St Joseph Church
10586 N. Dakota Ave.
Hayward, WI 54843
Year parish established: 1886
Number of households: 550
Pastor: Fr. Gerard Willger
Deacon: Deacon Dave DiSera
Weekend Masses: Saturday: 4 p.m., Sunday: 7 a.m. and 10:15 a.m.
Describe your faith community
We are a combination of local families of many generations, snowbirds, vacationers, retirees and families who are simply drawn to the beauty of the Hayward Lakes Area. We are drawn together by the commonality of our faith.
“When visitors come to our parish they will…
… run the risk of being asked to become part of our family. They may be asked to carry the cross or a candle at the processional and recessional, bring up the gifts, or join us for coffee and homemade treats after the Sunday Masses.
At the weekend Masses our pastor will warmly welcome our visitors and invite them to come back and worship with us again whenever they are in the area.
Visitors will find a place of serenity at our bronze, pro-family, outdoor statue of “A Quiet Moment” by sculptor Timothy Schmalz.”
In what ways does your parish proclaim the Gospel with its actions?
In addition to the usual faith formation and education of the youth and adults through the RE, youth ministry and RCIA programs, Bible and book studies, St Joseph’s offers/has offered retreats, perpetual adoration, Divine Mercy celebrations, the Lourdes Virtual Pilgrimage, eucharistic miracles display, St. Peregrine healing Mass, the Spiritual Adoption Program, and pro-life activities with the traveling displays of “The Cemetery of the Innocents” and “God’s Nursery.”
Some of our ongoing ministries include Communion prayer services at the nursing homes and assisted living residences, Communion to the homebound and hospitalized, ongoing food shelf collection, gift bags for new mothers at the hospital, the prayer shawl ministry, quilters and crafters. The parish, through the Knights of Columbus, participated in the fundraising for the pro-life Pregnancy Resource Center, allowing them to move to a new facility and to purchase their own ultrasound machine. These activities are a reflection of the generosity of time, talent and treasure of our parish family.
What is something about your parish most people might not know?
Our church was dedicated to St. Joseph, the patron of the working man, because of the lumbermen who helped to build the original church.
In 1903, a bell, named the Bell of St. Anthony, was installed in the original church. In 1987, this bell, along with two additional bells, was placed in a newly constructed, 40-foot bell tower at the site of our current church, which was built in 1967.
The sanctuary furnishings and a great deal of the stained glass were designed by our parishioner, liturgical designer and artist Jerry Krauski, of Liturgical Environments Co.