Oyens, Iowa 

It was December 26, 1899, that the first formal meeting for the erection of a church was held. Plans were drawn and the work on the building was begun. Rev. Henry Rolfes was appointed pastor in the spring of 1900. The cornerstone was laid on May 30, 1900, and on September 30, 1900, the Church was dedicated. At the time of this formal dedication, the church was named St. Catherine’s. The parish name was a tribute to the mother of James J. Tierney, since he had donated the ground for the church. At the time of the church’s organization 45 families belonged to the parish.

The church property consisted of 12 acres of ground, 10 of which were donated by J.J. Tierney and one acre by M. Schroeder.

The present parish community contains some 110 families which supports the St. Catherine’s parish and a St. Catherine’s-St. Mary’s grade school. The school is staffed by the Sisters of St. Francis, parish priests from Oyens and Remsen and lay teachers.

The priests that have served St. Catherine’s are: Rt. Rev. Henry Rofes 1900-1943, Rt. Rev. H.B. Karhoff 1943-1949; Rev. Thomas Parle 1949-1953; Rev. Lawrence Schoeppner 1953-1965; Rev. Gerald Wingert 1965-1971; Rev. Lee Riesberg 1971-1975; Rev. Richard S. Ries 1975 to present.

~Source: Pictorial Atlas, Plymouth County, Iowa, Bi-Centennial 1776-1976



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