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Saint Peter's Parish
A History
Part 3

The Sisters of Charity

ONE of the finest tributes ever tendered the Sisters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul came from Bishop Loras, one of God's noblemen who had the insight of the saint. “Since Divine Providence has entrusted me with the administration of the Diocese of Dubuque”, reads his letter of May 20, 1843, “I have always had the desire of admit­ting into it your excellent Sisters. . . . Be so kind, Respected Mother, as to let me know if you can give me some of your Sisters whom I might accompany myself to Dubuque. . . . In the expectation of a favorable reply I recommend you and all your community to God Almighty”. That petition is but a duplicate of the one made by Bishop Loras on June 5, 1839. How fortunate, we feel, would have been the Church here in our commonwealth if only acceptance had come at that time. Well, at least it was a high honor for our Sisters to be invited first or among the first.

Bishop Loras's entreaties were answered, but not dur­ing his lifetime. September 21, 1867, was the day of tri­umph. By Father Louis Decailly, a nephew of Bishop Loras, the word was received. As a matter of fact his oft repeated appeals effected in large part the acceptance. Had he rendered to Saint Peter's no service other than that, a grateful parish should enshrine him in hallowed memory.

In 1867 then, the first group of Sisters of Charity came to Saint Peter's. Sister Gertrude Balfe was the Superior, or as the Daughters of humble Saint Vincent have it “Sister Servant”. For companions, Sister Kenny, Sister Lutz, and Sister Fox were given her. To the Visitation Convent, built in 1851, and the “little yellow building” they came. Both were used by the Sisters, as we shall see later. The Convent as we know it today (in its larger dimensions), was not built until the “little yellow building” had been destroyed by fire.

Unfortunately only a hurried panoramic view of the thrice-blessed work of the Sisters of Charity can here be given. On matters of major importance at least, the writer would like to touch accurately.

First, so far as records and oral accounts inform us, the education of our parish girls since 1867 has been in the trusted keeping of the Sisters of Charity. Not always however, was it carried on under con­ditions like those prevailing today. Time was when two separate schools, having separate classrooms, were con­ducted by the Sisters. That was in the early years, say from 1867 until 1877. The parish girls went to school during that period, first in the “little yellow building” and later in rooms of the Convent distinct from those of the “Select School”. Soon after Father O'Reilly's coming the change was made. The “Select School” was discontinued; all the students of Saint Vincents in a given grade were taught in the same class and by the same Sister.

Secondly, from the very beginning the Sisters of Char­ity conducted a school for the parish boys under twelve years of age. Evidently, too, that section of Saint Vincent's had some direct connection with the parish. For in Sep­tember 1874, Father Trevis had to negotiate a loan to pre­pare new quarters or to remodel the old. About $650.00 was spent on that project. The items listed by him carry some interest at this time: two oak stoves, $45.50; 64 double desks, (this would indicate a rather large enrollment), $288.00; two black boards, $15.00. Further, Father Trevis's handwriting informs us that “the things noted above, also for painting, plastering, carpenter work, lumber, etc.” totaled $650.00.

Thirdly, “Saint Vincent's Female Boarding and Day School” was an institution advertised for some years. Ap­parently it became about the middle seventies a Boarding School in the fullest sense of the term.

Fourthly, the “Select School” was discontinued in 1877. Perhaps the following important announcement pertains to that year. “The Sisters have come to the con­clusion of establishing a grade in their school or making it a graded school after the most approved and improved plan, thereby giving four grades to the school instead of two which were had before, that is, four teachers are now doing the work which two used to do.” That progressive step was announced by Father O'Reilly from the pulpit. When it was taken we do not know with certainty. The writer is inclined to think that the elementary grades were meant. If that is true the probable date is 1877 when the “Select School” was discontinued. Larger classes likely necessi­tated more classrooms and consequently more teachers. In any event those familiar with Church Finance will not over­look one likely reason for the announcement. During those years only fragmentary data can be had. During the early eighties it was placed at 200. At the time eight Sisters were engaged in teaching. For the later years fuller records are extant, which will be given presently.

