Parish 262-673-4831 School 262-673-3081

Enlightened by Faith, Enriched by Education


Parish History

A look into our past

St. Kilian Parish as it exists today was founded upon the 1999 merger of two congregations: St. Patrick, Erin (1855-1999) and St. Kilian (1863). Mass was first celebrated in Erin Township at William McGrath’s home near Monches. Those who gathered there were organized as St. John’s Parish in 1843. Around 1855, northern Erin residents built their own church dedicated to St. Patrick. Initially it was served by St. John’s pastors. The first effort at building a Catholic church in Hartford was made about 1858 by two bothers, Simon and Casper Dorn. They offered to give $400 each toward the project, provided the other twenty-two Catholics in the vicinity would raise $1,000. They were unable to raise the funds, so the plan did not materialize. Next A.B. Thornson proposed to give an acre of land under the condition that local Catholics build a church thereon. After the deed was made to Bishop Henni, the title was discovered to be defective because the railroad company had a mortgage on the land. Even though the lumber for the building was already on site, the project had to be abandoned. In 1863, Fr. Michael Deisenreider of St. Lawrence Parish, rural Hartford, organized 100 Catholic families from the city to form St. Kilian Congregation. Simon Dorn donated the land for that church. It still stands on the northwest corner of State and Forest Streets.

St. Patrick’s and St. Kilian’s had connections going back to 1868 when St. Patrick’s was made a mission of St. Kilian’s. This relationship lasted until 1906. The two parishes connected again from 1941-1971 while Erin Township was again a mission of St. Kilian parish, served by St. Kilian’s assistant pastors and, later, St. Joseph’s Hospital’s resident chaplain. Besides these connections, there had been traditions of sharing the Catholic school and religious education program. Several of the pioneer families from both parishes have familial ties. The parish maintains St. Patrick’s Chapel in Erin.

At various times in the past, the pastors of St. John’s in Monches and St. Mary’s in Richfield and the Carmelite Fathers on Holy Hill were responsible for St. Patrick’s. Besides St. Patrick’s, St. Kilian’s pastors were also responsible for St. Matthew’s in Neosho, St. John’s in Herman township (a rural parish that was later moved to Rubicon) and the shrine at Holy Hill.

The Congregation has supported a Catholic school since 1864. This school was staffed initially by lay teachers, then by Agnesian Sisters from Fond du Lac, Franciscan Sisters from Manitowoc, then Benedictine Nuns from Jersey City, New Jersey, until 1903; next the School Sisters of St. Francis and currently by lay teachers and principals.

Priests Serving St. Patick Parish

1855-1859 Fr. Martin Hobbs 1928-1941 Carmelite Fathers
1859-1868 Fr. John Tiernan 1941-1971

The assistant priests of St. Kilian Parish and the chaplains of St. Joseph’s Hospital, Hartford

1868-1869 Fr. Johann Stephan Muenich 1971-1973 Fr. Oliver Zinnen
1869-1883 Fr. Michael Wenker 1973-1978 Fr. Warren Abrahamson
1883-1893 Fr. Nicholas Michael Zimmer 1978-1984 Fr. Aloysius Ahler
1893-1906 Fr. John A. Betram 1984-1993 Fr. John Rausch
1906-1920 Carmelite Fathers 1993-1996 Fr. Vincent Holubowicz
1920-? Fr. Frank Kelly 1996-1999 Fr. Walter Vogel

St. Kilian's Pastors and Administrators

1863-1864 Fr. Michael Deisenreider 1941-1950 Fr. Henry Conrad Stehling
1864-1867 Fr. Peter Schwaiger 1950-1960 Fr. Gerard Joseph Budde
1867 Fr. Jacob Aegidius Marschal 1960-1968 Fr. John Joseph Koenig
1867-1869 Fr. Johann Stephan Muenich 1968-1983 Fr. Alfred Lawrence Esselman
1869-1883 Fr. Michael Wenker 1983-1988 Fr. Robert George Braun
1883-1893 Fr. Nicholas Michael Zimmer 1988-1993

Fr. Eugene C. Neumann

1893-1912 Fr. John A. Betram 1993-2006 Fr. Michael Jerome Petrie
1912-1932 Fr. Joseph Carl Hartman 2006-2020 Fr. David W. La Plante

Fr. Francis Charles Kleser

2020-Present Fr. Britto Suresh

St. Kilian's Assistant and Associate Pastors, 1903-1993

Joseph Lederer Robert Hoeller Edmund Haen Donald Zirkel Richard Fleischmann
Edward Aumann Herbert Wagner Edward Grohall Richard Verberg Richard Fellenz
John Koelzer Raymond Kastner James Thurman Robert Jeffords Bud Heiting
Francis Elsinger John Budde William Ludwig Michael Sturm Michael Strachota
Joseph Bittle Joseph Beier Frank J. Sanfelippo John Hefter Charles Zabler
Charles Eschweiler Andrew Hauer Thomas Venne Ervin Claas Eugene Neuman
Gerard DeBruyn Gerald B. Hauser Ed Sippel Jerome Rinzel Jose Valdez

St. Kilian's Pastoral Associates

1996-2006 Sr. Helen Hurley, OP 2006-2016

Sr. Eileen Brynda, OP