Mosque, School Planned For Former St. Adalbert’s Site

Update: Read coverage in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and on Fox 6.

The former St. Adalbert’s property has been sold to a mosque for use as an Islamic house of worship and school.

The purchase by Masjid Al-Huda Milwaukee — also known as Guidance Inc. — closed last week.

They plan to use the facility for both worship services — five per day, between the hours of sunrise and sunset — and religious education for primarily middle and grade school-aged children, after the normal school day, and other events.

The mosque hopes to take occupancy by late January.

You can learn more about the mosque, which also has a location in Greenfield, here and on their Facebook page.

I want to officially welcome Al-Huda to South Milwaukee. We are a welcoming and increasingly diverse community, and the fact that Al-Huda sought out St. Adalbert’s is a reflection of that.

I personally look forward to getting to know the members of Al-Huda more, and to see them become a part of this community, as they have pledged to do. They want to open their doors to introduce themselves to South Milwaukee and educate residents about who they are — and, perhaps just as importantly, who they aren’t.

In meeting with them recently, I encouraged them to do just that.

(One way they’re showing community commitment already: They have told me they will continue to allow Lionsfest on their property.)

I also ask South Milwaukeeans to take advantage of the opportunity to learn more about our newest neighbors and their beliefs.

I fully realize there is an increased anti-Muslim sentiment, given recent world events. I pray not to see that here. We are fighting extremists, radicalized terrorists who preach jihad. That is not Masjid Al-Huda Milwaukee.

I turn to their statement about the most recent terror attacks …

Masjid Al-Huda, along with Muslims throughout Milwaukee, are heartbroken over the recent string of violent attacks that have been perpetrated over this past week. The stabbings that took place in London, the suicide bombings in Chad, and the shooting in San Bernardino has left people all over the world shaking their heads and asking the same question: “Why?”

Such acts are cowardly and carry no purpose other than promoting a militant agenda that finds no basis in any religion or humane ideology. We at Masjid Al-Huda encourage all members of the greater Milwaukee community to take this opportunity to fight such ideologies through acts of kindness directed towards everyone, despite our differences.

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

One additional note: I know some have wondered why I have not written about this on my blog until now, and why the city did not formally announce this. The short answer: It’s not our place to do so. This is a real estate transaction that does not require city approval and, because of it, no public meetings, etc. Instead, it’s up to the buyer and seller to announce their plans. We must abide by their wishes. In this case, Divine Mercy and Masjid Al-Huda are announcing the sale to the media today and gave me permission to share the news on my blog.

52 Comments

Filed under South Milwaukee

52 responses to “Mosque, School Planned For Former St. Adalbert’s Site

  1. Elissa Mross

    Will the mosque be broadcasting the call to prayer five times a day here like they have been in other cities?

    • They tell me they will not.

      • Disco

        Took some time and check who Masjid Al-Huda Milwaukee is. They have a small store front in Greenfield, since 2008 and need more space. The directors are listed and one is a regular MD, he is an Internist. They do have daily prayer but look like they have normal jobs and normal homes. Looks like they selected South Milwaukee because they felt it is a secure community. They seam to be a very gentle , quiet people with a school and church that works around normal life. This is not commune , these people have a web site that stated that they looking forward to working with South Milwaukee to be a good neighbor. I came away from my research extremely surprised Time will tell but I feel they will be a good fit.

      • Saich

        God bless you for doing your own research. Most people only believe what they hear in the media. we are really peaceful people but unfortunately they group us with the few bad apples. As American Muslims, We condemn any terror or violence. All we want is to have the freedom to practice our religion in our country peacefully. Again, God bless people like you.

  2. Maria Wittliff

    Not sure how I feel at this point. We moved to So. Milw. due to problems in our last neighborhood caused by the people living in our area that went to the mosque on 13th & Layton.

    • Rachel

      What kinds of problems? Noise, loitering, harassment? We are looking to buy closer to Blake elementary. Now I’m concerned.

      • Maria Wittliff

        I won’t get into the personal situations because neighbors have conflicts once in a while with each other. The thing that bothered us was the mosque on 13th & Layton would buy every single house that was for sale in our area and members of the mosque would then buy it from them.. If it was a rental property, they would have mosque members move in as soon as the place was available. Within one year, my block was 80% Muslim. It was no longer a neighborhood; it was their territory and they let us know it. I hope this doesn’t happen again as we have diversity in our area now.

  3. Bryce Ruddock

    My wife and I have absolutely no problem with this and as citizens and property owners in South Milwaukee we welcome the congregation and students of Masjid Al-Huda to our community.

  4. gooseknoll

    How wonderful! I am so happy to hear that South Milwaukee is receiving the good neighbors that my son and daughter in law enjoy in Greenfield! I was so hoping that St. Adalbert’s would receive a good new owner. This is wonderful!