In the later history of education in Saint Peter's Par­ish there are four dates of transcendant importance: 1893, 1902, 1904, and 1914. Briefly this is their significance. In 1893 Saint Vincent's became a free school for the girls of the parish. Following are the statistics of enrollment for that decade as found in Father O'Reilly's record: 1893, 160; 1895, 135; 1896, 135; 1898, 180. In 1902 a most fortunate change in the boys' education was made; their school, that treasured gift to them in 1899, was placed in the hands of the Sisters of Charity. Henceforth capable teachers with time honored traditions and standards would control the destiny of the Saint Peter's boys' education.

Two years later, 1904, a most logical consolidation oc­curred. Saint Peter's educational system became coeduca­tional. From that year to this, our girls and boys have re­ceived their education in the same classrooms at the same time. In the Convent the lower grades were cared for, the former Boys' School having been given over to the higher grades and the High School Department. Indeed the arrangement has been a most happy one and econom­ical as well. Under the watchful care of the pas­tors, Father O'Reilly and Monsignor Gillespie, and the Sisters of Charity a truly wholesome condition has ever prevailed. Finally, 1914 is a year to be remembered. On June 22, 1914, Saint Peter's High School was fully recog­nized by and accredited to the State of Iowa institutions of higher education. Since that time by strict right the gradu­ates of Saint Peter's have been admitted to the state col­leges and university without preliminary examination. The process of recognition begun by Sister Isabella, was ob­tained by our Sisters with the loyal, substantial help of Monsignor Gillespie.

Such is the resume, in very sketchy form, of the edu­cational efforts and progress of the Sisters of Charity in Saint Peter's Parish. Nothing has been written here of their patient toil, of their whole souled persevering efforts, of their splendid charity in this mission that must be quite as dear to the Sisters as they are to the people of this parish. The writer is not able to pen a worthy tribute to them. A personal commentary by every member of Saint Peter's would be much more meaningful. Nor is there need for profuse eulogy. We should like to think that the relation­ship, one of love and loyalty, is akin to that existing be­tween mother and child. That relationship is the most wholesome this wor1d knows. It is so obvious that profes­sions are not at all needed to make it known or to instill confidence. There is a genuine compliment involved in the actions of those who take for granted our love and loyalty. In Saint Peter's certainly the Sisters of Charity are taken for granted. We can well imagine the removal from Saint Peter's of the most firmly rooted family of the parish. Never, though, would the homestead of the Sisters of Charity seem familiar unless their kindly presence filled it. In a word, Saint Peter's feels that their record is clothed in glory. May that radiant center of education in Saint Peter's ever cast a glow over the lives of the little ones of our parish.
The Sister Servants at Saint Peter's 1867-1929

1867-1881 Sister Gertrude Balfe
1881-1891 Sister Loretta Vaughan
1891-1898 Sister Clarisse Bresnahan
1898-1906 Sister Irene Maloney
1906-1910 Sister Isabella McCarthy
1910-1911 Sister Felicita Farrell
1911-1914 Sister Margaret Garvey
1914-1920 Sister Loretto Tobin
1920-1927 Sister Madeleine Morris
1927-         Sister Ignatia Browne

St. Peter's Church and School

THE BUILDING of Saint Peter's Church was a rather long, drawn out enterprise. As early as 1872 Father Andrew Trevis purchased the church lots on Ninth and Bank streets. According to his record $2,600 was the pur­chase price of the property. A rather modest fee of ten dollars was paid the law firm of Miller and McCrary for services in the transaction. By December 7, 1872, an amount slightly over $1,350 was paid by the parish. From the following promise it is seen that the parish was as seri­ous about paying for the property as about acquiring it. “We, whose names are hereto attached in this book, do bind ourselves to pay the amount opposite these our names for the purpose of buying the three lots situated on the hill, corner of Ninth and Bank streets, presently the property of Colonel Perry, in the City of Keokuk, Lee County, Iowa, the purchase to be for the special benefit of the St. Peter's Roman Catholic Congregation of the same city of Keokuk, said amount to be paid to Rev. A. Trevis or his agent in two installments, the first half on the 21st of September, 1872, and the second half the first day of December, 1872.”

Briefly this is the rest of the story. By 1878 Father O'Reilly had plans in hand for the magnificent Gothic church. Johann Dillenberg of Chicago, the designer of many Churches in Iowa, was the architect. Excavations were started in 1879. By 1881 work had advanced suf­ficiently to lay the cornerstone with this inscription: “This Stone was laid June 12, 1881. Rt. Rev. John Hennessy Being Bishop of Dubuque.”

