Our History

This outline is intended to give a broad overview of the major events and conditions that shaped the 150 history of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. It is not intended to be comprehensive. It needs to be supplemented with external readings and some research into the history of the local church community where the teacher or instructor may live or work.

Written by: Rev. Steven M. Avella

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Select a Period of Archdiocese History

Prehistory: 1660-1843

The reactivation of Catholic life in Wisconsin came as the federal government made land surveys and began to sell parcels of land, opening the way for settlers who began to move into the Old Northwest.

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The Immigrant Church: 1843-1903

This period of Milwaukee Catholic history encompasses the reigns of three bishops: John Martin Henni (1843-1881); Michael Heiss (1881-1890); Frederick Xavier Katzer (1890-1903).

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The Church of the Code: 1903-1945

This period encompasses the administrations of Sebastian Messmer (1903-1930), Samuel Alphonsus Stritch (1930-1940) and part of the administration of Moses Elias Kiley (1940-1953).

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Maturation and Mobility: 1945-1965

This period covers the latter part of Kiley's term, the administration of Albert G. Meyer (1953-1958) and a portion of the term of William E. Cousins (1959-1965).

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The Archdiocese of Milwaukee

3501 South Lake Drive
PO Box 070912
Milwaukee, WI 53207-0912
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Phone:  (414) 769-3300
Toll-Free: (800) 769-9373
Fax:  (414)  769-3408

Copyright © 2016

In an effort to achieve our goals of transparency and accountability, the Archdiocese of Milwaukee has partnered with EthicsPoint, a third-party company, to administer an online service to report financial misconduct. Read more...

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