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Detailed History of
St. Mary's Immaculate Conception Church

One-half mile north of the small settlement of Custer standing on the hillside is our Catholic Church dedicated to the Immaculate Conception of Mary, usually known at St. Mary’s, Custer.

The first Mass was celebrated in 1840 in the home of Owen Fehely. This home was on the north side of Highway 10 E across from the Weisbrot farm. First settlers were mostly Irish immigrants coming directly from Ireland. Some polish families had settled in and around Stevens Point but came in greater numbers in 1860’s. The spiritual needs of the people were in the care of missionary priests, some coming from far as Milwaukee. In 1853, St. Stephen’s was established in Stevens Point and the people of Custer were visited quite regularly by the
priest of the congregation.

In 1875 the church was built under the supervision of contractor Michael Herbert. Most of the work was done by the parishioners. On November 16, 1875, the church was dedicated by Bishop F.X. Krautbauer of the Green Bay Diocese. On January 7th, 1946, the parish was transferred to the La Crosse Diocese.

Since that time the parish has undergone many changes with a new front entrance, choir lift and bathrooms done in the 60’s. A new side addition was added in the 70’s.

The parish has an active Pastoral/Finance Council: Sacred Worship, Education, Family Life and Social Justice Committee: which serve the parishioners in various needs.

During the 90’s many family activities were started by various parish committees, as the coffee and donut social on Sundays once a month.

The parish also has many members who are active as Eucharistic Ministers, Servers, Lectors, Greeters, Cantors, Ushers, and Music Ministers.

In the 2000’s maintenance continued at St. Mary’s to keep it welcoming for St. Mary’s parishioners.

2006 Basement Hall was remodeled with new paint and floors.
2007 Trees were removed from around the church, new gutters installed.
2010 New ceiling in basement.
2011 Sanctuary remodeled, replace entrance doors. Built shed.
2014 Replaced sidewalks upgrade electrical in Church.
2016 Painted stations.
2020 Carpet installed in side addition, classrooms, and entrance; classrooms painted.
2022 Painted ramp, shingled sacristy entrance, painted arches around statues, repaired basement leak in walls.

Through the past 150 years many changes have occurred, but the Holy Spirit has remained an intimate part of the lives of the people of Immaculate Conception/St. Mary Parish, Custer.

Parish Leadership

1886-1890 Fr. Joseph Geisser        
1890-1892 Fr. J.D. Schwartzmeyer  
1892-1894 Fr. John Hummel 
1894-1899 Fr. J.A. Bourgmeyer
1899-1905 Fr. E.P. Lorigan
1905-1908 Fr. E.A. Schwaeble 
1908-1910 Fr. C. Ulrich 
1910-1913 Fr. George Schemmer
1913-1919 Fr. Joseph Bartelme 
1919-1923 Fr. Louis Schorn
1923-1927 Fr. Victor Kaude

1927-1929 Fr. H. Van deCastle 
1929-1938 Fr. Joseph Schafer 
1938-1945 Fr. Harry Schuller
1945-1950 Fr. James Geyer

1950-1962 Fr. Emil Hodnik

1962-1968 Fr. Bernard Novak

1968-1969 Fr. Andrzewski

1969-1970 Fr. Ray Peters  

1970-1972 Fr. Paul Fladd

1972-1980 Fr. John Wisneski

1980-1987 Fr. Dan Kozlowski

1987-1989 Fr. Herb Zoromski

1987-1992 Dea. Florian Hurrish  

1989-1995 Fr. Al Wozniak

1992-2000 Sr. Annette Marie Johnson - Pastoral Associate
1995-1996 Fr. Lyle Schulte

1995-1997 Fr. Steve Kachel Associate Pastor

1996-1997 Fr. Joseph Konopacky

1997-1999 Fr. Steve Kachel

1999-2000 Fr. Robert Schaller

1999-2003 Deacon Art Schaller
2000-2003 Chris Burr -
Pastoral Associate
2002-2006 Fr. Sotico Florida
2006-2009 Fr. G. Thayilkuzhithottu
2009-2012 Fr. Rajen Anandan
2012-2015 Fr. Jude Dioka
2015-2016 Fr. Daniel Hackel
2016-2019 Fr. Gregory Machaud
2019-2021 Fr. Allen Guanella
2021-present Fr. Mark Miller
2023-present Dea. Jim Sniadajewski

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