On January 26, 1881, con­tracts were let for the floor, window frames, etc. The writer's father sorted at Carson-Rand’s the lumber that went into the church. The wide-board flooring that was used in the church may not be in style today. It was in style then and in good style, too. Then old Patrick Tigue (we remember him well) furnished the limestone. James McNamara supplied the lime; John Spaan, the brick; H. H. Gilliam, the sand. Besides there was an order to J. C. Bentley for 560,000 hard brick. Not until 1884 was the contract let for the fresco work. It cost $1,100. The above is some information, by no means complete, however ­that a lovely generation of Catholic people (not all of them are with us today) will appreciate. Thanks to them and to that inspired an inspiring man of God, Father O'Reilly, for the beautiful and serviceable parish church they left as an inheritance to us. Truly is Saint Peter's Church one of Father O'Reilly's achievements. Hopes germinated upon his arrival in 1876; they blossomed into a plan in 1878  and they became a reality in the 1881-1886 period. Ours are both the picture here given and the reality, a holy place, a solace for our tired, and sometimes crushed hearts, a church whose steps are being worn thin by the comings and goings of a devout people who feel they need God and His blessed church, dear old Saint Peter's.

Unfortunately detailed figures cannot be given for the building of Saint Peter School, Ninth and Timea streets. George D. Rand donated the lots for that Father O'Reilly enterprise. We know too that work was started in 1898 and that by September 1899, the Saint Peter's Parochial School was ready for the boys of the parish. Solely for them until September 1904, it was used. It was Father O'Reilly’s gift to the boys he loved. In other sections of this sketch supplementary information is given about the educational system of Saint Peter's during the period 1899-­1929.

At this late date an accurate statement of the total cost of these two buildings cannot be given. Fragmentary rec­ords are extant, as for instance, of the payment of $2,053.63 to the Carson-Rand Company up to December 5, 1883. But such records are fragmentary. Likely the best estimate of the cost of the church may be gathered from this fact that Father O'Reilly negotiated with Thomas Connolly of Dubuque five loans totaling $ 34,705. For Saint Peter's School loans totaling $22,021.27 were made. The writer does not put forward those amounts as the total cost of these two buildings. They are merely given as in­dications of the cost, since more accurate information is not had. A conservative estimate of the total value of the en­tire Saint Peter’s Parish property is placed at $200,000 by Monsignor Gillespie.

Father O’Reilly

THE EDUCATOR! Yes, historically that should be the first word in a sketch of that well remembered pastor of Saint Peter’s. In that field he was far ahead of his time, outdistancing all his rivals. The writer has in his keeping some interesting documents dear to him and telling in their evidence. One of them, for instance, bespeaks plainly Father O’Reilly’s claim as a pioneer Catholic edu­cator. It is entitled: “Constitution of the Catholic Pay and Free School Association of the City of Dubuque. Estab­lished March 15th, A. D., 1868”. That document carries us back sixty years and brings us face to face with a man who perhaps had more to do with the parochial school move­ment in Iowa than any other. One of “Father O’Reilly’s boys”, Bishop John Carroll, might be appositely quoted. Referring to the Father O’Reilly School in Dubuque he said: "Father O’Reilly found it necessary to solicit money for the erection of schools for the education of children and traveled on foot from Dubuque to Sioux City to obtain money to erect the first school in Dubuque, and during the whole of his life it has stood as a monument to him and was known as Father O’Reilly’s school. The building marked the beginning of parochial schools in Iowa and it was because of Father O’Reilly’s work that Archbishop Hennessy took the aggressive attitude which made him unpopular among many non-Catholics”. Charles McLean has given tes­timony of the same work. “For industry and zeal Father O’Reilly could not have been surpassed. His name was linked with the school in the public mind and the pupils of Saint Raphael's became known to the community as ‘Father O’Reilly’s boys’”. We are assured, too, that Father O’Reil­ly’s boys did well in after life. Much as we should like to linger over this phase of his work, we must hasten on to his achievements in Keokuk.

