After WWII, Whitefish Bay, like many other communities, grew rapidly. Recognizing the need for a stronger Catholic presence, Archbishop Moses Kiley established Holy Family Parish July 29, 1949, on 10.5 acres one block south of Whitefish Bay High School.
Space for worship was tight. It would be three years before Holy Family Parish would celebrate the completion of the church/school building, so weekday Masses were held at the old St. Monica’s chapel on the site now occupied by Dominican High School. Weekly Sunday Masses were held in the lobby of Whitefish Bay High School, as Cumberland School, just across Hampton Avenue to the south, was already hosting services for both Bay Shore Lutheran and Roundy Memorial Baptist churches.
From its inception, Holy Family has celebrated God’s word through education as well as liturgy. In 1952, thirteen years before the main church was constructed, Holy Family Parish opened its doors celebrating Mass in the new school gym.
In September 1953, Holy Family Parish School began its educational mission by offering instruction to grades 1-6, and grades 7 and 8 the following years. Four Dominican Sisters and two lay teachers provided the instruction for 268 students the first year. The sisters lived in the school until the adjoining convent was built. The convent now serves as the parish center.
Today, Holy Family is one of the largest north shore parishes. The parish school is a top-flight educational institution earning “Exemplary” status from the Milwaukee Archdiocese.
Together, the parish and the school form a vibrant expression of what it means to be a loving and praying community. Welcome to Holy Family!