Decree regarding St. Mary Parish, Davenport, Iowa


Thomas R. Zinkula
By the Grace of God and the Favor of the Apostolic See
Bishop of Davenport

Regarding St. Mary Parish
Davenport, Iowa

St. Mary Parish was organized in 1867 at the behest of Archbishop John Hennessey of Dubuque, who at that time was the bishop of the diocese that included all of Iowa.

The Diocese of Davenport had not yet been erected as a separate see. The growth on the western end of Davenport was rapid, particularly in the district known as the Mitchell Addition, where at least 150 Catholic families made their home. Before this time they had been obliged to belong to St. Anthony Parish, a considerable distance for some of them to travel to attend Mass. The nearby St. Kunegunde Catholic Parish was a national, German-speaking parish.


The cornerstone of the new church was laid on July 21, 1867, by Archbishop Hennessey. The church was dedicated on March 17, 1869. In 1901, the school and connected parish hall were erected. Improvements also were made to the residence of the Sisters of the Holy Cross who oversaw the school.

The Anglo and Hispanic parishioners of St. Joseph Parish, previously known as St. Kunegunde Parish, joined St. Mary Parish in 1999 when the two parishes merged. In 2015, a small community began to celebrate Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Missale Romanum at St. Mary Church.

On January 21, 2020, in accord with canon 515 §2 of the Code of Canon Law, I sought the advice of the Council of Priests (Presbyteral Council of the Diocese of Davenport). Thus, after engaging in a series of consultations with the communities involved, after having heard the advice of the Council of Priests, and having continued to reflect on the situation, I hereby merge St. Mary Parish, Davenport, Iowa into St. Anthony Parish, Davenport, Iowa, with only St. Anthony Parish remaining. This amalgamation shall take effect on the 1st day of July, 2020.

This decision is based on the proximity of the two parishes, the size of the parishes, the number of parishioners, the financial situation of St. Mary Parish, the duplication of staff, services and programs in a relatively small geographic area, and the good of souls. The merger will have the ability to unite, consolidate and strengthen the Catholic presence and ministry in this part of Davenport, and will allow for the best use of available priest personnel.

The territory formerly belonging to St. Mary Parish is to be incorporated into St. Anthony Parish in accord with canon §121 of the Code of Canon Law. The exact boundaries can be found in a separate document.

All registers containing records of baptism, confirmation, marriage and burials hitherto preserved by St. Mary Parish are to be conveyed to St. Anthony Parish, where they are to be faithfully preserved according to canon 535 §§1-5. The financial assets of St. Mary Parish will follow the parishioners to St. Anthony Parish.

Promulgation of this Decree is to be made in a public fashion. It shall also be published in The Catholic Messenger, the official newspaper of the Diocese of Davenport. Any proposed petition against this Decree is to be made in writing to my office in not more than ten useful days from the date of its promulgation.
Given at Davenport, Iowa, on this 13th day of February, 2020.

Thomas R. Zinkula
By the Grace of God and the Favor of the Apostolic See
Bishop of Davenport

Declaring the boundaries of the merger of St. Mary Parish
into St. Anthony Parish in Davenport, Iowa

Having decided to merge St. Mary Parish with St. Anthony Parish in Davenport, Iowa, I hereby declare that the boundaries of the amalgamation shall be:
1. On the north: From the west Davenport city limits east on a line equal to W. 12th St. to Gaines St., north to Lombard St., east to Harrison St.
2. On the east: From Harrison St. south to Locust St., east to Main St., south to E. 11th St, east to Brady St., south to 10th St., east to Perry St., south to E. 7th St., east to Iowa St., south to E. 6th St., east to Tremont St., south to the Mississippi River.
3. On the south: From Tremont St., west along the Mississippi River to Howell St., north on Howell St. to W. 3rd, west to the city limits.
4. On the west: From the city limits north to a line equal to W. 12th St.
This decree shall be effective on the same day as the merger of the parishes.
Given at Davenport, Iowa, on the 13th day of February 2020.

Thomas Zinkula
Bishop of Davenport
Deacon David Montgomery

Support The Catholic Messenger’s mission to inform, educate and inspire the faithful of the Diocese of Davenport – and beyond! Subscribe to the print and/or e-edition, or make a one-time donation, today!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Posted on