Eileen Grimm, Cathy Schuh and Carole Stangler researched the parish history from the date it was established to February 15, 1996. The information was obtained from church records, newspaper articles, pictures, parishioners and our own trusted memories.
St. Albert the Great Parish was established on June 21, 1967.
New Catholic Parish for Sun Prairie
The Most Reverend Cletus F. O'Donnell, Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Madison, established a new parish for Sun Prairie. The Parish has been named and dedicated in the honor of St. Albert the Great and in remembrance of the late Albert Cardinal Meyer, a personal friend of Bishop O'Donnell.
Reverend Eugene Graham, son of Mr. & Mrs. Willis Graham of Madison, was named Pastor.
Fifteen acres of land had been obtained on the northwest side of Sun Prairie and, in the summer of 1968, a building committee was formed to draw plans for an all-purpose Parish Center. Before the Parish Center was completed, our Masses were held in Sacred Hearts gymnasium.
Our first rectory was a farm house on the corner of Highway 19 and County C, which was rented from Bert Suchomel. The sun room in the house was used as a chapel for daily Mass. Furnishings were provided by parishioners.
On July 6, 1969, ground was broken and construction began. Our parish is very unique in the sense that we are very close to one another. This is a goal that all of our Pastors had worked hard to maintain.
Following is a chronology of the Parish as it began to build and grow:
Father Graham drew an organizational chart of groups that would be formed to carry out parish functions. These committees were Finance, Constitution, Building and Future Planning, Education, Membership, Liturgy & Spirituality, Social, Adult and Youth Programs, Maintenance of Building & Grounds, and Ecumenism.
May 28, 1967 Lynn Marie Laufenberg, daughter of Raymond & Lorraine Laufenberg, was the first recorded Baptism in our Parish, although she was actually baptized at Sacred Hearts Church.
June 21, 1967 Fr. Graham appointed Wilfred Grosse and Bert Suchomel as Parish trustees. Ten acres of land were donated by a group called Crash (Ted Chase, Vince Ryan, Art Hanley, Emden Schey), leaving a five acre tract of land that the Bishop bought, giving us a total of fifteen acres. Parish boundaries were established by decree in accordance with Church law on June 23, 1967. These boundaries included most of Sacred Hearts Parish lying west of Bird Street, between Vinburn Road to the north and Nelson Road to the south. The Parish is bounded by Sacred Hearts Parish, Sun Prairie, to the east and south, by St. Olaf's Parish, De Forest, to the west and north, and by St. Joseph's Parish, East Bristol, to the north. It was estimated that there would be three hundred families to start the parish. Fr. Graham, Bert Suchomel, and Wilfred Grosse had a meeting with Fr. Waldkirch to ask permission to use Sacred Hearts' facilities until St. Albert's Center would be built. Masses were celebrated in Sacred Hearts' gymnasium and the CCD classes were taught in Sacred Hearts School in the interim. Ruth Frank chaired this program while at Sacred Hearts. The CCD teachers were Barb Haugen, Betty Hoffman, Beatrice Hoffman, Dorothy LeClaire, Carole Stangler, Dorothy Koepp, Mary Keeley, Ruth Frank and Donna Presser.
July 2, 1967 The first Mass for the newly organized Parish was held at Sacred Hearts Parish in Sun Prairie.
July 15, 1967 Michael Laufenberg & Lois Mary Hensen were the first couple married. The marriage was held at Sacred Hearts.
Fr. Graham requested a meeting with all parents of High School students. At this meeting, Don and Marion Presser were named chairpersons of the High School group, later called the Alber-Teens. All classes were held in the homes of moderators Don and Marion Presser, Isabel Schleicher, Anton Miller and Bill Rebholz.
1967 - ALTAR SOCIETY For all ladies of the parish to promote spiritual growth and development, to promote Christian service by helping and caring for others, and to gather funds for parish needs. The Society was divided into four circles composed of ladies living in the same neighborhood - St. Gerard, St. Theresa, St. Eugene and Our Lady Queen of Peace. They were able to furnish a topnotch kitchen by putting on dinners for the Parish Festival, weddings, etc., Christmas and summer bazaars, plus many other fund-raising projects. The ladies also donated their services to provide funeral luncheons. The first officers were Katie Spangler & Ruth Frank. The ladies in charge of designing the kitchen were: Leone Davidson, Catherine Spangler, Betty Hoffman, Florence Suchomel. Our first dishes were donated from parishioners, silverware from Betty Crocker coupons, and the rolling doors over the counters by Don Presser.
