St. Michael Parish Whittemore, Iowa

St. Michael Parish

Whittemore, Iowa

The first mass in Whittemore was offered by Father Dennis McCaffrey, resident pastor at Algona, on September 19, 1880, in the public school. Father McCaffrey attended to the spiritual needs of his Whittemore mission for the next seven years, while the number of Catholic families increased. In December, 1887, Father Michael Nichols arrived to care for the needs of those in Whittemore, and a move was made to erect a church. Under the direction of Father Nichols, the church was completed in the spring of 1889.

The parish experienced rapid growth when many new settlers came from Illinois, and in 1897 Archbishop Hennessy sent Father A.R. Tierney as the first resident priest of the parish. A house was rented to serve as the rectory. Father Tierney was a fluent speaker of both English and German, which was essential because Whittemore was equally divided between speakers of the two languages.

On October 15, 1898, Rev. Edmund Lawrence Dullard received his appointment to pastor the parish, which had 95 families when he arrived. New altars were procured, and preparations began to build a parish rectory. A parochial school was built, and the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Dubuque (PVBM) arrived in September, 1903, to staff it. The parish was incorporated in 1912.

The Class of 1959 was the last to graduate from Presentation Academy in Whittemore. Subsequent students from St. Michael's attended the central Garrigan High School in Algona, and in 1959 the eight-grade school in Whittemore was re-named St. Michael's School.

St. Michael's parish has an extraordinary number of men and women who have dedicated their lives to God. Until the early 1990s the parish maintained its parish school, which was eventually merged into the present Seton Grade School in Algona. A large percentage of St. Michael's students attend Bishop Garrigan High School in Algona, and they are among the most active in every school activity.

St. Michael Parish

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