Bettendorf parishes choose name for future Catholic school

Anne Marie Amacher
Father Rich Adam, left, pastor of St. John Vianney Parish, and Father Jason Crossen, pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, both in Bettendorf, prepare to reveal the name of the future Catholic school in north Bettendorf April 1 in the Lourdes gym.

By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger

BETTENDORF — St. Joan of Arc will be the name of the future Catholic school in north Bettendorf, based on the unanimous decision of parishioners of Our Lady of Lourdes and St. John Vianney parishes. The two Bettendorf parishes announced the name during a joint fish fry they hosted April 1, which had been delayed a day due to severe weather.

At the announcement ceremony, Father Jason Crossen, pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes, and Father Rich Adam, pastor of St. John Vianney, stood on the stage of the Lourdes gym next to items related to the saint and covered in two purple cloths.

The parishes jointly purchased 60 acres of land south of Interstate 80 at Hopewell Avenue and Criswell Street in Bettendorf earlier this year on which to build the school. The One Faith, One Family, One Future campaign is underway to fund the school’s construction.


Father Crossen said he and Father Adam thought it would be appropriate to name the school after a French saint because Our Lady of Lourdes grotto is in France and St. John Vianney Parish is named after the French saint. The parishes presented a list of seven saint names to parishioners last month and voting took place after Masses in both churches. Father Crossen noted that students at Lourdes Catholic School and in the religious education programs of both parishes had unofficial votes.

Bishop Thomas Zinkula unveiled the name. “This is cool. I like this saint. It is Joan of Arc,” the bishop said, and the crowd applauded. “I had to sign off on the name. It was my first choice,” he added, noting that the name is popular as he makes his rounds across the diocese to preside at confirmation Masses.

Father Crossen unveiled a painting of St. Joan of Arc and a statue of the saint. Father Adam said the parishes considered many names and out of the final seven, “any would have been a good choice.” He said that he and Father Crossen favored St. Joan of Arc. “She was by and far the most popular vote.”

Following the unveiling, Kris Girskis, a member of the Lourdes school board, was excited about the future school’s name and pleased that the majority of each group voted for St. Joan of Arc. “This is the first step in a united front.” The two parishes have collaborated with Bray Architects of Davenport for the school’s design and the Steier Group of Omaha for development counsel.

Father Crossen said if all goes well with fundraising, construction and weather, the new school would open in the fall of 2025. Following the school’s completion, an adjoining church is planned, according to a press release.  Plans have not been determined for the existing properties of both parishes and Lourdes School upon completion of a new church.

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