A Look At Our Past
Margaret Mary lived from 1647-1690. At age 25, she became a member of the Visitation Sisters in Paray-le-Monial, France. During her life she experienced four visions of Jesus Christ. Because of these visions, she worked endlessly to spread devotion to His Sacred Heart – the symbol of His boundless love for His people. St. Margaret Mary was canonized in 1920; her feast day is celebrated on October 16.
The parish began under the able leadership of Father Raymond Vint, who was appointed its first pastor on June 1, 1955. Nearby Divine Savior High School served as a temporary place of worship until the first church was completed in April 1957. The rectory was built in 1958; and soon after, in September 1959, St. Margaret Mary school opened for grades one through five. In its first year, the school was staffed by three Sisters of St. Agnes from Fond du Lac and thirteen lay teachers. By the fall of 1962, the school included all eight grades. In that same year, the convent was completed to house the increased number of Sisters teaching in our school.
On June 17, 1977, the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the first Mass was celebrated in our present church. The former church was soon converted into a gymnasium and was named after Fr. Vint. In 1992 the convent was converted to a Parish Center, housing some meeting rooms and offices for many of the pastoral staff. It was named after Sr. Maureen Courtney, who was the first woman from the parish to enter a religious community, and was martyred while on her missionary assignment in Nicaragua on January 1, 1990.
Since Father Vint’s retirement in January 1982, there have been only three other pastors at St. Margaret Mary – Father Robert Sampon (1982-1994), Father Ralph Gross (1994-2006), and Father Vince Kobida (2006-2012). During Father Ralph’s tenure, the church was beautifully renovated (2002) and the parish celebrated its 50th Anniversary (2005). As part of that celebration, on the feast day of St. Margaret Mary, the church hall was named for Father Sampon in recognition of his dedicated service to the parish. Fr. Michael Lightner was appointed Administrator in June, 2012 and departed June, 2017. Fr. Michael Barrett was appointed Temporary Administrator in July, 2017. Fr. Patrick Nelson, SDS, was appointed Administrator in July, 2018
Contact the parish center to get involved, there are many opportunities available!