  5. joe synowicz

    How is this going to affect the Lion Fest

  6. This is great news for SM and I am glad to add to the rich texture of our community.

  7. burgoswi

    I’m very glad to read the positive comments by my fellow South Milwaukeens. Welcome to our community!

  8. Jen

    I hope our community will be excellent neighbors and good friends with the new mosque and it’s members. I look forward to a beautifully blended city that others are envious of!

  9. Cal B

    As-salamu alaykum!

  10. Leslie H.

    We welcome you! Our community has been built lots of hardworking people.

  11. LauDeh

    I am happy to see that there is activity in and around this property again. I attended St. Adelbert’s as child and was sad to see it vacant for so long. What will be done as far as parking is concerned for those of us that do not have off street parking and live on the streets that border the property?

    • Good question. They will use the existing parking lot and likely some street parking. How much remains to be seen, and it will be worth monitoring. They don’t expect large worship crowds, except for perhaps Fridays. And school traffic will be pickup and drop off primarily.

  12. Leslie Henry

    Welcome to the neighborhood

  13. SM Guy

    I have no problem with whoever wants to move in there. In addition, it’s none of my business anyway since I don’t live in that part of town. That being said, we all realize that this could have been extremely controversial. Thankfully, it does not appear to be, at least based on the commenters here. The fact Fr. Betz, and by extension the city, chose to keep this top secret until the deal was done does not speak well for those parties involved (and I don’t mean the purchasers). I wonder if the same level of secrecy would have been maintained if another controversial, yet less politically correct, organization was interested instead?

  14. Katherine Malczewski

    I found it deceptive thar this kind of purchase was not made prior to the sale. Obviously all parties knew there would be a problem hence requesting it be kept secret!! I am not happy with how this was done and am spreading the word. Not even sure this was a legal sale. I left the area of the 13th and Layton mosque actually I lived closer to Grange and we had all kind of problems. This kind of sale must be held in a public forum.

    • john

      How was it illegal? How was it a “secret”? You have lawyers on the buyer and lawyers on the seller. That’s the way all transactions work. Nothing dubious that I can see.

  15. Sawsan

    I am amazed by such a loving and welcoming community! I am a resident of Oak Creek but proud to be living near South Milwaukee. Honestly, when I was about to read the comments I thought I would read all negative comments. The media gives the wrong idea about Muslims and many people believe it. God bless you all and your kind hearts ❤️

  16. Saich

    From what we see at the location in Greenfield, Al-Huda mosque is known to make sure the neighbors are taken care of. They have a annual bbq just for the neighbors. Every Christmas they buy gifts for the surrounding neighbors. They will go door to door giving care packs to people. They do their best to make sure the surrounding neighbors are happy.

  17. Khan

    I have lived in Cudahy for 4.5 years and my family is in love with this part of South Milwaukee by the lake. I felt even the area is nice and green, it lacked vibrancy. We left the Cudahy for the sub-standard school system, but this news makes us interested about the area again. Indeed, I do feel the people of this area are hard-working and they deserve a vibrant yet diverse community.

  18. quad

    San Bernadino and Paris are loving, welcoming communities too. Where’s the love?

    • Sawsan

      You can’t rule out a whole religion base on a few bad apples. There is always the good and the bad. I am sure that’s in every race, culture and religion. Violence, hate and terror has no religion! Person who is evil enough to kill innocent people will use any thing to justify their actions even religion. Doesn’t mean this is the belief of the entire religion. Please stop allowing the media make you blind to the truth.

  19. Dan Regalia

    South Milwaukee has always been a welcoming community. It doesn’t matter if if was the Yugoslavians and Albanians in the 70s, Sikhs in the 80s, as long as they were out going and willing to blend, so was the community that welcomed them. I think it’s just another opportunity for the city to grow. I’m glad to see that they’re going to continue Lion’s fest to be on their property, I think it will be a great out reach opportunity for many of them.

  20. Katherine Malczewski

    Many of the terrorists around the country originated from peaceful mosques. The fact that you refer to the word “normal” in you context shows that even you consider this addition to our community as abnormal. I still believe our community should have had access to the knowledge prior to closing. The secrecy shows there was concern the sale would not be acceptable to our City in general.

    • MJ

      “Many of the terrorists around the country originated from peaceful mosques. ” <— False,

      Most terrorists are isolated individuals who are cut off from their communities. And when I say terrorists, I mean all of them; Including the Christian kind. There isn't a single group that has a monopoly on terrorism.

      • Katherine Malczewski

        You are wrong. How many times have we seen people from a terrorts’ mosque be interviewed on tv saying they never thought the person was like that, or they were peaceful, etc. The come from both genres however many ARE from peace mosques.