1968 - PARISH COUNCIL Before the first Parish Council members were elected, Wilfred Grosse and Bert Suchomel were appointed as Trustees to meet with the Bishop for preliminary planning, etc. They then became members of the Parish Council, who were elected as follows:
Three-year terms: Lawrence Hoffman, Robert Sartori, Paul Spangler Two-year terms: Mrs. Mary Ann (Richard) Hoeft, Edward LaMere, Aloys Motl One-year terms: Mrs. Leone (Leslie) Davidson, David Hanneman, George Ringelstetter Alternates: Mrs. Ruth (Orville) Frank, Clarence Mess, Donald Presser, Mrs. Mary (Carlyle) Wake. Paul Spangler was elected by the Council members as President. Bert Suchomel was appointed Chairman of the Finance Committee.
All activities of our Parish Family come under the Parish Council and its many committees.
April, 1968 The first Holy Communion class, consisting of 31 children, received the sacrament in Sacred Hearts' gymnasium.
The first religious education consultants (Srs. Francis McCormick, Ruth Berra) were hired. Sister Ruth was in charge of Grades 1 thru 6 and Sister Francis was in charge of Grades 7 and 12. The Sisters were with us two years at Sacred Hearts and one year at St. Alberts.
June 23, 1968 Our first festival was held at Sacred Hearts. John C. Cooley was named General Chairman. Leone Davidson was Chairperson of the first festival dinner, which consisted of chicken and ham. A rock 'n roll dance was held that evening in the gymnasium, featuring four local bands. For eight consecutive years Bert & Florence Suchomel donated the festival ticket Grand Prize of a steer. Bert & Florence Suchomel also donated the Alpine Brass Band for many festivals.
Other Committee Chairpersons were: Mrs. Katie (Paul) Spangler - dining room; Kenneth Brunner & Carlyle Wake - male kitchen help; Al Scherer - bus boys; Mrs. Ruth (Orville) Frank - baked goods & candy; Mrs. Mary (Carlyle) Wake - fancy work; Mrs. Dottie (Roger) LeClaire - surprise packages; Bert Suchomel -dinner tickets; Leo LaMere - prize tickets; David Hanneman & Dr. Robert Sartori - concessions & games; Martin Yanke - beer tent & softball games; Zeno Weisensel - electrical; Reuben Schey - public address system; John Boehnen & Carl Brey -finances.
August 11, 1968 The first Mass on church property was offered in the field at 3:00 PM by our Pastor, Fr. Graham. Members made their way from the rectory, over the hill on County "C" and into the field, over a newly cut gravel road, St. Albert Drive. They gathered in front of a hay rack on which parishioners had arranged an altar. Father described preliminary plans and celebrated Mass on the land from which members will pray, work, learn and grow together. We numbered 190 families.
April, 1969 Sr. Virginia Brunner was hired as Religious Education Consultant.
July 6, 1969 After two years of organization, ground was broken for St. Albert the Great's own parish facilities. Construction of a two-level parish center began Monday, July 7, 1969.
October, 1969 Fr. Graham initiated the offering of home liturgies for special occasions, such as wedding anniversaries and First Holy Communions. Our homes were also blessed at that time. This continued with Frs. Wiecki and Lesniak until the parish grew too large.
October, 1969 - EDUCATION COMMITTEE Responsible for all education in the Parish - Adult, High School and Grade School. Some of the activities were:
Adult - Lenten Series, Seminars, Workshops High School - Chi Rho Grade School - Special liturgies, CCD classes
The Education Commission's chairperson was Beatrice Hoffman. Other members were Fran Benzmiller, Ruth Frank, Eileen Grimm, Mary Ann Hoeft, Anton Miller and Don and Marion Presser. Spiritual guidance was provided by Fr. Graham and Srs. Ruth, Francis and Virginia. We attended workshops throughout the diocese. The Bishop used St. Albert's as an example as to how he wanted religious education programs to be run in the parishes.
December 2, 1969 The first Christmas Bazaar was held at the American Legion Hall to purchase kitchen equipment. The Chairpersons were as follows: Mrs. Betty (Lawrence) Hoffman -general chairperson; Mrs. Beatrice (Leo) Hoffman - surprise packages; Mrs. Bernadine (Peter) Haag - evening card party hostess; Mrs. Mary (Carl) Wake - fancy work; Mrs. Myrtle (Vincent) Schneider -kiddies grab bag; Mrs. Marilyn (George) Ringelstetter -hostess afternoon card party; Mrs. Ruth (Orville) Frank -candy; Mrs. Gen (Francis) Benoy - baked goods.
December 9, 1969 - ALBER-TEENS A social action group for teenagers providing various youth activities. Fr. Graham stated the center should be part of all of our lives, not just on Sundays. He said, "we should be glad our youth want to use and be part of their parish." This was in regard to the teen dances.
