Warren County Iowa Genealogical Society




    Carlisle St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church

    Carlisle Saint Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church, 2566 Scotch Ridge Road, Carlisle, Iowa 50047, phone (515) 989-0659,


    History of St Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church, Carlisle, Iowa is written by Father Neil FAGAN and is copied from The History of Warren County, Iowa, compiled by the Warren County Genealogical Society, Curtis Media Corp., Dallas, Texas, 1987, p.166.

    The seeds of St Elizabeth Seton Catholic community were sown back in 1969 by a group of mothers from Carlisle and Hartford. They wanted to offer religious education to our children on Wednesday evening, which is designated church night in the Carlisle and Hartford area. Most Catholic families in the community belonged to St Thomas of Indianola, or Christ the King, or various other parishes in Des Moines. Each parish had its own time for religious education and local students couldn’t participate in some of Carlisle’s activities.

    That first year families opened their homes for classroom to 79 children and 11 teachers. Donna SCHUMANN became the first Education Chairwoman. The next year 94 children were enrolled. In 1971, with 60 known Catholic families in the area, we considered the possibilities of starting a new parish. On June 27, 1971 the first Mass was celebrated at the Lion’s Club Building. Father Gerald DEERE of Christ the King parish in Des Moines, presided and 66 families attended. On September 20, 1971 we were given the name Carlisle Catholic Community. In May 1972 our first parish council was elected: Chairman, Gerald RATIGAN; Secretary, Kathy CHURCHILL; Treasurers, Dan CUNNINGHAM and Norma PEGRAM; Chairman of Building Fund, Bill SCHUMANN; Ushers, Dan CUNNINGHAM; Finance, Charles DUNN; Altar, Molly RATIGAN; Parish relations, Romona JOHNSON and Rachel Van RYSWYK; Education, Donna SCHUMANN; and Chairman of Liturgy, Keith CHURCHILL.

    In 1974 a committee was formed to look for land to build our church. They purchased a site on Scotch Ridge Road, one mile west of Carlisle. In April of 1975, we started the fund raising project “extra mile,” to secure the money needed to build our new church. Thanks to our members, friends and local business merchants, it was a big success. With his underway, Bishop DINGMAN approved changing our name from Carlisle Catholic Community to Saint Elizabeth Seton, on October 12, 1975. Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton was chosen to represent the first person born in the United States to be declared a saint by the Catholic Church.

    After Sunday Mass at the Lion’s Club Building, April 16, 1978, Council Chairman, Dean DOYLE led an auto caravan of approximately 200 members and friends to the site of our property on Scotch Ridge Road. There ground breaking ceremonies were officiated by Bishop Maurice DINGMAN and Father Michael CHURCHMAN. Father Lawrence BURNS guided us through the actual building process. He celebrated the first Mass on Christmas Eve, while the church was still under construction. The Mass was celebrated in a stable-like setting in the unfinished building. The first Mass in our completed church was Easter Sunrise Mass on April 6, 1980. The dedication was celebrated on October 19, 1980. Today, under the guidance of Father Vince ROSONKE and Father Neil FAGAN, we are a community of 146 families and growing.