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To seek Christ, Know Christ and Become Christ, each one for the sake of all

  Mission and History

Our parish values any items that provide a history of God's work here at St. Dominic. Our church has been, and is, a place celebrating the most important moments in our lives. We are committed to recording and archiving the history of our parish's dedication to serving the community.  To donate, contact the Parish Center at 262.781.3480.  We will gratefully accept your items for preservation.

St. Dominic de Guzman - Our Patron


In 2014-2015, Pastoral Council began a visioning and planning process. Their efforts resulted in a three-year vision for St. Dominic Catholic Parish.

Vision and 3-year Picture


To seek Christ, know Christ and become Christ, each one for the sake of all by:

  • Actively participating in the Liturgy of the Word and the Eucharist, and the Sacraments

  • Extending ourselves in hospitality, lifelong faith formation and evangelization

  • Serving human concerns of persons within and outside our parish family

  • Sharing in stewardship with our time, talent and treasure

  • Offering lifetime opportunities for lifelong faith formation and ongoing conversion

In 2006, our Jubilee year, a full year of events honoring the past, celebrating our present and envisioning our future, unfolded. Sixty-three charter members were honored at a special Mass and celebration.  Several of the charter members were interviewed and their testimony has become a part of our historical records.  View their testimonies...


The Mission Years:  1842 - 1956


In 1842, Irish Catholics in the Townships of Brookfield and Menomonee first gathered at small log cabins on the Brogan farm in Templeton (now Lannon) and the Clarey farm on west Capitol Drive in Brookfield to celebrate the Eucharist. In that same year, Reverend Martin Kundig, among the first missionary priests to Milwaukee, identified St. Dominic as a 20 family enclave in the Town of Marcy. From these humble gatherings, St. Dominic was founded as a pioneering mission of the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in Milwaukee. The original lannon-stone church building, dedicated to St. Dominic was located on a site at West Lisbon and Marcy Roads in what was then the Town of Marcy. At about the same time, a small stone church was built in Lannon and dedicated to St. James. It is arguable which church was built first, but it is indisputable that the congregations sprung up from the same roots.

The original lannon-stone church was a small frame building seating about 200 worshipers and was affectionately known by the locals and the Church members as the "Marcy Church."  Some records indicate that this was the first Catholic Church in Waukesha County.

From 1866 until before World War II, the Brookfield area remained stable, involved primarily in dairy farming - just far enough away from metropolitan Milwaukee to maintain its rural flavor. Every summer people came from all over the Wisconsin and Illinois metropolitan areas to enjoy Waukesha County's famous "curative waters" through one of the health spas or resort hotels. Since the population was such that St. Dominic was held to its mission status, the care of the mission community was transferred twice during the early years, from St. John's Cathedral to St. James in Lannon and then to St. Agnes in Butler.

After World War II, a steady migration of people moved from the City of Milwaukee to the suburbs of Brookfield, Menomonee Falls and Pewaukee.  The little community at the "Marcy Church" was feeling the changes in the neighborhood and so the church appealed to the Archdiocese to be made a parish in its own right.



Brogan's Log Cabin
Site of first Catholic Mass in Waukesha Country

Marcy Church

Marcy Church Interior


The Parish's First Twenty Five Years:  1956-1981

Archbishop Albert G. Meyer granted their request and established St. Dominic as a parish on June 26, 1956 to serve Catholics in the Brookfield and Menomonee Falls areas. The Archbishop names the Reverend Edward M. Grohall as the parish's first pastor. The new parish boundaries were set by the Archdiocese: Silver Spring Drive to the north, Burleigh Road on the south, Pilgrim Road to the East and Barker Road on the west.
The fledgling community purchased the William J. Leonard farm and the adjacent property on West Capitol Drive and the current Imperial Drive. The congregation which, at the time, included 150 families, met on October 16, 1956 at the Schroeder Hotel to being the process of building their new home.  As the land was prepared for construction, the barn and the other structures were burned jointly by the fire and civil defense departments of the City of Brookfield.  
It was a time of rejoicing when on July 27, 1958, 150 parishioners gathered to participate in a groundbreaking ceremony for our first Church and a new school. After more than a year under construction, the cornerstones were set in place in a ceremony on August 18, 1959 by Reverend Monsignor Edmund Goebel, director of schools for the Archdiocese at the time. Designed as a contemporary ranch-style structure with an interior of block and redwood, the new church, seating 550, was built with future expansion in mind.  On November 8, 1959, Archbishop William E. Cousins celebrated Mass to dedicate the new Church.
In June of 1959, St. Dominic Parish purchased the property at 3935 Mountain Drive to be used as a site for its new convent. On November 8th of that year a parish-wide dedication ceremony celebrated its completion. The highlight of the building was its basement chapel. Its interior was designed and built by a former parishioner who uniquely utilized the pews from the original St. Dominic mission (the "Marcy Church").  The chapel included a splendid altar, European imported tabernacle and candlesticks, and a statue of Christ which was personally delivered by Father Grohall.
The parish was by now a growing community bound in common cause by its obligation to Church and community. Brookfield and neighboring vicinities were bustling with added population, new businesses, housing developments and light industry. The first parish program to feel the pressure from this rapid community expansion was St. Dominic grade school. The school had opened in 1959 with eight grades, eight classrooms, a library and 259 pupils.  The parish had grown to 600 families. By 1961 the school was so crowded that it had become necessary to hold two separated daily class sessions with the grades coming in different shifts from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.  Due to the desperate need for additional classrooms, offices and educational space, a split-level north-south wing was added to the school in 1961.
On May 20, 1962, Archbishop Cousins dedicated this new school wing and officiated at the Confirmation of 175 students the same day. A year later, the enrollment had risen to 577 students in the day school.
Plans to build a new rectory and administration building were not financially feasible until 1965. Built at a cost of $125,000 and completed in 1966 the rectory/administration building contained bedroom study suites, accommodating parish priests, guest rooms for visiting clergy, offices, living quarters for priests and a housekeeper, downstairs meeting rooms and a four-car garage.
During this time the church was going through much change.  Vatican II decreed to bring the Church closer to the faithful and to give lay people more responsibility in liturgical roles such as Lectors and Ministers of the Eucharist, finances and governance. A significant part of the lay-involved parish governance was set in motion in 1971 when Father Grohall organized our first Parish Council. The council would work hand in hand with the pastor in planning, investigating, evaluating, accounting for and coordinating various parish endeavors, functions, organizations, committees and projects whose aims were spiritual, educational, formational and moral.
Toward the end of the decade the fruits of these labors began to be harvested and, as a result, in anticipation of a rise in membership, a long look into the future was taken. At the center of this a grander and more magnificent place of worship for St. Dominic parishioners was envisioned.  Hopes for the future new construction were given added support when, on August 8, 1978, the parish was able to celebrate with a "mortgage burning" ceremony signifying liquidation of the mortgage on the original building and four prior expansions.  The parish was debt free.

