|Found: Holy Innocents Catholic Church, Manitowoc, Wisconsin.|
From an Ektachrome Transparency.
Copyright 1959 The L.L. Cook Co., Milwaukee, Wisc.
Holy Innocents Catholic Church (affectionately known as HI), dedicated in 1950 by Bishop Bona, features a giant light-up rosary (far right). Hovering over statues of the Blessed Virgin Mary, praying children, and lambs made of concrete, the grouping commemorates the secret message of Fatima. The blue electric rosary remains one of our favorite after-dark Manitowoc sites and is easily viewed from the car while cruising down Waldo Boulevard. The church was named for the martyred Holy Innocents more specifically for the male infants that were "slaughtered within two years following the apparition of the star to the Wise Men." HI and five other churches were "consolidated" into one named St. Francis of Assisi Parish to serve all of the city of Manitowoc in 2005. Names like Holy Innocents or St. Boniface were jettisoned and the facilities are now referred to as the Waldo site or the Marshall site, etc. relating to their street address. We knew these churches best through their basement rummage and bake sales held in the fall and spring and orchestrated by community-members to raise funds for church operations. In the 1990s, these sales were ripe with mid-century consumer goods like dishware, rhinestones, wool suits, statuary, hankies, and LPs for sale for nickels and dimes. In contrast the St. Francis website features an apparel store along with the church bulletin, a media center, and updates on the school. The mission statement remains as mysterious as the Virgin Mary's message at Fatima: The Manitowoc Catholic Community exists as a sacramental body of Christ, to love as Christ loved, by boldly proclaiming our faith, teaching our youth, spreading the Good News of Jesus, and serving one another and others in an ever-changing community.