Church to celebrate 75th anniversary
BAY SETTLEMENT -- Holy Cross Parish will celebrate the 75-year anniversary of the dedication of Holy Cross Church on Sunday, Oct. 21.
The celebration begins with Mass at 10 a.m. A social follows in the Holy Cross School Hall. Church artifacts will be on display and Pauline LaFrombois will be in attendance with copies of A Glimpse Into the Past, a local history that she and other Holy Cross families published in 1976.
Holy Cross Parish was established in 1852 by Fr. Edward Daems. Bay Settlement became the third Catholic parish with a resident pastor in the area which is now the Diocese of Green Bay. Only St. John the Evangelist, Green Bay, and St. John Nepomucene, Little Chute, are older.
The first church was erected in 1852. It featured a heavy timber frame and was made from white pine. The structure served the parish for 80 years.
The current church was built in 1932 almost in the exact spot as the old church, which was used for the last time on Nov. 2, 1931. Fr. J.W. De Vries was pastor at the time.
To fund the new church, 26 parishioners voluntarily pledged an amount in excess of half the total cost. The names of those 26 families are preserved in the cornerstone of the building and the vestibule contains a memorial tablet commemorating their generosity.
The plans for the new church, featuring a Northern Romanesque style, were designed by W.E. Reynolds of Green Bay in collaboration with Fr. De Vries. The general contract was awarded to Sam Clark of De Pere for $29,422. The total for the building project was $69,000.
Bishop Paul P. Rhode blessed and dedicated the new church on Oct. 2, 1932.
Among the renovations at the church over the years was the 1998 addition of a large, panoramic window overlooking the bay.