Our Beginnings

The first masses were prayed in the basement of St. Margaret Mary Church in Neenah. At the first parish meeting on July 6 1959, Don Hassler and Paul Peeters were elected trustees and the building committee was formed.

On Easter Sunday April 17, 1960, less then a year after the Bishop's letter Father Stingle broke ground for the church school combination. Since then the neighboring parishes and gifts and pledges raised to build a new Catholic faith community.

The original St. Gabriel committee consisted of Charles O" Meara, Bill Geher, Dick Abb, Don Hassler, Paul Peeters, Lyle Jacob, and George Strum. The alter was consecrated on March 9, 1961 by Bishop John Grellinger. On the feast of St. Gabriel, March 24, Monsignor Joseph Glueckstein, pastor of the St. Margret Mary Parish, prayed the first Mass. Later in the day, Fr. Stingle prayed a solemns high Mass in the new church. Dedication of the new church and school complex was held on September 17, 1961. 

"Do not be afraid. Open wide the doors to Christ." John Paul II

The Journey continues

In 1961 the new school was in operation and Sr. Donna Marie, with eight other Franciscan Sisters. Fr. Michael Clifford was the first Associate Pastor. Later associates included: Ronald Hopfensperger, Charles Brooks, Cyril Van Heeswyck, Michael O' Rourke, Michael Betley, Charles Lacombe, Ronald Lhotte, Timothy Tessier, and Robert Lexa.

Fr. Stingle retired in 1985 and Fr. Richard L. Allen was named the Pastor retiring in June of 2011. Fr. Larry J. Seidl was named Pastor in July of 2011 and retired in June of 2019.  Bishop David Ricken named Fr. Robert Kollath as the current Pastor of St. Gabriel Parish.

On July 1, 2015 TCCES changed names to become St. Mary Catholic Schools. The five united schools, including the brand new middle school on the high school campus. The school system provides rigorous academics and faith development for our youth. St. Mary Catholic High School and St. Mary Catholic Middle School are both located at Zephyr drive in Neenah. The three elementary schools, St. Gabriel, St. Margret Mary, and St. Mary continue to provide excellent education.