Struble parish decree

Walker

By the Grace of God and the Favor of the Apostolic See

Bishop of Sioux City

 

The establishment of the Parish of Saint Joseph of Struble, in rural Plymouth County, Iowa, dates to 1884, at which time it was first attended from Saint Patrick Parish in Sheldon. Thereafter, it was a mission parish served by a variety of priests, notably from Rock Valley, Hawarden and Maurice. The church was constructed in 1903 and has been in continuous use ever since. In 1917 the parish became residential with the arrival of the Rev. Clarence Conway.

From the time that Gehlen Catholic School became the central parochial school for families in the Le Mars area, parishioners of Saint Joseph in Struble have steadfastly given support to Catholic education, first and foremost by sending to that school its own sons and daughters, and secondly, by providing necessary financial support for its continuation and growth.

Now, due to a decline in the number of Catholic farm families living in that area, as well as a decline in the number of diocesan priests presently available to provide pastoral service, the parishioners of Saint Joseph of Struble have accepted the necessity of its closure. Members of the Presbyteral Council of the Diocese of Sioux City were consulted, as is required for the validity of such a decision, and a recommendation was made to the Most Reverend Bishop that the Parish of Saint Joseph of Struble be closed.

Therefore, I hereby decree that the Parish of Saint Joseph of Struble in rural Plymouth County, Iowa, will be closed as of Monday, July 13, 2015.

I further decree that Saint Joseph Church in Struble will remain open as a “worship site” for the celebration of occasional Sunday and holyday Masses, as well as for special gatherings, e.g., baptisms, weddings, funerals, etc.

I further decree that the parishioners of Saint Joseph Parish of Struble are to register — as households and according to their own free choice — in neighboring parishes, principally — though not exclusively — at All Saints Parish in Le Mars, Iowa, Christ the King Parish in Sioux Center, Iowa, and Saint Mary Parish in Alton, Iowa.

I further decree that the real property — land and buildings — of the former Saint Joseph of Struble Parish in rural Plymouth County, Iowa, shall, upon its closure, become the property of All Saints Parish in Le Mars, Iowa, to be maintained, administered, alienated (sold) or otherwise disposed of in accordance with civil and canon law. I similarly decree that the geographical territory which comprised the former Saint Joseph of Struble Parish in rural Plymouth County, Iowa, will henceforth be incorporated into and become a part of the geographical territory of All Saints Parish in Le Mars, Iowa.

I further decree that any monetary funds of Saint Joseph Parish of Struble in rural Plymouth County, Iowa, previously designated as “restricted,” including funds separately maintained for the maintenance and care of the Saint Joseph of Struble Parish Cemetery and the Saint Mary of Maurice Parish Cemetery, shall continue to be separately maintained as a part of the patrimony of All Saints Parish in Le Mars, Iowa, and used solely for those purposes for which they were restricted.

I further decree that, after payment of any outstanding debts, any remaining monetary funds of Saint Joseph of Struble Parish in rural Plymouth County, Iowa, previously designated as “unrestricted,” shall follow each household of former parishioners, on a pro-rated basis, to the parishes to which they shall subsequently register. I further decree that any “unrestricted” funds, which may remain unallocated as a result of the failure of any household belonging to the former Saint Joseph Parish of Struble in rural Plymouth County, Iowa, to register at another parish shall automatically become part of the patrimony of All Saints Parish in Le Mars, Iowa, after forty-five (45) continuous days from the date of closure.

I further decree that the parishioners of the former Saint Joseph of Struble Parish in rural Plymouth County, Iowa, shall have forty-five (45) continuous days from the date of closure to formally make known their preference of the parish at which they intend to affiliate by registering at said parish.

I further decree that, according to the requirements of canon law, those who are directly and principally affected by this decree, that is, those adults who are registered as parishioners of Saint Joseph of Struble Parish in rural Plymouth County, Iowa, shall have the right of recourse against this decree and may lodge an appeal against this decree within thirty (30) continuous day of its publication in The Catholic Globe, official newspaper of the Diocese of Sioux City.

Given in the Central Catholic Offices of the Diocese of Sioux City on this 30th day of June, 2015.

Most Reverend R. Walker Nickless, Bishop of Sioux City

Deacon David Lopez, Ph.D., Chancellor

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