St. Mary of Czestochowa
N7386 Highway M., Hawkins, WI
Located in Rusk County
Phone: 715-532-3051
Number of Households: 40
Parish Life Coordinator: Deacon Craig Voldberg
Supervising Pastor: Fr. Philip Juza (not in residence)
Sacramental Minister: Fr. Inna Reddy Pothireddy
Weekend Assistant: Fr. Dave Oberts (not in residence)
Deacons: Craig Voldberg, Thomas Fuhrmann, Douglas Sorenson
Weekend Mass Schedule: Saturday Mass: 4 p.m.

Describe your faith community

Our community is a tight-knit Polish community, intent on preserving our church, our heritage and serving God and our neighbors. Our roots go back to the original Polish settlers who arrived in South Fork in the early 1900s. The first services were held in people’s homes, then in the South Fork School. Land was donated to the church in 1910; members of the newly formed parish donated items in order to build the church. The steeple was brought from Milwaukee by rail and to the church by horse and wagon. Two young men attached the steeple and hung the bell. Originally sermons were given in Polish and English. After 52 years, the congregation outgrew the church and a new church was built on donated land 2 1/2 miles north of Hawkins. The old church was torn down, but the cemetery remains on the original plot of land; the bell and picture of the Black Madonna now hang in the new church, carrying on the tradition established by our forefathers.

“When visitors come to our parish they will …”

… be warmly greeted upon entering by our members and welcomed into the parish community. Everyone is cordially invited to attend a social after Mass on the second Saturday of each month. Only in September is this parish tradition omitted when the church community prepares a Polish dinner, providing Polish delicacies, a bazaar and a raffle. Patrons from all over the area and beyond look forward to this delicious meal all year.

In what ways does your parish proclaim the Gospel in actions?

The rosary is led by the women of the Parish before Mass. Funeral meals are graciously served to funeral attendees. The Altar Society donates money raised from the Polish dinner; Christmas Tree Lane Luncheon, held each December; and bazaar, craft sale and raffle to the area food pantry, the community backpack program, which provides children in need weekend food items, the local library and to help sustain the Church. All items for the Polish dinner, socials, funeral dinners, Christmas Tree Lane, bazaars and raffles are handmade and donated by this small parish community. Get well and sympathy cards are sent to all members of the church and the Hawkins area by this diligent and caring community. St. Mary’s participates ecumenically with Bethel Lutheran Church providing the Hawkins community with World Day of Prayer, Thanksgiving and Christmas services.

What is something about your parish most people might not know?

Our church received its name from the area in Poland called Czestochowa. The original Polish settlers arrived in South Fork in the early 1900s; some descendants are still members. The original picture of Our Lady of Czestochowa, painted by St. Luke, according to tradition, now hangs in the shrine at Czestochowa, Poland. After our church was built in 1915, a copy of this picture was obtained for us by Fr. Kruszka, who served our parish. The picture continues to hang in our church. One of our parishioners assumed the role of organist in 1946 and gladly spent 50 years in the music ministry role.