About Our Parish

St. Justin Martyr Parish

Rev. Joseph A. Weber, Pastor
Rev. Mr. Christian Winkelman, Deacon

History of the Parish

The history of St. Justin the Martyr Parish has been chronicled by enormous human effort.  From its beginning in 1964, when the site of the church and school was ten weed-filled acres of farm house, barns and cisterns, to the present day site of a modern physical plant, and a multiplicity of parish activities, the people of the parish community have been involved, always committing themselves to the parish’s growth and improvement. Here is a brief look at the highlights of their involvement.

1964 - Sunset Hills is the recipient of a new parish, named after the martyr of the second century, St. Justin.  Father Thomas Albrecht celebrates the First Mass on the Feast of Christ the King.  Parish population is 400 families.

1965 - Work begins on the new church; parishioners initiate a variety of spiritual and social organizations. The Franciscan Sisters of Clinton, Iowa, agree to staff the school.

1966 - September ushers in the beginning of school for 227 students in Grades 1 through 5 with Sister Callista Brisley as the first principal.  The Parish School of Religion is established by two lay parishioners.  The church building is dedicated, the convent built, and the CYC established.

1967 - There are 63 new first Communicants and the First Confirmation ceremony is held.  Parish organizations flourish, growing in number and activities.

1969 - The school has eight grades with 360 students!  The Parish School of Religion, with 12 functioning grades, has 270 students.

1970 - First class is graduated from St. Justin the Martyr School.  Parish Council is established.

1971-1979 - Parishioners continue their involvement in the growth and improvement of the parish community!  Lay ministers, Pro-Life activities, Youth Liturgy, Leisure club, blood drives, Thanksgiving collections and food drives, school board, Religious coordinator, and in 1978, the first Kindergarten.

1980-1984 - The mortgage is "burned"!  The parish commits itself to a three-year program of Renew for the purpose of increasing parishioners’ spirit of community and spirituality.  Father John Caffe replaces Father Ira Bell as pastor; the Athletic association is formed to promote and support sports programs for parish children; the parish has 740 families.

1985-1989 - RCIA is initiated.  Father Glenn Doherty arrives, as do Sisters Ann Martinek, Deborah Schneider, and Frances Therese Hansman.  The parish’s mission statement is developed; DeSales Program begins; the Home and School Organization is established.  The 25th anniversary of the parish is celebrated! The school begins its 24th year with 264 students!

New faces arrive in the form of a pastor, Father Bernie Schloemer, and a senior associate, Father Leo Lewis.

1996-1998 - The school building becomes air-conditioned.  The Computer Lab is updated and networked.  The parish community remains vibrant with multiple organizations and activities, all structured within the framework of the Parish Council.

1999-2000 - The school gets a new principal, Mrs. Judy Talleur.  Work is begun on converting the convent into the rectory.