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Father John Eugene Cunningham was named pastor on January 25, 1967.

Father John Eugene Cunningham

On February 18, 1967, an antique and household auction of parish items was held at 1pm. Jesse
McIntyre was the auctioneer and Ermal Irvin was the clerk.
The first St. Patrick Parish Council was formed in the fall of 1968.
A large and modern kitchen was added to the north end of the church hall.
The custom of the Altar Society serving funeral dinners and wedding receptions started.
7th and 8th Grade classes were eliminated at the Academy in 1968 and finally the Academy closed
for good in May of 1969.
In the fall of 1969, Sisters Janice, Stephanie, Christina and Gilmary started the CCD program in
the parish.
Father Cunningham left the parish on September 2, 1970 to serve in Council Bluffs. He passed
away on November 3, 2010.
Freda Durbin became the first CCD Director in September 1970.
Father James Stessman assumed duties as pastor on September 10, 1970 and left on August 18,

Father James Stessman

The rectory was reshingled in 1971 after high winds in May blew many off.
Father Gordon Gittens was appointed pastor on August 18, 1971.

Father Gordon Gittens

In October of 1971 Father Gittens was appointed to serve Hamburg as a mission of Imogene.
The practice of having the students make their First Communion as a class was reinstated in
The school fixtures were sold in July 1972.
August 1972-Academy bathrooms were moved to the south end of the parish hall.
1972 - EMEs began helping with communion.

St. Patrick Academy was razed in November of 1972.

November 1972-A social evening was held instead of the Turkey Shoot.
The kitchen of the rectory was being remodeled when Father Gittins was transferred in January
1973 to teach at St. Albert High School in Council Bluffs. Father Daniel Delehant took charge of
the parish early that same year.

Father Daniel Delehant

During his pastorate he used his skills as a carpenter to convert a large room in the former
convent basement into two CCD classrooms and a lounge area was carpeted to use by brides
preparing for their wedding.
1973-The parish hall was rewired and the ceiling was replaced.
Kenny Owens spot plastered and painted the dome and front portion of the church.
1975-Kenny Owens painted the upper portion of the side walls.
1975-14 new radiators were installed in the church.
Father Delehant became ill in June of 1977 but remained in the rectory. Father Albert Wilwerding
was assigned to the parish during his illness.
1977-A new sidewalk and steps were installed in front of the church at a cost of $4,591.66.
1977-The west entrance to the church hall was covered.
1977-The west confessional was remodeled for the new Rite of Reconciliation.
In 1978, Special T Roofing of Bellevue, NE reroofed the church for $26,020.00.
Father Delehant celebrated his Silver Jubilee with a 2pm Mass on June 4, 1978. A reception
followed at the Elks Club.
On June 9, 1978 William Leahy was ordained into the Jesuit Order in ceremonies at St. John
Church in Omaha, NE. He is
the only man from our parish to become a priest. He celebrated his first Mass in his home parish
of St. Patrick on
June 11, 1978. A reception followed at the Elks Club. He became the 25 th President of Boston
College in July of 1996.

Father William Leahy, S. J.

Father Delehant passed away on August 10, 1978 of bone cancer.

Father Tim Fitzgerald was appointed Administrator of the parish and saw that priests from St.
Albert High School took care of the parish needs.
On Sunday December 16, 1978 the tradition of having a Faith Formation Christmas program was
Father James McIlhon was appointed Administrator of the parish on April 10, 1979.

Father James McIlhon

Father McIlhon began the practice of giving a childrens homily during the summer 11:30am
weekday Mass.
Plans were first formulated for the parish centennial.
The church window frames were repainted.
The church was tuckpointed.
On October 4, 1979 Pope John Paul II (now a saint) celebrated Mass at Living History Farms in Des
Moines. Those attending from our parish were Dorothy Maher, Jim, Gary, Mary & John Nebel who
received communion from the Pope, Gert McGargill, Marty, Margaret & Patty Laughlin, Mike &
Fannie Martin, Dee Owens, Delores & Brad Maher, Ed, Mary, Matt& Doug Laughlin, LaVon Kudron,
Helen Laughlin, Laura Jardon, Pat & Madge Maher, Margaret Martin, Harry & Ruby Smith, Helen &
Catherine Hughes.
Beginning on the first Sunday of March 1980 the church was locked every evening at 6pm.
May Crowning services were reinstated on May 18, 1980. Children brought flowers from home.
The centennial of the parish was celebrated in June 1980.
Father McIlhon left the parish in September of 1980. He passed away in the rectory at Massena
on August 14, 1989.

Father Jim Radde, S. J. served the parish from September 22, 1980 to November 30, 1980.

Father James Radde, S. J.

Father Radde updated the parish records.

The CCD program was strengthened.
A prayer group was formed.
The CYO was established in the parish.
The centennial book, A Century of Memories, went to the printer on January 14, 1981.

In the first part of 1981, Father Louis Meyer O.S.B. came from Conception to serve the parish on
the weekends.

Father Louis Meyer, O. S. B.

March 13, 1981- The first copies of the book A Century of Memories were distributed on March
13, 1981.

May 1981-The custom of carrying a baptismal candle in the First Communion procession and
having it lit when receiving communion began.
May 1981-The custom of serving a First Communion breakfast began.
Father Meyer served the parish until the end of May 1981. He passed away at Conception Abbey
on February 25, 1993.
Father John Clarke became pastor of our parish on June 10, 1981.