The rise from a mission to a full-fledged parish had been phenomenal. As we approached the eighties we had more than enough to be thankful for: a paid-for church complex, a unified and active congregation, continuing growth, and plans for a bigger and better tomorrow.

The idea for the new Church had been brewing for the entire life of the parish. When the first church was built, it was deemed temporary. So much had to be done and to be built - the school, the convent and the rectory - and yet the parish had to keep functioning on a daily basis. That took time and, most of all, money. This left the parish free to commence plans for a permanent Church building, plans for which, by the end of the seventies, were well underway. On May 6, 1979, a campaign to raise one million dollars for the construction of a new Church and a permanent gymnasium were begun with a simple motto: "Equal Sacrifice - not Equal Gifts".

With the beginning of the eighties and the parish in better financial condition than it had been in years, it was decided that the time was right and that a new Church was needed and, therefore, should be planned as soon as possible.

Construction began after a groundbreaking ceremony.
The octagonal structure, composed of lannon-stone, is a completely air-conditioned building, seating 750.  It houses a chapel, children's room and full basement. The copper roof donated by John B. Pegg was designed by Rugg & Knopp.
The altar is of green Verissorie marble, as is the pulpit. The Eucharistic altar is of Travertine marble. The tabernacle in the main Church is a silver cloisonn� from Belgium. A mosaic reredos of the Risen Christ faces the main altar and was designed by Conrad Schmitt and executed in Spilbergo, Italy.
Stained glass windows surrounding the narthex feature European and American Saints.  One panel, at the entrance to the Church, features our Patron St. Dominic, receiving the Rosary from Our Lady. The leptat panels in the Chapel symbolize the Eucharist with grapes and wheat.

It is a gloriously beautiful Church for St .Dominic Parish and we may be duly proud of what it represents.  In it is housed the warm Christian family whose contributions, efforts and generosities made it all possible.

In 1981, the parish celebrated its Silver Jubilee with a High Mass. Archbishop Rembert G. Weakland, Reverend George M. Retbattzki and Reverend Grohall officiated. The celebration was followed by a brunch in the Church Hall.


The Second Twenty Five Years:  1981-2006

As the first twenty five years of the parish ended, most of the planned construction had now been completed under the direction of Father Grohall.  What had been envisioned in 1956 by a humble group of one hundred fifty families had now been realized.  It was also the year our spiritual leader to that point retired. 

In December 4, 1983, Bishop Richard Skilba presented Father Vince Silvestri to the community as the second pastor at St. Dominic Parish.


After much consultation and after careful structural analysis, the parish council determined in August 1986 that the old Marcy Church was in such ill repair that it had to be demolished for safety reasons.
The original St. Dominic Cemetery still remains at the site.  One of the oldest Waukesha County buildings and arguably one of the oldest Catholic structures fell to demolition equipment.  However, one of its predecessor buildings, the 1842 Brogan log cabin Church remains in Menomonee Falls at the Old Falls Village.

In 1989, Father Grohall died leaving two gifts to the parish:  the first was seed money for the endowment fund for the purpose of educating any parishioner in the growth of their faith; the second donation was used for the construction of the bell tower.

