Parish History

On January 4, 1873 the Iowa City Daily Press reported: "The Irish portion of the Catholic Church here bought the old Trinity Church and they will have a parish and a priest of their own."

On March 23, 1873 Rev. M. V. Rice offered the first mass in the remodeled structure on Dubuque St. near Burlington.  On August 31, 1876 the parish obtained the property on Court and Linn Streets.  Ground was broken in October 1877 and the cornerstone laid on June 13, 1878.  Although the church lacked many finishing touches, the first Mass was celebrated on February 2, 1879.  St. Patrick, known as the Catholic Irish church, was built for $18,000 in an economic period when cattle were selling at $4.25 per hundredweight.

The parish used various sites to hold classes for the Catholic school children.  On March 14, 1885 the cornerstone was laid for a new Catholic school.  In 1896 the capacity of the parish school doubled and the parish dedicated its parish hall, known as St. Brendan's Hall.

The rectory was built in 1908; the convent for the sisters staffing the school was built in 1910.  The parish church was formally dedicated by Bishop Davis on January 29, 1916.  In 1922 classes were held in a new first class grade and high school building for a total cost of $150,000.

About the time the parish observed its 50th anniversary, a second priest was needed especially to look after the spiritual interests of the University students.  A 9:00 AM Mass was provided during the academic year for the students with the sermon adapted for their special needs.

The parish flourished for several decades with many parish organizations, with men entering the seminary, women becoming sisters and many students graduating from the parish school.

During the early 1950s, Bishop Hayes asked the four Iowa City pastors to begin to formulate plans for a Central Catholic High School.  With strong leadership from Gathe Raymond Pacha, the people of Iowa City raised $900,000.  On August 31, 1958 Regina High School was dedicated.  In the fall of 1968, St. Patrick's school became known as the Iowa City Catholic grade school.  In 1972 the 7th and 8th grades were moved to Regina.

On November 19, 1972 the people of St. Patrick's celebrated 100 years of the existence of their lively community of faith.

Later, all the Catholic school students moved to Regina and it became known as the Inter Parish Catholic Education Center.  Along with other Iowa City parishes, religious education classes are also held at Regina.

On April 13, 2006 a series of tornadoes came through Iowa City during Holy Thursday evening adoration.  St. Patrick's Church and its adjoining rectory were heavily damaged.

Parishioners mourned the loss of the parish building where families celbrated many milestones.

Following the insurance settlement in November 2006, Bishop Franklin directed the parish to relocate.  The parish purchased 14 acres on the east side of Iowa City where the housing growth was happening.

Following a successful Capital Campaign and the sale of both parcels of parish land on Court Street, ground breaking occurred on August 2, 2008. The new church building at 4330 St. Patrick Drive was dedicated by Bishop Martin Amos on November 29, 2009 and our parish community moved into our new home.