      • Leslie H.

        Terrorism contains a complex set of variables that cannot be solely blamed on any one society, race, creed, gender, or group. Radical views which tend to be a large factor in many cases stem from antisocial personality characteristics that can happen anywhere. Look at the domestic terrorism that happens in our country, including cults in our country which involve charismatic leaders that motivate their followers to do anything. The majority of Muslim faithful does not associate with this group. There is a small subset that falls into this cult like set of antisocial views.

  21. Katherine Malczewski

    I experienced the same issue living at 13 & Edgerton apartment. The building I lived in as well as all around it was being taken over by the people from the Mosque. Before long Milwaukee County will be the new Dearborn, MI!!! Radicals started out as simple attendees of a Mosque! I wish this was made public before the closing. This was a devious way to do this which in itself causes suspicion.

  22. kindness

    Too bad the poles in South Milwaukee aren’t doing what they did in Europe.. much smarter than we are.. “Not everyone is willing to surrender culture and comfort to the barbarians. Over 100,000 Polish patriots marched in Warsaw against the Islamic invasion. EU flag burned as tens of thousands of polish nationalists protest Islamization of Europe https://t.co/8jGQiRCo2t pic.twitter.com/1abyDUOsrP Over 100,000 Polish Patriots March through Warsaw to demand an end to Islamic Immigration. #Anonymous #Paris pic.twitter.com/jvpjOgByII Hundreds of candles were lit at the French Embassy in Warsaw following the ISIS Paris massacre. Hundreds of candles lit up at French embassy in Warsaw”

    • Katherine Malczewski

      Must be in my blood. I don’t want out City or Country to become overrun as I truly feel it will! Dobze Polska!

  23. Leslie H.

    Let’s be serious here and stop spreading fear and hate. Some of the statements made here have been less than factual designed to divide the community. This was a legal business venture, a worship site for a worship site. Our country was founded on religious freedom and thank God for that.

    • Rachel

      Our country was indeed founded on religious freedom, but muslims do not agree with our Constitution, nor do they believe they must abide. Have you not heard of sharia law? Look at what is happening in England and Germany. Aside from the fears of terrorism, their culture does not value women. This is what you are inviting in your community. Do your research. Look up Colgne,Germany….then tell me they are a religion of peace.

  24. Rose Flores

    Welcome to South Milwaukee.
    I hope we show you what a predominate Christian community looks like.

  25. Concerned Citizen

    While most of the Muslim Extremist violence is on their own people, unfortunately there appears to be issues throughout the world. My concern is that this is the United States of America. It is governed by the U.S. Constitution. If a group of people want to worship in their own religion, then more power to them. If a group of people want to influence the community based on their religion – that is unacceptable. I am concerned that our community will be forced to change into something it doesn’t want to be. I hope that I am wrong with my skepticism. All people have the right to believe in their religion and there are fanatics in all religions. So what are the options if the mosque brings the wrong type of people into our community? The simple fix is leave, I for one will stop paying taxes to this community and find a new one. There is nothing wrong with diversity – when I look back at my heritage…I am a mutt and proud of it. But what I really am is an American following the rules set forth by the Constitution. If we ALL follow these rules we ALL can live in peace!

  26. kindness

    I think it is a shame that the Catholic hierarchy has let this happen. Catholic churches for sale everywhere. I too, welcome a diverse community but not one that spreads the hate of Christians. Look at what they do to Christians overseas. You are naïve if you think they are a religion of peace. Clearly they are not. This is very disappointing. I wish I would have had the money to buy it myself. I would have turned it into a Catholic School. “Free for everyone”…. This is a shame. It saddens me immensely.!

  27. I am interjecting here to remind readers of my comment policy, which you can also read on the left side of this page. The key point: “I will not publish comments that offer personal attacks, or are racist, profane, or otherwise objectionable. I also won’t publish comments that make unsubstantiated accusations.” While I have vetoed very few comments on this issue (and on my blog overall), I have had to delete several recently due to them making personal attacks. Please do not continue to make them, or I will have to limit comments on this forum — and I don’t want to do that. For more than six years, this site has been a place for people to engage, reasonably and constructively, on issues. Please help me keep it that way.

    • American

      Censorship in America????? Not cool.

      • I don’t call it censorship. I call it me managing my website to keep dialog constructive. I have allowed thousands of comments on to this site for years, including many that are critical of me and the city. But I have to draw the line somewhere. I won’t let this site become Facebook.

      • Disco

        Looked up “Bob Braun of the Christian Civil Liberties Union” there is some interesting reading. Specially the Wisconsin Circuit court records. Erik, we may need some more rules about citizen comments during common council meetings, my alderman alluded to the fact these seam to be a lot of non south Milwaukee comments/speakers. This not really Censorship , but more common sense.

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