Ida Grove - Sacred Heart
IDA GROVE - With the coming of the railroad in 1877, Catholic families began to appear in the Ida Grove vicinity. During the years before the construction of a church, priests from Carroll County occasionally came and offered Mass in private homes. Plans for a church began in the fall of 1877. The first Catholic Church in Ida Grove, St. Bridget Church, located on the corner of Third and Burns streets was completed in 1878 at a cost of $1,500 to $2,000. There would be no resident priest until almost 10 years later.
In 1883 Father Timothy Meagher of Danbury was given Ida Grove as a mission. Father Daniel Riordon was appointed the first resident pastor in 1888. Father James Kelly succeeded him in 1890. The congregation grew and soon the need for a new church became evident. Ten acres of land on the northeast part of town were purchased. A parish house was built on this property in 1891 at a cost of $3,000. In August of 1899 construction began on the new church. It was completed in 1901 at the cost of $35,000. The old property was sold. Mass was held in the Ida Grove community building during construction.
Father Kelly was succeeded by Father David O'Brien in 1901. The following year jurisdiction of the parish passed to the Diocese of Sioux City. Father Patrick Costello was appointed to Ida Grove in 1903 and served until his death in 1937. Three pastors served the parish in the seven years following Father Costello's death: Father Albert Conlon, Father Louis Savage and Father Peter Mattes.
In Septempber of 1944 Father Harry Dailey became pastor and remained in this position for 43 years. Many improvements on the parish property were made during Father Dailey's pastorate. Members of the congregation dug a basement under the existing church in the summer of 1947. An automatic heating plant was added a year later. In 1964 a new educational center was constructed at the cost of $88,000. It originally had four large classrooms, library, office, restrooms, and storage room. In 1969 and 1983 partitions were added to make seven classrooms. In 1997 three new doorways were added so that all classrooms had direct access to the main corridor.
A new rectory costing $185,000 was built in 1994. It is a three-bedroom house and an administrative area consisting of two offices, foyer, restroom and four storage closets.
Father Dailey retired in June of 1987. His successors are Father William Phillips, 1987-88; Father Alfred McCoy, 1988-91; Father Gerald Fisch, 1991-2001; and present pastor Father David Hemann.
In 1950 Cledora Lansink, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ben Lansink, became a member of the Franciscan Order of Dubuque and is known as Sister Mary Benjamin.
Sacred Heart Parish is clustered with Our Lady of Good Counsel, Holstein. The Ida Grove cluster committee will be working with its counterpart from Holstein to prepare for the time when one priest will have responsibility for both parishes.
Sacred Heart Parish plans to build a new church and parish center. The Parish History Committee, the Demographic Committee and Parish Finance Council have submitted their reports on this to the bishop. A campaign to finance this major improvement is scheduled to begin shortly after the Diocesan Jubilee Campaign.