About Our Parish
Our Approach, Our Parish, Our Story
The Catholic parish of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (St. Mary) was founded in 1858. The first Mass was celebrated in the home of Patrick Meehan. Masses were celebrated in private homes from 1858-1866.
The first church building, dedicated to St. Thomas, was build on land that is now St. Mary Cemetery. The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church was consecrated in 1866 at the corner of Fifth Street and Central Avenue, where the present school building is now located. Fr. John C. McAteer was appointed pastor.
The first rectory was built in 1903; the present rectory was constructed in 1960. A seventeen room convent was built in 1951 for the Benedictine nuns who served the parish and school until 1980.The present church, located at the corner of Fourth and Main Streets, was consecrated in 1953 with the first Mass celebrated by Fr. Owen Mitchell on Holy Thursday. Fr. Mitchell served the parish for 26 years.
The first school was built in 1927 and the present school in 1971. A major addition providing four additional classrooms and a pre-school was constructed in 2014 and dedicated in honor of Raymond Cardinal Burke, one of the school's most esteemed alumni. The present school enrollment consists of over 160 students.
To date, five parishioners have been ordained to the priesthood: Raymond Cardnial Burke, Fr. Francis Hillesheim, Fr. Eric Berns, Fr. Donald J. Heiar, Fr. Vincent Brewer.
The present parish consists of 585 families. St. Mary is a growing parish that includes many younger families who treasure the Catholic education that is available to their children. Our current pastor is Monsignor Roger J. Scheckel, assisted by Deacon Donald C. Tully.
All Are Welcome...
Message from the Pastor
Welcome to the website of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (St. Mary), the only Catholic Church in the city of Richland Center. Our parish was founded in 1892 and belongs to the Diocese of La Crosse. I encourage you to learn about the various components that make up our parish by browsing this website. If you are new to Richland Center or you would like to make a visit here, please know that you are welcomed to join us. Those of you who have been members of Saint Mary’s for many years, I hope you enjoy this website and that it helps all of us in serving our Lord Jesus Christ through our shared parish life. May God bless you and all the parishioners of Saint Mary Parish.
Monsignor Roger J. Scheckel, Pastor