By the Grace of God and the Favor of the Apostolic See
Bishop of Davenport
Regarding Holy Trinity Parish, Richmond;
St. Mary Parish, Riverside; and
St. Joseph Parish, Wellman
The first bishop of Iowa, Mathias Loras, celebrated Mass in 1854 in a log cabin in Richmond. Bishop Loras laid the cornerstone for the first Holy Trinity Church later that year. The first Mass was celebrated in the present church in 1874. St. Mary Parish was established in 1876. The first Mass was celebrated in the original church in 1877 on Palm Sunday. The first Mass was celebrated in the present church in 1906 on Christmas Day. St. Joseph Parish was established in 1912, and the first Mass was celebrated in the unfinished original church on Christmas Day that year. The present church was dedicated in 1962. The three parishes have shared a pastor for the past 20 years and have drawn closer and closer together over the years. They became known as the “Highway 22 Cluster.”
In March 2021, I was informed that the three parishes wanted to merge together into one parish. On June 3, 2021, in accord with canon 515 §2 of the Code of Canon Law, I sought the advice of the Council of Priests (Presbyteral Council of the Diocese of Davenport). Thus, after engaging in a series of consultations with the communities involved, after having heard the advice of the Council of Priests, and after having continued to reflect on the situation, I hereby join St. Mary Parish, Riverside; Holy Trinity Parish, Richmond; and St. Joseph Parish, Wellman, into the new juridic person, Holy Family Parish, Riverside. This amalgamation shall take effect on the 1st day of July, 2021.
This decision is based on the proximity of the three parishes, the size of the parishes, the number of parishioners, and the good of souls. The three parishes already share staff, services and faith formation programs. The merger will unite, consolidate and strengthen the Catholic presence and ministry in this part of the Davenport Diocese, and it will allow for the best use of available priest personnel.
The territory formerly belonging to the three parishes named above is to be incorporated into Holy Family Parish in accord with canon §121 of the Code of Canon Law. The parish boundaries are midway to the neighboring parishes.
All registers containing records of baptism, confirmation, marriage and burials hitherto preserved by the three parishes are to be conveyed to St. Mary Church, Riverside, where they are to be faithfully preserved according to canon 535 §§1-5. The financial assets of all three parishes will be assumed by the new parish.
Promulgation of this Decree is to be made in a public fashion. It also shall be published in The Catholic Messenger, the official newspaper of the Diocese of Davenport. Any proposed petition against this Decree is to be made in writing to my office not more than ten useful days from the date of its promulgation.
Given at Davenport, Iowa, on this 10th day of June, 2021.
Bishop of Davenport
Deacon David Montgomery