Together in Faith
St. Joe's
History - 1916-1946

The Rt. Rev. Msgr. P.J. Lochman, vicar general of the Green Bay Diocese at the time, officiated at the cornerstone laying on May 25, 1916. The formal dedication of the new church took place on Sunday, December 17 of the same year. Bishop Paul P. Rhode of the Green Bay Diocese was there for the dedication. The 12-room rectory was built of brick to match the church. The cost of the entire project, furniture and all, was $41,341.

In 1920, Father Ehr urged the congregation, in conformity with diocesan regulations, to establish a separate cemetery account. With permission of the Ordinary a perpetual fund was established for the continued care of the cemetery. In 1920, J.W. Moxon erected two large stone gateposts at an expense of $101.25.

On December 31, 1921 the parish paid Peter Eiden $250 for more land. On account of the Indian hills on every grave and the deep furrows, the B.L.Vaughn Company was engaged to plow and level the cemetery at an expense of $201.25. The land was surveyed and mapped by F.E. Halladay at an expense of $243.81. Curbing on the center driveway and shrubbery and trees expenses brought the total improvement investment to $905.78. A complete sprinkler system was installed in the parish cemetery in 1923.

In 1925, parishioners established a school building fund since the debt on the church and rectory had been paid. The fund made little progress during the depression years. But by the spring of 1940 the way was clear for the beginning of a new school. The cornerstone laying was held on May 25. As rain poured down on the assembled crowd, Father Julius Chylinski, pastor of St. Peter’s Parish and dean of Portage County, blessed the stone. Assisting him were Father Ehr and Father Cyril Kabat, assistant at St. Stephen’s.

Placed in the cornerstone were documents containing lists of national, state, city and church officials; a history of the parish, especially that referring to the old school; names of parish leaders and of the contractors, copies of the Stevens Point Daily Journal, and a collection of photographs and coins. During the mass, Father Michael Bablitch, assistant at St. Joseph’s of Green Bay, delivered the sermon.

The new school was second to none in the Green Bay Diocese in beauty and solidity of architectural structure and in modern equipment. It stands today as a lasting monument of faith and zeal. In May of 1945, Pope Pius honored the parish by raising Father Ehr to the rank of Domestic Prelate with the title of Right Reverend Monsignor.

In January of 1946, the new Madison Diocese was formed out of parts of the Green Bay and La Crosse dioceses. As a result, the people of Stevens Point became part of the La Crosse Diocese.

History — The Beginning  |  History — 1884-1916  |  History — 1916-1946  |  History — 1946-1984