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Holand, Hjalmar Rued, 1872-1963 / Wisconsin's Belgian community : an account of the early events in the Belgian settlement in northeastern Wisconsin with particular reference to the Belgians in Door County
(1933)

Chapter VI: A little church history,   pp. [69]-80 PDF (2.5 MB)


Page 79


              A LITLE CHURCH HISTORY                  79
    The Church of St. John the Baptist, or Robins Church
as it is generally called, was destroyed by fire in 1894. The
little "cemetery in the air" still remains, a great object of
curiosity, although its walls have largely crumbled. Most
of the members of the church joined the parish of St. Fran-
cis Xavier in the adjoining part of Brussels which was or-
ganized in 1877. The present beautiful church was erected
in 1909.
    Another outstanding monument to the religious devo-
tion of the Catholics who worship there is the new St. Hu-
bert's Church now being built at Rosiere. This parish was
from the first the most compact and leading part of the en-
tire Belgian settlement and is also now leading in the
dignity of its house of worship. The parish lies half in Door
County and half in Kewaunee County. Another church on
the county line six miles west of Rosiere is known as St.
Francis du Paul.
    The Belgians are a very religious people and, superin-
tended by the present devoted and capable pastors, their
church affairs ar reported to be peaceful and harmonious.
But according to creditable testimony it was not always
so. Mr. Xavier Martin, who was an intelligent and well in-
formed observer who lived a lifetime in the settlement,
gives the following characteristic of some of the early
pastors: "The priest was hard to get, and when one would
come he was generally a poor specimen of his kind. Some
of them were so avaricious that they would refuse to bury
a dead child because the parents did not have the ready cash
to pay for their services; others were dissipated, some were
habitual drunkards; and it was not rare to see a row break
out in a church during the service, between the priest and


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