|History of Holy Family Catholic Church, Wittenberg, WI|
The first Holy Family Church was built in 1920. Holy Family was first served from St. Rose, Clintonville for fifteen years, and then was attached to St. Anthony church in Tigerton for eight years as a mission. Holy Family was also attached as a mission to St. Philomena's church in Birnamwood for thirty years, and finally as a mission to St. Boniface of Aniwa for a year and a half.
On June 18, 1959, Holy Family Congregation became a full-fledged parish with its own full-time resident pastor - Father Jerome Watry. In 1960 a rectory was built and occupied (the rectory debt was paid off in 1966). St. William's Congregation of Eland was attached to Holy Family as a mission in March of 1960. Father Watry was the force behind setting up a building fund for the construction of the new Holy Family Church in June of 1965. Shortly thereafter, he was assigned to St. Wendel Congregation in Cleveland, WI (July 14, 1965).
Father Ralph Hermson became the pastor of Holy Family and St. William’s congregations on July 14, 1965. While he was pastor, plans were formulated and construction began on the New Holy Family Church. Ground-breaking was August 24, 1969 and the congregation moved in and began using the church on July 26, 1970. The cornerstone, cross and baptismal font were blessed on August 30, 1970 by the Very Reverend Leo Binder (the Dean of Langlade County). The formal dedication was November 1, 1970. In 1972 Father Hermson was assigned to Holy Rosary Church in New Holstein. Father Thomas Golden, was named appointed pastor for only one year. His new assignment was to St. Francis Xavier Church, De Pere.
Father Claude Zabinski was appointed the administrator of Holy Family church on June 20, 1973 and became the pastor of Holy Family & St. William’s church in March of 1974. Father Claude remained the pastor until he passed away in July of 1999.
In the past years since Father Claude's death the Holy Family Church has been faced with uncertainty and mixed feelings. They have since been linked with St. Anthony's in Tigerton and St. Mary's in Marion, with Father Mike Carroll presiding. During that time, 2 Sisters (Mary Gail and Margaret Therese) were assigned to Holy Family as well. Then for about a year Father Faustin Miskabo O. Pream was assigned as pastor for the tri-parish. Father Faustin has worked to really unify the three parishes. When Father Faustin left the parish, Sister Margaret Therese was assigned as Parish Director of the church with Father Richard Stajniger O. Pream as the sacramental minister.
Currently Father Girotti is assigned to the three parishes of Holy Family-St. William, St. Anthony's (Tigerton) and St. Mary's (Marion). These three area churches are dealing with the possibility of linking with a fourth church - St. Mary's Church of Leapolis. If this occurs the four parishes will be linked and Father Girotti and Father Harry Hafeman will share the responsibilities of the parishes.
As we grow and unite let it be known that thanks and appreciation should be given to Bishop Zubik who assigned Father Girotti to oversee the three parishes. We are once again healing & coming together in celebration of the Lord.