Holy Spirit Parish/Church was created in 1964 by combining Sts. Peter and Paul and St. Joseph (two older parishes on the southeast side of Carroll)
SAINT JOSEPH PARISH
By the mid-1870s so many Catholic families lived in the county that they needed to start a congregation in Carroll. Lambert Kniest and P. M. Guthrie petitioned the bishop to establish a new Catholic church in Carroll. When permission was granted, Fr. John F. Kempker, pastor of Mt. Carmel, helped organize the founding of St. Joseph Parish and the building of the first church.
In 1876 Fr. Frederick W. Pape was appointed the first resident pastor. Before his arrival, church services were held in various homes and the courthouse in Carroll. Before the church was built, the house at 115 N. Court Street, erected by P. M. Guthrie, once contained a pioneer chapel used by the settlers and traveling priests.
The first St. Joseph Church for thirty families was a small one built on First Street between Main and Adams Streets. Mass was celebrated there for over a year. When the congregation outgrew it, they bought five lots on the west half of Block 40 (St. Joseph block) and built a larger white frame church, laying its cornerstone in September 1878. The first church was moved to the new location, an addition was built to it, and it was used as a rectory. Some years later the parish also purchased the east half of the block, making the whole block St. Joseph Parish property.
In 1880 Fr. Pape was transferred and Fr. John Urbany became pastor. For $2,000 Fr. Urbany built the first parochial school in Carroll County, south of the church, and brought the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration to educate the young people.
In 1884 the bishop sent Fr. Philip J. O’Connor to be pastor. He established the sodalities in the parish for the men, the women, the young people, and the children.
By 1885 the parish had 300 families. At that time St. Joseph Parish was composed of several nationalities, including Irish, German, English, and French. They were primarily English-speaking and German-speaking Catholics, especially the newer immigrants. At a request from the German-speaking parishioners, Bishop John Hennessy of Dubuque approved the establishment of a separate parish for them. An equitable settlement, based on the percentages of Germans and Irish and both Canon and Civil Law, was made with respect to the St. Joseph property.
After the division was completed, Fr. O’Connor started a movement to build a new sandstone St. Joseph Church in 1892. The frame church was then used as a parish hall and winter chapel.
In 1902, when the Diocese of Sioux City was established, Fr. O’Connor was transferred to Sioux City. For a few months Fr. Timothy Treacy filled the vacancy. Then Fr. Patrick F. Farrelly was appointed pastor. He designed a new brick school at the northeast corner of Clark and First Streets and contributed substantially toward its $12,500 cost.
Following Fr. Farrelly’s departure in 1912, Fr. Thomas J. McCarty arrived. He supervised the building of a new rectory at 116 North Clark for $12,000. The old rectory--the first church and its addition--was moved to 407 East First Street, where it remains today.
Right Rev. Monsignor Stephen Butler served as pastor from 1920 to 1929, overseeing the Golden Jubilee of the parish in 1926. When his health failed in 1928 and following his death, Fr. John J. Howley administered the parish. From 1929 to his death in 1932, Fr. Michael Bradley served as pastor.
He was succeeded by Fr. Patrick T. Lynch in 1932. “Father Pat” purchased a convent home west of the church for the sisters teaching in the parish school. During his pastorate a church choir was organized with Cecilia Eltgroth as organist and director. In 1940 he was elevated to Monsignor. Msgr. Lynch remained pastor of St. Joseph Parish until it and Sts. Peter and Paul were dissolved to form Holy Spirit Parish in 1964. He retained his home in the St. Joseph rectory until his death in 1966.
SAINTS PETER AND PAUL PARISH
After receiving the bishop’s approval, the German-speaking members of the original parish held their first organizational meeting in the courthouse July 5, 1885. The next year they began building their red brick church and a large residence for the pastor southeast of the church. On Sunday, May 2, 1886, the first Mass in the new church was celebrated in German.
