St. Mary Church
4494 Town Hall Road, Phelps, WI 54554
Year parish was established: 1908
Number of households: 65
Parish Director: Michele Rein
Sacramental Minister: Fr. Randy Knauf
Deacon: Norman Mesun Jr.
Weekend Mass: Sunday, 8 a.m.
Describe your faith community
“We are friendly and welcoming with a strong sense of community. While being close-knit and supportive of each other, we reach out to those outside the parish. When looking at the demographics, we appear to be an older group, but we like to think of ourselves as seasoned, that is, having a mature faith. Speaking of seasons, during winter there is a core group of members that sustains the life of the parish. In the summer, a great variety of people come to the Northwoods and our parish triples in size.”
“When visitors come to our parish they will …
… be welcomed. They will feel a part of the worship and community. Our liturgy is engaging. Many visitors have been coming for years, so we are their church away from home. First-time visitors will be surprised at how inviting and beautiful our gathering and worship spaces are. We are most grateful for our visitors who come north seeking serenity and recreation; they are so generous in the support they give our parish.”
In what ways does your parish proclaim the Gospel with its actions?
“We have a mission outreach to St. Michel Parish in Fond Jean Noel, Haiti. We raised the money and provided some of the labor to build a school there. We continue to pay the teacher salaries every month.
In addition to generous individual contributions and parish support of our Haiti mission, we have fundraisers which include making and selling hundreds of apple pies, silent auctions, rummage sales and more. We sponsor an annual dental mission to our sister parish, where we help our elderly members with their daily upkeep and specialty care, like dental implants costs and care. We reach out locally through jail ministry, holiday food baskets to those in need, donations to the food pantry, home and communion visits, evangelization efforts and involvement in the greater community.”
What is something about your parish most people might not know?
“This is not Phillips; it is Phelps! St. Mary Parish, which was established in 1908, is the parish furthest east in the diocese. It has always been a mission with no priest on site. We are currently clustered with St. Albert, Land O’Lakes and St. Peter the Fisherman, Eagle River. In 2008, we completed a beautiful addition and renovation debt free. We hope you’ll join us if ever you get the chance!”