Warren County Iowa Genealogical Society




    Norwalk St. John the Apostle Catholic Church

    Norwalk St John the Apostle Catholic Church, 720 Orchard Hills Drive, Norwalk, IA 50211, phone (515) 981-4855, http://stjohnsnorwalk.org/

    History of St John the Apostle Catholic Church is extracted from the book, History of St John’s Church of Cumming, Iowa, 1892-1992, “A Journey of Faith” and current information from Tim MINEART, Office Manager, and Sharon Ewell, Administrative Assistant.

    St John’s Catholic Parish was established in 1892 in Cumming, Iowa [see Cumming St John’s Catholic Parish for photos and history]. Five men of the parish donated money to buy land to build a church: Ed MALONE, Moses MALONE, George ALLER, Ed COLLINS, and Patrick McNERNEY. The congregation first met in a harness shop in town to hold mass. The first church was built in 1893. C. F. SNYDER supplied the lumber and men from the parish helped in the construction. A tornado struck the church in 1896 and the church steeple had to be rebuilt. An addition was added in 1903 and a rectory was built in 1915.

    Land across the street from the church was willed by Kathryn ALYWARD for the purpose of building a Catholic school. Resident pastors to service the church include: Father H. J. O’ROURKE, Father James W. QUINN, Father James McDONALD, Father William A. McEVOY, Monsignor Francis T. ZUCH, Father Cyprian NORDHUS, Father John R. RYAN, Monsignor Michael W. SCHWARTE, Father Patrick H. BACON, and Father Phillip E. LAWLER. The first baptism at Cumming was Jane ALLER, baptized Nov 19, 1893. The first marriage was Michael MAHER and Nora GRAHAM on Nov 18, 1911. In 1970 Saturday evening Masses were begun at 5:30 p.m. In 1975 weekly Masses on Friday were begun at two Norwalk nursing homes.

    In 2005 the church in Cumming was sold to a private individual for the use of a wedding chapel, while the parish moved to Norwalk and built a new church at 720 Orchard Hills Drive. The church changed its name from Saint John Church to Saint John the Apostle Catholic Church (to distinguish this John from other Johns in the Bible). The new church dedication was held on Dec 10, 2005. Father John P. LUDWIG has served the church ever since it moved to Norwalk. Saint John the Apostle Church has weekend masses on Saturday at 5 p.m. and Sunday at 9 a.m. as well as many educational programs and outreach ministries - see their current weekly bulletin of church activities at http://www.stjohnsnorwalk.org/Bulletin/current.pdf as well as their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/St-John-the-Apostle-Catholic-Church/179874362058326?ref=hl