One of their biggest projects in 1969 was a drive to collect money, food and clothing for the poor in Mississippi. They were able to fill a 40-foot semitrailer, which was donated through the efforts of Don Presser and Crawford Door Company. The project was repeated in 1970 and 1971 with trucks being donated by Robert Kalscheuer and Joseph Tuschen, respectively.
April 11, 1970 The first Mass was celebrated in the new Parish Center by Fr. Graham.
April 16, 1970 Arnie Holten was hired as the first custodian.
April 30, 1970 Bishop O'Donnell administered the Sacrament of Confirmation to 34 young men, 30 young women and six adults.
May 16, 1970 The first social held at the Center was a box lunch. For city folks who are not quite sure what a Box Lunch Social is, the explanation is as follows: plan and prepare a dinner for two, including utensils for eating and pack in a decorated box. The boxes are then auctioned off to the highest bidder, who will then "break bread" with the lady whose box lunch they bid on.
June 6, 1970 Jean Ellen Schultz & Dennis William Breche were the first couple married in the Parish Center.
August 16, 1970 The first festival was held at our new Parish Center.
September, 1970 Adult Education was added to the Education Commission. Ladies Coffee & Talk was created by Sr. Francis at Dottie LeClaire's home. Thereafter, the meetings were held once a month at various members' homes. When the group became too large, they met at the Parish Center. Eileen Grimm contacted volunteers to speak on topics of interest to the group. Women of the Parish, (Leone Davidson, Venida Barman, Margaret Schneider and Sybilla Kuehn) volunteered to baby-sit the children of the women attending these meetings. The Ladies Coffee & Talk eventually turned into the Bible Sharing Group.
At the December meeting, pre-school children dressed in costumes and portrayed the Christmas story. Refreshments followed.
October, 1970 - SOCIAL COMMITTEE Sponsored, organized and carried out the tasks associated with social functions, such as; Halloween party, talent show, family picnic, chili supper and adult dances. With our Pastors' encouragement and support, the purpose of this committee was to establish a warm and friendly atmosphere among members of the parish family. Committee members were Harvey & Joyce Wright, Bob & Carol Beck, Bob & Fran Benzmiller, Vern & Jean Koehler, Mike & Jeanie Ladd and Orville & Ruth Frank.
October 4, 1970 Barb Haugen formed the Music Lead Group. Prior to that, while still at Sacred Hearts, she brought her guitar to the classrooms on Saturday mornings and led the children in song. This was all volunteer until Fr. Wiecki hired her as Director of Liturgy and Music. She was responsible for the music at all liturgies and directing all three choirs. Environment and art, creating children's liturgies, prayer services, funerals, weddings and sacristan needs fell under her ministry.
October 7, 1970 The first Chi Rho meeting was held in the Parish Center.
October 13-15, 1970 Farm Progress Days food booth operated by Altar Society, chaired by Betty Hoffman.
April, 1971 Sr. Corine Gund was hired as part-time religious education consultant; she became full-time in 1973.
July 14, 1971 - LITURGY COMMISSION. Plans, supervises and executes the parish liturgies as well as supervising lectors, ushers, servers, Lead Group, Young People's Mass Group, etc..
June, 1972 Fr. Graham was transferred and a going away party was held in his honor.
June 7, 1972 Fr. Donald Wiecki was assigned as our second Pastor. A reception was held in his honor.
1972 Jill & Lisa Brown were our first girl servers.
1972 - MEN'S CLUB A social group that met monthly to plan and organize activities and fundraisers, such as: pancake breakfast, golf outings, steak dinners and Bingo. The Bingo games were run for 14 years by Gary Brown. Through their fundraising activities they financed the paving of our parking lot, purchased the roll-down movie screen in the front of the church, purchased and planted trees and shrubs for landscaping, and purchased many articles needed for Liturgy and Education. They also provided the labor for laying the tile floor in the lower level.
1972 - BINGO SNACK BAR Run by Larry and Betty Hoffman, Ron and Betty Menick and Gary and Connie Feuling. Later it was taken over by the parents of Sacred Hearts students to help offset the cost of tuition.
1972 - RED BARN Is a community resale store run by volunteers from five member churches in Sun Prairie, the funds from which are used for the needy in the community. Donations of used articles of clothing, furniture and household goods are sold at reasonable prices. Poor families may apply for money or items at no cost from the Pastors of participating churches. Florence Suchomel was part of the original planning group and served until her retirement.
April, 1972 First Paschal Meal organized by Pat Thiesenhusen. They followed the very traditional Jewish guidelines, with prayer and food. Fr. Wiecki and Sr. Corine provided our spiritual guidance. Participating were the families of John & Pat Thiesenhusen, Harold & Eileen Grimm, Ray & Carole Stangler, Bob & Cathy Schuch, Don & Mary Huset, Roger & Dottie LeClaire, Don & Joyce Gmeinder, Carl & Mary Wake, Jerry & Dorothy Koepp, Jim & Jan Keller.
