Our history as a Catholic faith community, under the patronage of St. Richard of Chichester, began in 1998. We were formed from five Racine south side parishes blending nearly five hundred years of faith and tradition into our parish.
St. Richard's church, rectory, and former school building were once part of Holy Name Parish, which was founded in 1894 to serve Racine's German community. The original church was replaced in 1914 by the current structure. The rectory was built in 1926, and the former school, now known as NewBridges, was constructed in 1956. Merging at the 15th Street and Grand Avenue location were four other south side parishes: St. Rose of Lima Parish (1886) founded by the Irish Catholics; St. Stanislaus Parish, which was organized by Polish immigrants in 1904; the Congregation of St. Casimir (1910) serving the Lithuanian community; and Holy Trinity Parish formed in 1914 by Racine's Slovak Catholics.
When the name of our parish was announced as St. Richard, it became the first parish in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee to be so named. We are continuously challenged by naming this parish after Saint Richard of Chichester, England (1197-1253) who was a man of great holiness and compassion. At a time in history when many individuals were not, he was a man of immense integrity. He was a capable administrator, known to be kindly, accessible, compassionate towards sinners, generous to the poor, and above moral reproach.
In addition to Richard of Chichester, the parish is honored to also be named for another model bishop, Richard J. Sklba, retired Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. Bishop Sklba grew up on Racine's south side where he and his family were members of the former Holy Trinity Parish. The love and concern for his "home parish" of St. Richard's continues to this day.
The church building has seen a number of renovations that have all sought to honor its innate architectural and artistic beauty while enhancing the worship space for contemporary liturgy. The most recent exterior restoration work and the renovation of Vogel Hall were completed in 2002. The worship space was completely renovated in 2009.
We honor and take pride in our varied histories and past accomplishments, but faith in our future is much more important than pride in our past. The true story of St. Richard's is the life of its people. Here, people from all walks of life bring joy and vibrancy to the ceremonies and events that mark our parish whenever they gather to worship and celebrate God's blessings. This parish has opened its doors to all people and has made them feel at home, giving affirmation and hope to everyone who enters. Today, St. Richard's serves God by serving others, always guided by its mission to know Christ more clearly, to love Christ more dearly, and to follow Christ more nearly.