Prairie Catholic Crest

Holy Family Parish

elcome to the Holy Family Parish, a faith-filled community located in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. We are a Parish of the Roman Catholic Diocese of LaCrosse. We extend a warm welcome to all who attend our church.

The Holy Family Parish of Prairie du Chien has two Churches; St. Gabriel's Church and St. John's Church both located in Prairie du Chien, WI.  Holy Family Parish also supports its Catholic elementary and middle school. We hope that you will find our parish and school community a place where your life of faith will be nourished.  We also hope that you will share your special talents within the community.

Your prayers, your presence and your talents are most welcome.

May God bless all of us.

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The Third Sunday of Advent is Gaudete Sunday, the 'pink candle' Sunday, the Sunday we light the pink candle on the Advent wreath. Gaudete is the imperative plural form of the Latin verb gaudere (to rejoice). It is a command ordering us to rejoice! In these days of penance and preparation lead-ing up to the feast of our Savior's birth, it reminds us of the joy that is to come, and serves, amid this season of penance, as a kind of 'break' when we recall the hope we have because of the coming of Jesus.

In Advent, we not only celebrate the first coming of our Lord, but eagerly prepare for His Second Coming as well, when the restoration of all things takes place. Too often many of us shudder at the thought of our Lord's coming in glory; as if it were a frightening event and certainly it will be for those who knowingly rejected Jesus. But for Christians who persevere, it will be our great deliverance from the troubles and trials of this world. All the world will bend the knee some in terror but as for God's friends, they will bend the knee in joyful adoration as Jesus takes His place as King. The earliest Christians cried 'Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus!' expecting Jesus to come at any moment. So should we should long for His return with our lamps trimmed and our souls ready. It is indeed something to celebrate and prepare for. Advent turns our hearts and minds to this reality.

Should commercialism or the evils of the world get us down we need to look at the Advent wreath with its candles burning down patiently, a new one each week in the spiral they create, going down as we light the pink one this week which fills us with joy that we are getting closer and closer to the coming of the Lord. We can place ourselves on the hillsides with the shepherds in the silent chill with patient anticipation of they-knew-not-what until the angel told them. We can im-agine the three wise men silhouetted in the brightness of the Christmas star. And then we can meditate on being in that stable with the smell of straw, animals, and a beautiful New-born Who is our hope. We can let our burdens drop away at the foot of the manger when He smiles at us. We can receive Him into our arms and hearts as Mary holds Him out to us as the gentle Joseph looks on. This Child is our victory.

By John Mallon Catholic Online;
Dec 13, 2005

The colors for Gaudeter Sunday are either rose or violet, no one specific color is required. The color rose is a lighter shade of violet, and signifies that the light of Christ is getting close at hand. We also light the rose candle this day. As the article above stated, another aspect of Gaudete Sunday is that the penitential aspect of advent is lightened for the day as well, and the theme of ‘hope’ and ‘’rejoicing’ should prevail in our lives..

Holy FamilyConstruction Updates:

Holy Family has started "Building the Future" ! We are working on using this news box to share with you updates, news and pictures to show our progress through construction. Visit often as we will soon be posting the timeline and photos as we make our way through the project.

Building the Future... Preserving the Past


Thank you for your interest in Prairie Catholic Schools.  St. Gabriel’s campus is our elementary school, and encompasses grades Pre-K though 4th, and St. John’s campus is our middle school which entails grades 5th through 8th.  Additionally, on-site daycare is available at the St. Gabriel’s campus.
We know that choosing the right education for your child is one of the most important decisions you face. The entire staff at Prairie Catholic appreciates the fact that you are willing to consider our school, and wish you to know that this is greatly appreciated. The education of our youth is an honor and a great responsibility that we do not take lightly.

A Catholic school offers a unique environment with very special opportunities for its students to grow spiritually. Prairie Catholic is no different. Our setting allows educators to share their faith and values while educating their students, your children. We are committed to helping children grow in faith and love and to display respect and fellowship. Prairie Catholic does not discriminate based on faith and includes many non-Catholic families. These families appreciate our caring, student-centered environment that teaches children to follow Christ’s command to love one another and treat others with respect.

Prairie Catholic provides a strong academic curriculum and a safe learning environment for students to reach their greatest potential.  We support each child by recognizing his or her own talents and instilling an appreciation for the gifts of others. This atmosphere fosters a mutual respect for one another.

We encourage, and are committed to, a cooperative partnership between family and school.  We seek to work with you as parents, in helping your child become the best they can be.  We believe in the mutual relationship of school supporting family and family supporting school.

At Prairie Catholic, we are positive people – learning, loving and living our faith.  We aspire to create a place where your child is safe, happy and knows they are special.

We would love to discuss further the opportunities we can offer your child.  Please call us for a personal tour at:

(608) 326-8624  (St. Gabriel’s)
(608) 326-4400  (St. John’s)


Wade Marlow

Principal, Prairie Catholic Schools

Volunteer Sign up Sheet:

Please consider being a parish volunteer. Click Here to bring up a form you can fill in right from your computer and then print out. Send in to either rectory, drop off, or put in colection basket on Sunday. Thank you for your consideration.