Father John Clarke

On July 7, 1983 our church was entered in the National Register of Historic Places because of its
architecture and engineering. The architectural style is Romanesque/Late Gothic Revival.
The July 30, 1985 edition of the Evening Sentinel had a picture of Mary Poort, elementary and
high school art teacher in Malvern, painting clouds and the Holy Spirit on the dome of St. Patrick
November 10, 1985-Father John Clarke celebrated the 40 th anniversary of his ordination with
Mass and a dinner following in the parish hall. About 250 attended.
The first reunion of St. Patrick Academy graduates was held on July 5, 1986. Father William
Leahy, S. J. celebrated the 4pm Mass with Father John Clarke concelebrating. A banquet followed
at the Elks Club.
The church was air conditioned in 1988.
Approximately 300 people attended the 2nd St. Patrick Academy reunion on July 27, 1992. The
4pm Mass was followed by a dinner at the Elks Club.
In January 1995, Father Clarke used scaffolding to clean the top of the altars.
A ramp was added to the west side of the church in 1995.
On July 27, 1996 the St. Patrick Academy graduates held a reunion. Dinner at the Elks followed
the reunion Mass.

Father Clarke retired on July 13, 2000 as the last permanent pastor of St. Patrick Church. He
passed away in Atlantic, IA on October 23, 2009.
On July 13, 2000 St. Patrick parish became a mission of St. Mary Church-Red Oak. This brought
many changes to our parish. The Parish Council took over many of the duties Father Clarke had
performed on a day to day basis. Margaret Laughlin became the first Parish Secretary. Saturday
Mass was now only celebrated here on the 2 nd and 4th Saturdays of the month and Sunday
morning Mass moved from 9am to 8:30am. Weekdays masses were only celebrated here on
Tuesdays and Thursdays. The parish had to adjust to not having a resident pastor...something
they had not done in 112 years.
Father James Kleffman became pastor of St. Patrick-Imogene and St. Mary-Red Oak on July 13,

Father James Kleffman

He started Thursday evening Mass, communion under both species, the Board of Faith Formation,
our parish actively participated in SWIPU, the rectory was remodeled into a family dwelling, the
parish office was moved to the sacristy, a parish website was started, the church roof was
repaired, water damaged areas of the church were repainted, the front church doors were
restored, the church lighting was updated, and the cleaning and repair of the stained glass
windows was started.
In July of 2001 the Priest Display in the parish hall was completed in time for the St. Patrick
Academy reunion on July 10th. Dinner at the Elks followed the Mass.
In August of 2002, Duane Madison remodeled the sacristy closet into a wine cleansing area. The
use of wine during Mass began in October.
Prayer Net began in April 2003.
July 6, 2003-A retirement Mass was held for Father Kleffman. This was followed by a picnic
supper in the church hall.
Father Kleffman retired on July 10, 2003.
Father Ken Gross became pastor on July 10, 2003.

Father Ken Gross

The use of yearly missalettes began in November 2004. The holders used for the quarterly
missalettes were removed from the bulletin tables.
February 16, 2005-The church boiler malfunctioned leaving a layer of black soot in the hall and
the church.
By March 8, 2005 a chimney sweep from Top Hat Chimney Sweep in Omaha, NE was hard at
On March 9, 2005 eight people from BMS Catastrophe began cleanup operations.
On March 10, 2005, the entire ceiling in the parish hall and all the AC ductwork was removed. It
was almost impossible to walk through the church hall.
At midnight on March 21, 2005 workers began erecting scaffolding in the body of the church.
Workers cleaned all areas of the church.
By March 23, 2005, all of the scaffolding in the church was removed and some from the hall. The
church cleanup operation was completed on March 24.
The ceiling, lights and ducts were replaced in the church hall. Lights in the church and on the
church grounds were updated.
On June 22, 2005 the 28-month stained glass cleaning and repair project was completed by
Classic Art of Omaha, NE.
A pictorial directory was published.
The Altar Society compiled their fourth cookbook.
The Quasquicentennial (125th jubilee of our parish) was celebrated on June 24-26, 2005.
The south parking lot was extended.

Deacon Mark Neal helped serve the parish from May 27-August 7, 2005. He was ordained on June
9, 2006.

A geo-thermal system was installed.

The restrooms were updated and a handicapped one was added.
A wheelchair lift was added in 2009.
The floors of the church were refinished in January 2010.
The church was recarpeted and the kneelers recovered in 2010.
Eucharistic Adoration began on May 17, 2011.
Father Gross left on July 14, 2011 to serve at Greenfield and Massena.
Father Tom Kunnel, TOR became our pastor on July 14, 2011.

Father Tom Kunnel

The sacristan ministry began in the parish.
The Centennial Capital Campaign began on November 18, 2012.
The repair and replacement of the tile church roof was completed in the fall of 2013.
Father Tom was incardinated into the diocese of Des Moines in 2015.
The east and north entrances were redone. A new entrance for a handicap lift was constructed.
The roof of the rectory and garage was redone.
New basement windows were installed.
On April 26, 2015 the massive task of repainting the body of the church was undertaken by Greg
Rob Seiler (Sioux City, IA) started painting the sanctuary on May 1, 2015.
The church was carpeted in July 2015.
The centennial of the third church was celebrated on July 11, 2015. Clergy in attendance at the
4pm Mass were Bishop Richard Pates and Fathers Tom Kunnel, William Leahy, S. J., Ken Gross and
Anthony Mathew. Over 700 people enjoyed a catered dinner, Irish music and dancing ending
with a spectacular fireworks show.
July 31, 2015 A white cararra marble reading table was installed by Stone Concepts of Omaha,
NE. It was designed to hold the gold and ruby bookstand originally purchased for the church by
Father Hayes 100 years ago.