TIMELINE OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST PARISH/SCHOOL
Log church built under direction of Rev. Father Bonduel, near Duck Creek, 3.5 miles northwest of Fort Howard in front of the Howard House. The Indian cemetery next to the church became the parish cemetery. The community's oldest settlers were French Canadian. They were served by a missionary priest, Fr. Turcotte, who became the first resident priest.
Fr. Turcotte was appointed the parish's first pastor. Early pastors preached in English, French, German and Flemish. Fr. Turcotte was succeeded by Fr. P.C. Menard. After Fr. Menard's resignation, the parish was placed in charge of the Capuchin Fathers from Velp Convent, Holland.
Fr. Bonaventure De Goey, O.M. Cap., took over as pastor and was the first postmaster in the settlement.
Fr. De Goey named the Post Office "Velp" whence comes the name of the thoroughfare "Velp Avenue" in Green Bay.
Fr. Mauritius Hens, O.M. Cap. succeeded Fr. De Goey.
Rev. Elsear de Wilt, a native of Holland, came to Duck Creek when the new Green Bay Diocese was organized by Bishop Melcher.
He moved to Little Chute the next year; however, priests were assigned to St. John the Baptist on a continuous basis ever since
Fr. Charles Beyerle, the next pastor, erected a large brick veneer church built on present property -- church entrance on west side. The church was located one and a half miles from the flourishing little settlement. The church was considered one of the largest and most beautiful in this section of the country. Fathers Veith, Charles Steil, and P.A. Paradis succeeded each other as pastors for very brief intervals.
Rev. Edward F. Van Hootegem, a newly ordained priest, was appointed pastor by Pastor by Bishop Krautbauer. Fr. Van Hootegem served St. John the Baptist Parish from 1881 - 1892.
Three bells for the church were purchased for $252.82. The bells were named St. John the Baptist (weight 770 lb.) Constantine (weight 312 lb.) and Angeline (weight 192 lb.).
St. Leo's school was built with four rooms. The Sisters of St. Francis of Bay Settlement led the school. An artesian well was drilled providing the church and school property with a complete system of water-works.
St. Leo's school dedicated, October 1st, 1889
A rectory was built.
The Oblate Fathers came to the parish.
The brick church was torn down and a stone church was built.
The Parish celebrates its centennial (100 years old). Fr. Hennessey, the pastor, presided at the mass. Bishop Bona and all
former priests including Frs. Hunold, Donovan, and Leary attended the celebration.
Fr. Goetz was appointed pastor. He served the parish for 19 years.
There was an addition made to the school building.
There was another addition made to the school building.
Frs. John Penzenstadler and David Plier are appointed co-pastors.
St. John the Baptist School celebrated its centennial.
Fr. William Swichtenberg was appointed as co-pastor.
The new Activity Center, including a gym, library, commons, preschool room and offices was dedicated. Fr. Gregory Smith
was appointed co-pastor.
A mortgage burning celebration was held. In five short years the people of St. John's paid off the loan of $1,010,000
for the Activity Center. What a wonderful achievement!
St. John the Baptist Parish celebrated its sesquicentennial (150 years).
Fr. John Bergstadt was appointed pastor.
Ground was broken for our new church.
Our new church was dedicated on October 7th. Bishop Robert Morneau presided at our liturgy.
Fr. Scott Valentine was appointed associate pastor.
Fr. Jim Lucas was appointed pastor.