St John Nepomucene Parish began in 1836 in a humble bark-covered wigwam along the Fox River in a place known at the time as “La Petite Chute” with the arrival of Rev. Theodore Vanden Broek. The parish is the second oldest in the Green Bay Diocese.
Father Vanden Broek was a missionary priest who had been working in the settlement of Green Bay for a year and a half when the Bishop at the time appointed three Redemptorist Fathers to the area.
In 1847, Father Vanden Broek returned to his native Holland to settle his father’s estate. During this stay in Holland, Father Vanden Broek published a pamphlet where he described the many opportunities that were available in Wisconsin’s Fox River Valley. Thus, when he set out to return to Wisconsin, he was accompanied by three ships filled with Dutch immigrants.
The parochial school has also been a major part of the St John Nepomucene community, beginning with Father Vanden Broek using the original wigwam to carry out his instruction. The first school was built in 1844 and attended by 6 pupils from the Menominee Indians. The school was closed for a period of time for financial reasons but in 1889 a new school was built and reopened. Additional rooms were added in 1909. In 1928, the present brick school building was built to meet the needs of the growing population. In 1940, an addition was built on to the west side of the school to house its 745 grade school and high school students. A new high school was built in 1957 across the street from the present grade school. In 1972, the high school was closed due to high operating costs.
A new parish center was built to the south of the present school building in 1985, adding a new gymnasium, classroom space and multi-purpose room for meetings and funeral dinners.
Today, St John Catholic School continues to grow and currently has 140 school families and 230 enrolled students. The school is lead by Principal Kevin Flottmeyer and it’s our mission to Honor God by spread our FAITH.
Photos courtesy of Little Chute Historical Society.
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F - Follow Christ's Example
A - Accept Challenges and Responsibilities
I - Inspire Wisdom
T - Thank God by Sharing our Gifts
H - Help Others