St. Anne Catholic Church was founded by Irish Immigrants in 1910. It started back in 1865 when the pioneer Catholic settlers of the Welton area attended Mass at Immaculate Conception church in Petersville, Iowa which was known as the prairie church and had over 150 families at one time. The faithful Irish Catholic families would drive eight miles by wagon and horses over dirt roads to attend Mass. The Iowa weather made it impossible to get to church all seasons of the year because of the muddy and snow packed roads. It is for that reason a meeting was called to form a new church in the town of Welton.
They received approval from Most Reverend John J. Keane of the Archdiocese of Dubuque, and the cornerstone of the St. Anne church was laid May 30, 1910. St. Anne’s held its first Mass in the church on December 25, 1912. The dedication of St. Anne’s was held on July 25, 1916 by Most Reverend James Davis, Bishop of Davenport.
Now, various circumstances, including resources and necessary pastoral planning in the entire Diocese, indicate that previous arrangements can no longer be maintained. New dispositions must be taken in the faithful journey of the people of St. Anne’s as we strive to provide for the spiritual welfare and salvation of all. Having reached this point in time, it is the recommendation of the pastor and members of the Parish Pastoral Council and Finance Council to close St. Anne Parish, Welton and to have the church razed. In addition, on November 5, 2013, I sought the advice of the Presbyteral Council of the Diocese of Davenport in accord with canon 515 §2 of the Code of Canon Law. As a result of this consultation, I, the undersigned Bishop of the Diocese of Davenport, do hereby decree that the Parish of St. Anne in Welton is herewith subsumed (amalgamated) into the parish of St. Joseph, De Witt (canon 121) and its status as a juridic person in canon law is hereby terminated. This closing shall be effective July 26, 2014.
I further decree that the parishioners of St. Anne Parish are now free to become members of neighboring parishes.
All registers containing records of baptism, confirmation, marriage and burials hitherto preserved by St. Anne Parish are to be conveyed to St. Joseph Parish, De Witt, where they are to be faithfully preserved according to canon 535 §§1-5. The financial assets of St. Anne Parish will follow parishioners to their new parishes according to the appropriate percentages.
Furthermore, acting upon the request of the parishioners of St. Anne Parish and having heard the Presbyteral Council, I hereby relegate the church building of St. Anne Parish, Welton, to profane use in accord with canons 1220 and 1222, effective July 27, 2014 and with the understanding that the building be razed.
Promulgation of this Decree is to be made in a public fashion as determined by the pastor and lay directors of St. Anne Parish. It shall also be published in The Catholic Messenger, the official newspaper of the Diocese of Davenport.
Given at Davenport, Iowa, on this 26th day of July, 2014.
Bishop of Davenport
Deacon David Montgomery