May, 1972 First Parish Newsletter was published. This was sent monthly to all parishioners, along with monthly envelopes and other pertinent information. It was produced almost entirely by Fr. Wiecki, Dottie LeClaire and Carole Stangler. At a later time, the Parish held a contest and the name "AlberTimes" was selected from Wayne Zeman's winning entry.
September 10, 1972 Holy Angels Youth Choir of Milwaukee present concert at St. Albert The Great Church. The 50-voice interracial choir sings gospel, rock, folk and traditional music backed by guitar, drums, string bass, piano and flute.
January, 1973 A Mini-Marriage Encounter was conducted by Fr. Bud Satterlee, Director of Adult Education for the Diocese of Madison. The day included workshops, Liturgy and a dinner, which was prepared by Leone Davidson. Because it was Super Bowl Sunday, we feared we would have poor attendance, however, the lower level of the Center was jam-packed. This program is still in existence and is now called Table For Two.
July 11, 1973 Fr. Richard Lesniak was assigned to our Parish as Associate Pastor.
September 1973, 23 families participated in our pilot PFRE (Parish Family Religious Education) program, which was presented to the parish in spring of 1973 by Sr. Maureen Gallagher of the diocesan religious education center. In 1974 PFRE became parish-wide.
In the family program, one Sunday each month is set aside for lessons on a particular theme - Penance, Eucharist, thanksgiving, creation - which is taught to children, adolescents and adults on their levels. The family then gathers for a joint project related to the theme and liturgical celebration.
Parents are taking a vital interest in the program since they are the prime teachers of their children. The lessons are to be carried through the month with suggestions given in a home-activity packet.
December 6, 1973 Vocations Committee. The newly formed committee met and discussed future action including sending invitations to parish organizations to sponsor a monthly mass for vocations. A monthly prayer hour was recommended. Members were Fr. Wiecki, Katie Wagner, Bea Hoffman and Sylvia Hewett.
1974 Teachers appreciation dinner. It later turned into the parish-wide family picnic.
Spring, 1975 This began our tradition of serving hot cross buns on Palm Sunday. It was and continues to be made possible by the generosity of Art & Margaret Schneider. They were prepared and baked with the help of; Armella Anding, Sybilla Kuehn and Florence Suchomel.
March, 1975 Prairie Heritage Quilters held their first Quilt Show at St. Alberts. The first contest was in 1977 and the first two-day show and luncheon was in 1979. Arlene Statz made and gave to St. Alberts a quilted altar cloth and banners, which were on display at the show. Members: Klaudeen Hansen, Jean Sessions, Florence Suchomel, Arlene Statz, Karen Franz and Lea Marble.
June 4, 1975 Executive Committee. Reviewed items to be discussed at Parish Council meetings and drew up the agendas for publication prior to meeting dates.
August 16, 1975 First Parish Renewal Day held. This day consisted of prayer, work and fun for the Parish Council and chairpersons of the Altar Society and Men's Club, with spouses invited for liturgy and social.
October, 1975 New Rodgers organ. A fund drive and various money-raising events were held to purchase a new organ. A dedication concert and blessing of the organ was held with Kary Heyr as guest organist.
October, 1975 - "CAN DO" PROGRAM Organized by Harold & Eileen Grimm. Its purpose was to come up with a fund raising program for basic parish support. The committee was hand-picked and required full cooperation and support of the staff and parish council. Members of the committee were: Harold & Eileen Grimm; Randall Reeks; Leo Wherley; Bob & Cathy Schuch; Mike & Ruth Eberhardt; Jim Keller Sr.; Paul Kledzik; Dennis & Kathy Correll and Tom Bowen.
After three weeks of intense pledge recruitment after weekend Masses, volunteers personally went to the homes of parishioners to gather the remaining pledges. It turned out to be a complete success and was used for several years.
December 2, 1975 Apostolic Life Committee. Addressed a wide variety of issues, some of which are "pro-life", "anti-abortion" and the resettlement of a Vietnamese family.
February 2, 1976 Anita Barman hired as our first secretary.
June 5, 1977 Bishop Cletus F. O'Donnell of the Diocese of Madison celebrated Mass at the 10th anniversary of the establishment of St. Albert the Great Parish Center. Co-celebrants were Fr. Eugene Graham, Fr. Donald Wiecki, Fr. Richard Lesniak and Fr. Bernard Pierick. The celebration included a parish family picnic, volleyball, softball and races. These events took place on the parish grounds. Our parish now numbered 460 households.
