the greater Appleton area joined our parish. Today we have over 1200 families with cultural representation from several European and Latin American Countries, as well as Micronesia in the southwest Pacific. Through the Catholic Faith, we become one - the true beauty of the name "Catholic" which means "universal". We would love to have you a part of the next 98 years of history. Welcome and God bless you.




Rev. Matthias Hauch


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