Birth of a New Parish
In the early sixties, the expansion of growth in northwest Davenport prompted the Diocese of Davenport to establish a new parish. The Catholic Messenger reported that Bishop Ralph L. Hayes had announced plans for a new parish on the site selected by a pastoral committee comprised of Tom Feeney, Leo A. Kerrigan, and Thomas V. Lawlor. This new church would be made possible because of a generous benefactor, Martin J. Gadient, who died in 1958. Before his death, Mr. Gadient had donated nine acres of land on Hayes Street property in northwest Davenport for the construction of a church to be known as Our Lady of Victory. However, due to the population growth and development to the north and west of the city, the pastoral committee concluded that the Hayes Street property was not the proper location for the new church. Subsequently, the land was sold for an option on ten acres of the Andrew F. Miller farm on Division Street. The closing on the new property was held on July 1, 1961.
Building the Hexagonal Church
Initial Planning for the church began in 1967. Joe Kastner chaired the building committee. Other members were Mary Ann Otte, Vince Same, Don Childs, Jerry Paulson, Carl Butnuh, Joe Lakers, Louise Ryan, Duane Duyck, Kathy Wolbers, Bob Fransden, Dick Hartvigsen, and Ray Phillips.
In 1968 the number of families had grown to 750 and was expected to reach 1000 by 1975. Parishioners signed pledge cards that would raise the Sunday collections to $1,000. The cost of the church was $600,000, which included the building, furnishings, parking lots, drives, walks, and landscaping. With the retirement of the school debt in December, 1968, a groundbreaking ceremony for the new church building was held.
The building was designed around the New Liturgy of the Church. The contemporary hexagonal construction featured six large faceted stained-glass windows by John E. Bera, Chicago. John E. Bera used a relatively new concept to design these magnificant windows of faceted dalle glass. The altar window depicts in living color the Risen Christ. The entrance window depicts Mary, patron of our parish family. The four large side windows symbolize the four parables of Christ especially applicable to our modern world: the Good Shepard, the Good Samaritan, the Prodigal Son, and the Sower.
2000 Jubilee Celebration Project
After 28 years, there was a general consensus that the interior of the church needed remodeling. A volunteer committee was formed in March 1998 to research and make recommendations to the Parish Council. A successful campaign to raise $210,000 was underway by August of 1998 to provide for the remodelling. During a heavy snowfall in January of 1999, volunteers removed the old pews and carpet. The next few weeks volunteers helped with wiring, painting, cleaning, and grouting while church services were held in the school gym and cafeteria. With a ceramic tile floor, carpeted altar and solid oak pews, the first Masses were celebrated in the newly remodeled church on the weekend of February 13-14, 1999.
Gathering Space Addition
The Most Reverend Martin Amos, Bishop of Davenport, presided over the dedication liturgy for the magnificent new gathering space on Sunday, December 18, 2011. The liturgical celebration included blessing of the doors, baptismal font and newly constructed school spaces. Parishioners and guests in attendance experienced a sacred and joyous celebration. Many were amazed at the blending of the old and new, as they marveled at the exquisite architecture and were comforted to find the relocated Marian window prominently featured in the new gathering space.