New Assignment for Fr. Joel

Dear Friends,

I recently presented at a virtual Zoom conference called the Parish Life Line. I told the participants that prayer should always begin and end with gratitude. So following my own advice, I want to begin this letter with gratitude. I think we have all learned recently to appreciate little things like a hug, a handshake, or a dinner out with friends. As a young pastor I often felt myself burdened by expectations rather than blessed by abundance. But I have come to realize what incredible staff, volunteers, and parishioners we are all blessed with. You have been patient, understanding, encouraging, and grateful in the midst of difficult times. You don’t know how often a prayer, a word of encouragement, or a thoughtful note came just at the right time to help me through. You are a blessing and I am grateful for you.
When I first started here, people kept asking, “How long will you be here?” I would often respond, “I think a decade would be a good run, and then we’ll see.” I never actually expected to stay 10 years. But now, almost ten years later, I can finally answer the question. Effective Monday, August 3, I will become the pastor of the three parishes that serve Antigo, WI. I know it’s hard to read; it was hard for me to write.

But before I leave, the Diocese has begun a process of reviewing the linkage. Having Oconto, Oconto Falls, and Stiles at once is a very challenging assignment. Comparatively speaking, St. Maximilian Kolbe in Sobieski is a much less demanding assignment. They have put on the table the question of possibly rearranging how these four parishes are linked. Bishop’s intention is to keep all four parishes open but to see if there is a more equitable way to care for them. That reconfiguration will have to be decided first before the final assignments are made, which should all happen before I leave on August 2.

Bishop Ricken intends to name a priest to replace me by July. He is responsible for the care and well- being of all the parishes in his Diocese and he makes the decisions about how to tend the flock in each parish so that all the parishes thrive. I hope that you have thrived under my care. It’s time for me to let someone else tend the flock here.

This is not at all how I anticipated sharing the news with you. Nothing about this spring has been in any sense normal. So I cannot say exactly what ‘saying goodbye’ will look like. But I do know that I owe each of you a hug and a big, “Thank You.” And you’ll be getting it, one way or another. Though I may be leaving, you will not be left without a shepherd. Of course we can always count on the Good Shepherd. I am grateful for you and for the ways you have blessed me. Your next priest, or priests, doesn’t yet realize how lucky he is. And don’t ask him how long he’ll stay, just be grateful for him, as I am grateful for you.

Your brother in Christ,
Fr. Joel Sember

Bishop Ricken’s Letter Appointing Fr. Joel to Antigo, WI

Bishop Ricken’s Letter Explaining the Relinkage Process

Livestream Mass / Confession / Spiritual Communion Prayer

Livestream Mass

Saturday 4:30 PM
Sunday 9:00 AM
Tuesday 7:00 PM
Wednesday 8:30 AM
Thursday 8:30 AM
Friday 8:00 AM

Go to: Holy Trinity, Oconto Facebook to livestream the Mass


St. Anthony Thursdays 9:15 AM

Prayer for Spiritual Communion

My Jesus, I believe that you are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things, and desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.

Prayer for Spiritual Communion printable version

St. Anthony Suspends All Office Hours

Due to the EMERGENCY ORDER #12 SAFER AT HOME ORDER, I have made the difficult decision to temporarily the parish office, effective March 25, 2020. Our staff will be working from home to the extent that they are able. We will continue to provide basic essential services: responding to phone messages by the next business day, checking email, putting out a weekly bulletin, opening mail and updating our parish websites and Facebook pages. Regrettably this means that people will no longer be able to come to pray in church, except at St. Patrick which will continue to remain open for personal prayer. We will also be taking donations by mail and through our online donation portal. The spiritual wellbeing of my people is my highest concern, but I must also be attentive to the physical wellbeing of our staff and parishioners. I feel that this is the best and safest decision for all. Stay safe and I look forward to getting through this together with no COVID-19 cases among our communities, Lord willing. You continue to be in my prayers. – Fr. Joel

Covid-19 Parishioner Letter

Fr. Joel is streaming Mass on Facebook Live from his personal page.

Masses will be offered Saturday night at 4:30 PM and Sunday at 9:00 AM. These Masses are closed to the public for safety reasons.

