Bettendorf parish to commemorate 50th anniversary


By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger

BETTENDORF — A number of events to celebrate the 50th anniversary of St. John Vianney Parish are planned throughout 2017. In particular, Sept. 16-17 has been reserved for Masses, a potluck, parish dinner and talent show, said anniversary committee co-chair Steve Wauer.

Bishop Gerald O’Keefe founded the parish in 1967. Mass was celebrated at Bettendorf Middle School until the church building was completed two years later. According to Catholic Messenger stories, ground was broken on Nov. 18, 1968, and the cornerstone was dedicated on Sept. 14, 1969. Total cost for the project was $464,000. The first Mass was celebrated on Thanksgiving Day 1969 and the church was officially dedicated by Bishop O’Keefe on April 12, 1970.

In 1985 a religious education wing with offices was built. An expansion and remodeling project in 1990 cost $450,000. A rededication Mass was held Dec. 16, 1990. A $4.1 million expansion of the present church with a day chapel was rededicated on Oct. 30, 2004, by Bishop William Franklin.


Today St. John Vianney Parish has 1,763 households.

Committee member Tom Doyle said events planned throughout 2017 are to build awareness about the parish and its 50th anniversary. Some are regular events and some are special for the 50th. The events include a variety of fun and faith-based activities, he said.
The kickoff for the 50th anniversary was held in January, with around 240 people in attendance. “We were pleased with the turnout.” Another event, a wine and cheese social, drew around 200 people.

Two fish fries also were held.

Here is a schedule of other events to celebrate the 50th anniversary. Check the parish bulletin or website as dates get closer for more details and information.

• May 28: A celebration of Father Jim Vrba’s 40th anniversary as a priest.
• June 11: Ice cream social, 6-7:30 p.m.
•July 4: Parish float in the Bettendorf parade, a new event for the parish. “We are doing this to build awareness in the community about St. John Vianney and its 50th anniversary,” Doyle said.
•Aug. 4: River Bandits Night at Modern Woodmen Park in Davenport.
Sept. 16-17: Anniversary weekend.
• Sept. 16, 9 a.m., 5K run/walk.
• Sept. 16, 4:30 p.m. Mass.
• Sept. 16, 6-9 p.m., pot luck dinner.
• Sept. 17, 11 a.m., Mass.
• Sept. 17, noon to 2 p.m., parish picnic.
• Sept. 17, 2-4 p.m., talent show.
• Oct. 28, Halloween trivia night, 6-10 p.m.

Visit the parish’s website at Bulletins are online by selecting the bulletin tab and the current issue.

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