Prairie Catholic History

History Files of our Parishes and Schools

St. Gabriel's Parish History

St. John's Parish History

PCS and Holy Family Parish History

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Chronological History of St. Gabriel's and St. John's

St. Gabriel's Church

1817-First priest to minister to Catholic congregation in Prairie du Chien 

1827-First Catholic log cabin church constructed in PdC

1836-Property acquired for present St. Gabriel’s church

1839-Cornerstone of present church laid and parish, formerly St. John the Baptist’s, rededicated to St. Gabriel the Archangel by Dominican pastor, Fr. Samuel Mazzuchelli

1840-First resident pastor, Fr. Augustine Ravoux, arrives in PdC

1866-Catholic education first available in PdC

1872-School Sisters of Notre Dame begin a 120-year connection with Catholic education in PdC

1874-Present rectory built at St. Gabriel’s, used as such for 115 years when Jesuit Fathers moved to St. John’s upon being assigned there for ministry also; a series of lay school principles resided there until 2002 and now the building houses the parish and pastor’s offices and accommodates some council meetings

1877-Benedictine Fathers serve St. Gabriel’s

1880-Jesuit Fathers serve at St. Gabriel’s for 11 years and then return in 1916, where it is hoped they will remain until they celebrate the centennial of their return

1891-St. John Nepomuc parish founded in PdC to provide more effective ministry to the Bohemian population; original wooden-framed church built

1891-Separate diocesan clergy serve both St. Gabriel’s and St. John’s parishes, and St. Gabriel’s Columbian High School begins its 12-year existence

1893-First rectory at St. John’s built and used as such until 1938; still standing and being used for housing 110 years later

1908-Father Becker adds on present sanctuary and sacristies and two front towers to the 1839 church

1920-School addition and convent built at St. John’s

1935-School gym and classroom building constructed at St. Gabriel’s

1938-New rectory built at St. John’s and used as such until 1989 when the remaining Notre Dame Sisters moved into it and the Jesuits moved into the former convent; this former rectory sold in 1991
St. John's Church

1950-Present church built at St. John’s

1960-New schools and convents built at both parishes

1962-65-Vatican Council 11 introduces numerous changes in the liturgy and sacramental life of the people of God

1984-Kindergarten added at St. Gabriel’s school, followed with a pre-kindergarten in 1988

1987-Parish office enters computer age at St. Gabriel’s; parish convent there sold to hospital for senior adult independent living

1989-Jesuits begin to serve St. John’s as well as St. Gabriel’s

1991-Both parishes establish an endowment fund to provide a steady source of income year after year from the interest earned

1992-The two independent parish grade schools are amalgamated into Prairie Catholic School, with the primary section located at St. Gabriel’s and the Middle School at St. John’s

2008 October 22nd, Jesuit community leaves Prairie du Chien

2008 October 23rd, Fr. Jerome Naduvathaniyil, OSB, as Pastor and Fr. Thome as Associate.

2009 November 1st, Sacred Heart Catholic Church of Wauzeka, WI is added to the Prairie du Chien Churches of St. Gabriel's and St. John's.

2009 June 14th, Historical Diocesan Corpus Christi Processions from St. John’s Church to St. Gabriel’s Church.

2009 July 1st, Fr. Jerome Naduvathaniyil, OSB, transferred to St. Anthony, Loyal.

2009 July 1st, Fr. James Weighner is appointed as the new Pastor and Fr. Amal as Associate Pastor.

2010 July, Fr. Amal leaves our Parish to return to India. No new Associate is assigned for his position.

2012 July 1st, St. Gabriel's Parish and St. John's Parish are officially combined into one parish of so named Holy Family Parish. The Holy Family Parish is one parish with two places of worship; St. Gabriel's Church and St. John's Church.

2015 - New Fellowship Hall built at St. John's Church location. New Gymnasium/Classrooms/Daycare built at St. Gabriel's School Location.

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More History Files

Below our Chronological History section, you will find many more files that contain information on our church and Parishes.

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