St. Anthony Tigerton


The first Catholic Mass, was celebrated in a log house, called the Railroad House, managed by Matthias Schumacher. This service was held on Easter of 1881. The priest was Father Theodore Richard of Wausau, which was in the Green Bay diocese at that time. Another account has the date of the first Mass on November 22, 1880 as church records indicate two baptisms taking place during the Mass. Father Richard must have had a special feeling about Tigerton as it is stated that he made preparations for the erection of a church in 1881.

Various priests from Clintonville, Phlox, and Aniwa served the Tigerton Mission.

The first church was built on lot 8, Block 20 of the Grundy Bingham to the village of Tigerton. The parish was established in 1882 and was named St. Joseph and dedicated in his honor by Father Peter Lochman, Pastor of St. Rose Congregation of Clintonville. There were about thirty Catholic families in the Tigerton area at that time. The church measured twenty feet wide and forty. feet long and was located near Butternut St. and Highway 45. Father John Seubert was pastor when the church was erected in 1884.

Father Aloysius Bastian was the pastor in Tigerton and he urged the parishioners to construct a new church since the first one was too small for the growing congregation. This second church was forty feet wide and seventy feet long with a partial basement, which was used as a chapel. The bell from the first church was installed in the second church. It was built in 1906 on land on which the present church is located. The rectory was built in 1914.

The first parish hall was the old Methodist Church, which was purchased from the Methodist congregation in 1925. It is now one of the Tigerton Historical Society's museums.

The present church measuring eighty by eighty feet was started in 1971 and completed in 1972 with their first Mass September 3, 1972, with no mortgage. A bell tower was added in 1996 using the original bell from the first church. Father Gerard Van Nuland was the pastor.

In 1989 an addition was added measuring forty feet by eighty feet, now the St. Joseph hall and the three parish office space. The church and halls are completely accessible to the physically handicapped.

A number of St. Anthony Congregation's sons and daughters have joined the religious life. They include Father Timothy Brandt (ordained 2009), Father Sylvester Stern, deceased; Father James Empereur, SJ; Sister Elaine Sambs, deceased, Franciscan Sisters of Charity; and Sister Frances Schuh, deceased, Dominican Sisters.

Gail Swanke has joined the New Genesis Community. She lives in Keshena.

Men of St. Anthony Congregation who have been ordained to the Permanent Deaconate are Kenneth Sambs, Hilary Hayek, Patrick Berg, and Michael Brandt (paternal father to Fr. Timonthy Brandt).

St. Anthony Catholic cemetery was established January 15, 1894 by a gift of land by a parishioner. It was later turned over to the Village of Tigerton and incorporated into the Tigerton Union Cemetery.

Other priests in the past 25 years who have served the parish (not in specific order) include:

Fr. Pius Cotter, Fr. Frank Arcuri, Fr. Paul Fider, Fr. Timon Costello, Fr. Roger Strebel, Fr. Michael Carroll, Fr. Rose, Fr. Faustan Misakabo, Fr. Richard Stajniger, Fr. John Girotti, Fr. Patirck J. Lloyd and Fr. José Castañeda.

Current updates in the 5 years from 2012-2018 include: new blinds and floor in the parish hall, new Reconciliation room, new kneeler pads and pew pads in the church proper, New glass hall door with outside brickwork and the addition of another bathroom in an upstairs room of the Rectory, new livingroom furniture, as well as new curtains in most of the rooms.

The Church is currently served by Fr. Matt Settle, pastor, and linked with St. Mary of Marion and Holy Family-St. William of Wittenberg.