By Celine Klosterman
CLINTON — A little more than a year ago, Prince of Peace Parish dedicated its new church.
Less than a week ago, the parish celebrated paying off the mortgage on that church.
“We are here to celebrate a major accomplishment,” Ed Kross, parish finance chair, told parishioners before a mortgage-burning ceremony June 12. After Mass that evening, Catholics gathered around a fire pit outside the church to watch as Father Thom Hennen, parochial vicar, took a flame to papers held by Father Tony Herold, pastor. As the white sheets crumbled into ashes, supporters applauded.
The celebration was able to happen thanks to parishioners’ commitment and generosity, Kross said. Catholics have paid 96 percent, or about $5.6 million, of their pledges toward the $6.9 million church. Consultants had told Prince of Peace it should be happy if 90 percent of pledges were paid.
Parishioner Clair Adams contributed the rest of the funds Prince of Peace needed. After he died last year, the parish received $1.4 million he’d bequeathed to it.
“This has truly been the work of many hands,” Kross said. “It is a stirring example of stewardship.”
He said he understood that of the five new churches built in the Davenport Diocese since spring 2009, Prince of Peace is the only one without a mortgage.
“We should take this opportunity to congratulate each other,” Kross said. “We also need to say ‘thank you’ to all who have helped us reach this point on our journey together in faith.”
Prince of Peace formed in 1990 from the merger of five Clinton parishes. Its new church was dedicated March 14, 2009.