December 24, 1977 First "Happy Birthday Jesus" Party. Featured a special offering of gifts. Children of the church brought up infant layette items, which were donated to Catholic relief services for babies throughout the world. The special Mass was planned by Fr. Lesniak, Associate Pastor, and Barb Haugen, Minister of Music and Liturgy. The readings, singing and a play were all done by the children. A birthday cake was lit during Mass to commemorate Jesus' birthday. After Mass, the parishioners followed Fr. Wiecki, carrying the lit cake, to the lower level where it was shared by all.
1978 Construction on the new addition begins. This consists of six offices, two classrooms, an A.V. Library and storage space. Our parish now numbers 530 families.
January, 1979 A Liturgy of Thanksgiving & Blessing of the completion of the new addition to the Parish Center. Bishop Cletus F. O'Donnell was principal co-celebrant and delivered the homily. Following the blessing was an open house with coffee, cookies and punch served in the lower level. Also, in conjunction with the open house, was a farewell party held for Fr. Lesniak.
January 18, 1979 Fr. Lesniak transferred.
February, 1979 Fr. Curt Alvarez was named to help out.
June, 1980 Celebration of Fr. Wiecki's 22nd anniversary.
October 10, 1980 Souvannasone family arrived from Laos, sponsored by St. Albert the Great Parish through Catholic Social Services. Parish Council member, Dottie LeClaire, spearheaded the project to bring this family to America. The group had to have financial responsibility for the family before they would be given visas for the United States. A committee was formed consisting of Pat & Jim Nachtigal, general chairpersons; Lorraine Farron, education; Mary Davison, fund raising; Bob & Jean Henseler, budget; Barbara Komoroske, health & social services; Dave Luebke and Bud Zyduck, employment; Teryl Mullen, food, furniture & clothing; and Alice Gill and Pat Streeter, transportation. Don & Connie Lierman, Eileen & Harold Grimm and Roger & Dottie LeClaire completed the committee.
Funds were raised through garage and donut sales, bingo, a stitchery party, Star Countryman subscription drive and private donations. A check for $1,000.00 from St. Albert's Men's Club helped the committee finally reach its goal. The family initially stayed at the home of Jack & Mary Davison until housing could be secured. They became American Citizens on August 17, 1988.
The three oldest children are out of high school and making plans for a better future in America. Molly & Kit are engaged to be married; Kit is attending the University of Wisconsin at Platteville and Wally is currently attending MATC. The two younger children born in the United States Valintip (Bobby) and Andrew, are in the Sun Prairie Schools. We thank them all for enriching our lives.
June, 1981 Fr. Wiecki transferred. A going away party was held in his honor.
June, 1981 Fr. John (Bud) Satterlee assigned as Pastor. A reception was held in his honor.
October 4, 1981 On the feast of St. Francis, Fr. Bud started the tradition of blessing our pets.
November, 1981 St. Alberts Gourmet Group had its first dinner. The group prepared food specialties from all over the world. Each dinner highlighted a country's cuisine. Organizers were: Jeri Brown, Carol Carnine and Tammy Svoboda.
Members were: Tammy Svoboda, Marcy Ferriter, Jeri Brown, Carol Carnine, Gail Ringelstetter, Mary Davison, Ellen Bowen, Anita Barman, Valerie Cappozzo, Lucy Ashwill, Pat Thiesenhusen, Eileen Grimm, Mary Rueping, Dottie Leclaire, Dolly Wagner, Jan Hanley, Kaye Samek, Joanne Pilch, Jewell Gibbs
Substitute members were: Barb Justl, Claudia Morrissey, Cathy Schuch, Linda Sherman, Ida Stifter
Fr. Bud, Sister Corine and our spouses joined us for the dinner.
November, 1981 Fr. Curt Alvarez assigned Associate Pastor.
May, 1982 Sr. Corine Gund's 50th Jubilee celebration. Fr. Bud escorted Sr. Corine into the church, where she was greeted by family, friends and parishioners. The mass was concelebrated in her honor followed by a "This is Your Life" program. A reception was then held in the lower level.
June, 1982 St. Albert's 15th anniversary celebration. We now number 650 families.
October, 1982 Bonnie Knechtges replaced Anita Barman as parish secretary.
June, 1983 A Scholarship Fund was established in honor of Sister Corine. The first recipient was Margaret Veith.
1983 Sr. Corine left.
July, 1983 Sr. Irene Dill is hired as our Pastoral Minister.
October 16, 1983 A new group was formed by Cathy Schuch and Eileen Grimm. They were in charge of preparing and serving dinners for: Weddings, Cub Scouts, Hockey, Knights of Columbus and other organizations. The group named themselves the "Kitchen Witches". They purchased necessary items for the kitchen and gave money to the church for whatever was needed. First Co-Chair: Marian Jesberger and Kate O'Malley; Secretary Treasurer: Vicky Buttitta. The group numbered approximately 63.
