By Celine Klosterman
CLINTON — The former St. Irenaeus Church will likely see new use as a community center, a member of the Clinton County Historical Society said.
Bob Soesbe said the society envisions historical displays, concerts and plays for the building, which Prince of Peace Parish donated to the group in late June. With some restrictions, “it’ll be whatever the community wants to make of it,” said Soesbe, a Prince of Peace parishioner.
The building cannot be used for worship services, weddings, gambling or as a place that provides alcoholic beverages, according to the society’s agreement with Prince of Peace.
The group is working to have the 146-year-old former church listed on the National Register of Historic Places. “We felt the building had to be saved,” Soesbe said. He cited the uniqueness of its limestone construction, three- to four-foot-thick walls and lack of interior pillars. “It’s a very unusual building.”
Donations and volunteers are needed to help with repairs and upkeep, he said: Contact the Clinton County Historical Society Museum at (563) 242-1201.
St. Ireneaus’ closing Mass was celebrated in June 2008. The church building was the last of five Catholic churches in Clinton to find its fate after the parishes merged to form Prince of Peace Parish in 1990. Prince of Peace’s new church was dedicated in March 2009.