In 1886 Fr. B. John Fendrich, who had directed the organization of the parish almost from the beginning, was appointed its first pastor. He died in September 1887.
Fr. John C. Nacke became the second pastor. In 1887 the first Sts. Peter and Paul School was organized, with classes taught in the church sacristies by laymen. In 1889 the first parish school was built, administered by the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration of LaCrosse, Wisconsin. In 1892 Frank Florencourt donated a beautiful pipe organ with 19 ranks and 830 pipes to Sts. Peter and Paul Church. Due to increasing membership, the church was expanded with cross form additions and sanctuary in 1898.
Fr. Nacke exchanged parishes with Fr. Joseph Kuemper in 1901. During his pastorate until his death in 1923, Fr. Kuemper doubled the capacity of the school, remodeled and enlarged the rectory, and erected a 600-seat parish hall with a 400-seat winter chapel in the basement in 1908.
Fr. Herman J. Dries served as pastor for one and a half years after Fr. Kuemper. He oversaw improvements to the playground and the redecorating of the church and the interior of the priests’ house. After 1925 the German language fell into disuse and was seldom used in public in Sts. Peter and Paul Church.
Fr. Lambert Schenkelberg, who was pastor from 1925 to 1950, made more improvements to the church property. New side altars, new pews, and a new sanctuary floor were placed in the church.
CONSOLIDATION-- THE TWO BECAME ONE: CHURCH OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
After previously proposing the uniting of the two churches in 1960 and again in 1962 to conform with modern church law, on June 17, 1964, the Most Rev. Joseph M. Mueller, D.D., bishop of Sioux City, announced the consolidation of St. Joseph and Sts. Peter and Paul Churches into a new parish unit to be known as the Church of the Holy Spirit, effective July 22, 1964.
At the same meeting, Bishop Mueller announced that Msgr. Frank Greteman, pastor of Sts. Peter and Paul, would be the first pastor of Holy Spirit Parish, with about 800 families in the merged parish. Assistant pastors for the new parish were the Rev. Richard S. Ries and the Rev. Jerome P. Cosgrove, who were assistant pastors at Sts. Peter and Paul. After consultation with pastors of all neighboring parishes, the bishop established definite boundary lines for the new parish.
A native of Willey, Iowa, Fr. Greteman had been named Sts. Peter and Paul Parish administrator in 1950 when Fr. Schenkelberg’s health began to fail, although Fr. Schenkelberg remained as pastor emeritus until his death in 1955. Elevated to Monsignor in 1953, during Msgr. Greteman’s pastorate the church hall and school were taken down and replaced by a new school and gymnasium. In January 1962 a new school and convent fund campaign included five new classrooms, the boiler, and heating and other facilities for the entire building. In 1972, after the demolition of Sts. Peter and Paul Church, four additional classrooms connected the two earlier parts of the school.
A new convent was built east of the school grounds, and Sacred Heart Convent was torn down to make room for the new Holy Spirit Church. Sacred Heart Convent, located on the corner of Bluff and East Streets, was formerly the property of Frank F. Florencourt, who had built a palatial residence upon it. In 1913 it was sold to the Franciscan sisters’ Saint Rose Convent of LaCrosse, Wisconsin, to be used as a home for the sisters teaching at St. Joseph and Sts. Peter and Paul Schools. It also served as a music studio for students wishing to take up the study and accommodations for children boarders of the surrounding localities who wished to attend the parochial schools.
When St. Lawrence School first opened in the fall of 1917 on the north side of Carroll, the three nuns lived at Sacred Heart Convent on the south side for the first two months until their convent was built. In August 1949 Msgr. P. J. Lynch purchased a convent home at 127 N. Clark Street west of St. Joseph Church for the sisters teaching in the St. Joseph Parish school.
