Saint Martin's Catholic Church (Cascade, Iowa)

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Saint Martin's Catholic Church is a Roman Catholic parish in the Dubuque County, Iowa community of Cascade, Iowa. It is the primary parish for the Catholic residents of Cascade, and is part of the Archdiocese of Dubuque.


Settlers began arriving in the Cascade area in the 1830s. During this time the Catholic settlers were organized into a congregation. This first congregation was small, and priests only serviced the congregation occasionally. It also was not an independent parish, instead it was a mission of the Garryowen, Iowa parish. Soon the mission at Cascade was severed from Garryowen and attached to the parish at nearby Temple Hill, Iowa. An independent parish named after St. Matthias was then established in Cascade. After several years that parish was then divided into two parishes - St. Mary's was established for German residents of the city, and St. Martin was intended for the Irish residents of Cascade.

A small red brick building was built, and served for a number of years as the first church. In 1882 the present church building was erected. This building was made of stone quarried from the Iowa Township Quarry in Dubuque County.

In the 1990s St. Mary's and St. Martin's were combined into a single parish - which was named St. Matthias in honor of the first Cascade parish. Masses were conducted at both churches, but shared a pastor and staff. This was in response to the priest shortage in the church. Later it was decided that one of the church buildings should be closed. The parish council decided to keep St. Martin's open, and close St. Mary's. St. Mary's was relegated to Profane Use, or deconsecrated, and sold.

Recent events[edit]

When St. Mary's was closed, the Wangerin-Weichardt pipe organ was removed from that church building. It is currently being restored, and new ranks of pipes, or stops, are also being added to the organ. Once that work is completed the organ will be installed in St. Martin's Church.

Coordinates: 42°17′49″N 91°00′50″W / 42.297°N 91.014°W / 42.297; -91.014