Parish History

We acknowledge that the land on which Good Shepherd stands, is the ancestral land of the Menominee and Chippewa tribes, part of the Algonquin language family. We honor their elders past and present and thank them for the stewardship of the land.

1957-1997

Not unlike the void before Creation, the Good Shepherd parishioners of Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, existed in a pseudovacuum in the days preceding the arrival of their new pastor, Fr. Fran Eschweiler, on June 21, 1957. Struck from the roles of neighboring St. Mary parish by a Draconian decree of Milwaukee Archbishop Albert G. Meyer, Good Shepherd pilgrims gathered to decide which was the best course for them to follow.

Victims of overcrowding at their east-side neighbor, they were set adrift to fend for themselves. But as were the castaways on Gilligan’s Island, they’d been blessed with a competent skipper. Fr. Fran or simply Fran as he wished to be known, spent the first days of his 28-year sojourn in the Falls living with his brother, Fr. Carl Eschweiler, pastor of the St. Mary community. The late Reverend Carl was a cleric dedicated to helping Fr. Fran adjust to his new surroundings.

Fr. Fran adapted easily to his fresh environment. Vocationally aggressive, he quickly established his persona when he greeted a new parishioner with the salutation, “Here I am. What’s the challenge? I can handle it.” This was neither a flippant boast nor a courteous gesture. It was a declaration of faith. A faith that never wavered in the decades of his efforts at Good Shepherd. As part of getting to know his congregation, Fr. Fran visited every home in the parish the first year he was there.

But this is not the story of Fr. Fran Eschweiler, although he is an integral part of it. It’s a tale of 230 families who were dumped into the cruel sea and labored there for forty years until they approached the goals which had been set for them in absentia. Or as charter member Dan Hanrahan explains, “He [Fr Fran] followed through [on his initial proclamation] from the day he came into Good Shepherd until the day he left.” And his flock, in general, responded in kind to his message. They did indeed.

The members of Good Shepherd were chosen by formula. Those people of St. Mary’s who resided east of Appleton Avenue stayed at St. Mary. Those west of this demarcation line transferred into Good Shepherd.

A physical place of worship was needed following the arrival of Fr. Fran. The thirteen acres of barren tundra acquired by the Archdiocese west of the Falls had little to offer. There was no village water. At that time, it wasn’t part of the village. In 1958 this parcel of No-Man’s-Land was annexed to Menomonee Falls.

The acreage boasted little more than a small, two-story house, the former home of the App family who farmed the property. It became the residence of Fr. Fran and his housekeeper, Anne Haskett, until the rectory was built three years later. Three sisters of St. Francis who staffed the parish school occupied the dwelling until the Convent was erected four years later. This small residence is worthy of special attention. As one parishioner recalls: “I can remember going over there a week after Fr. Fran came. The plumbing wasn’t working. We put in a septic system to see if we could get something started that was half-way livable for the new residents.”

Father Fran Eschweiler

Ground Breaking Ceremony Jan 12, 1958

Cornerstone Laid May 25, 1958

Outdoor masses have an aesthetic value but some creature comforts are required. The exiles needed a place to pray. And they found it in company with Doris Day and Rock Hudson.

Negotiations were begun with Frank Blaney, owner of the Menomonee Falls Theater (since destroyed by fire), to use his celluloid emporium on Appleton Avenue just south of Main Street for two masses on Sunday. The first celebration was held on July 21, 1957, on a portable hand-made altar. (Wherever you are gathered in My name, I am.) There were flashlights for the ushers and the marquee proclaimed it, “The Dangerous Hour.” (Actually, that was the name of the feature.) But at the time, Good Shepherd may have had the only air-conditioned “church” in town. With cushioned seats, as some wit once wrote,

“Not all that bad.” The parish’s first Midnight Christmas Mass was held in the showhouse. Subdued, it was nevertheless an occasion to remember. The Good Shepherd refugees used this slice of Tinseltown until September 1958 when the school-with-church was finished.

