Thanksgiving Day 1905
Contributed by Roger Maddigan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
From the records of Roger's Grandmother Maddigan
History of St. Patrick's Parish
St. Patrick's congregation was organized eighteen years ago
(1887). Up to that time the Catholics of Westgate attended
divine worship in Fairbank and Independence.
Patrick's Catholic Church, Westgate, Iowa
The first priest to attend the
Westgate congregation was Rev. John Hagan, who was for some years
assistant to Rev. Father Martaugh, in Fairbank. When he first
attended Westgate services were held in the old Maddigan school
house east of town. There was then no Catholic church at Sumner and
no parochial residence.
aided by some of the good old settlers, started a subscription
paper for a church at Westgate. The people were liberal and
enthusiastic, and in a short time St. Patrick's church arose,
modest and humble indeed, but an object of pride to the infant
committee of three, one from each of the three parishes --
Westgate, Sumner and Pinhook -- bought a small house for
Father Hagan at Sumner on the spot where the Catholic
parsonage now stands.
years Father Hogan labored hard and zealously among the three
congregations. There was also attached to these missions
another, six miles north of Sumner, called Christian Prairie
which ceased to exist when the present Catholic church was
built at Sumner, the congregation agreeing to attend services
at Sumner and Pinhook.
Hogan's pastorate the cemetery was purchased which is known as
Mount Calvary cemetery.
years of successful work Father Hogan moved to Fairfax, Iowa.
Father Brogan succeeded him.
[Submitter's note: Father Hogan served the parishioners of St.
Patrick's church for thirteen years from 1882 -1895.]
Rev. E. J.
Brogan's pastorate the church grew to its present proportions
to meet the needs of the growing congregation, and the spire
which now crowns St. Patrick's was erected. He bade good bye
to his flock at Westgate on the 1st Nov., 1900, after five
years of successful work, to become pastor of the congregation
at Placid, Iowa. He was succeeded by the present pastor, Rev.
J. M. Molloy, who has been directing the spiritual affairs of
the congregation for five years.
~ ~ ~ *** ~ ~ ~
FATHER MOLLOY, PASTOR.
Like his predecessors, Father
Molloy is a son of the Emerald Isle. He received his primary
education in the national schools of his native land. He completed
his classical course in the celebrated Seminary of St. Ailbe, Emily
County Tipperary. He pursued his philosophical and theological
studies in St. Patrick's College, Carlow, the first theological
college opened in Ireland after the Reformation. Among his
professors was the Rev. Patrick Foley, now Bishop of Kildare and
Loughlin, and one of the leading lights in the Hierarchy of Ireland.
Father Molloy completed his studies in Carlow College and
distinguished him-self by taking first prizes in Theology and Sacred
Scripture. He had the satisfaction of receiving holy orders from
Bishop Foley, his old beloved professor.
After a brief vocation among
his relatives he crossed the Atlantic and came to the Archdiocese of
Dubuque, then under the spiritual sway of the late lamented
Archbishop Hennessy, under whose magic power the Diocese of Dubuque
reached the importance it now holds in the church of the United
States. After a cordial greeting from the great archbishop he was
sent to take charge of the congregations at Allison, Dumont and
Hampton for a short time. He was then appointed to Villanove,
Clinton county, thence to Parkersburg, and after successful
pastorates among these congregations, he was sent by the present
Archbishop, Rt. Rev. John J. Keane, to take charge of the
congregations at Sumner, Westgate and Pinhook.
During his five years
administration all the indebtedness on the various church properties
has been solved. Artistic stained glass windows have replaced the
old, the interior and exterior of St. Patrick's have been renovated
and painted, the roof has been reshingled, and many improvements
made which add to the dignity and solemnity of divine worship.
Father Molloy is a man of
strong personality, high ideals and eloquent speech, whose worth is
approached by non-Catholics as well as by the people of his own
church fellowship, and it is confidently expected that future years
will find him invested with higher dignities. His efforts have
always met with the generous and enthusiastic co-operation of the
members of St. Patrick's congregation, in speaking of which he
feelingly gave utterance to this benediction: "God bless them, may
they grow and prosper."
[Transcriber's Note: Rev.
Msgr. John M. Molloy, P.A., V.F., Immaculate Conception church at
Cedar Rapids, died July 28, 1951.]