Parish History

St. Veronica Congregation began at the request of Archbishop Messmer, with a gift of land from Veronica and Hans Jorgensen.  The name "Veronica" in Greek means "true image."  Our parish name is also our parish mission:  Imaging Christ to the World.

1925

First and earliest record of the beginning of St. Veronica Congregation. Fr. Julius Wermuth served as administrator of St. Veronica along with St. Gerard Parish.

1926

Cornerstone laid for combination of church and school.

1926

Formal dedication of church and two-room school.

1928

Fr. Wermuth left his assignment at St. Veronica. Fr. John Clark served as interim Pastor.

1929

Fr. Raymond Kelly became the first full-time resident Pastor.

1931

Fr. Leo Schiffler appointed Pastor, remained for 15 years. The Pizer home at 3980 S. Whitnall became the first rectory.

1940

Barracks were purchased from Pulaski High School to be used for a school addition. Registration of 1,000 families.

1945-50

Fr. David Ryan was Pastor. Two more barracks were purchased. The Sisters of St. Francis staffed St. Veronica School.

1950

Fr. Gordon Johnson became Pastor. Twenty-four years after the first classes at St. Veronica School, Fr. Johnson oversaw the building of a 17-room school. Fr. Johnson served from 1950-78. Parish acquired the second rectory at 4017 S. Whitnall Ave.

1952

The new school opened. 1,500 families registered. Ten Masses were held each weekend in the basement church and the school hall.

1960

First Church Festival is held.

1962-64

On June 26, 1964, groundbreaking was held for the new church and convent. Buildings at 318E. Norwich were purchased for convent use during construction, later these became the parish offices.

1965

New convent was completed.

1965

A major windstorm caused extensive damage to a portion of the church, and construction was delayed.

1966

The new church was dedicated at the First Mass celebrated on Easter Sunday, April 10, 1966. The new church seats 1,200 people and is pillarless. The Communion table and altar are imperial black marble. The railing symbolizes the crown of thorns. Risen Christ figure background is Arizona actus Turquoise Stone.

1976

Registered families total 1,950. Original church is now the school library and Johnson Hall is the school gym. First Parish Council was formed. The parish celebrated its Golden Jubilee on October 17, 1976.

1978

Covenant Statement adopted.

1979

Pastoral Team concept approved. First team was appointed.

1982

Renovations of the parish offices and convent were completed.

1985

A mortgage burning celebration was held on October 27.

1986

Fr. Gordon Johnson died.

1990

Church elevator was dedicated.

1991

Parish Mission Statement was approved.

1992

Registered families total 2,200. Dedication and blessing of Parish Center and new classrooms. The convent became the Child Care Center.

1999

Fr. Joseph Frederick retired after 27 years of service. The Parish Center was renamed, The Frederick Parish Center and Gymnasium. The Pastoral Team was dissolved and Very Rev. Thomas Eichenberger was appointed Pastor.

2000

Opened St. Veronica’s Food Pantry.

2001

Fr. Thomas Eichenberger celebrated his silver jubilee as a priest. St. Veronica Congregation celebrates 75 years as a parish.

2003

Fr. Mark Payne becomes Pastor.

2004

S. Veronica School closes; St. Thomas Aquinas Academy opens (East and West campuses).

2006

Fr. Mark Payne was appointed Very Reverend Pastor of District 15.

2006

St. Thomas Aquinas Academy closes the East Campus and consolidates to one location at the current West campus (formerly the St. Veronica School site, 341 E. Norwich St.).

2007

October 28, 2007 Archbishop Timothy Dolan dedicated the “Monument to the Unborn” which is located in front of the church on the Norwich Street side.

2007

Additional parking space added on the WeEnergies lot.

2007

A new Garden Area located by the back parking lot.

2007

Replaced all sidewalks, steps and railings around the church and school.

2008

Replaced St. Thomas Aquinas Academy school building's roof.

2009

Turnaround and accessible parking lot completed to accommodate our parishioners with special needs and our elderly.

2010

Established the Southeast Catholic Religious Formation for Elementary Formation grades K5 through 6; Youth Ministry grades 7 through 10 and Confirmation for the following parishes: Immaculate Conception, Nativity of the Lord, Sacred Heart of Jesus, St. Augustine of Hippo, St. Paul and St. Veronica.

2011

The church organ is rebuilt and revoiced. A gently used three manual console replaces our two manual console. Pipes and wind chests are rearranged to allow for better sound. A clarinet stop is added.

2014

Last church festival is held after it started 54 years earlier in 1960.

2014

Fr. Britto Suresh is appointed Associate Pastor. Both Pastor and Associate Pastor are shared assisting priests with Nativity of the Lord Parish in Cudahy. Church and parish office chiller replaced. Parking lot repaving project and new gym roof completed. New hymnals were introduced.

2015

Very Rev. Mark Payne received his License in Canon Law. St. Thomas  Aquinas Academy celebrates 10 years. Long time Pastor, Fr. Joseph Frederick passed away.