In October 1875, came Father O’Reilly's first appoint­ment to Saint Peter’s. Father Trevis, a sick man, had been pastor up to that time. About the fifth of December, how­ever, Father O’Reilly left Keokuk, went to Massachusetts for some time, and then returned to Iowa as pastor of Saint Anthony’s, Davenport, early in 1876. About February 20, 1876, he returned to Saint Peter’s, this time to remain for more than thirty-three years.

Now the merest understanding of the history of the parish previous to his coming plainly indicates that mighty things would have to be accomplished if Saint Peter’s was to assume its rightful place in the march of Catholic pro­gress. Still, we cannot hope to retrace Father O’Reilly’s steps. Further, not a few of his accomplishments have been touched upon in other sections. In this place we shall look intently at his major achievements.

To begin with, the First Saint Peter's was not large enough in 1876 for the congregation; perhaps it was not brand enough either. For some time there had been peti­tions for a new church, and we have no reason to think they ceased with Father O’Reilly’s coming. Yet, his way and his thoughtful mein must have generated confidence in his people. The writer can well imagine an old Irish lady sagely remarking: “That priest knows, and the church will be built in his own time”. The story of the building of Saint Peter's Church and School also has already been told. Our chief interest here is the method of paying for them.

Our forebears remember well the socials and “coffees” of long ago. Nor have they forgotten the mammoth fairs that were held in the Estes House. Those fairs continued through a week and sometimes enriched the parish treasury by $4,000. They have not forgotten the scorching Sundays of July when the coal collections were announced. All these ways together constitute the method of paying for our magnificent parish buildings. Economy, even to the point of penuriousness, built and paid for them. Beyond that, it is the old story all over again. The nickels and dimes of poor Irish servant girls built Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, New York. The mites earned by our day-labor­ers fifty years ago built Saint Peter's, almost a cathedral in our eyes. Verily, a mighty place of worship was built by Father O’Reilly and his people. Yet, we must remem­bered that his ideals soared far above the lofty cross on the steeple. They took new life as they passed that emblem of sacrifice, and went on to the Great White Throne of God where whisperings of “a perfect people” might have been heard by angelic eavesdroppers. Saint Peter’s is truly a sanctuary sacred to the memory of those who built it, pastor and faithful alike.

But Father O’Reilly was more than a church builder. The inscription on his tomb-stone would indicate that. “Very Rev. Thomas O’Reilly, V. F., 1844-1909. Pastor of St. Peter's Church, 35 years. Apostle of Iowa Parochial Schools. Earnest Advocate of Total Abstinence. May He Rest in Peace”. There is one part of that inscription which implies a whole world of activity: Earnest Advocate of Total Abstinence. Yes, by right that should be on the per­manent marker, for that service should not be lost to pos­terity. It is not necessary here to rehearse the story of con­ditions that demanded such an apostle. Suffice to say, Father O’Reilly was a priest of true insight and he felt the need of courageous work in that field. In his own day the public was not oblivious of his success. “He taught temperance both by precept and example, and lost no oppor­tunity to illustrate its value. He rightly held temperance to be a moral virtue, but he recognized that to be a virtue it must be free and not forced. In this he was eminently successful and the result of his efforts is a fine monument to his memory.”

Really though, Father O’Reilly's endeavors in the pro­motion of temperance rose out of his interest in the problems of the common people. “His life was animated by love of God and man and was spent in ceaseless service for both at the altar, on the streets, in the homes, and in the school­rooms”. How true the following item must seem to the older members of Saint Peter’s. “The reporter never ram­bles through West Keokuk but that he sees the familiar figure of the Rev. Father O’Reilly among the sick and needy. There is no truer nobility than that of a life spent in the service of suffering humanity and such a life is exemplified in that the good Father O’Reilly has for years been administering largely to the temporal as well as the spiritual wants of his people in West Keokuk. They tell many tales of the Father’s generous gifts. More than one poor schoolboy can show the books and the clothes fur­nished at the priest’s expense. More than one poor man, sick and out of work, can tell of a needy family of hungry little ones cared for until times were better. No one else bears such a share of the respect and love of the West Keo­kuk people and especially their little ones as does the pious Father, and no one deserves it more highly than he.”

