St. Andrew's History
ST. ANDREW CATHOLIC CHURCH
LE ROY, WISCONSIN
History 1849 to 2009
This abbreviated parish history was obtained from approximately 200+ pages of St. Andrew’s history that was compiled over many years by dedicated life long parish member and parish historian Leonard Schraufnagel. To view this complete history in pdf format please select this link: St Andrew Catholic Church 160 - Year History
St. Andrew congregation was founded April 23, 1849 when Casper Sterr and wife Regina donated 10 acres of prime farmland to the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. Missionary priest Father Charles Schraudenbach signed the Warranty Deed on behalf of Archbishop John Martin Henni accepting the generous parcel of land.
The present church is located 2 ½ miles east of the central borderline of the National Horicon Marsh Wildlife Refuge. The beautiful 500 seat gothic Catholic church with its 150 foot towering steeple in the midst of the moderate rolling farmland, can be seen for miles around, symbolizing a welcoming message to all.
St. Andrew’s Parish has been shepherded by 26 missionary and resident priests and 117 Dominican Sisters of Racine have provided education to the parish children. Continued Catholic education is now provided with volunteer CCD teachers and a religious education director.
The cornerstone of the present building was laid in 1900 and was consecrated on September 27, 1901. St. Andrew’s parish continued to grow and a new school was built in 1955 followed by the building of the present rectory in 1964. Due to the shortage of teaching sisters, the parish school was closed in 1969.
On July 1, 1998 St. Andrew’s entered into a formal collaboration with St. Mary’s Parish, Mayville. While maintaining their own identities these two parishes are now served by a single pastor and joint parish council.
In the fall of 1998 the school was reopened as the St. Andrew’s campus of St. Mary’s School and housed the Day Care, Pre-School and Kindergarten programs, along with the first and second grades. The school remained open until the summer of 2009 when all programs and classes were moved back to St. Mary’s Mayville School.
On Tuesday, June 21, 2005 Father Thomas Biersack was welcomed to the parish. Father Tom last served at St. Alphonsus Parish at New Munster in Kenosha County. He grew up in the Barton/West Bend area.
On October 23, 2009 St. Andrew the Apostle Catholic church, LeRoy, was listed on the Wisconsin State Register of Historic Places. Former pastor Father Anthony Gundrum coined the phrase “Cathedral of the Marsh” – truly a fitting title for this outstanding historic building.