During this period of rugged individualism, weddings and baptisms were held at St. Mary. There are physical limitations to independence. The Falls theater might have had difficulty explaining a baptismal font in the foyer.

The rectory or “administration building” as Fr. Fran was wont to call it, was given a vote of confidence at a parish meeting held on Thursday, November 22, 1959. An office and consultation room were needed to meet the demands of a growing parish. Decent facilities for a future associate pastor (they still had them back then) and a housekeeper had to be provided.

Were it not for the generosity of the developers of the Shepherd Hills subdivision in which the rectory is located, Mortgage Associates, Inc., the good pastor’s quarters might have been long delayed. But following the gift of a double lot and a $1,000 in cash, the rectory went up.

The rectory was built on a lot just off the parish property (where it remains today) behind a barn, which then served as Fr. Fran’s garage. It was finished with a price tag of $29,400. A bargain, even at that time.

The combination church-school was next on the list of priorities. The theater was a gracious interlude but necessity prompted new activity. With the parish outgrowing the confines of the classy palace, the spotlight fell on the vacant grounds on the west side of the Falls. Money, in the popular misconception, is the root of all evil. In this case, it performed a different function – it provoked further growth. Sorely in need of larger quarters in which to worship, the Vikings of Good Shepherd turned their attention to fund raising to implement their need for a new house of worship, a combination church-school building.

The cornerstone was laid on May 25, 1958. Sealed in the cornerstone was the first bulletin, the 1959 first annual report, a list of the trustees, Jerome Brinckman was secretary and Howard Fleming was treasurer, copies of the Catholic Herald, the Menomonee Falls News, and the Milwaukee Journal.

The congregation found the speed of construction (from January to September 1958) almost unbelievable, and school opened that year on September 21. Fran Eschweiler in his book, A People Gathered, is more precise. The Sunday bulletin of January 12 announced the ground breaking. “After 11:15 mass several hundred people, including eager children, gathered on the snow-covered grounds” to witness the occasion.

In September of 1957, the campaign to raise finances was started. The goal was $75,000. Experienced fund raisers came in to train volunteers on how to go out and solicit. The volunteers went through two or three of these courses and on Sunday afternoon partners were assigned a certain number of visits to make and away they’d go.

Fund raising moved from the buildings to the societies. The Ladies Altar Sodality was formed and the Holy Name quickly followed.

For the most part a social organization, the Ladies Altar Sodality gave the women of the parish a chance to get acquainted with each other. In the beginning, meetings were held monthly at Lohmann’s Steak House. The Sodality’s main concern was helping the school. They held an annual Christmas Fair with craft items hand-made by parishioners. There were bake sales as well. All proceeds went to buying books for the school library and teaching tools for the classroom.

The Holy Name Society quickly followed as a social and spiritual organization. Dan Hanrahan was elected the first head of the Holy Name. Not in office a week he was confronted with queries about the first breakfast and the first meeting. Unfortunately, there were no pat answers. Said Al Lohmann, a member of Good Shepherd, “Why don’t you use the steakhouse?” They did and the first breakfast at the restaurant accounted for “about 110% turnout,” says Hanrahan. People like comfort and service.

The Good Shepherd school faculty then consisted of three School Sisters of St. Francis and three lay teachers. The late Sr. Cathana was the first principal. From 1958 until 1962 she made her mark as an administrator. A total of twenty-five nuns taught at Good Shepherd for periods of one to eight years. One-hundred-fifty students attended, a number which the Good Shepherd flock felt was a worthy start. In August of 1963, a parish lay school board was formed, one of the first in the Archdiocese.

Next came the church-school dedication. On Sunday, May 24,1958, Archbishop Cousins performed the consecration. In witness and well represented was the family of Fr. Fran: Fr. Carl, Fr. Ed, Fran’s mother and numerous brothers and sisters, two of which were nuns.

Someone once wrote, “We have pause to think, we will have cause to thank.” This is especially true of Good Shepherd in the artwork and design present in its makeup and the music of its liturgy.