Lit­tle wonder that sixteen hundred people, either in the church or on the nearby walks, attended Father O’Reilly’s funeral. Little wonder, too, that the people of Saint Peter’s at the time had sentiments akin to these: “A good man is gone from among us, and we shall not soon look upon his like again. His saintly character and blameless life are no longer in evidence in the community, but the memory is a precious heritage which can never be taken away.”
Monsignor Gillespie

The Right Reverend Monsignor James W. Gillespie, V. F.
Cordially invites you to be present at his
Investiture at St. Peter's Church, Keokuk, Iowa,
Sunday, October twenty-seventh,
One thousand nine hundred and twenty-nine
at ten thirty, a. m.
Investiture and Solemn Pontifical Mass
by his Lordship the
Rt. Rev. Henry P. Rohlman, D. D.
Bishop of Davenport, Iowa.
Sermon by the
Very Rev. William L. Hannon 

SUNDAY, October 27, 1929, will be a festive day in Saint Peter’s Parish. With a love and loyalty un­surpassed toward their pastor of twenty years a mighty throng will testify on that day that Saint Peter’s gladly honors him whom the Church has honored so signally. In the annals of the parish the Investiture of Monsignor James W. Gillespie will be recorded as a memorable event. Rightly will the parish claim a share in the honor that will come to its pastor.

On that day the full significance can be felt only through a knowledge of the past, the past of the parish and pastor alike. What a wonderful transformation has taken place in Keokuk Catholicity since Father Van Quicken­borne's visit, back in 1832! We remember well the primi­tiveness and informality of the first service. That motley crowd at the river’s edge can almost be seen with the his­torical telescope. The contrast today! A refined and cul­tured people will behold their pastor’s investiture in the purple robes of an ecclesiastical rank that one associates with a fully institutionalized Catholicism. And yet we are proud of both, for both present Catholicism to us, the one, beginnings, the other, mature development.

Then, too, the record of him who is to be honored should be reviewed. In his blessed work at Saint Peter’s all are interested. But first a biographical word.

James W. Gillespie, the seventh of eight children with whom Almighty God blessed the marriage of James Gil­lespie and Anna Kiernan, was born at Patterson, Madison County, Iowa, on January 10, 1869. In the district school his elementary education was received. Like so many dis­tinguished priests in the Diocese of Davenport, he entered Saint Ambrose College for preparatory studies that would bring him closer to his destined vocation, the holy priest­hood. For six years he attended that institution. Then to Saint Paul Seminary, Saint Paul, Minnesota, he was directed for the final studies, theology and kindred branches. On May 27, 1899, thirty years ago, the tremendous powers and responsibilities of the priesthood were placed in his hands. His Mother in heaven prayed fervently for him that day.

Soon after, Father Gillespie received an appointment to Saint Ambrose Parish, Des Moines, as Assistant to the late Monsignor Michael Flavin. In September 1900, his first pastorate, Saint Mary’s, Mechanicsville, was entrusted to him. Some years later an appointment of major impor­tance brought him to Keokuk. October 27, 1909, was the date. By that appointment Father Gillespie became pastor of Saint Peter’s and Dean of the clergy in southeastern Iowa. The day of Monsignor Gillespie's investiture will also be the twentieth anniversary of that appointment to Saint Peter’s. In this place a resume of Monsignor Gil­lespie’s accomplishments will be attempted.

Maintenance and progressive improvements are the key words to the period 1909-1929. In a previous section the writer has described the splendid up building in Saint Peter’s effected by Father O’Rielly. That achievement is surely worthy of our praise. Yet, the very accomplish­ments of Father O’Reilly called for more accomplishments, and of a very difficult kind. On many an occasion the writer has heard from experienced priests that the problem of maintenance and improvement in our day, at least in the larger parishes, is quite the equal of that confronting the original builders. Right there is the glory of Monsignor Gillespie’s pastorate in Saint Peter’s. He and his parish have maintained an unusually large parochial institution, and it has been improved in a commendable manner. On this point a few specific instances will be given.

First, in the field of education. As regards educational facilities, Saint Peter’s Parish has been quite unique. Two large buildings wholly and one large building in part are given over to the educative process. Saint Peter’s High School building, for instance, has been a costly one during the 1909-1929 period. Constantly rising standards of education have been determined upon by accrediting associa­tions, particularly during that period. Within the past few years, records reveal the following expense items for that one building: seats in the Assembly Hall, $3,000; lockers, $500; electric clock, $300; remodeling the stage, $400; conditioning the winter chapel for class room use, $400.

