Community members offer to raise funds to restore St. Boniface church

A plan for the space is yet to be decided
A group is offering to raise $2 million to restore and reopen the church that was decommissioned in 2005
Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 5:12 PM CST
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MANITOWOC, Wis. (WBAY) -St. Boniface church has been sitting on Marshall street in Manitowoc since 1885, but it hasn’t been in use since 2005. Since that time, the St. Francis of Assisi parish has been trying to form a plan for the space.

While it hasn’t been used for church services in over fifteen years, many members of the community in Manitowoc want to restore it to the church it once was.

“It’s almost 140 years old and it’s a staple of the skyline in this town,” says Jo Woodcock, a St. Boniface Society member. “It’s one of the oldest Catholic churches in this town. And it is a beautiful piece of gothic architecture.”

The St. Boniface Society, a group of community members, has formed their own plan to restore it.

“It wasn’t just restore it and it’s done,” says Woodcock. “We wanted it to be restored and then we wanted it to be used again as a church. It could be open for special events.. like weddings or funerals.”

They offered to raise the one million dollars needed for renovation and one million for an endowment but haven’t had luck getting the parish to agree to allow them to raise the funds. On January 15th, the parish issued a decree concerning St. Boniface Church.

“What the decree means is, it’s giving permission to the parish to continue their planning process,” says Justine Lodl, the Director of Communications for the Diocese of Green Bay. “It’s a formality. It gives them permission to keep working on a plan for how they’re going to move forward.”

The decree will allow the parish to continue to work out a plan for the future St. Boniface. As of now, they have not decided if they will take up the St. Boniface society’s offer or decide to initiate other plans.