By Celine Klosterman
MUSCATINE — To better reflect the link between the Catholic parish and school in Muscatine, Bishop Hayes Catholic School will be renamed Saints Mary and Mathias Catholic School on July 1.
“We’d like to be more unified as a Muscatine Catholic community,” said Father Jason Crossen, pastor of Ss. Mary & Mathias Parish. He announced the decision to the parish in a letter June 14. “St. Mathias Church, St. Mary Church and Bishop Hayes Catholic School are on three different properties, so this is a way to say we’re all one.”
To acknowledge the school’s history, the school gym will retain the title of Bishop Hayes Gym.
Bishop Hayes’ school board considered changing the school’s name as Catholics also mulled a name for a faith formation center recently added to the school. “Someone suggested that the school and religious education are really one thing — faith formation,” Fr. Crossen said. So the entire site of the school and center will be called the Saints Mary and Mathias Faith Formation Campus. The center itself will be dedicated Aug. 22 and named the Fr. Samuel Mazzuchelli Faith Center, after the priest who founded the Muscatine parish.
This isn’t the first time the Muscatine Catholic school’s name has changed. Formerly, the institution was known as Hayes Catholic School. But in 2000, the word “Bishop” was added to distinguish the school from local public schools that were named after presidents, Fr. Crossen said.
Bishop Ralph Hayes served as bishop of the Davenport Diocese from 1944-66.
The current name change holds symbolic significance for Muscatine Catholics. “We’re very excited to be all under one roof, so to speak,” Principal Ann Gomez said.