On the Convent property a larger sum was expended. Some of the more important items are: the transfer of the Con­vent property to Saint Peter’s Parish in 1912, $1,000; re­newing the exterior of the Convent building, $2,000; classroom improvements from 1909-1929, $500; improvement of the property by grading, $700; improving steps and porches, $800.

Likewise the former Methodist Church property has been a source of expense. No less than $6000, records reveal, has been expended in making it suitable for parish functions and athletic contests. In the light of these expenditures, the statement that maintenance and progres­sive improvements create problems in parish administration quite the equal of original construction is meaningful. The situation has taken on that character, especially during the last fifteen years of Monsignor Gillespie's pastorate.

Passing over to the strictly religious function of parochial endeavor, we behold a similar condition. Here, too, some improvement items will be mentioned that have been gleaned from the records. Soon after Monsignor Gillespie’s coming to Saint Peter’s, the need of a larger rec­tory was apparent. An expense account of $4,500 was the result. Then, only recently the resurfacing of the streets about Saint Peter’s Church imposed a burden of $7,000 upon the parish. A noticeable improvement, made during the past summer, was the renovating of the church in its entirety. In fine, it has been the work of maintaining and improving an unusually large parochial institution that has constituted the field of Monsignor Gillespie’s zealous efforts.

So burdensome a task has that work been that little sur­prise need be evoked at the mention of a parish debt, which persisted until a few years ago. At Monsignor Gillespie’s coming in 1909, the parish indebtedness amounted to almost $12,000. Father O’Reilly’s records distribute that debt in this way: school, $1,980; church, $4,766; the former Meth­odist Church, $4,984. Those debts totaling $11,730 were assumed by the present pastor and his congregation. Be­sides those debts, the unusually large expenditures of the past twenty years have involved indebtedness from time to time. And the sequel to that indebtedness! What a mag­nificent act of generosity that indebtedness has called forth on the part of Monsignor Gillespie! A princely gift in­deed was made to the parish when, in 1924, the entire debt was erased from the parish books. $23,000 was the sum applied by him personally at that time. The only obliga­tion incurred by the parish is the payment of interest to the donor during his lifetime. In other words it was given on the annuity basis, precisely the basis on which our colleges, for instance, are happy to receive substantial donations. We should say that the soundness of the solution is surpassed only by the generosity of the donor. One thing is most certain and surely commendable: Father Gillespie has been most loyal to his own. It will be difficult for him as Mon­signor Gillespie to be more loyal.

Still, there has been no taint of “parochialism” in his actions. The Diocese of Davenport has been the recipient of his generous gifts. In 1915 Saint Ambrose College was in dire need of a larger gymnasium. Monsignor Gillespie made one of the largest contributions, $5,000. Just last year, when that same diocesan institution was about to erect a Science Hall, another generous contribution from Mon­signor Gillespie was made. This time the sum of $3,500 was donated. Within the hallowed walls of that college, he had received a part of his later education. He could not forget the service it had rendered him, and he was unwill­ing to forget it. Generosity is an admirable trait. It is to be admired by every right thinking man. In fine, Monsig­nor Gillespie’s heart is right: an admirable thing, indeed, and especially in one who has consecrated himself to the service of Christ and his fellowmen.

May Monsignor Gillespie live long to enjoy the signal honor that his Church has conferred upon him, and may his days be lengthened in the generous service of Saint Peter’s Parish.
Father Horan

ON SEPTEMBER 21, 1925, Father Martin Horan was appointed to Saint Peter’s as Assistant to Monsignor Gillespie. That was his first and only appointment. Certainly in Saint Peter’s he has performed commendably every duty to which he has been assigned. It is a sure token of manly zeal in the priesthood when pastor and congregation alike are fully satisfied. That condition exactly prevails in Father Horan’s case. Monsignor Gillespie likes to speak of him as “a considerate, conscientious Assistant”. There is not a trace of exaggeration in the statement that everyone, and es­pecially Monsignor Gillespie, fondly hopes that Father Horan will remain at Saint Peter's for many years.

The following priests have assisted Monsignor Gil­lespie at Saint Peter’s during the 1909-1929 period: Fathers Maurice Kissane, Stephen Davis, P. J. Ryan, John Courtney, Francis Phillips, Frank Barry, Hubert Thoman, Michael Moriarity, Paul Kleinfelder, William Schmidt, Aloysius Cone, John Coughlin, and Martin Horan. 

