History of Lovilia and Weller, IA Catholic Parishes - 1914
SMYTH, OBRYAN, GRIFFIN, KEARNEY, FITZGERALD, HEYLAND, OBRIEN, LAHART, MARTIN, DRURY, SULLIVAN, SWANE, CARR, PURTILL
Posted By: DJ Scieszinski
Date: 5/10/2022 at 13:51:30
The Catholic Messenger
April 9, 1914
WHERE CATHOLICITY FLOURISHES IN MONROE COUNTY, IOWA
BRIEF ACCOUNTS OF SEVERAL PROGRESSIVE CHURCH COMMUNITIES
Lovilia and Weller Parishes
St. Mary parish at Weller or as it was for years called North Cedar goes back into the early days of Catholicity in Monroe county. It is claimed by some to have been an out-mission of Georgetown long before Melrose got a church. St. Mary parish, however, was for many years a mission attended from Melrose.
In 1906 Rev. Thomas F. Smyth, Jr., was appointed pastor to organize St. Peter parish at Lovilla and was given St. Mary's at Weller as an out-mission from Lovilla.
Father Smyth upon reaching Lovilia started in to build a residence, a room of which was to be used for church purposes for the time being. While the house was being built Mass was said at the homes of different members. The residence which is all modern and consists of ten rooms was used as a church until 1909.
The present church, which is a beautiful cement veneered building, cost about $12,000. In 1911 a heating plant was put in and other additions made which brought the total cost of the building complete up to nearly $15,000. Father Smyth attended Weller every Sunday. In addition to also went to Buxton every month, where there are about twenty families.
There is no church at Buxton as yet. Mass is said at the homes of different Catholic families there. The Catholic families living at Everest, Marysville, Hamilton and Bussey are also stations visited at intervals by Father Smyth.
Lovilia has about twenty families. Weller has sixty-five. Among those who were first to help push along the formation of St. Mary's at Weller are the following: Edward O'Bryan, T. B. O'Bryan, Jno. Griffin, Jno. Kearney, Wm. Kearney, Patrick Fitzgerald, Jas. Heyland and Patrick O'Brien.
Among those who took the initiative at Lovilia are T. B. O'Bryan, Ed Lahart, Barney Martin, James Drury, Richard O'Brien, Jas. Martin, Jno. L. Sullivan, T. H. Swane and J. J. Carr.
Father Smyth was an earnest, faithful worker in the Lord's vineyard and there is no doubt but that the result of his efforts will in the near future mean the formation of other new congregations in the territory where he ministered so successfully until death came almost without warning on Jan. 15th of this year, after a brief illness with pneumonia.
The parish is now in the care of Rev. John R Purtill, who is not only filled with spiritual zeal, but a progressive public spirit -- The Western World
Monroe Documents maintained by Susan Claman.
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