Karl Giehl was the guiding genius behind the artwork. Fr Fran in his book best describes it. “True to its contemporary makeup and design, it had no frills or gaudy adornments to distract the worshipper from the essential These were constructed from Lannon Stone which was hewn from the local quarries … The bronze cross tabernacle, baptismal font, candlesticks and torches were handcrafted by Karl Giehl, a skilled and talented Milwaukee liturgical artist and craftsman, who also provided for the sanctuary layout and drawings for the stone appointments.”

The entire layout, says Fr. Fran, including beautiful wood-constructed pieces of white oak from which were fashioned sanctuary louvers, sacristy cabinets, tester (the canopy over the altar) and kneeling benches were built by a parishioner at a very modest cost. “We had an estimated $50,000 sanctuary at a total cost of about $15,000.” (The parish wisely seemed to have adopted a Great Depression mentality.) The pews (eventually abandoned), refugees from the old vacated Holy Redeemer Church in Milwaukee, were obtained for $2,000 and installed by men of the parish.

Music was something else again. Congregational singing was encouraged as a means of expressing and deepening the truer Christian spirit. The Men’s Choir was invited to help people sing their parts of the mass. A bulletin of the times noted “The choir approaches its work with a sense of reverence and dedication. By their singing, they participate … in the Eucharist as they give glory to God … [thus] disposing the people to pray and worship with reverence.”

Karl Giehl Designed Cross

First Outdoor Mass 1966

Father Paul Daniels

Very few voyages are made without encountering a stretch of heavy seas. This is especially true of Good Shepherd. An apt name for the period might be found in the title of Winston Churchill’s notable book about the years before World War Two: The Gathering Storm.

In the words of one observer, “And then, of course, we had the sixties, a turbulent time … ” “The turbulent sixties,” a more appropriate designation for this unsettled period could not have been coined. The Christian Family Movement (CFM) was formed by Fr. Fran in 1960. It consisted of small groups who met twice a month in homes to study Scripture and apply it to life in the home, at work, in the community and the world. These groups became the first apostolic lay leaders at Good Shepherd. They were responsible for many of the projects and ideas that are still with us today.

– Parish nursery
– Corn roast
– Political forums
– Campaign For Human Development
– Toys and money for the House of Peace
– Their version of Habitat for Humanity
– Lauach Project (literacy program)
– First Parish Council in 1968.

The Parish Council consisted of seven elected members (one being a woman, rare in the church at that time). The executive officers were Fr. Memmel and Fr. Fran. There were trustees and a teaching sister and one Charter Member, “The Holy Spirit.” Fr. Fran and the CFM had taken what some deemed an ill-advised stand on low-cost housing. They favored it, fought for it and eventually lost forty families in the parish because of it. Those opposed didn’t feel as though he was moving in the right direction. And as is the case in a chain-reaction, when the force of a conventional explosion reaches the heart of the atom, one has chaos.

Simply put, Fr. Fran’s credo dictated the village should be able to entertain people that have substandard incomes and local citizens should be able to accommodate them through subsidized low-cost housing. Many couldn’t agree, particularly the forty families that left. However, a guesstimate places the number of replacement households close to sixty. This to some degree may explain why there’s a multitude of zip codes represented at Good Shepherd. It’s truly cosmopolitan.

To quote a witness to the hostilities, “Fr. Fran wasn’t about to back off. He’d go down to those village-board meetings and express himself.” In some subtle forms, this conflict still rages long after Fr. Fran has retired.

As the church grew, so did its obligations accentuating the need for an associate pastor. One of several who would follow, Fr. Michael P. Hauer served in that capacity from June 1961 to spring of 1965. Newly ordained, Fr. Hauer was welcomed at an informal reception on the parish grounds. He was quickly involved with the young people of Good Shepherd and established the Y.C.S. (Young Christian Students) groups in the process. These organizations were more of an apostolic formation than social. Young adults were taught how to be responsible Christians capable of reaching out to others. Fr. Fran describes him as “personable, friendly and hardworking.” He transferred to St. Frederick parish in Cudahy in 1965.

