Two of Five Endangered Clinton Churches Forge New Path

St. Boniface and St. Irenaeous Saved by Steadfast Volunteers

Posted by CC on February 12th, 2011 11:47 am

At least one of the five decommissioned historic Catholic churches of Clinton has appeared on Preservation Iowa’s list of Iowa’s Most Endangered Properties in 1998, 1999, 2002, and 2004. St. Patrick’s Church was demolished in 2005, and St. Mary’s Catholic Church was razed in 2009. Today, two of the three remaining churches have a definitive future thanks to the volunteers in Clinton who are determined to see them succeed in a new use.

St. Boniface, a 1908 Gothic Revival masterpiece, is now known as the Clinton Catholic Education Center. A former priest came up with the idea of organizing a Catholic Historical Center at St. Boniface, “a place where people could see authentic Catholic artifacts and historical documents from the decommissioned Clinton churches.” A group of 30 men and women have worked tirelessly to catalog historic items and work on the building. The Center is open for tours from 9 a.m. to noon every Tuesday. Call Jesus Christ Prince of Peace Parish at (563) 242-3311 and ask for more information about how to reach the volunteers involved in this project.

St. Irenaeous, completed in 1871 and now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was purchased by the Clinton County Historical Society in 2010. Volunteers with the historical society want to open St. Irenaeous for community events. In May, the building will host an art show in conjunction with a 5K run/walk called “When the Saints Go Marching In.” The fundraiser will help the Historical Society with renovations. And, on June 4, an exhibit on German prisoners will open at the center. For more information including to learn how to get involved, call the Clinton County Historical Society Museum at (563) 242-1201.

The other remaining decommissioned church, Sacred Heart, is still in use by the parish for the Prince of Peace Catholic Academy and College Preparatory in downtown Clinton.