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History

The Saint

Born in 1549. Ordained a priest in the Franciscan Order at age 27. Left Spain for Peru in 1589. Labored among the Indians of Peru as a missionary for 20 years. Died in the year 1609. Feast day is celebrated on July 14.

The Mission

1790
First converts to Catholicism. The person mainly responsible for an exemplary Christian life was a certain Frenchman – John Corbine.
1860-73
There were occasional visits by Missionary Fathers from Bayfield, Wisconsin.
1878
Franciscan priests took charge.
1881
Small log cabin church was begun.
1885
Church was completed and blessed in August. A school and Sister’s Convent were built. Dominic Durharine, a Catholic layman, was the first teacher.
1885
The School Sisters of St. Francis from Milwaukee, WI, came to teach in the school until 1908.
1909
Sisters of St. Joseph from Superior, WI, took charge of the school until 1920. School was closed for lack of funds.
1918
Father Philip Gordon, diocesan priest and first American Indian priest, became pastor.
1921
The Church was destroyed by lightning.
1923-24
Present Church was built of native pipe stone.
1927
The School Sisters of St. Francis returned and reopened the school with Sister Sirilla LaRush as principal. She was the first native Indian religious from St. Francis Solanus Mission.
1936
New home for the Sisters was built.
1938
Franciscan priests from the Sacred Heart Province of St. Louis, MO, returned and took charge.
1941-42
A new school building was erected and blessed by Bishop William O’Connor on May 11, 1942.
1950
Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes constructed as a Marian year project.
1965
Cemetery restoration.
1969
Blacktopping of playground and parking lot. Playground equipment installed.
1970
Church tuck-pointed and bell tower repaired.
1971
Wigwam Repository constructed (21 deer hides). Interior of church redecorated. New garage for buses.
1972
Automatic Church bells and Angelus bells installed. Blacktopping completed; new playground equipment added.
1973
Re-shingling of Church roof and rectory kitchen addition.
1974
Green van for transporting 11 school children.
1975
New well dug and indoor plumbing for the school. New dry wells for the Mission.
1976
New epoxy glass windows for the church and convent chapel. Kindergarten begun in school.
1977
New 60 passenger school bus for the school children. New garage for Sisters.
1978
Lightning rods installed on roofs of all mission buildings.
1980
New lawn mowing equipment and snow removal equipment.
1981
New maroon van for transporting 11 school children.
1982
Extensive repair job on school to prevent basement leaking. Dishwasher equipment for school. Cross on Church steeple repaired.
1983
New organ for church in May. Original statue of Blessed Kateri Tekawitha in church. First computers in school.
1984
New 65-passenger school bus. Memorial erected in honor of Rev. Kurt E. Buranich, O.F.M. (died Dec. 25, 1983). Emergency generator installed for entire Mission.
1985
New 21-passenger school bus. New cemetery land cleared. Centennial of the school. Centennial celebration on June 9, 1985.
1986
New windows in school. Classroom painted.
1987
New furnace in school. New windows in convent. Cross in new cemetery erected. New drain filed for school. Electrical rewiring of school. Blessed Kateri Tekawitha statue in school cafeteria as a memorial to honor Sister Sirilla LaRush, Native Indian religious from St. Francis Mission.
1987
New carpet in school.
1988
Diocesan priest, rev. Gregory Hopefl, became pastor. New windows in Convent.
1989
Church roof repaired. Inside walls of church repaired. Exterior of Convent painted. Roof repair on rectory.
1990
Interior of Church painted and carpeted. Outdoor shrine of Blessed Kateri Tekawitha constructed across from new cemetery.
Mission Establishes Kateri Circle
1991
Playground equipment moved to present location.
1992
New 15-passenger (1993) school bus-van donated.
1993
Extensive school furnace repair. Construction of multi-purpose parish hall. New 15-passenger school bus.
1994
Blacktop sealant on parking lot.
1995
New 65-passenger school bus.
1996
New 21-passenger school bus.
1997
New roof and siding on school. Lumen Christi Award presented to Sister Felissa Zander. Installation of the Internet in school.
1998
New roof and siding on Convent. New roof and siding on Rectory.
1999
St. Francis Solanus Mission Historical Marker erected.
2000
Millennium Celebration
2001-02
Installed new generator for entire Mission from Clemson University, S.C.
2004
Painted interior of school
2005
First class relic Blessed Kateri Tekawitha in Church
2009
New propane gas tanks installed
New handcrafted Easter candle stand installed by Ojibwe
2011
Appreciation celebration for School Sisters of St. Francis hosted by Ojibwe
2013
Entire church renovated: new roof, interior and exterior tuck pointing of pipestone completed
Hosted the Diocesan St. Kateri Tekaakwitha Canonization Celebration July 14, 2013
2014
New school roof repair
2015
All garage roofs repaired


For more information:
St. Francis Solanus Mission
13891 W. Mission Road
Stone Lake, WI 54876-3099
Phone: 715-865-3662 - E-Mail: schsis@cheqnet.net

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