Fr. Jerry Memmel arrived in July 1965 and served until July 1971 at which time he left to take a job as counselor in the Germantown school system. A favorite of the young people, Fr. Jerry earned their respect and kept them coming during the restless post-Vatican II years. One of the tools he used was the mass widely celebrated for its deafening sound of “loud” and “rockish” music. These last descriptive words originate with Fr. Fran.

Fr. Jerry summarizes his tenure as a period in which he was “born again,” one in which he likens Good Shepherd to Camelot except Camelot wasn’t for real, Good Shepherd is. A time in which Fr. Fran permitted him to develop his personality, exercise his creativity, think his thoughts, feel his feelings and make his mistakes. Fr. Fran was to him truly a namesake – a “father.”

You could say August 17, 1971 through 1980 was Fr. Roger Boesch’s day in the sun. A veteran of St. Joseph, Racine and St. Mary, Port Washington, Father was welcomed warmly by the members of Good Shepherd. He agreed with Fr. Fran that their foremost duty was to serve. Like all newcomers, it took him a while to match the cadence of the community. But he quickly found the beat of his particular drum. Fr. Fran describes these stages of development: “He did this through a special fidelity to the Word in his preaching and counseling; by working in the field of social action, which was one of his great loves, with music; on the Liturgy Planning Committee; and with slide programs. He was effective in working with the children and his ministry to the elderly deserved special notice.” The Falls Nursing Home was a target of his devotion to the elderly. His weekly Friday visits to celebrate mass were exceptionally well received.

Fr. Brian Beno was the last of the line. He arrived in early March 1980 and stayed until mid-1986. With two terms in the Priest Senate, he was active in Marriage Encounter at Archdiocesan level, a fact greatly appreciated by many couples in the Milwaukee area. Notoriously a hard worker, he was co-chairperson on the Good Shepherd Jubilee Committee and a member of the RENEW “Core Group.” Well remembered, his term at Good Shepherd was far too short.

It’s inevitable that all good things must end. Fr. Fran was forced to retire in January 1985 despite vehement arguments to the contrary. Even a number of valid reasons to stay on failed to sway the decision of the Archbishop. Rules were rules and this particular one wasn’t made to be fractured. A final request was granted the aging pastor, however. He could choose his successor, someone spiritually similar and with convictions molded in his likeness, i.e., social justice.

Fr. Paul Daniels of Racine (St.Patrick), was chosen for a lot of reasons: He is a people’s person with strong administrative capabilities. A gracious person, he assimilates well into the lay body. Outstanding organizational skills set him apart. His humility shines through in almost all his actions. And perhaps a most positive plus, a wonderful sense of humor. Fr. Paul could find comedy in the eye of a hurricane. But like St. Joseph, what greater accolade can you offer than “he’s a just man.”

There were, of course, other highlights and VIPs – one of them being Brother Booker Ashe, a black Capuchin monk who worked tirelessly at the House of Peace for the poor of Milwaukee’s central city. Brother Booker’s ministry fit neatly into the mold of Good Shepherd’s assisting the needy through donations of money and toys at Christmas.

St. Ben’s Meal Program has been a long-time ministry at Good Shepherd. Once a month a meal is prepared and delivered to St. Benedict the Moor to feed the hungry and unfortunate.

The Bereavement Committee prepares and serves a meal or refreshments at Good Shepherd to family and friends after the death of a loved one. It’s a service that has been well received.

Nineteen sixty-six was a banner year. Pentecost celebrations were initiated. An outdoor mass was held on Pentecost Sunday. An estimated 1,000 people gathered at these masses. They were wonderful turnouts with blankets spread, lawn chairs favored by the elderly, God in His heaven and His spirit liberally distributed throughout the crowd. Everyone shared a prelude prayer to these occasions: May the weather be favorable. And it usually was.

There were many disappointments along the way. Among them was the discontinuation of the Holy Name and Ladies Sodality. Common opinion has it people just didn’t have the inclination to get together for a social hour. There just wasn’t time for everything. St. Vincent De Paul met a similar fate. It was replaced by the Human Concerns Committee.

