Worship Schedule



3:00-3:45 PM
4:00 PM


9:00 AM
11:00 AM

Weekday Masses

7:30 AM

(Check Bulletin for Special Masses)

Anointing Information

By appointment.
Call Parish Office 920-336-1813.

History of St. Francis Xavier Parish

In 1878, Father William DeKelver was requested to write a history of his parish, St. Francis Xavier. One could surely understand why this man was given such a task, for his Historical Sketch is very articulate and florid.

He speaks of the Village of De Pere as an "area of dense forest peopled only by red men and roamed by wild beasts. It is situated on the famous Fox River five miles from its mouth on a beautiful slope rising gradually towards the East (Devil) River thus forming between these two rivers, another Garden of Eden, like unto its paragon between the Tigris and Euphrates."

This account commencing in 1668 till 1878 was obtained through the Diocesan Archives. He states that although many transactions transpired at the time, the writer of this narrative was a youth, just beginning to appreciate the importance of a religious education, yet he has spared no pains to consult such recollections, reminiscences and living witnesses of undoubted veracity as may render it reliable and worthy of acceptation.

1668 December 3rd, Father Claudius Allouez on the festival of St. Francis Xavier said the first Mass and called the mission by its present name. The Indians, whom he had converted and baptized, adorned the cross with brilliant skins and crimson belts.
1671 Father Claudius Allouez, with the aide of Father Andre, built a bark chapel on the east bank of the Fox River. Hostile Indians burned the chapel and cabin on Dec. 22, 1672.
1676 A new church was built by Father Albanel, successor to Fathers Allouez and Andre. This was built with the assistance of Nicolas Perrot, and also destroyed by fire. The foundation was said to still be visible as late as 1830.
1681 Construction was begun of a new chapel that was engulfed by fire before completion. Architect was Wm.Verboort, who later was ordained Father Verboort.
1684 Under the direction of Father Verboort, a chapel measuring 70'x40' with a gallery and seating for 600 persons was erected, a beautiful spacious place of worship for the growing Catholic population.
1686 Nicholas Perrot, the French Governor, donated to the mission a golden monstrance which became known as the 'Perrot Monstrance'. Inscription on the monstrance reads 'Ce Soleil A Ete Donne Par Mr. Nicolas Perrot a la Mission de St. Francis Xavier en La Baye des Puants 1686'. (This Solary was presented by Mr. Nicolas Perrot to the Mission St. Francis Xavier at De Pere in 1686.)
The monstrance was buried during an uprising and recovered in 1802 at the site of the Mission at De Pere during construction. It is considered the finest relic of the early French days in this territory.
1869 Because of rapid growth, another parish was formed - Immaculate Conception, now known as St. Mary's Congregation. The Irish and English stayed at St. Francis. Father Verboort went to St. Mary's with the Hollanders.
1899 September 6th, an historical marker was placed at the site of the chapel of St. Francis Xavier at the base of the Allouez Bridge, east side of De Pere.
1905 December 24th, Bishop J. J. Fox dedicated St. Francis Xavier Parish.
1964 Centennial of St. Francis is celebrated. Blessed Sacrament was exposed in the Perrot Monstrance. Solemn High Mass concelebrated by Bishop Stanislaus V. Bona and Father Thomas Fox, O Praem, 1st priest son of St. Francis Xavier.
1970 Church was refurbished in the spring - but ten days after the dedication a strong wind blew the steeple onto the church roof resulting in extensive damage.
1972 September - the new St. Francis Xavier church is ready for dedication with Bishop Aloysius Wycislo presiding.
1989 The Church was once again renovated. Painting, wooden ceiling, lighting fixtures, developing a choir area with a glass background to enhance resonance, sound system and carpeting completed the project in time for Christmas. Father Tony Dolski wrote the following prayer upon completion of the project: "Lord, may your dwelling at St. Francis Church enjoy the touch of cleanness, the touch of beauty, the reverberation of song and holy prayer, reflected in your greatness and goodness and blessing of us all at St. Francis Xavier De Pere. Amen."
1995 Parishioners joined together to build a Parish Activity Center.
1996 March 19th, Bishop Robert Banks assisted in the dedication of the Center. It consists of 3 floors providing the parish with a Religious Education Center and space for gathering functions. The present parish of St. Francis Xavier has 1,026 registered units. At the time of the centennial there were 550 units, 4,463 baptisms, 1,030 weddings and 1,635 funerals. To date, (January 1, 1998), there have been 6,113 baptisms, 1,653 weddings and 2,381 funerals.
2006 St. Francis Xavier Parish and St. Mary Catholic Community are linked. Father V. Anthony Dolski retires after 20 years as Pastor. Father John Harper is named Administrator and Father David Duffeck is appointed Associate Pastor. The former convent/rectory building on Michigan Street is remodeled; the building is currently used as the Parish Office and as Xavier House, a house of discernment for diocesan men who are considering entering the seminary.
2009 Father Joel Sember is appointed Associate Pastor effective July 1st. Bishop David Ricken installs Father John Harper as Pastor at 4:00 p.m. Mass on December 19th.
2010 Father Patrick Beno is appointed Associate Pastor effective September 1st.

Those who have served as Pastor of St. Francis Xavier Parish:

Father William A. Verboort 1864-1870
Father Nickolas July (Jooly) 1870-1874
Monsignor Andrew Seubert 1874-1875
Father John J. Wernert Mar to Aug 1875 (6 months)
Father Louis Cornelis 1875-1876
Father William DeKelver 1876-1884
Father Joseph John Ryan 1884-1886
Father William J. Rice 1886-1893
Father Charles J. Gallagher 1893-1903
Father Timothy J. Ryan 1903-1910
Father George F. Dillon 1910-1927
Father Gervase J. O'Connell 1927-1939
Father Joseph C. Short 1939-1946
Monsignor Delbert W. Basche 1946-1954
Monsignor Hubert J. Kleiber 1955-1969
Father John Feeney 1969-1973
Father Thomas R. Golden 1973-1986
Father V. Anthony Dolski 1986-2006
Father John H. Harper 2006-2011
Father Richard Getchel 2011-

Associate/Assistant Pastors

Rev. Donald Feller 1948
Rev. Eugene Hotchkiss 1948-1954
Rev. Donald Schneider (admin, pro temp) 1954
Rev. James De Witt 1955-1963
Rev. Charles Hoffmann 1963-1968
Rev. Philip Hoffmann 1968-1969
Rev. Leon Wollersheim 1968-1971
Rev. Nicholas Joannes 1971-1973
Rev. Paul Demuth (part time) 1973-1975
Rev. William Kuhr
Rev. Lee Kahrs
Rev. John Gallagher 1976
Rev. Tito Sammut
Rev. Alfred Loehr
Rev. Raymond Hietpas
Rev. John G. Johanek
Monsignor Brian Coleman
Father David A. Duffeck 2006-2009
Father Joel A. Sember 2009-2010
Father Patrick C. Beno 2010-2012
Father Judah Pigon, MF 2013-2016
Father Binu Varghese, O.Praem. 2016-2018
Father Michael Thiel 2018-present