Many changes were occurring within the church, but most notably the first signs of an impending priest shortage were becoming evident. A call for permanent Deacons and other lay ministries to supplement the pastoral demands of a growing parish were evident as only two priests now served the parish. As the formal training of lay ministers was increasing, pastors, in collaboration with the laity, were challenged to place in writing a mission statement that would clearly define the purpose of the Church within the community.

The Church continued to change with the times, as priests were allowed, under a new "alternative residency policy for priests", to live away from their parishes.  In August, 1991, Father Silvestri became the first priest associated with the parish to exercise that option.

The community had grown in excess of 1,300 families and the school and lifelong faith formation programs were at full capacity.

On December 3, 1992, while presiding at First Reconciliation, Father Silvestri suffered a massive stroke and never returned to active ministry.  Father Brian Sysko became the pastor pro term until he was permanently replaced on July 1, 1993 by Father Curt Frederick as the third pastor in parish history.  Father Brian became the associate pastor and together they shepherded a parish of 1,450 families.

The parish community continued to grow as new subdivisions were created in Brookfield, Menomonee Falls and Pewaukee.  Parish finances had not kept pace with this growth and so, after consultation with the Parish Council, Father Curt Frederick initiated a one million dollar fund drive: "Share in Blessings - Grow in Faith" in June of 1995.  The objective was to retire parish debt, create a gathering space -The Marcy Center, and create a formal Parish Office Center.  as a result of the generous contributions of the parishioners, the school was able to offer K-4, K-5 and day care on a permanent basis.

In March of 1996, the parish mission statement was introduced to the parish community.

"To Seek Christ, Know Christ, and Become Christ, each one for the sake of all."

The pastoral demands of the still expanding parish accompanied by the impending priest shortage required an expansion of the parish staff to assist in the areas of finance, adult and family formation and bereavement ministries. This came at a cost as certain structural problems were now appearing and there were no funds available to make the necessary corrections.  Father Curt asked the parish for assistance in a $1.4 million fund drive to repave the parking lots and replace the HVAC units under the banner of "Fashioning our Future - Stone by Stone".

The fund drive generated in excess of $1.7 million and carried with it a firm and absolute promise that the monies raised were not to be used for operating needs nor any purpose not originally planned without consultation with the parish. At the same time, new creative ideas were implemented to raise funds for other operating needs not supported by stewardship.

The parish was approaching 1,900 families, was debt free again and lay pastoral ministers were handling of the spiritual needs of the parish. Archbishop Timothy Dolan announced that he had chosen Father Curt to become the Vicar for Clergy of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.

On June 22, 2004, Father David Reith was appointed as the fourth pastor of the parish. The population growth of the area had slowed as land had become scarce and more costly and the parish now consisted of 1,968 families.  At the same time, national demographics had changed as many people married later in life, had fewer children and were far more mobile than previous generations.  Naturally, the parish began to feel the impact.

In 2006, the Jubilee year, a full year of events honoring the past, celebrating our present and envisioning our future, unfolded.  Sixty-three charter members were honored at a special Mass and celebration.  Archbishop Dolan, as well as current and former priests, celebrated a Jubilee Mass in June with 1,300 parishioners.  Some parishioners participated in a local pilgrimage to the roots of our parish.  A pilgrimage to Rome was made, including a trip to the Tomb of St. Dominic in Bologna.  

The Third Twenty Five Years:  2006-2031

Although this next chapter of the parish is yet to be completed, the era began on August 8, 2006 when the first phase of the St. Dominic Prayer Gardens was opened with a special blessing by Auxiliary Bishop Richard M. Skilba and an Italian bronze statue of St. Dominic was dedicated.  As the seeds of the gardens continue to grow, this will become a quiet place to reflect on all that God has provided to the parish, the community and to each of us as we "Seek Christ, Know Christ, and Become Christ, each one for the sake of all."

The Master Plan for Capitol Improvements which grew from the vision process as part of the parish Jubilee was approved by Parish Council. Monies remaining from the Fashioning our Future - Stone by Stone Campaign were added to by funds raised through the Archdiocesan Faith in our Future Campaign, Dominic Days and Auction events the parish set their sites on building community through the renovation of the current Church, constructing a new Athletic Facility and transforming the current gym into a dedicated Arts & Activities Center.

Church Renovation
On December 5, 2010 Archbishop Listecki blessed the newly renovated Church during a special Mass.
Mass of Blessing Slideshow

The construction of the Athletic Facility and Arts & Activities Center began in earnest in the spring of 2011. Heavy rains slowed the project in the early months and pushed the hoped for completion date into September 2011. A new knight logo was developed alongside the construction process and graces center court in the new athletic facility. Newly elected Bishop Hying celebrated the dedication and blessing of the facilities on October 29 and 30, 2011.  

In 2017, Fr. Dennis Saran was assigned as the 5th pastor of St. Dominic Catholic Parish, which had reached over 2100 households.

The parish was in the 2nd year of the Sharing the Vision  3-year capital campaign. The goal of the campaign was to address 7 specific project needs to strengthen God's ministries at the parish: Debt reduction from the capital improvement projects, Deferred maintenance, campus-wide safety & security, school revitalization, Marcy Center revitalization, south narthex expansion, and campus-wide updates and contingency costs.


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