The following historical descriptions are transcribed from the book, The Catholic Church in Wisconsin, published by the Catholic Historical Publishing Company, T.J. Sullivan, October 9, 1896.

Ozaukee County Churches



Holy Cross Church, Holy Cross, Wis.


The parish of Holy Cross was organized September 14, 1845 - over half a century ago - so that it can very properly be counted among the oldest of the Catholic congregations in Wisconsin. Of course, the place received occasional visits even prior to this time, although such events were naturally of rare occurence. The first Catholic clergyman to visit Holy Cross of whom any authentic record is given was the Rev. Michael HEISS, afterwards Archbishop of Milwaukee. Others followed, among them being the Rev. Fathers Mathias STEIGER, Anton MEYER, F.X. OBERMUELLER, LAUFHUBER - who built the first school and introduced the Sissters of Notre Dame as teachers - P. BERMADINER, M. DEISENRIEDER, B. SMEDDING, DeARNOLD - who built the present stone church - J.M. OBERMUELLER, F. FUSSEDER, STRICKNER, J. WELTER, H.F. MUCKERHAIDE, L. MUELLER - he built the tower and sacristy, besides furnishing bells for the church - William FRANTZ - who built the present schoolhouse and parsonage - the present rector, Father P.H. WELBES. Father WELBES has accomplished a great deal of successful work during his incumbency, among other things a thorough renovation of the church, including the frescoing of the whole interior, and the arrangement and direction of that most important event-the fiftieth anniversary of the congregation The latter was an unusually interest occasion, the services being conducted by the Rt. Rev. Bishop SCHWEBACH, assisted by a large number of the diocesan clergy. The congregation of Holy Cross now numbers one hundred and forty-one families. The parochial school is under the care of three Sisters of St. Dominic from Racine, and has a regular attendance of about one hundred and sixty scholars. The Catholic Knights of Wisconsin are represented in the congregation by Branch 163, of which J. PALUS is president, P.L. PIERRON, secretary, and Peter SCHOMMER, treasurer. There is also the St. Martin's Benevolent Society, of which J.P. VEY is president, D. F. MOYER, secretary and Peter SCHOMMER, treasurer.

The Rev. P.H. WELBES was born April 26, 1853, at Stadt Credimus, Luxemburg. He came to the United States in 1867, arriving on May 10. He entered the Seminary of St. Francis, near Milwaukee, in 1870, where, after having completed his studies in philosophy and theology, he was ordained to the priesthood on June 29, 1879. After having served in several other parishes, he was, on July 15, 1890, appointed rector of the church of the Holy Cross, in Ozaukee County, Wisconsin.