The Priests WhoHave Served Saint Peter's Church

 1832 C. F. Van Quickenborne, S. J.
1834-1837 P. P. Lefevere
1840 S. C. Mazzuchelli, O. P.
1840-1848 J. G. Alleman, O. P.
1848-1856 J. B. Villars
1856-1857 William Emonds
1857-1858 T. G. Reffe
1858-1868 Louis Decailly
1872-1874 Andrew Trevis
1872-1874 George Heer (quasi-pastor)
1874 W.W.Dunn
1875 M. J. Gaffney (temporary pastor)
1875 Thomas O'Reilly
1876 Michael Lynch (temporary pastor)
1876-1909 Thomas O'Reilly
1909  J. W. Gillespie

A Roll of Honor

IN THIS place is given a list of the Priests and Sisters who, at one time or another during their lives, were members of Saint Peter’s Parish or students in the parish school.
The Priests

The Right Reverend Monsignor P. W. Tallon; the Reverends James Foley, C. M., John J. Downing, C. M., Dennis J. Downing, C. M., Stephen E. McNamara, S. J., Basil Vogt, O. F. M., Carl H. Meinberg, Joseph E. O'Brien, S. J., C. Francis Griffith, Joseph Kenny, Paul D. Moore, Joseph B. Code, Harry B. Crimmins, S. J.

The Sisters

Sisters of Visitation:
Sisters M. Francis Collins, M. de Chantal Myers, M. Aloysia Myers, M. Clementine O’Con­nell, M. Theresa Bouvard, M. Aimee Burke, Candida O’Connor, Vincentia O’Brien, Magdalen Strenzel, Martha Golden, Jane Moffitt, Cecilia Creed, Louise Swartz, Jose­phine Rice, Margaret M. Middleton, M. Anthony Steffens­meir, Gabriella Rice, Agnes Hickey, Bernardine Weber, Immaculata Fegers, Alphonsa Weber, Augustine Kehoe, Aimee Grace, Genevieve Friers, Simplicia Dillion, Beatrice Rice, Celestine Barker, Hyacinth Green, Gertrude Quigley, Ligouri Mathhez, Francis Gonzaga Claggett, M. Pauline Cove, Benedicta McCue, Emmanuel Wynne, M. Angela Bridgman, M. Regis Ryan, Mary Fitch, M. Rose Ryan, M. de Sales Luby, M. Xavier Huot, M. Agnes Journet, Anna Langan, Mother M. Agnes Egan, and Mother M. Stanis­laus Scott.
Sisters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul:
Sisters Ignatia Browne, Ursula Hughes, Margaret O’Brien, Isi­dore O’Brien, Loretto McKenzie, Callista Hickey, Rose Welsh, Hortense Moore, Beatrice Mullen, Helen Birmingham, Eugenia McNeff, Rose McGuire, Alice Moore, Zoe Maher, Margaret LeFevre, Alice McNamara, Genevieve Ewers, and Andrea Hickey.

Sisters of Notre Dame:
Sisters M. Edwina McCaf­frey, Consuela Applebaum, Eustachia Downing, Kevin Kennedy, Odilo Jones, Godberta McNamara, Delphina Hoes and Mary Bevering.
Sisters of Saint Francis:
Sisters Casilda Renwald, M. Leocadia Niess, Aegedia Seibert, M. Georgia Myers, Cath­erine Myers, and Maxine McDowell.

Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary:
Sisters Helen Ryan and M. Alcantara Vogt.
Sisters of Saint Dominic:
Sisters Devona Burke and M. David O’Leary.
Sisters of Saint Benedict:
Sisters Catherine Cahalan and Celestine Downing.
Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament:
Sister Catherine Kenny.
Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth:
Sister M. Gertrude Barrett.
Sisters of Saint Joseph:
Sister M. Pius Neenan.
Sisters of the Good Shepherd:
Sister M. Josepha Powers.
Sisters of Mercy:
Sisters Ligouri Renwald and de Paul Collins.
Sisters of Saint Francis, Clinton:
Sister Mary Elizabeth Cameron

Compiled and contributed by Ernie Braida,  Pastor of St. Peter's in Keokuk from 1978-1984

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