June, 1984 Fr. Larry Bakke assigned Associate Pastor.
October, 1984 Construction of Albert House begins. A committee was formed to oversee this project. Members are: John Michaelis - Chairman; Claudia Morrissey, Jim Fowler, Bill Dziadosz, Orville Frank, Ed Ritter. This building was a four unit apartment, which houses our priest(s), nun and, at different times, various staff persons. The lower level provides a casual meeting space, along with small kitchen facilities.
April 28, 1985 Fr. Bud, Fr. Larry and Sr. Irene moved into the completed Albert House. An open house was held shortly thereafter.
1986 Remodeled altar area. Funds were donated in memory of Sybilla Kuehn along with donations from various organizations.
October, 1986 Irma Quamme is hired to replace Bonnie Knechtges as parish secretary.
1987 Barb Haugen resigned as Minister of Liturgy & Music.
1987-88 Mary Dahl hired as Minister of Liturgy & Music.
1988 Celebration of Fr. Bud's 25th anniversary.
1988 Gregg Gernetzke hired as Director of Youth Ministry.
Gregg coordinates the Youth Ministry activities for Grades 7 thru 12, which include planning and implementing programs for Religious Education, Confirmation, Retreats and Sexuality. Part of his work is enlisting, training and enabling volunteer support as well as facilitating leadership development among teens. He is also involved with our Middle School and Senior High Youth Councils on both local and Diocesan levels in planning such events such as Youth Rallies and Leadership Seminars. Usually 400-600 youth attend these events.
Working with the Youth Council he coordinates and helps plan social events and service opportunities for teens in the community. He also serves on various committees as a clergy support person in areas of community development in the school district, i.e., Business Education Partnership, Health Advisory Committee, etc.. He is always working to develop ministries where youth are helping youth and recently helped launch the "Project Grow Right" program. This is a summer program enabling area churches, businesses and teens to support, learn and grow towards alleviating hunger in our own community by planting and growing gardens with other area youth.
Gregg also works as a staff support person helping with Summer Faith, RCIA, I Can Cope and various areas where collaborative ministry is needed.
1988 Patti Sensenbrenner hired as Director of Religious Education.
The levels of faith formation which Patti coordinates include service to both children and adults in a myriad of programs. A major area of her focus is children's religious education including FRE, Summer Faith and sacramental preparation for First Eucharist and First Reconciliation. With a host of volunteers, quality formation opportunities are offered throughout the year. A second area of responsibility is the coordination of our RCIA program and other forms of adult enrichment. For many years, Patti's generous ministry has stretched beyond specific program areas to service to the entire faith community as a member of the staff.
1988-89 Debby Kremer hired as Minister of Liturgy & Music.
1989-90 Chris Faltiesack hired as Minister of Liturgy & Music.
October, 1989 Sandy Schulz started as a Children's Choir volunteer director. In August, 1993, she became part-time staff director of the Children's Choir, Young Adult Musicians and the Albertsingers.
June, 1990 Sr. Irene Dill left. A "going away" party was held in her honor.
Sr. Rosilda (Rosie) Thiel was hired as Pastoral Minister.
Sr. Rosie's main responsibility is outreach ministries to the sick and suffering in their homes, the hospitals and nursing homes. Much of her time is spent dealing with social justice concerns, such as providing information and/or finding available sources for the poor and needy of St. Albert's and the Sun Prairie Community. Sr. Rosie helps to coordinate some of our ministries such as the scheduling of our generous volunteers for the Sun Prairie Emergency Food Pantry (SPEFP), Willows, Prayer Circle, Home Cooked Meals, Funeral Meals, etc.. Much of the time is spent in 'telephone ministry" when personal contact is not possible. In short, Sr. Rosie aims to bring God's presence and love to the members of St. Albert The Great Parish.
July, 1990 Don Kometz hired as Director of Liturgy & Music.
The main thrust of his ministry is to enable as many people as he can to participate more fully in the liturgical and musical life of the parish. Music, environment, lector, hospitality, eucharistic minister, altar server and catechist are only some of the areas he touches in his ministry as full-time staff member.
Don's constant dream is to involve more and more people in the many avenues of expression of love for the liturgy and the prayer life of St. Albert the Great Parish.
1990 - "GROWING SPACE FOR GROWING FAITH" Committee was formed to evaluate the needs of the parish.
September, 1991 Fr. Bud transferred. A reception was held in his honor.
September 11, 1991 Fr. Richard Leffler was assigned Associate Pastor.
September 11, 1991 Fr. Larry Bakke named as Pastor.
June, 1992 Fr. Richard Leffler was transferred.
