About the Parish

Mission Statement

We, as Children of God and members of Saints Joseph and Cabrini Catholic Parish, are a welcoming faith community, rich in our rural heratage. Called by our baptismal commitment to carry out the mission of Jesus Christ, we are dedicated to nurture our Catholic faith and embrace all those in our world.

Parish History

Saints Joseph and Cabrini Parish is the culmination of a joining of two parishes with long and distinguished histories. On July 1, 2009 the parishioners of Saint Joe’s Parish in East Pleasant Plain and St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Parish in Richland officially joined together to become the newest parish in the Diocese of Davenport, Iowa.

St. Joseph started out as a mission parish in 1900, being served by Fr. Bernard Jacobsmeier, the pastor of Saint James in Washington. In 1902 the cornerstone of the church building was laid. From then until 1913 the parish was served by mission pastors Joe Sueppel, John Walsh, and Wm Guinan.

Father Joe Heller built the rectory and became the first resident pastor, staying until 1921. He was followed by John Courtney and then in 1929 Lintanns Kraemer served one year as the interim pastor. Father Henry Sendbuehler was pastor for three years and then Edwin Seidel came for the next seven.

In May 1934 Charles Mannhardt became the first of four St. Joe’s native sons to be ordained into the priesthood. Two weeks later John Scannell was ordained.

After a short stay by Father John Scherf, Paul Wetzstein became the pastor in 1940 and stayed for the next 16 years.

In 1941, another St. Joe’s parishioner, Raymond Pacha was ordained into the priesthood.

Then early on June 7, 1944 tragedy struck when the church was destroyed by fire. During the next three years Mass was held in the old Baitinger store building, after which a temporary Quonset building was erected to serve as the church.

It was during this time that Masses were also being held in the homes of parishioners in Richland. In 1946 the parish of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini was formed. Father Paul Budreau became the Associate Pastor at St. Joseph to help take care of the new Mother Cabrini parish in Richland. He was followed in this position by Ray Ruppenkamp and James (Jim) Janssen.

A new church was built in Richland in 1950 to serve Mother Cabrini Parish and was blessed by Bishop Ralph Hayes.

From 1956 to 1965 Father Henry Geers served as pastor for both St. Joseph and Mother Cabrini parishes. He had LeRoy Bergthold as his Associate Pastor, who in 1961 became the first resident pastor of Mother Cabrini Parish.

St. Joseph Parish built a new church in East Pleasant Plain in 1960.

It was also in 1960 that Gene Benda became the fourth St. Joseph parishioner to be ordained a priest.

During the years from 1961 through 1981 each parish had their own resident pastor.

Pastors serving St. Joseph were Ed Shepherd, Francis Bass, and Louis (Lou)

In 1972 the bell tower and bell from the Polishville Church was put up and dedicated by Bishop Gerald O’Keefe.

Mother Cabrini pastors were Thomas Stratman, John Dolan, and Glenn Feugen.

In 1976 Nick Adam from Mother Cabrini Parish became the first of three brothers to be ordained into the priesthood.

When Fr Feugen was reassigned in 1981 Fr Leonhardt became pastor of both parishes.

Continuing in 1982 the two parishes shared a priest. Robert Busher served from 1982 to 1986 and was assisted in his pastoral duties by Sister Georgeanne Brown.

It was in 1986 that Chuck Adam from Mother Cabrini was ordained into the priesthood.

From 1987 to 1989 Joe Rogers was the priest with Sister Teresa Tusek working with him.

In 1988 Richard Adam of Mother Cabrini became the third brother to be ordained.

Tim Bernemann was the priest from 1989 to 1992 assisted by Sister Jeroma Day. He was followed by John Stack from 1992 to 1993, David Brownfield from 1993 to 1996, Paul Connolly from 1996 to 2000, and Charles Fladung from 2000 to 2007.

The Joint Parish Pastorial Council and Viability Committee of St. Joseph and Mother Cabrini worked to find ways to keep our parishes and churches open. On January 1, 2008 Shirley Van Dee came to serve as Parish Life Administrator and coordinate the merger of the two parishes into one. Father Bob Striegel was appointed as Canonical Pastor and Sacramental Minister by Bishop Martin Amos, who had replaced the retiring Bishop Wm Franklin. Sister Janet Kreber continues to provide spiritual leadership while in residence during the school year.

The parishioners of our newly formed parish have joined together in our mission:

We, as children of God and members of Saints Joseph and Cabrini Parish, are a welcoming community, rich in our rural heritage. Called by our baptismal commitment to carry out the mission of Jesus Christ, we are dedicated to nurture our Catholic faith and embrace all those in our world.