St. Joseph Parish – DeWitt

Contributed
Exterior of St. Joseph Church in DeWitt.

(During the Year of St. Joseph, The Catholic Messenger is featuring churches whose patron saint is St. Joseph.)

Location: St. Joseph Parish is located in Clinton County and has 520 families. Father Stephen Page serves as pastor.

History: In the early 1850s, a number of Catholic families settled near DeWitt. In 1852, they asked Bishop Mathias Loras to send a priest on a regular basis. The bishop visited and promised to send a priest four times per year. During that visit, according to a history of the parish, the bishop purchased a lot with a log house for a Catholic settlement. St. Simon Church was located at what is today Sixth Avenue and Tenth Street.

Contributed
A statue of St. Joseph at St. Joseph Church in Dewitt

Due to rapid growth, the parish built a new church in 1853 at what is today Seventh Avenue and Tenth Street. The two lots included the church, rectory and school. A fire swept through the church in 1879. The parish had purchased land at Sixth Avenue and Fifth Street for a new school, but chose to build a new church with spires on that lot instead. Parishioners dedicated the church in December 1880 and renamed it St. Joseph.

St. Joseph Academy opened Jan. 10, 1890, along with a convent, at Sixth Avenue and Sixth Street. Fire destroyed the school in 1920. The parish purchased the old public school in 1925 for use as the Catholic school until construction of a new school in 1956.

On June 16, 2001, the parish launched a capital campaign, “Making Connections,” with a goal of $1.5 million for a new parish hall, gathering space, church offices, additional classrooms, library, computer lab and a way to connect the school and church buildings physically. Groundbreaking took place in 2003. Construction was completed in 2004.


Support The Catholic Messenger’s mission to inform, educate and inspire the faithful of the Diocese of Davenport – and beyond! Subscribe to the print and/or e-edition, or make a one-time donation, today!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Facebooktwittermail
Posted on

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *