History

StPatrickChurchSketch

Prior to 1867 the Catholic families in Missouri Valley had no regular religious services but were called together when a priest from Council Bluffs or Omaha passed through on the way to Magnolia, the principal town in Harrison County.

In 1867 a group of the faithful pioneers organized to build a church for the Catholic families in this area. With their leadership a building was erected on the northeast corner of First Huron Streets. The membership was one hundred families. Ten years later the church was expanded to twice the size as the congregation had outgrown the original church.

In January of 1882 the first resident pastor was appointed. Father P.J. Moran (Morrin) served the parish until 1890 when Father J.F Kemper became the spiritual guide of the people. With his leadership the residence and lot at the corner of Seventh and Huron Streets was purchased for St. Patrick parish. In 1891 Father T.J. Mullen, the new pastor, continued with the plans to build a pressed brick building. It was to cost $15,000.00. The cornerstone was laid in June, 1892. The first services were held in the new church Christmas Day 1892. This building is the present church.

Following Father Mullen’s fruitful seventeen years of service, Father M.F. Nolan continued to build the spiritual and temporal good of the parish. With his leadership the parochial school was built in 1915 and the Sister’s residence purchased the same year.

In 1962 St. Patrick parish had a large part in establishing a regional Catholic High School in Council Bluffs. They have continued to support St. Albert with money and with students who choose to attend this Catholic School.

For the last 117 years, St. Patrick Church has grown with the town of Missouri Valley and hopefully the members have contributed to the life of the community as they have spent these years working together as brothers and sisters in Christ.

In 1980 a gift of money and properties was willed to the church by the late Mabel Houdek for the sole purpose of building a new social hall. The old rectory to the east of the church was torn down so that the parish hall could be erected  on that site and connected to the church.

St. Patrick Houdek Center was dedicated on May 17, 1981. Since that time it has been a center for many parish and community affairs.