The history of Catholicism in the Marinette area reaches back to the mid-nineteenth century when Masses were celebrated at private residences or on boats in the harbor. The presiders were visiting priests who “rode the circuit.” In 1868, Our Lady of Lourdes was founded, and a small church was built on Water Street.
Our Lady of Lourdes. The cornerstone for the present Our Lady of Lourdes Church on the corner of Taylor and Park Streets was laid on July 19, 1959, by Bishop Stanislaus V. Bona, Bishop of Green Bay. The rectory was built at the same time. The Our Lady of Lourdes Social Hall, now Holy Family Parish Center, was completed in 1988. Our Lady of Lourdes Church is one of two sites that were retained for use as worship sites by Holy Family Parish.
St. Joseph Church. On September 4, 1888, Fr. Joseph F. Durin was appointed by the bishop to care for the French speaking parishioners at Our Lady of Lourdes. This was the official beginning of St. Joseph Church in Marinette. In January 1892, there were 360 persons on the church rolls when construction of St. Joseph’s Church was completed. This is the second of the four Catholic churches which was retained by Holy Family Parish as one of its worship sites.
Sacred Heart. Originally the Polish people of Marinette belonged to Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, just as the French had. At a capacity meeting of the Stanislaus group of the Polish National Alliance, which was held July 7, 1893, a parish was organized with the intention of separating from Our Lady of Lourdes. As a result of this meeting, the cornerstone for Sacred Heart Church, located in the 900 block of Elizabeth Avenue, was laid on October 31, 1893. In 1989, after the consolidation of the four parishes of Marinette into one parish, Sacred Heart Church was sold.
St. Anthony. In the fall of 1901, about 85 German families separated from Our Lady of Lourdes congregation to form St. Anthony Parish. Two lots were purchased at the corner of Wells Street and Newberry Avenue, and the building already on the lots was redesigned to serve as a chapel until the new church could be constructed. On May 4, 1902, the cornerstone was laid for a new church planned to accommodate a congregation of 350 families.