St. Francis of Assisi
7331 Balsam St., Fifield, WI 54524
Year parish was established: 1888
Number of households: 50
Cluster pastor: Fr. Shaji Joseph Pazhukkathara
Deacons: Chet Ball, Robert Schienebeck
Weekend Masses: Sunday: 11 a.m.; rosary at 10:30 a.m.
Describe your faith community
“St. Francis of Assisi Church was founded in 1888. The church was completely destroyed by fire in April 1931, but rebuilt, fully furnished and free of debt, by November 1931. This was accomplished by the dedicated work and donations of parishioners and people of the surrounding communities. This same dedication and community support is with us today. From the very beginning, St. Francis has been a self-sustaining parish through the donations and gifts of parishioners and friends. We are now a cluster parish with Park Falls and Butternut.”
“When visitors come to our parish, they will see …
… everyone is greeted with a friendly welcome. Children’s prayer books are available to keep or to leave for their next visit. Free rosaries are also available. The first response is always, “Oh, how pretty.” The fresh flowers in summer, colorful leaves in autumn, and bough arrangements in winter bring the outdoors inside. The organists and guitar group from St. Anthony, Park Falls, bring our music for Mass to fulfillment. We are grateful to them. Our visitors can be summer residents or people passing through. Although many are from families who once lived here, it’s like coming home. We’re comfortable with old friends.”
In what way(s) does your parish proclaim the Gospel with its actions?
“The St. Francis sodality has two major fundraisers each year. The Christmas cookie, art, craft sale and the July Fifield picnic bake sale. Our sodality dinners are free to parishioners because of the generosity of church members. The families also donate to the sodality. In turn, that money is used for local charities, St. Anthony School projects, world water needs, and other needs of our church. We raised funds for a new roof and steeple which were installed last year. Several men are members of the Knights of Columbus. They raise money for the school from their kraut and dumpling dinner, fish fries, and other activities. Communion is brought to the homebound and nursing home residents.”
What is something about your parish most people might not know?
“The St. Francis Sodality has been in existence since the very beginning. The choir loft, which once held an organ and choir, now has seating for the overflow and makes a wonderful baby and small children area.
Irene Fleming (Rene) is our artist for the many banners, posters, raffle prizes, or any projects requiring artistic talent.
The parish council was formed to oversee financial and other church business. In addition to their regular meetings, several times a year an open meeting is held to discuss any concerns or questions. This is beneficial to keep everyone involved and up to date.”