The closing of the school in September of 1970 was another emotional and disappointing time. The Parish Council in a 12 to 1 roll call voted to close the school. The Council felt it had a moral obligation to practice fiscal responsibility in the light of its fiscal position. In conclusion, Fr. Fran defended the action as a faithful commitment as a parish to meet the faith-development needs of our people with special emphasis on liturgy and adult education programs that could be provided.

Since the school closed, many newcomers may have labored under the impression that most of the building has sat empty and unused. Emphatically untrue.

An article in the June 1975 issue of the Liguorian magazine deals with this subject. The story lists the following activities as being undertaken at that time: Wilma and Theodis Robinson and their son, Amara, overseeing their “family” of eight developmentally impaired men of Hartfel House. They guided the men in learning from daily experience what others might take for granted. These individuals have been judged by their therapists and doctors to be ready for the supervised residential home setting operated by the New Concepts Foundation of Wisconsin, as represented by the Robinsons.

Financed by the New Concepts Foundation and limited state aid, this program introduced a group of mentally handicapped, or, as Mrs. Robinson prefers to describe them, men who have problems with motorcoordination, men who need to be accepted as whole human beings – perhaps for the first time – to a new and more natural mode of living. The program continues today under the direction of Barb and Ray Price.

In 1975 the Waukesha County Association for the Mentally Retarded rented the school building which consisted of ten classrooms, parish hall and kitchen for day-time use. It was in this setting that the young people, male and female, were taught simple tasks from hygiene to crafts. These ventures were warmly received by the community. They put into practice the words of Jesus: “I was a stranger and you received me.”

Don Schneiders, a co-founder of the program with Fr.Fran, cited the approach as involving the leasing of the classrooms, the kitchen and the multipurpose room. In use on weekdays until about 3:00 or 3:30 pm, at such time they became available to the parish. The fiscal advantages were pronounced: Schneiders estimated the fees from the leasing activities account for 8 to 10 percent of the total parish income. And this was only the first year of the programs.

In the mid-70s, the building also provided classroom space for the Waukesha County Technical Institute (WCTI) for evening classes.

The matter of funding was locked into place from the beginning. There would be no “nickel and diming” people to death with an assortment of appeals. Festivals, bingo and gambling methods were considered “gimmicks.” There was protest from the masses that the system was too sterile, but for better or for worse it has survived.

The “sign of peace,” Good Shepherd style, may have been introduced July 15, 1957. The session was opened with a prayer and Fr. Fran then asked the people present to “fraternize and greet one another.”

Adult Education was an integral part of Good Shepherd from its beginning to as it is today, helping adults grow in their faith life. There have always been speakers, educators, bible study classes, retreats, etc. It is the belief that children learn from their parents, so the parents need to be informed. To assist the parents, high school students were taught in the evenings and grades 1 through 8 came after school and on Saturday mornings.

This schedule proved cumbersome and it gave way to Saturday evening and Sunday morning liturgy times. Eventually, Saturday was dropped as attendance declined. Liturgy time with prayer service became popular with the parents. The Christian Formation effort began with volunteer coordinators and teachers, Grades 1 – 12. The first parish paid coordinator arrived on the scene in 1971.

After the school closed, there was increased emphasis on Religious Education classes. With the growing parish membership, it became necessary to hire two coordinators in 1978 for preschool through Grade 6 and another part-time for Junior and Senior High. Today there are two full-time Directors of Christian Formation.

The program has continued to grow in volume with activities for all ages. Examples include Son-Days (summer school), Breakfast In Bethlehem for the younger children to Workcamp and retreats for the teens. It now goes beyond with the College Care Connection for the college-bound.

Several modifications to the church have taken place over the years. In the early sixties, blueprints were drawn which envisioned a free-standing church to be built east of the school and “temporary” worship space. Priorities changed and financial restraints left these plans unfilled.