August, 1993 Reverend Francis G. Hilton, S.J., known to us as "Father Hank" came to St. Albert's. At the time he arrived, he had been in the Jesuits for 12 years and had been a priest for one year. Father Hank came to Wisconsin to pursue his Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Institute for Environmental Studies. On leaving Sun Prairie he will return to the Jesuits' New York Province to resume his teaching ministry. He will also continue to grapple with energy/environment/economic development issues -- both in his teaching and research and in his work as a consultant and technical advisor to governments and corporations. While at St. Albert's, Fr. Hank has helped with the Masses and other celebrations. He has also given the Spiritual Exercises to a large group of parishioners.
September 13, 1993 Growing Space For Growing Faith. Contracted Bob McCabe, Capital Fund Development, to organize pledge fund drive. Bonnie Knechtges is hired part-time as Campaign Secretary.
The General Chairman was Tom Hanley; Campaign Steering Committee Members were: Larry Berberet, James Bricker, Leisa Collins-Clubine, Bob Henseler, Kevin Noskowiak, Jim Oehrlein, Terry Weisensel and Bill Morrissey. The Audit Committee consisted of Larry Berberet and Bonnie Knechtges.
December 17, 1993 Capital Fund Development's contract ended. The campaign audit showed a total of $1,375,012.50 in pledges from 484 donors. A total of 144 volunteers served in the campaign.
June, 1995 Fr. Bud invited to return when he was placed on medical leave.
September, 1995 Donn Heiar, a member of our parish, left to enter the Seminary at Mundelein, Illinois.
April 14, 1996 Ground breaking for the new church The day was very cloudy and cold with brisk winds when The Most Reverend William Bullock, Bishop of the Diocese of Madison, Father Larry Bakke, Pastor of St. Albert's, Fr. John (Bud) Satterlee, former pastor, Sister Rosilda (Rosie) Thiel, Mayor JoAnn Orfan, the Building Committee, a representative of the Vogel Construction Company and many parishioners turned over the first shovels of dirt on the spot where our new church will be built.
June 15, 1996 Father John (Bud) Satterlee went home to his heavenly Father after a long and painful bout with cancer. What a sad day for us, but a happy day for Father Bud. We will miss him greatly. His funeral was held on Tuesday, June 18, 1996 at St. Albert's, burial at Sacred Hearts Cemetery in Sun Prairie. Relatives, clergy, and old and new friends from throughout the Diocese came to reminisce and celebrate his life. A reception, which he had planned, was held at the Round Table (K.C. Hall). We served 426 guests. In addition to the menu Fr. Bud had requested, many parishioners brought food as an expression of their love for him. Fr. Bud also requested that a memorial fund be set up to purchase the altar for the new church in his memory.
From Fr. Bud's Family: To all of you here at St. Albert's:
We are overwhelmed by your generosity, care and concern for Fr. Bud and to us during this time of his final illness. He was so happy to be able to come "home" again to St. Albert's. Thank you for receiving him so warmly. Thanks also for the deluge of food and memorial gifts brought for his funeral. His St. Albert's "Family" will always have a special place in our hearts.
In Humble gratitude, Fr. Bud's Family
October 13, 1996 Packer Backer Tractor Raffle was established as a fund raiser for the new church.
November, 1996 Tracey Hensen, Public Relations & Special Events, and Tom Brogan, maintenance, were hired.
November 15, 1996 (St. Albert's Feast Day) Father Hank asked permission to celebrate the first Mass in our new building even though it was far from complete. Our 8:30 Mass group gathered in the unfinished, cool and dark Day Chapel. You would have to go a long way to find a more excited group. Fr. Hank's comment on the new building on completion of the liturgy was "it works".
December 6, 1996 Irma Quamme retired as Secretary. Ray Spence, maintenance, also retired. Bonnie Knechtges moved up into the full-time secretary position and Tom Brogan became full-time maintenance.
December 8, 1996 The Christmas Craft Sale was held for the first time.
January 5, 1997 Father Hank Hilton left us to take a teaching position at Loyola University at Baltimore, Maryland.
March 21, 1997 The new organ was donated by parishioner Ken McCarville.
May 8, 1997 Presentation of the Twinning Program was made to the Council.
Barb Justl spent a week in Haiti doing Missionary work and as a result, the Twinning Program was introduced to St. Albert's Parish. Mission is to link (twin) the people of St. Albert the Great Catholic Church with the people of Marguerite Naseau Kindergarten in Haiti, and help support the Haitian effort to become self-sufficient. Twinning is a parish-wide effort to help the Marguerite Naseau Kindergarten through Food for the Poor. We are committed to giving monthly financial support. It is our hope that St. Albert's will build a closer relationship with the Kindergarten through letters, cards, and visits. Our Baptism calls us to help our sisters and brothers in Christ.
