History

St. Patrick’s Irish Settlement is a place of hospitality and spirituality, where God and congregation welcomes all who enter since the Irish farmers first flocked to central Iowa around the late 1840’s. Missionary Father Timothy Mullen recognized the need for a Catholic church in the area.

By 1852 Father Mullen had established the parish of St. Patrick’s in the Irish Settlement. The first log worship center was built and worship continued until this structure burned and in 1868 the present wood frame church was built. The building underwent a renovation in 1968 before its centennial celebration. The stain glass windows give an elegant touch to the worship center and the medallion window over the altar filters warm sunlight above the crucifix. Learn more

A memorable afternoon in 1979, the congregation welcomed the Holy Father to its humble place of worship when Pope John Paul II stepped from the helicopter with an entourage of secret service and media. Joy filled the church where more than 200 people attended the brief prayer service and received blessings and memories to last a lifetime. Amid the corn shocks and pumpkins, St. Patrick’s Church was a place of harvest, not only of crops but of souls as well. A bust of Pope John Paul II is mounted inside the entry, one of four fashioned by an Irish sculptor.