By Celine Klosterman
IOWA CITY — After more than four years, St. Patrick Parish once again has a rectory.
Father Rudolph Juarez, pastor since 2004, plans to move into a new home at the northwest corner of St. Patrick Church next week. Previously, he had lived in two apartments, a former convent of Dominican Sisters and the Newman Catholic Student Center in Iowa City after St. Patrick’s former rectory and church sustained major damage in an April 2006 tornado.
Under construction since March, the rectory includes a three-car garage, two first-floor bedrooms with full bathrooms, a small office space, kitchen, living room with a fireplace and a dining area that opens into a screened-in porch. The basement includes a finished main room, guest bedroom, full bathroom and storage area.
Geothermal energy will heat and cool the 1,500-square-foot house.
Fr. Juarez said parishioners donated more than $50,000 worth of plumbing, heating, electrical, air-conditioning, painting and installation services, bringing the home’s cost down to about $225,000. Catholics donated funds toward that amount.
Parishioners also have contributed by planting flowers and other plants near the rectory and church. In honor of an anonymous parish veteran, a memorial flagpole stands in the house’s front yard.
Construction of the rectory and year-old church was spearheaded by parishioner Tom Summy, who was honored with a reception Sept. 5 and a bench in the memorial garden behind the parish’s daily Mass chapel.
St. Patrick’s held an open house for the rectory Sept. 18-19 before Fr. Juarez’s move. “This next move, God willing and the creek don’t rise, will be my last until God, the bishop and the personnel board decide otherwise,” he said.