May 10 & 11, 1997 (Mother's Day Weekend) The first Mass was said in our new church. We gathered in the Parish Center, where we had been celebrating the liturgy for the past 27 plus years, for the Closing Service and processed through the doors, down the hall and into the Narthex and then finally gathering in the new church for Mass. There was a vast mixture of emotions involved in leaving behind the old and entering the new. A reception followed in the gathering space after each Mass.
May 18, 1997 Colleen Ploessl became the first child Baptized in the new church space in 1997.
June 1, 1997 (Open House)
An Open House for the community was held from 1:00-4:00 PM. Parishioners were stationed at various points of interest in our church to tell the history and significance of each area.
July, 1997 Our new altar arrived and was installed. It's stunning beauty memorializes the life of Fr. Bud.
July 12 & 13, 1997 (Parish Festival Weekend)
We now call it Albertfest. The excitement of the new church was reflected in the mood of those in attendance at this festival.
September 28, 1997 First Confirmation in the new building. There were 46 confirmandi.
October 1, 1997 Sister Joan Meyer joined our Staff as Director of Children's Faith Formation.
As the Director of Children's Faith Formation, Sister Joan Meyer oversees and directs the parish preschool/kindergarten through sixth grade religious education programs during the academic year and the Summer Faith Program. She is responsible for the First Eucharist and First Reconciliation sacramental programs. Sister Joan develops and implements a process for the initiation of children, she provides for children of catechetical age to be welcomed into the church community. She assists in the development of a Faith Formation Committee and oversees its work. Sister supervises the Children's Liturgy of the Word, provides faith formation opportunities for parents and families, recruits and provides for the continuing development, training, supervision, and evaluation of catechists, aides or assistants for all programs.
1997-98 will be a transitional year as Patti Sensenbrenner moves out of directing the parish preschool/kindergarten through sixth grade religious education program. She will continue to be responsible for Adult Faith Formation including Scripture Sharing Groups, Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, and special adult formation opportunities, Table forTwo, Women's Retreats, Family Ministry Team and Pre-Baptism Preparation. She will coordinate the Renew 2000 Process beginning in the parish in 1998 and will eventually coordinate the Marriage Preparation also. Patti is a resource person for adults seeking faith formational books, tapes and videos.
October 8, 1997 The new Baptismal Font arrived.
October 13, 1997 (Spirit of Central Europe Tour) 21 Members of St. Albert the Great Parish and friends embarked on a Pilgrimage to Germany, Austria and Switzerland commemorating the 30th Anniversary of the parish personally escorted by Fr. Larry Bakke, Pastor.
This journey to the homeland of St. Albert the Great who was born in his family's castle on the Danube River in Germany in 1206 A.D. departed from Chicago aboard Swissair heading to Zurich, Switzerland and then on to Titisee through the Black Forest region.
The tour then headed north toward Ulm, situated on the Danube River, including a stop at the High Baroque Abbey and the Ulmer Munster with the tallest church tower in the world. Next was Regensburg, where St. Albert the Great was bishop for two years and Fr. Larry presided at Mass on Sunday, October 19, at 10:15 AM. Also on the itinerary was Salzburg, Austria, birthplace of Mozart; Oberammergau, scene of the legendary Passion Play, Palace Linderhof, a dream castle left by Bavaria's fairy tale king, Ludwig II, and Appenzell, a picturesque Swiss Village. We returned back to St. Albert on Friday, October 24th.
November 14, 1997 Cross and lectern were installed.
November 15, 1997 (The Feast of St. Albert the Great) Formal dedication of St. Albert the Great Church. Most Reverend William Bullock, Bishop of Madison, celebrated the Liturgy of Dedication, and Fr. Larry Bakke, Pastor, was the concelebrant; Donn Heiar, our Seminarian, was the Master of Ceremonies. The Bishop blessed the water, people and church. During the Mass the Altar and walls of the church were anointed with holy oil. After performing an incensing of altar, church and congregation, the altar was prepared and candles were lit. Fr. Larry thanked everyone involved with the planning and the building of our beautiful Church. A reception followed in the Narthex (Gathering Space).
November 23, 1997 St. Albert's Parish hosted an Ecumenical Thanksgiving Prayer Service. Participating churches were: Bristol Lutheran, Good Shepherd Episcopal, Our Savior's Lutheran, Prairie Creek Community, Sacred Hearts Catholic and St. Albert's Catholic Church. Music was provided by the Combined Youth Choir, Director - Barbara Haugen; The Combined Adult Choir, Director - Sandra Schultz; Accompanist - Donald Kometz. Flutes: Sara Tauchen and Emily Niesl, Chancel Ringers of Our Savior's Lutheran, Director - Janice Nelson.