St. John the Baptist, Monches
The first Catholic settlers came to Monches in September 0f 1842. By November of that year, Fr. Martin Kundig held Mass in William McGrath’s home. A year later, the congregation of St. John was established and a log church completed, which served until 1855 when a wood frame church was built.
In 1917, while the Rev. Wm. Mahoney was the pastor, construction of the new church was begun. The stone was brought in from Lannon and styled in the English gothic tradition with a stone tower and copper spire. It features seating for three hundred, a beautiful sanctuary with a high altar and two side altars, delicately colored stained glass windows and a well-designed gallery for the choir. It was designed by The Eschweiler & Eschweiler architectural firm, one of the prolific in Milwaukee's history. The church in North Lake was designed by the same firm.
In April 1920, the church was consecrated by Archbishop Messmer with 43 visiting clergy concelebrating.
St. John has shared a long history with St. Columba in Lake Five, Washington County (now merged with St. Hubert, Hubertus and St. Mary, Richfield to become St. Gabriel). In 1993 they celebrated 150 years of shared faith.
There was a new beginning in July 1998, with St. John sharing some ministries, a pastor, and a new history with St. Clare in North Lake until June 25, 2006 when it was merged with St. Clare to become a new parish.
St. Clare, North Lake
St. Clare Congregation was incorporated in North Lake, Wisconsin, in July of 1916 as a part of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. The first Masses were held in the hall above the hardware and grocery store in North Lake.
On October 3, 1917, Father Louis N. Zirbes and the parishioners broke ground for the new church which was built in the Tudor Gothic style, with Lannon quarry stone laid in a random rubble pattern. The church was formally dedicated with a high Mass by Archbishop Messmer on April 30, 1919. The congregation numbered 35 families at that time.
In 1941, an addition was built on to the church to bring the seating capacity up to 250. The membership in 1941 was 104 families.
On June 25, 2006, a new chapter began in our journey as St. John and St. Clare merged to form Blessed Teresa of Calcutta Parish. In September 2016, the name was changed to St. Teresa of Calcutta reflecting the Canonization of Mother Teresa.
In 2015 the parish undertook a capital campaign, Growing With God, to raise the $1.8M needed to expand the North Lake worship space to include additional seating, a welcoming gather space, stained glass windows by Conrad Schmitt Studios in Milwaukee, and accessible, first-floor restrooms. The generosity of parishioners made it possible to build the expansion without encountering debt. Work began immediately following the Easter Mass in 2016; the majority of the work was completed in time for the first celebration of Mass in the expanded space on Christmas Eve, 2016. In spring 2017, a garden was created at the north side and front of the church which includes a statue of St. Teresa of Calcutta.
The expansion project was undertaken because seating in the existing church was limiting (at 250), given the impending retirement of pastor, Fr. William Stanfield, and the likelihood that the Archdiocese would not assign a priest to a small parish (reflecting the decline in priestly vocations). In order to adapt to a reality that included fewer Masses at North Lake, requiring seating for more people, the church had to expand in order for it to remain relevant and be open for worship.