The history of the Parish goes back to the 1840's when the first settlers of the district of Carbon Center arrived from an area in southern Germany near Saarbruecken, which was known as Sankt Wendelin. At first, like the other German speaking Catholics of Butler County, they were in the spiritual care of the Redemptorist Fathers. The first resident German speaking priest of Butler County was Reverend Ferdinand Kuehr who was assigned to Saint Peter Church in Butler in 1840. He also had jurisdiction of Saint Wendelin in Carbon Center.


Long before they had a church of their own, the early settlers in Carbon Center made provisions for community worship. In 1845 they hired a man named George Mueller, a man more educated than the rest, as a teacher. He induced them to buy six acres of ground where they constructed a school and a small chapel made of logs and clay. They named the chapel for Saint Wendelin, the local patron of their place of origin. Besides being the schoolteacher, Mueller led them in prayers and songs in the little chapel. By 1857 the log building became too small for both a school and chapel and an addition was added. The priest from Butler would come out once a month on a weekday to conduct services.


The congregation continued to grow steadily, and a new church (64 by 36 feet) was built and dedicated on January 16, 1876. The chapel was still used as a school. In 1880 the Capuchin Friars from Herman began to minister to the parish. At that time there were 32 families and 173 parishioners. A parish rectory was added in 1926, and Reverend Oswald Greiner became the first resident pastor.


The people of Saint Wendelin Parish have always worked very hard for their parish and school. Other than the new church and rectory built in the 1970's, all of the buildings on the church property have been built by the parishioners themselves. They have made great sacrifices in the past and continue to do so today for the love of their parish. 


We hope that you'll love our parish as much as we do!

   Our History