About Us

Mission Statement
Parish History
Fr Mark Payne
Photo Album

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Mission Statement

As St. Veronica Congregation, we are a people committed to live as a community - worshiping God, deepening our faith, and knowing and caring for others as Jesus did.

Through a tradition of prayer, service and innovation, we challenge each other to share our faith, be stewards of our Church and ministers to our community.

May the Holy Spirit inspire us to live out our faith in action, our love in service, and our hope for the future as we image Christ to the world.

Parish History


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.


Cornerstone laid for combination of church and school.


Formal dedication of church and two-room school.


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


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


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


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


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


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.


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.


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.


New convent was completed.


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


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.


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.


Covenant Statement adopted.


Pastoral Team concept approved. First team was appointed.


Renovations of the parish offices and convent were completed.


A mortgage burning celebration was held on October 27.


Fr. Gordon Johnson died.


Church elevator was dedicated.


Parish Mission Statement was approved.


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


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.


Opened St. Veronica’s Food Pantry.


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


Fr. Mark Payne becomes Pastor.


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


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


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.).


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.


Additional parking space added on the WeEnergies lot.


A new Garden Area located by the back parking lot.


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.

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.



Fr Mark Payne

Hi! My name is Father Mark Payne, Pastor of St. Veronica Parish on the south side of Milwaukee. I thought it would be important to give you some background information about myself so that you will have a thumbnail sketch of who I am.

I was raised in Plymouth, Wisconsin. My parents live in Plymouth during the summer and Mesa, Arizona during the winter. I have three brothers, two older and one younger. I attended St. Lawrence Seminary for high school and Marquette University for college. I earned a BA in Interpersonal Communications with a minor in Philosophy and Theology. While attending Marquette, I was a part of a program for seminarians called the College Formation Program through St. Francis de Sales Seminary. After college, I wanted to teach high school and pursue my interest in joining a religious order. I became a member of St. Norbert Abbey of De Pere, Wisconsin in 1987. I spent two years in the novitiate followed by a year at St. Norbert Collage, earning my teaching certificate for secondary education.

Having completed my certificate, I taught two years at Abbot Pennings High School in De Pere Wisconsin. I enjoyed teaching very much. In 1990 I was sent to Rome to study at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, where I earned my Masters in Theology. Following my Rome experience, I returned to continue my teaching career while ministering as the campus minister to the students of Notre Dame de La Baie Academy in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

On May 7, 1994, I was ordained a priest. I embraced my work with high school students as a challenge, but I also grew close to the students because of my personality and sense of humor. Those years were graced years.

After a few years at the high school, the abbot approached me to consider a new position of associate pastor and campus minister at St. Norbert College. I embraced these positions. Still, at this point in my life, I felt a tugging away from community life to pursue a new call as a diocesan priest. (Please keep in mind; this is thumbnail sketch of my life. I would need a few more pages to flush out the discernment process of what was happening in me.) I pursued my call to explore diocesan priesthood with the blessing of my abbot, which brought me to the Milwaukee Archdiocese and St. William Parish in Waukesha.

I ministered to the people of St. William for three and a half years. Being aware of the shortage of priests and due to the situation at hand, I surmised that I would be called to take a parish in the spring. To my surprise, when my pastor called me into his office, I was not expecting to hear him say that the vicar wanted me to go to St. Theresa Parish as the Temporary Administrator. In the midst of this surprise, I embraced my new assignment with enthusiasm and prayerful reflection.

During April, the vice vicar for clergy, Rev. William Kohler, called me to see if I would be up for another challenge: leading St. Veronica Parish on the south side of Milwaukee. This parish has 1,300 families, a school of 336 children in a changing neighborhood. To say yes to this assignment only adds to the blessings I have received and supports my calling that I had when I was in 7th grade. Whether in a classroom or in front of a congregation, I am still teaching and sharing the faith that I so deeply love. Priesthood is a challenge, but never a dull moment!


Fr. Mark Payne

Photo Album

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