File photo of Pope John Paul II's 1998 visit to Cuba

St. JOHN PAUL II: Carroll parishes take new name in consolidation


CARROLL – The Diocese of Sioux City’s pastoral planning process, Ministry 2025, is bringing Carroll County a new patron.

Effective July 1, the consolidated parish of Holy Spirit Church and St. Lawrence Church will be given the name Pope St. John Paul II Parish.John Paul 6

Bishop Walker Nickless has accepted the recommendation of Carroll parishioners for the naming of the consolidated parish.

As with other larger parishes in the diocese, St. Lawrence and Holy Spirit are unifying. The new parish name  honors Karol Wojtyla, the Polish cardinal who served as pope from 1978 to 2005.

Choosing a name

The first step of choosing a name for the consolidated parish was inviting all parish members from Holy Spirit and St. Lawrence to submit potential names for the new parish.

“We had approximately 70 names submitted for nomination,” said Father Kevin Richter, pastor of Holy Spirit and St. Lawrence. “St. John Paul II received the most votes, with St. Teresa of Calcutta coming second and Good Shepherd coming third.”

After the 70 names were nominated, said the pastor, the names were sent to all parish members from Holy Spirit and St. Lawrence for a vote.

“Once the votes were tallied, we submitted the top three names to Bishop Nickless for his review and approval,” said Father Richter. “Bishop Nickless was happy with the name of St. John Paul II which had received the most votes from the parish members, and therefore, formally accepted that name for the newly unified parish.”

The pastor noted the parishioners have been “happy with the name, because they can relate personally and directly with St. John Paul II because they remember him.”

New patron

St. John Paul II visited Living History Farms in Des Moines, not too far from Carroll, on Oct. 4, 1979. While there, he celebrated Mass.

“Many people have recollections of seeing him when he came to Des Moines or from some other special occasion in their life,” said Father Richter. “I also believe that it is a good choice because St. John Paul II was the first to speak about the importance of a new evangelization – the importance of making renewed efforts to re-awaken people to lives of faith. This effort of evangelization is critical at this time in our diocese as we move through the Ministry 2025 process.”

In a press release, Bishop Nickless said it is an honor that “we will ask his intercession in a special way for Carroll County and the Diocese of Sioux City, to guide us in the on-going work of implementing the next phase of our pastoral planning process and to inspire us to bring about a new evangelization.”

The bishop added, “May the intercession of St. John Paul II and the work of this new parish bring many vocations to the priesthood, consecrated life and bless many with the gift of holy matrimony and family life in northwest Iowa.”

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