ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST – MONCHES HISTORY
The first Catholic settlers came to Monches in September 0f 1842. By November of that year, Fr. Martin Kundig held Mass in William McGrath’s home. A year later, the congregation of St. John was established and a log church completed, which served until 1855 when a wood frame church was built across the street (where the present church stands).
In 1917, while the Rev. Wm. Mahoney was pastor, construction of the new church was begun. The stone were brought in from Lannon and styled in the English gothic tradition with a stone tower and copper spire. It features seating for three hundred, a beautiful sanctuary with a high altar and two side altars, delicately colored stained glass windows and a well designed gallery for the choir.
In April 1920, the church was consecrated by Archbishop Messmer with 43 visiting clergy
St. John has shared a long history with St. Columba in Lake Five, Washington County (now merged with St. Hubert, Hubertus and St. Mary, Richfield to become St. Gabriel). In 1993 they celebrated 150 years of shared faith.
ST. CLARE – NORTH LAKE HISTORY
St. Clare Congregation was incorporated in North Lake, Wisconsin, in July of 1916 as a part of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. The first Masses were held in the hall above the hardware and grocery store in North Lake.
On October 3, 1917, Father Louis N. Zirbes and the parishioners broke ground for the new church, designed by well-known architect and parishioner, Alexander C. Eschweiler. The church was built in the Tudor Gothic style, with Lannon quarry stone laid in a random rubble pattern. The church was formally dedicated with a high Mass by Archbishop Messmer on April 30, 1919. The congregation numbered 35 families at that time.
In 1941, an addition was added to the church to bring the seating capacity up to 250. The membership in 1941 was 104 families.
On June 25, 2006, a new chapter began in our journey as St. John and St. Clare merged to form Blessed Teresa of Calcutta Parish. In September 2016, the name was changed to St. Teresa of Calcutta reflecting the Canonization of Mother Teresa.
According to the Archdiocesan 2020 Plan – with St. Teresa of Calcutta clustering with St. Charles in the near future-our Mass schedule will likely be reduced. With that in mind, the Parish launched a years-long study and preparation for this outcome, and discerned that the North Lake church should be expanded to include additional seating, a gathering space, first-floor accessible bathrooms and updated sound and lighting. Work began in spring 2016 and will conclude at the end of the year. The Growing With God Capital Campaign made it possible to build the $1.8M expansion without encountering debt.
St. John Cemetery
There are a number of sites to visit for information about the burials at this cemetery.
St. Columba and St. John shared a pastor until July 1998.
St. Clare Cemetery
These are our church records for St. Clare 1917 to 1958
The Archdiocese of Milwaukee is working to get all cemetery records online, so visit www.cemeteries.org
The brochure below outlines our current Cemetery rules for both St. John Cemetery in the Town of Erin and St. Clare Cemetery in the Town of Merton. These flyers are also available at the Parish Office and will be located in a brochure box at both cemeteries.
Every spring and fall, the parish sets aside one week to clean up seasonal decorations. This happens after Thanksgiving and before Easter. During that time all artificial flowers and torn decorations will be disposed of.
If you are researching your family, the oldest church sacramental records for baptism, marriage and death, are at the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. Contact their archivist for further information firstname.lastname@example.org
The Archdiocese has some rules regarding genealogy searches, so review their requirements at Genealogy
For the former St. John in Monches, other civic/school records are located at the Hartford History Room, inside the Hartford Library. The Church of Latter Day Saints / LDS have copies of church records for St. John in Monches. Please note that the older records (1845 to 1900’s) are written in Latin.
For St. Clare in North Lake, the civic records are located in Waukesha at the Waukesha Historical Society.
A researcher in the area offers this website:www.wisconsinancestors.com which is all encompassing.