During the summer of 1964 the new Holy Spirit Convent was completed at 127 South East Street and housed 14 members of the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration of LaCrosse, Wisconsin. Sr. M. Henrietta, principal of Holy Spirit School, was superior of the convent. The new convent was dedicated August 16, 1964, one of the first events in the new Holy Spirit Parish, although the convent had been begun under the Sts. Peter and Paul program.
When the parishes were joined, Masses were held at Sts. Peter and Paul Church until the new church was built because St. Joseph was smaller in numbers of parishioners, and its building had cables holding the walls from collapsing. In SSPP the balconies were creaking and the plaster was falling. When the churches were closed, some statues and artifacts were sold at auction.
The Legion of Mary and Women’s Guild had members and officers from both parishes. The women of Sts. Peter and Paul Altar and Rosary Society and St. Joseph’s Immaculata Guild merged to form the Holy Spirit Ladies’ (Women’s) Guild at the first meeting September 10, 1964, with a potluck dinner. New officers, representing both groups, were elected. The Ladies’ Guild assisted with the parish bazaar in August and a November turkey dinner, served commercial and funeral dinners, and undertook several projects such as a January breakfast, a Lenten luncheon, a spring rummage sale, a fall book fair, and a Christmas card sale.
In 1965 Msgr. Greteman was named Titular Bishop of Vissalsa and Auxiliary to the Bishop of Sioux City. He was installed as the fourth bishop of the Diocese of Sioux City in 1970.
In early 1965, the Rev. Leo Lenz returned to Carroll from Fort Dodge to assume the pastorate of the merged parish. In October 1965 Fr. Lenz announced a 30-month financial campaign to raise money to build a new church and rectory for Holy Spirit Parish. Church directors, a five-man advisory board, and Fr. Lenz planned a five-week program with the slogan “No One Ever Went Bankrupt Supporting God.” The fundraising organization numbered approximately 300 men who, on Sunday, November 7, contacted parishioners and collected $600,000 in pledges for the capital campaign. The $800,000 church-offices-rectory complex was constructed in 1968 and dedicated Sunday, August 17, 1969.
In 1962 the SSPP rectory had been torn down when the south addition of SSPP Grade School was built there. The priests lived in a duplex on the site of the current rectory and in the St. Joseph rectory until 1969. The current Holy Spirit rectory has living quarters for resident priests and guest rooms. The basement meeting room has been used for parish committee meetings, Sunday school, and quilters, among other activities.
Msgr. Lenz was the founder and first superintendent of Kuemper High School in Carroll from 1953 to 1961. During his first two years at Kuemper he also served as assistant pastor at St. Joseph Parish in Carroll. In 1954, as director of the Catholic Cemetery, he oversaw the beautification of the cemetery grounds and the renaming of the Catholic Cemetery as Mount Olivet Cemetery. The cemetery properties formerly operated by St. Joseph and Sts. Peter and Paul Parishes were transferred to the Catholic Cemetery Association, which also included St. Lawrence Parish. All the business of the cemetery was then transacted through a central office, which was incorporated with the office of Kuemper High School.
Msgr. Lenz served eleven years as the second pastor of Holy Spirit, with twelve assistant pastors during his tenure. He was active in many phases of parish and community life.
Upon the retirement of Msgr. Lenz in 1978, Msgr. Roger Augustine was appointed pastor of Holy Spirit Parish. He had served at Kuemper High School from 1966-1969 as a citizenship director and religion teacher. In 1986 Msgr. Augustine was called to Sioux City to serve at the diocesan level as Vicar General and Chancellor.
Bishop Lawrence Soens appointed Msgr. Mervin J. Hood to be pastor of Holy Spirit Parish beginning in 1986. Early in the pastorate of Msgr. Hood the practice of Eucharistic Adoration was established as a 24-hour (later 12-hour) schedule of Holy Spirit and St. Lawrence parishioners and others praying at the Holy Spirit Convent’s Adoration Chapel. In March 1989 Rev. Hood, who was also superintendent of Holy Spirit School, announced that the school board voted unanimously to add kindergarten to the first- through eighth-grade system.
