Our parish began in 1842, in a log structure on Pioneer Road. In 1870 we built the beautiful stone church at the corner of Hamilton Road and Washington Avenue, on land donated by 52 German Lutheran merchants. The school was built in 1951. Parish membership grew but because of the church’s location, building expansion options were limited. So land was purchased just north of “5-Corners,” becoming the site for Divine Word Catholic Church in 1970. The Cedarburg Catholic community divided its membership between the two parishes.
Over the years, the parishes found various opportunities to work and pray together, paramount among them being the serious and continuing shortage of priests. After learning that we would have only one priest in Cedarburg beginning in 2002, the parish councils of both parishes formally requested that the parishes be merged.
Beginning September 2001 the members of St. Francis Borgia and Divine Word have joined together for worship. Weekend liturgies were held at the larger church (formerly Divine Word), which is known as the North Church. Most weekday liturgies were held at the historic South Church on Hamilton Road. Fr. George Gajdos and Fr. Ed Wawrzyniakowski remained as pastors of the combined parish until Fr. Ed’s retirement in June 2002. The parishes then officially merged and Fr. George was appointed pastor of the merged parish, where he continued to serve until June 2003. Archbishop Timothy Dolan appointed Fr. Tom Eichenberger to serve as pastor beginning in June 2003.
In August 2014, construction began on the North campus for a new Education & Activity Center, to replace our aging school facility, and to accommodate Christian Formation programs and other parish functions on one campus. The dedication ceremony was held in summer 2015. The South Church remains an integral part of the parish.
Fr. Patrick Burns was appointed parish administrator in June 2017.
Looking to the future
St. Francis Borgia Catholic Church is a large parish, serving households and families in Cedarburg and surrounding communities. Parish life is vibrant, with strong parishioner support of a variety of ministries. We reach out to those needing help locally in Ozaukee County and in Milwaukee’s inner city. On a global level, we have an active relationship with our sister parish in Mukono, Uganda.
Our school is prospering as it embraces the challenge of offering excellent and exciting educational opportunities rooted in our Catholic faith tradition. We also provide a strong Christian Formation program for children through adults.
Our parishioners step forward to offer their time and talent as we work together to bring the Gospel to life in our personal lives and our shared relationships. By continuing this effort, we become Christ’s presence to one another and live out our parish mission.