Talk of remodeling the existing building resurfaced in November 1984. The Hospitality Room (our present chapel) was used for after-Mass socializing and found inadequate for the need. The Parish Council set up a study committee in February 1987 to review renovation options. The result of the study was five options ranging from a minor fix-up to the originally envisioned free-standing church. An in-home, small-group presentation was given which included a video prepared by the committee and architect. The members then voted their preference and overwhelmingly chose a “majorrenovation” of the existing space with a cost of roughly $800,000. This included creating new office space and hall remodeling. The project was completed in 1989.

Five empty acres once stuffed with gilded tomorrows were sold so that the Children’s Community Center could be built. Think about it. It really wasn’t such a bad trade off.

One stumbling block, literally, was the fate of the Lannon stone altar. Weighing well over two tons, it was a gift from early church members and taken from a nearby quarry. The new church design called for flexible and movable furnishings, but several members wanted the altar to be left undisturbed. The final solution was to link the past to our future in a symbolic support. The altar was taken back to the Lannon quarry to be cut and reused as the new cornerstone as well as the exterior base of the windows in the new lobby.

The crosses at the front of the church building are a memorial from the Schiller family: Bob, Loma and their son, Greg, who were very active in the parish – Bob as a trustee, Loma in education. The family was killed in a private plane crash in 1977.

To quickly sum up the history of the parish’s personnel, we borrow heavily from a _statement prepared by parish Director of Administrative Services, Joe Strazishar. We’ve had just two pastors in our history, Fr. Fran Eschweiler and Fr. Paul Daniels. In May of ’84, a permanent Personnel Committee was formed. Reflecting our Outreach priorities, Good Shepherd was one of the first to have a full-time Human Concerns Minister.

In February 1985, early in his tenure, Fr. Paul proposed a Team Ministry concept. It has evolved into today’s uniquely developed Pastoral Team, which includes both our professional and support positions as well as the ordained and the lay ministers.

Reflecting the growing complexities of managing a parish and with the numbers of assigned priests reduced to one, the position of Director of Administration Services was established in February 1987. (At that time there were about four such positions in the Archdiocese; today there are about seventy.)

It was determined a Liturgist was needed following discussions begun in November 1987. In July of 1989, a part-time position was established evolving into a full-time Director of Liturgy and Music in July of ’95.

Nineteen-eighty-nine was a watershed year for Good Shepherd personnel. Aware the times were a changin’, the Personnel Committee made a dramatic overhaul of the compensation offered to our employees. They may have felt it was necessary both morally and competitively. Using a basic premise that we can only have positions that we can fairly compensate and using the guidelines of salaries at 80 percent of comparable jobs in the community, Good Shepherd went from keeping up with other Catholic churches which historically paid very low salaries, to a model of just compensation. The flexible benefits approach also was unique in the Archdiocese.

Deacon Gene Christensen was ordained in 1990 and in November that year, the Christian Formation Commission showed the need for more help in Youth Ministry. At the same time the Parish Council explored the possibility of developing a Coordinator of Volunteers. Discussions led to the July 1995 addition of one more position in Christian Formation and a part-time Coordinator of Volunteers.

Two significant parish events took place in 1986: Fr. Paul presented his vision of the parish to a parish assembly and the Parish Council linked with neighboring parishes to start a collaborative effort known as “Four Saints and A Shepherd.” The original members were Sts. Anthony, James, Mary and Boniface (Germantown). Today St. Agnes of Butler has replaced St. Boniface. There is a great need to develop these relationships in the new environment of consolidating churches and services brought about by a declining number of clergy.

The end of 1987 brought about the development of a statement of parish policies explaining how we should operate on a daily basis in light of our Covenant statement. In that same month, a Special Needs Fund was established to help parishioners in temporary emergency financial crisis. This fund complemented the long-established policy of donating five percent of parish income to Outreach (beyond our parish). Good Shepherd was one of the first parishes to commit a five percent tithe to others. During our 40th Anniversary year, we will pass the $200,000 mark for Outreach.

