Racine, St. Mary by the Lake
Love One Another Capital Campaign 2021

St. Mary by the Lake, Racine

Our Parish Roots:

In 1849, Bishop John Martin Henni approved a growing German immigration population’s request to build a Church honoring the Mother of God in Racine. The site purchased near College Avenue and Eighth Street came with a well-built home and a carpenter shop.

The carpenter shop was converted into the first St. Mary’s school in 1850. After a two-year delay due to inclement weather and financial constraints, Bishop Henni presided at the cornerstone laying ceremony on June 27, 1852. The first St. Mary’s Church was solemnly dedicated to Mary under the title of the Assumption on August 15, 1853.

St. Mary by the Lake is the oldest continuous Catholic Parish in Racine, with almost 170 years of history. We represent a gathering space for a growing community of more than 230 families, welcoming all Catholics in the Racine area to join in celebrating Mass.

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Our Share

Through much prayer, planning, and conversation, we have identified our greatest needs and initiatives to strengthen our mission and vision for years to come. Our share of the funds raised will be used to improve our buildings, repair our parking lot, and replace our air exchangers. 


Parish Goal


Parish Share


Final Total Pledged


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Our Parish buildings need updating and repair. Priorities include replacing our front and rear church windows, exterior windows in our Parish Office and Education Center, the siding of the Education Center, the church gutter on the north side, and the main roof. All upgrades will make our buildings more energy-efficient, protect our parishioners, staff, and visitors from natural elements, save our Parish on upkeep costs, reduce the risk of unexpected failures, and reinforce the structural stability of our Parish buildings. Making the necessary repairs will allow us to continue to be a vibrant beacon of God’s Word and to grow our mission and ministry.


Our parking lot receives extensive foot and automobile traffic between our worship space and the Education Center. Our children use the parking lot for Parish events and parishioners park their cars there to walk between the Church and the Education Center. Our parking lot needs to be repaved to eliminate hazardous conditions for our parishioners, their automobiles, and to maintain a safe environment for outdoor Parish events.


Our air exchanger is old and needs to be replaced. A new air exchanger will improve ventilation in our Parish buildings, reduce the risk of mold and mildew, and increase the efficiency of our heating and cooling systems. Modernizing our air exchange system will ensure all who use our facilities a more comfortable experience and reduce utility and maintenance costs for our Parish for 10+ years.

Love One Another

PO Box 070912
Milwaukee, WI 53207-0912

3501 South Lake Drive
St. Francis, WI 53235

Phone:  (414) 769-3459
Email:   loveoneanother@archmil.org


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