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Diocese of Green Bay

U.S. Diocese established March 3, 1868 in Wisconsin

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Green Bay, Diocese of (Sinus Viridis), established March 3, 1868, from the territory of the Diocese of Milwaukee, comprises sixteen counties of the State of Wisconsin, U.S.A.: Brown, Calumet, Door, Florence, Forest, Kewaunee, Langlade, Manitowoc, Marinette, Oconto, Outagamie, Portage, Shawano, Waupaca, Waushara, and Winnebago; an area of 15,387 square miles.

At that time there were in this district thirty-one churches and forty-two stations, with thirty-one priests and fifty-five ecclesiastical students; eleven parish schools and seven convents of the Sisters of Notre Dame, the Ursulines, Sisters of St. Agnes, the Third Order of St. Dominic, and the Third Order of St. Francis, with a Catholic population of about 50,000. It was mixed Irish-American, German, Belgian, and Dutch, with a few Indians. Poles and Bohemians are now to be added to this classification.

BISHOPS. (I) Joseph Melcher was appointed the first bishop, and consecrated at St. Louis, Missouri, July 12, 1868. In 1855 he had been appointed Bishop of the proposed See of Quincy, Illinois, but declined the appointment. The See of Quincy was soon after suppressed and the title transferred to Alton. Bishop Melcher was born March 19, 1806, at Vienna, Austria, and ordained priest at Modena, Italy, March 12, 1830. Ile died at Green Bay, December 20, 1873.

FRANCIS XAVIER KRAUTBAUER, second bishop, was consecrated June 29, 1875, at Milwaukee, Wisconsin. A native of Bruck, Bavaria, where he was born January 12, 1824, he was ordained priest July 16, 1850, at Ratisbon. He died suddenly December 17, 1885, at Green Bay.

FREDERIC XAVIER KATZER, third bishop, had been vicar-general of the diocese. He was born February 7, 1844, at Ebensee, Upper Austria, and in the last year of his collegiate course at Friedberg he volunteered for the American mission. Arriving in the United States in May, 1864, he entered the Salesianum at St. Francis, near Milwaukee, where he completed his theological course and was ordained priest, December, 1866. He taught in the Milwaukee Seminary until 1875, when Bishop Krautbauer made him his secretary, and three years later vicar-general of Green Bay. On 30 Janurary, 1891, he was promoted archbishop and transferred to Milwaukee, where he died July 20, 1903.

(4) SEBASTIAN GEBHARD MESSMER, fourth bishop was consecrated at Newark, New Jersey, March 27, 1892. He was born August 29, 1847, at St. Gall, Switzerland, and ordained priest July 23, 1871, at Innsbruck, Austria. He was professor of theology Seton Hall College, New Jersey, from 1871 to 1889, and was professor of canon law at the Catolic University, Washington, when chosen bishop. He was promoted to the Archbishopric of Milwaukee, November 28, 1903.

(5) JOSEPH J. Fox, fifth bishop, was consecrated July 25, 1904. He was born in Green Bay, August 2, 1855, and made his theological studies at Louvain. He was ordained priest June 7, 1870, and served as secretary to Bishop Krautbauer, vicar-general of the diocese, and pastor of Mariette, before he was appointed bishop, May 27, 1904.

The religious communities located in the diocese are:—Men:—Capuchins, Franciscans, Premonstratensians, Fathers of the Society of the Divine Savior, Oblates of Mary Immaculate, and the Alexian Brothers. Women:—Sisters of St. Agnes, Sisters of St. Dominic, Felicians, Third Order of St. Dominic, Sisters of Charity, Sisters of Christian Charity, Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, Little Sisters of the Poor, Sisters of Mercy, Polish Sisters of St. Joseph, School Sisters of St. Francis, Sisters of St. Francis, Sisters of Our Lady of Christ, Sisters of Misericorde, School Sisters of Notre Dame, Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother, Sisters of the Society of the Divine Savior, Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis.

STATISTICS: 202 priests (47 regulars), 25 ecclesiastical students, 54 brothers, 45 churches, 65 missions, 3 stations, 3 chapels, 104 parish schools (16,482 pupils), 1 academy (95 pupils), 2 colleges (109 students), 1 Indian school (224 pupils), 1 orphan asylum (227 inmates), 1 industrial and reform school (66 inmates), 1 infant home and asylum (50 inmates), 17,418 young people under Catholic care, 8 hospitals, Catholic population 135,000.


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