St. Philip School Memorial Brick Campaign
St. Philip School was built in 1920 in Rudolph, WI on the grounds of St. Philip Church located at 6957 Grotto Ave. The building originally housed St. Philomena church, classrooms, activity rooms and living quarters for the Sisters of Notre Dame. During harsh winters Father Wagner and students living in the country also boarded at the school. The school's architect was A.F. Billmeyer. Joseph and Brigitta Zimmerman sold the land to the church/school for $1. In order to build the school Father Wagner held fundraising events with one event being a brick selling contest. Mrs. Peter Hartjes sold the most bricks totaling $902.10. The cost to build the school in 1920 was $60,000. Father Philip Wagner loved the school, church and Grotto. The church name was eventually changed from St. Philomena to St. Philip after Father Wagner who devoted his life to the building of this property.
Due to school consolidations a decision was made to close the school and join Assumption Catholic Schools in Wisconsin Rapids. The school was used for a brief time as the Religious Education Center for St. Philips Church to conduct CCD classes along with holding parish youth group events. In time the school would require a new roof and costly repairs. A decision was made in 2014 to tear the school down.
The west entrance to the school was saved along with 4000 bricks and 60 cement blocks used in the original school. St. Philips church is working with parishioners and donors to raise funds to build a memorial to the school using the saved artifacts and existing entrance. The memorial will create a sealed area for memorabilia from the school along with a park-like pavilion to be utilized by visitors to the Grotto Shrine.
Would you "buy a brick" to help beautify the Grotto and carry on Father Wagner's legacy? Our fundraising goal is $25,000 to complete the entire plan. Our deadline is July 15, 2016 to raise funds and begin work. Please be assured that your donation will be used to memorialize Father Wagner's work building the school and enhancing the Grotto Shrine.
Donations are tax deductible. Please send donations to St. Philip Church (Attn: School Memorial) 6957 Grotto Ave Rudolph, WI 54475. Thank you in advance for your donation and prayer as our project moves forward. Questions? Call Kris Willfahrt (715)435-3247 or (715)459-5547.