Catholic Mirror - July 1997

A community that suffered the loss of its church building is in the process of gaining a new one. A ground-breaking ceremony for the new All Saints Church in Stuart, Iowa, will be held Aug.31 at 12 noon. The short ceremony will be followed by a Mass with Bishop Joseph L. Charron, C.PP.S.

The previous church building was ravaged by a 1995 arson fire. The parish has been celebrating Mass in a former Christian Church building next door.

The ground-breaking and Mass will be celebrated at the site of the new church, just east of Stuart on North 2nd Street. Stuart is located about 40 miles west of Des Moines.

The pastor of All Saints Parish Father Dan Clarke, said the $2.5 million project includes seating for about 400 people in the church and a bell tower with a dome. The church will be handicapped-accessible with a parking lot for about 175 cars.

Renaissance Design Group of Omaha is the architectural firm. Earlier this year the parish purchased about 95 acres from the Bill and Marlene Wilson family. (purchase price of the land $475,000 dollars) The house located on the land will become the rectory.(valued at close to $200,000)

Father Clarke said contracts for the construction will be let this fall with the footings being put in starting next March. If all goes well the church should be ready for occupancy by Christmas 1998.

Father Clarke added that no decision has yet been made as to the disposition of the previous church building. He said it is hoped that some of the furnishings and/or windows from the burned building could be used in the new church.

During the past year and a half, a group called Project Restore has petitioned the bishop and the parish to renovate the old building.

See the response to this article by Dick Doherty of Project Restore

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