St Francis de Sales Catholic Church History


Information comes from the Golden Jubilee Booklet 1912-1962 of the St Francis de Sales Parish, Cote Brilliante



In the early part of the year 1909, some forty families from the locale, known as Cote Brilliante, found St Stephens Church overcrowded and too distant and therefoe inconvenient, decided to build a church of their own.

As offer of six lots was made by Peter Ridder, parishioner.  At the same time a counter offer of several lots was made by the Woodlawn Realty Company.  Meetings to determine what proposition to accept were held June 27 and July 4, but no decision was reached.  However on July 11, 1909 it was decided to accept the offer of Peter Ridder.  Two additional lots were bought.  The deeds were signed July 14, 1909.  Construction of the building was delayed for a year for lack of funds.

The first Parish Social was held August 16, 1909 and netted $247.00.  This was the nucleus for the new Church and School.  In the year 1910 construction of the combination Church and school took place.  it was to cost approximately $17,000.  The cornerstone for the new building was laid by Rt Rev Camilius P Maes, D D Bishop of the Diocese on August 27, 1911 under the Papacy of Pope Pius X, the Presidency of William H Taft, the governorship of Augustus Wilson and the Mayoralty of Edward Krieger.

The festive sermon was delivered by the Chancellor of the Diocese, Rev James Gory.  The dedication of the building took place on October 13, 1912, the feat of St Edward which significantly was the patron saint of the first resident pastor.

The first Church Council of the new parish comprised Messrs. Peter Ridder, Eugene Greyer, Peter Fischer and Charles Schuerman.  On Sep 16, 1912, the tow room school annex completed before the church was opened under the direction of the Sisters of the divine Providence with an enrollment of 62 pupils.

Father Stephen Schmidt administered to the needs of the new parish from 1912 until June 4, 1915; when the Very Rev Administrator Ferdinand Brossart announced the appointment of Rt. Rev Mons. Edward Klosterman as the first resident pastor of the new St Francis de Sales Church.  The Holy Name Society was organized Dec 26, 1909 with Mr. Adam Hofstetter as the first President.  The Altar Society was established May 5, 1912 with Mrs. Catharine Greise as first President.  October 1921 saw the erection of two temporary school buildings.  The remodeling of the present church was completed Oct 8, 1939.

The construction of the new school began Aug 15, 1949.  The cornerstone was laid Feb 11, 1950 the feast of the Apparition of Our Lady of Lourdes.  In 1952 the parish showed signs of continuing growth; a permanent assistant was sent to the parish to help the pastor with the increased spiritual needs of the parish.  Father Torak was the first assistant to serve St Francis Parish.  Then Father Albert Ruschman succeeded him in June of 1953 and remained at the parish for four years.  In June of 1957 Father Earl Bierman began his ministry as successor to Father Ruschman.  And after two years Father Louis Jasper was sent to work in the vineyard of our parish.  In June 1961, Father Edward Toner received this appointment as assistant pastor and remained at the time of the fiftieth anniversary celebration of the parish.

Rev Edward G Klosterman 1915-1920
Rev Carl J Merkle 1920-1934
Rev Earl E Bauer 1934-1937
Rev John A Bankemper 1937-1961
Rev Ambrose G Wagner 1961-1965
Very Rev Magr. Harry J Welp 1965-1982
Rev Robert Ryan 1982-1987
Rev John J Riesenberg 1987-1989
Rev James Gerrety 1989


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