A History of St. Alphonsus Parish
St. Alphonsus Parish was established in July of 1938 as a Mission Parish and namesake of the Archbishop Samuel Alphonsus Stritch (later Cardinal Stritch). After the beginnings of the community, the parish built a church and celebrated its first Mass in the new church on Easter Sunday 1950 with 230 people; the parish has since grown to over 2500 families.
The School Sisters of St. Francis came to St. Alphonsus in 1949 to begin their work staffing the new parish school. In 1950 the first stage of the school building was completed and occupied, with the second phase completed eight years later. In the same year, the parish built a convent for the sisters who were teaching in the school, where they lived until the middle of the 90’s. Likewise, the parish built a rectory–several priests lived there until 2002. In 2018 the old rectory was torn down to the foundation and rebuilt as the new Parish House; the Parish House now provides apartment style living space for 3 priests, a guest apartment, and houses the Greendale Food Pantry and the Parish Benefit Auction work room.
In the 1980’s plans were developed to build a new worship space which could better serve the needs of the growing community. The first Mass in the new church was celebrated on December 15, 1985.
For the first 30 years of the school, the principal of the Day School was always a religious sister. In 1979 the school hired its first lay principal. St. Alphonsus School has grown, changed and thrived over the years–as of June 2019, the day school has approximately 340 students from 3K-8th grade, full time specialists in Physical Education, Music, Art, Spanish, and a full-time Director of Teaching and Learning. In addition, in 2019 the Christian Formation program has over 485 students including about 150 children in sacramental preparation for their First Communion/Reconciliation or Confirmation.
The new millennium introduced numerous changes to our parish buildings. In early summer of 2002, the former convent was converted into pastoral and support staff offices, instructional rooms, and houses the ERA Neighborhood Outreach Program offices; it is now known as the Parish Ministry Center, or PMC. At the same time, the church and school were made handicap accessible with the addition of an elevator and ramps. The former chapel was removed and additions were made to the church. To the East we added a music ministry room and Blessed Sacrament/daily Mass chapel, Reconciliation room and family room. To the South is a new Baptismal Font, gathering space and community room and to the West we have a new entrance, rest rooms, coatroom and Parish Library. The project was completed and dedicated by Archbishop Timothy Dolan on August 2, 2003.
St. Alphonsus Pastors
Rev. Frederic Arnold - 1938-1941
Rev. Joseph Spangler - 1941-1961
Rev. Louis Koren - 1961-1968
Rev. Martin Gloudeman - 1968-1977
Rev. Carrol Straub - 1977-1991
Rev. Richard Aiken - 1991-2005
Rev. David Meinholz - 2005-Feb 2007, died suddenly.
Fr. Alan Jurkus - June 2007 - 2014
Fr. Aaron Esch - 2014-2020
Fr. Kevin McManaman - 2020-present