In 1996 the Holy Spirit Spartans and St. Lawrence Squires became Knights as Holy Spirit School (which had unified with Dedham and Willey parish schools in 1990) and St. Lawrence School unified their K-8 grade schools under the name Kuemper Catholic Grade School. The 2003-2004 school year saw a complete Catholic school unification from kindergarten to grade twelve, with grades Optional Kindergarten - 3 at the Holy Spirit Center.
Fr. James McCormick, as a missionary in Tanzania and Germany, acquired an appreciation for the evangelical enterprise and a feeling for the universality of the Church. During Fr. McCormick’s tenure as pastor from 1996 to 2008, the idea of the Greteman Center, plus an enlarged narthex, a chapel, a family room/nursery, and a parish library added to the south side of the church was conceived; the concept was sold to the parishioners, and the physical facility was built. In April 1997 a parish hall was first mentioned, and after determining the project had adequate support, the Pastoral Council approved the “Community Building on Faith” idea in July. A capital campaign began and every family was contacted regarding volunteer and monetary support. A significant initial donation came from Fr. McCormick and his brothers in honor of their parents. Groundbreaking and construction began in November 1998. The result, completed in 2000, was the Bishop Frank H. Greteman Center, named for the fourth bishop of Sioux City and former pastor of Sts. Peter and Paul and Holy Spirit Parishes. Adjacent to the church, the Center is available for all community churches, schools, community, and civic group activities, and for business meetings.
Born and raised in Vietnam, Father Peter Nguyen, immediately following his ordination in 1997, began his service as parochial vicar at Holy Spirit, becoming the first minority priest in Holy Spirit’s history.
Another achievement of Fr. McCormick’s tenure was the introduction of priests and religious from India and Tanzania into the life of the parish. This infusion of much-needed resources was made possible through the contacts that Fr. McCormick had made during his many years as an Opus Spiritu Sancti missionary in India and Africa. The sisters who came from India and Tanzania were of the same order--OSS, usually referred to as “The Holy Spirit Sisters.” The first contingent of these sisters came into Carroll May 31, 2000. Three Indian sisters and five Tanzanians were in that group. They took residence in the Holy Spirit Convent on South East Street. From the very beginning, the major work of the sisters was caring for the elderly in the St. Anthony Nursing Home.
In 2001 Frs. Sunny Dominic (Father Dominic) and Siby Punnoose (Father Siby) were brought into the Diocese of Sioux City and assigned to Holy Spirit, through the work of Fr. McCormick. Frs. Siby and Dominic spent eight years at Holy Spirit. Next Fr. John Gerald was assigned to Holy Spirit.
Diocesan restructuring was the linkage made between Holy Spirit and its neighbor to the southeast, St. Mary Parish in Willey. Sharing clergy since 2003, the practical linkage of St. Mary’s and Holy Spirit had actually taken place some years earlier.
From 2008 to 2017 Fr. Timothy Johnson served as the sixth pastor of Holy Spirit Parish. For several years Fr. Johnson was assisted by Fr. Tim Boekelman, currently the chaplain at St. Anthony Regional Hospital.
Around 2011, the Parish Council, with the enthusiastic support of Fr. Johnson, adopted the newly formed Saint John Paul II Parish in Rutledge, Tennessee, in the mountainous northeast corner of Tennessee. Holy Spirit supports this sister parish with monetary contributions, a book bag collection, and visitation teams.
In 2017 Fr. Kevin Richter assumed the pastorate of Holy Spirit Parish, which became part of St. John Paul II Parish in July 2018 in combination with St. Lawrence Parish in Carroll. Fr. Brian Feller and Fr. Shinoj Jose are associate pastors.
St. John Paul II Parish
Holy Spirit Church --- St. Lawrence Church 1607 N. West St. Carroll, IA 51401 712-792-9244 712-792-9245 fax