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About the Community


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St Peter Church

Located at 20189 Temple Hill Rd, Cascade, Iowa, St Peter, Temple Hill, is part of the St Thomas Aquinas Pastorate along with St Matthias, Cascade; St Patrick, Garryowen, and Sacred Heart, Fillmore and is part of the Aquin School System.

St Peter, Temple Hill, was the first Catholic community in Jones County. Catholics in the northeastern tip of the county are recorded as early as 1839. During the 1840s, they were cared for by pastors residing at St Patrick, Garryowen.

Rev Patrick Maginnis came from Garryowen in 1852 to be the first resident pastor in the county. That year he saw to the building of the first church, a small frame structure, that was planned to serve as both church and school, but there are no school records until 1892. To this location, Father Maginnis gave the name Temple Hill because “the temple of God was built on a low hill overlooking the countryside.”

The church was destroyed by fire in the early 1860s consuming all the records. The present limestone structure was planned and later completed in 1866 at the close of the Civil War. With the coming of newly ordained Rev Lawrence Roche in 1872, a rectory was built.

Two Franciscan Sisters from Dubuque came in 1892 and opened a school for 45 students in a newly completed building. The county superintendent approved the beginning of high school classes in 1899 and they continued until 1950. In 1938, the school building burned to the ground. While the sisters taught the children in the convent, a brick structure was built and complete in 1939 under the direction of Rev Eugene Lorenz. Although the building was owned by the parish, the school was maintained by District No. 3 of Washington Township until 1960.

The school closed in 1967. In the archives at Mount St Francis in Dubuque, the last entry in the Annals of St Peter School stated, “And so on Friday, June 2, 1967, the sisters left for Mount Saint Francis, praying God to bless the good people of Temple Hill.” Franciscan Sisters had given 75 years of service to the parish. Today, the Aquin Educational system provides parochial education to parish children from preschool to eighth grade, as well as religious classes to students. The parish has given the church more than ten sisters, one brother, and three priests.

The church was re-decorated in May 1987, with furnishings built out of native oak grown in the parish. The project was directed by Larry and Lois Manternach with the participation of many parishioners.

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