Suspension of All Public Masses in Green Bay Diocese

Below is a link to Father Joel’s blog regarding suspension of public Masses in Diocese of Green Bay (including weekday and Sunday Masses). That news was followed quickly by Governor Evers’ order to suspend all public gatherings of 10 or more people. Mass will still be offered every day, but with very limited attendance.
You are encouraged to plan your Sunday around a televised or live-streamed Mass in order to stay connected with Jesus in the Eucharist.

Televised Masses

  • WFRV Local 5 will broadcast Bishop Ricken celebrating Sunday Mass at 10:30 a.m.
  • WBAY Channel 2 has Sunday morning Mass at 5:30 a.m. and CW14 has Mass at 8:00 a.m.
  • Cable television has EWTN Sunday Mass at 7:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., and 11:00 p.m. They have daily Mass at 7:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. If you don’t have cable or satellite TV, you can watch the live stream on the internet as well.

Radio Masses

  • Sunday Mass is available on Relevant Radio 1050 AM at 9:00 a.m. They have a daily Mass as well at 12:00 p.m.

Internet Masses

  • EWTN and Relevant Radio ( offer live streaming of the Masses as they broadcast.
  • The Cathedral in Green Bay is promising a live stream of their 9:00 a.m. Sunday Mass.
  • I will be offering a live stream through my Facebook page. Stay tuned for more details.

The Catholic Church has encouraged people to come to Mass in order to connect with Jesus and one another. We are all feeling disconnected right now and looking for something solid.

Know that your church family has not disappeared. Even though we won’t be able to gather and worship together for the time being, we remain connected as members of the Body of Christ. We are all in this together and we are all suffering together. Mass will continue to be offered for you, even if you cannot attend. We will all continue to pray for each other. God isn’t nervous; we shouldn’t be worried either. I have confidence that nothing can separate us from the love of God.

Peace and joy in Jesus,
Fr. Joel

School Closure

Dear St. Anthony Families, 

On Friday, Governor Tony Evers issued an executive order to close all Wisconsin schools (public and private) effective at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 18through Monday, April 6, 2020

Monday, March 16 will be a day of no school for our students in 4K-5th Grade, as we will be engaged in professional development to plan for the continuing education of our students. 

Tuesday, March 17 students will attend a full day of school and will be receiving instruction relative to the daily learning process they will experience until April 6, 2020

Tuesday evening, we invite all St. Anthony families to attend an informational meeting. This meeting will be held at 6:00 pm at St. Anthony School, downstairs in the fellowship hall. 

Wednesday, March 18 will be a day of no school for students as we will again be engaged in staff professional development. 

Thank you for your patience and understanding. 


Miss Beschta

Love Begins Here

Love Begins Here is a local missionary program for teens.  Our teens are invited to put their faith in action and encounter the Lord in an intimate way through service, community and fun.

  • June 21-25, 2020 – Open to current 9th-12th grade students. Youth will be staying at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in De Pere.  Cost $100.
  • July 6-9, 2020 – Open to current 6th-8th grade students.  Youth will be staying at St. Denis & St. Patrick Parishes in Shiocton.  Cost $100.

Registration is open and due by April 30th.  For more information click here 

To view the video from last year’s trip – Click Here

St. Anthony/St. Patrick/Holy Trinity will be attending the two sessions outlined in red. Please make sure you register with MS 3 (Middle School) or HS 1 (High School).


Steubenville St Louis (extended):  July 15-21, 2020
Steubenville St Paul (mini):  July 24-26, 2020

Come join 100 youth from our Diocese of Green Bay on the mini or extended Stuebenville Youth Conference. 

  • Steubenville is open to 8th – 12th grade students (2019-2020 school year)
  • Cost is $300 for the mini trip and $570 for the extended trip.  Fundraising will be available to lower the cost (typically only $100 is required, but this is not guaranteed)
  • Limited seating. Register today to save your spot

Registration & payment options for Religious Education

Welcome to all returning families and new families. We look forward to growing in Christ with you and your family.

Our mission in religious education is to form a new generation of Catholics who know and love Jesus and live as his disciples in the community of the Catholic Church. 


Returning families registration options:

  • Mail or drop off your registration & tuition/permission forms with payment.
  • Register using the link below. Payment can be made online using our WeShare site or you may mail payment to the parish office.

New Families registration options:

  • Print and complete the registration & tuition/permission forms below and return to the parish office.
  • Request a registration & tuition/permission form by mail or email. Please contact us at 920-846-2276 or email
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