Saint Matthias Catholic Parish is a hearing and deaf community committed to continuing the ministry of Jesus Christ. We invite and welcome all no matter what your race, language or creed; no matter what your orientation or marriage situation, no matter where your journey has led you. Come; live, grow and be challenged by the message– through prayer, formation, and service.
St. Matthias Parish had its beginnings in about 1845 when the Catholic community in this area was known as Holy Cross. These German Catholics were first served by itinerant priests and then by Fr. Mathias Steiger who traveled 10 miles from St. Francis to minister to the people. In 1850 Bishop John Martin Henni announced the formal establishment of the parish and appointed Fr. J.A. Stein as pastor. The parish was then called St. Matthias. Although no records indicate the reason for the change in the congregation’s name, it is believed to be named St. Matthias in tribute to Fr. Steiger. Fr. Stein chose a site on Beloit Road known locally as Whiskey Corners on which to establish the church. Three farming families donated an acre each for the new parish.
Education Important from the Beginning
Shortly after the parish was formed, a school was established. Early meetings were first held in the barn of one parishioner and the home of another. Shortly after the first church’s dedication, arrangements were made to move the school to a different building. Lay teachers were first responsible for the school, as it was served by the Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi from 1891-1905. The School Sisters of St. Francis have taught in our school since 1905.