The Stuart Herald
March 14, 1996
Page 1


Some parishioners at All Saints Catholic Church are asking the church’s parish council to reconsider its decision to demolish the church, according to Dick Doherty.

The All Saints Parish Council announced its decision in mid-February to construct a new church rather than restore the 87-year-old structure.

"We feel the parish council's decision to demolish our landmark church and build a modern facility was premature, and may have been made without the support or knowledge of the parishioners," said Doherty, a leader of the newly-formed "Project Restore" group. "We believe a majority of parishioners actually are in favor of restoration but have not been given the chance to voice their opinions," Doherty said.

While members of the parish council might question Doherty's use of the word "majority," the council has indicated its intent to use as many of the salvageable religious items from All Saints as possible and to implement those items into a new building.

Doherty went on to say, "If we can reopen dialog with the parish council and if all the facts and finances are made public, we feel the parish, the people of Stuart and individuals from many other communities, groups and businesses will support restoration and will help us rebuild our faith community's beautiful church."

Those opposed to rebuilding the burned-out church have cited the high cost of rebuilding and the increased debt load. Church officials have specified other uses (ie., religious education, scholarship fund) for the leftover insurance money they say would be realized by building a new structure.

The Project Restore group, which is open to anyone who supports the restoration of the church, has set up what Doherty called "a fail-safe fund" at the First State Bank of Stuart. According to Doherty, the funds will be used only for restoration efforts. He said all Project Restore contributions will be returned if the group is unable to restore the Byzantine-style church. He said the fund will be outside the control of the parish and will be administered by the First State Bank.

"We invite anyone who is interested in helping us restore All Saints Church to join the Project Restore group. We would welcome your gifts of money, time, labor, expertise and prayer," Doherty said.

For more information on Project Restore, contact Doherty at 523-2921. Contributions to the "fail-safe" restoration fund may be made directly to "Project Restore," in care of the First State Bank, Stuart, Iowa 50250.

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