Church demolitions hurt rural communities


To the Editor:
I am deeply saddened, as many others are, of the decision to demolish St. Anne’s Welton Church on Sept. 16. I acknowledge and respect that it was a unanimous vote by the parish council. However, this gorgeous building is the center of a tiny rural community, one in which I was a member for 18 years. The community value of a 109-year-old church building is immeasurable, and the demise of this parish is complex and a sign of inevitable change.
I also recognize and respect Catholic hierarchy supports the demolishing of decommissioned churches. St. Anne’s was built by hardworking people at the turn of the 20th century, some of whom were my relatives. I feel strongly about giving a voice to those who have come before us to honor their hard work, hopes and dreams of a unified community beginning with this church building. My own childhood was centered on St. Anne’s, and the richness of those memories of religious tradition and community involvement are undeniable. I must ask, does the change evolving within Catholicism in this country warrant destroying a community institution?
There are options that may protect the future use of this building. Please reconsider, St. Anne Parish Council and Bishop Martin Amos, the Sept. 16 demolition of this church building. I am happy to offer ideas such as the use of to generate the possibility of preserving the St. Anne building and the village of Welton. Please reflect on the crucial role this building plays in the vitality of our rural Iowa communities statewide.
Maureen Moeller

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