Saint Joseph Parish

404 W Lawrence St
Appleton, WI 54911


"Past Pastors" of St. Joe's

Fr. Honoratus Schmidt(1891-1894)


Fr. Honoratus Schmidt became our ninth Pastor (a reminder is in order here. All of our Capuchin Pastors were "true blue" Germans. As was the case with his predecessors. Fr. Honoratus was born in Germany.. Baden to be specific.. and came to this country where he became a Capuchin.).

His appointment at this time seems ironic, for his interests lay especially in the spiritual welfare of the parish and in the return of lapsed Catholics. However, most of his time was taken with plans for a hall. Upon his arrival, parishioners demanded that hall be built. As he himself wrote early the next year, " i would gladly have left everything as it was, but this is no longer possible. The societies have no place for their meetings, the school has become too small, the young men want a casino, etc.".

There was no quick decision on how and what kind of hall to build. The parish was carrying a $14,000 debt and teh country experienced the panic of 1893 to make money matters worse. However, teh need for a hall was intensified with a continued shortage of space in the school, whose enrollment has risen to 600 students. This issue could be dealt with if the current hall were converted into classrooms.

Although some in the parish were opposed to entering an expensive building program, the proponents remained firm in their conviction that something had to be done. By May, 1894, Fr. Honoratus reported that, "As far as I can judge, everyone is now satisfied with the construction of the hall."

One of the sad moments of Fr. Honoratus' Pastorate was the death of Sr. Januaria, a Notre Dame nun who was just 38 years old. She had endeared herself to the school children and parishioners since being made Superioress in 1889. She would be succeeded by Sr. Ernestine as Superioress for the next 26 years! With the arrival of the Notre Dame Sisters, our school enrollment increased from 200 to 600 students; a tribute to the excellent teaching in the school.

On Oct. 18, 1893, the parish celebrated its silver anniversary of the first Mass in the old church. The parish was rightfully proud of its achievements. There had been some hectic days, but the spirit of the parishioners had remained uniformly good. Whatever troubles were overcome made the parish that much stronger and determined.



St. Joseph Parish in earlier times showing the old school and school

The interior of St. Joe's before the changes to the front of the church.

St. Joseph School and Hall built in 1894 and 1907 with the convent behind the school before the school and hall were razed for the new school building.

Old classroom photo, date unknown.

Old classroom photo, date unknown.

Interior during the 1960's.

Interior of St. Joseph Church - 1992
125th Year of Jubilee