Good Shepherd acquired a sister parish in Milwaukee’s central city in 1988. It evolved into the sharing of talents, socializing and financially assisting St. Thomas Aquinas. This cooperation ended in 1995 when St. Thomas was closed.

Parish structure was reorganized over a period of time so that all activities flow into four “commissions”: Administrative Services, Christian Formation, Human Concerns, and Prayer and Worship. The Commissions meet on the Monday after the Parish Council meeting.

June ’89 was a banner date in Christian charity. How can the spirit be exalted when the stomach’s growling? The one is going to drown the other out. At this time, true to the tradition of the seas, Good Shepherd answered an SOS, a home-grown acronym for Stock Our Shelves. Food brought weekly to mass is distributed to area food pantries.

With the birth of a new year our interest shifted south of the border to the grisly murder of Jesuits in El Salvador. The Central American Study Group was established as a response to the crimes. It asked that our local community respond. Since then, there has been an involvement with the community of Ellacuria (named for one of the murdered Jesuits). With the approval of the Parish Council in July 1992, the parish dispatched delegates to the troubled land. And since then, several of their people have reciprocated. Good Shepherd has funded essential projects needed to re-establish their reclaimed homeland.

The end of ’92 saw the first Good Shepherd Combined Collection take place. Three times each year members are invited to support our special relationships. The three causes are the House of Peace, Ellacuria and St. Thomas (since replaced by the Parish Workcamp). This Workcamp, made up of teens and adult leaders, started in August 1993 to aid those living in blighted areas of the country. They work one week of each summer rehabilitating homes.

The New Century Fund authorized by the Parish Council October 1991 is an endowment for future ministry at Good Shepherd. Funded mostly through memorials, it has passed the $100,000 mark. The Fund’s directors also provide an educational component by teaching the importance of wills and other important documents.

The first welcoming committee was formed in 1972. Its objective was to find ways to better introduce new members to parish life. This has taken several forms and continues today. Potential members now come to an orientation before they register. Due to the generosity of its members and sound building maintenance and financial planning, the future looks solid for Good Shepherd.

In May of 1986 Good Shepherd bought a ticket to the Information Highway, a state-of-the-art computer. Keeping pace with current technology, the staff is well able to communicate with the people of the parish. All census, contribution, and accounting is computerized. The Bulletin is done in-house and transmitted via modem to the bulletin company. (This history was handled in a similar fashion.) Several tasks are done on-line, and soon we will be part of an Archdiocesan on-line connection.

The present administration established separate budget and audit committees. And in September of ’94 the old tradition of weekly envelopes was ended in favor of an innovative monthly Stewardship Letter mailed directly to the homes. Each month there is a pastoral letter, update on donations for the year, the Newsletter “Breaking Bread” and a return slip for donations to the regular funds and any special causes. It has been well received and has led to more regular donation patterns and increased income.

In closing, let us remember, Good Shepherd has become a gathering place for the entire community. We share our facilities with any non-profit group that fits in with our Covenant beliefs. We currently are home to the Menomonee Falls Preschool Co-op, Hope Network, the AA, Alano Club, Catholic Social Services, Upper Iowa University and dance and exercise classes. We have made our space available for voting, village meetings, and police assessment centers.

The history of our past 40 years would not be complete without a mission for the future. Good Shepherd has been blessed with just two outstanding pastors: Fr. Fran Eschweiler and Fr. Paul Daniels. However, the future holds many changes. Preparing for them now is vital.

The millennium will embody a vision of lay people, YOU, the ministry of the assembly, working together with the staff, deacon and pastoral ministers to make a viable, functioning community attending to the needs of its members. We will, no doubt, collaborate with other parishes as we progress, share resources, facilities and … even a priest whose responsibility will be to care for us sacramentally.

We can no longer afford the luxury of sitting back and being ministered to. It is imperative that we become the ministers. All of us have God-given talents to share and like any gift, they need to be given away!

New Cornerstone From Old Altar

Schiller Family Memorial Crosses

Deacon Gene Christensen and wife, Meriel