The Des Moines Register
Saturday, February 17, 1996
Page 5M

By Marty Helle, Register Staff Writer

STUART, IA -- Everyone agrees that the decision to raze whatís left of All Saints Catholic Church was difficult. Not all agree it was right.

Richard Doherty of Stuart said the decision to build a new church, possibly at a different site, was made by the parish council leaders without proper feedback from the church members.

Surveys about the situation were distributed on a Sunday when it was bitterly cold, and only half the parish filled them out, Doherty said. He also said he thought the questions in the survey were biased.

Julie Brown, Doherty's niece and another member of the parish, said it appeared that some church leaders had their minds set on building a new church before trying to find a way to save the present building, which was nearly destroyed by an arson fire in August. Doherty agreed.

"If you're going to study something, both sides need to be studied," Brown said.

Parishioners opposing the decision will meet at Doherty's mother's home in Stuart at 1 p.m. today. He expects a dozen or more people from the 185-family parish to attend.

The Rev. Richard Bergman said the parishioners' pain in seeing the building go is expected, but that he hadnít heard much dissent. "There is a grieving process that they are going through," he said.

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