St. Mary (Waverly, Iowa)


St. Mary (Waverly, Iowa)


“In 1854 the Waverly area settlers gathered for the first Mass in Bremer County. A few years later Bishop Mathias Loras bought a block of property from Frederick Cretzmeyer in 1855. It became the site of the first church and came to be known as “Catholic Hill.” In October 1856 Father John Sheils came as pastor and construction of a church began.”

- Rev. Msgr. Edgar Kurt, “Parish Profile #88: Saint Mary Parish, Waverly.” Dubuque: The Witness, 28 August 1988.


The Archdiocese of Dubuque.
The Center for Dubuque History at Loras College.


Burback, Emily. Burns, Daniel. Gibson, Michael. Oberfoell, Carol. Waldmeir, Helen. Waldmeir, John.


Various primary and secondary sources.




Loras College
Kucera Center for Catholic Thought
Frank and Ida Goedken Series: "Spiritual Life in the Upper Mississippi River Valley"


History of the parish over the span of 106 years, including information about its priests and parishioners.

Table Of Contents

Annual History 1976, 1983-1984, 1985-1986 (3 documents)  

Annual History Update for the Archives ca. 1989, 1990, 1922-1993 (5 documents)

Ave Maria Study Club 1943-1988 (1 booklet)

Cemetery History 1984 (1 booklet)

CD – Oral History CD for Waverly and Shell Rock 64 &65 (1 CD)

Dedication Mass and History 2008 (2 booklets)

Diamond Jubilee Booklet 1988 (1 booklet)

First Communion Jubilee Year 1988 (1 booklet)

Graduation Jubilee Year 1988 (1 booklet)

History 1852-1987 (3 packets)

History 1936-1961 (1 document)

Historical Sketch of St. Mary’s Church in Waverly, Iowa – probably compiled by Paul Maquire

Installation and Evening Prayer of Rev. Lyle L. Wilgenbusch 24 July 1988 (1 booklet)

Jubilee Celebration 1988 (2 documents)

Jubilee 75th Recognition Weekend Booklet and Cards 1988 (2 documents)

Jubilee Spring at St. Mary’s May 1, 1988 (1 document)

Jubilee Update May 21-22, 1988.

Knights of Columbus Council 7506 Recognition Weekend 1988 (1 booklet)

Knowledge and Hope Booklet ca. 1987-1988 (1 booklet)

Kucera, Rev. Letter regarding Wartburg and Waverly stay 1985 (3 documents)

Letter regarding altar and hospital chapel at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital 1964 (3 documents)

Matrimony Sacrament Renewal of all Marriage Vows Mass Booklet and Marriage record 1913-1977 (1 booklet)

Ordination Booklet – Father Guter and Father Juhl 1945, 1973 ca. 1988 (1 booklet)

Our Lady’s Urgent Appeal to us in the 1980s (1 document)

Parish Foundation Date (1 document)

Pastor/Priest Cards (2 sets)

Pastor List and Major Developments 1854-1898, 1934-1960 (2 documents)

Priest List 1912-1982 (1 document)

Record Book of Saint Mary’s Church, Waverly Page (1 document)

Stations of the Cross Donations 1987 (1 document)

Timeline – Priests (2 documents)

Waverly Newspaper 19 February 1914, copied 4 March 1987 (1 packet)

“Anniversary is motivation for sharing.” Dubuque: The Witness, 7 June 2009, p. 2.

“Bells Ring for Jubilee,” n.p., ca. 1988. (2 documents)

Bonfig, Karen. “Sharing new spokes for an old wheel.” Dubuque: The Witness, 23 November 2009, p. 9.  

“Cost estimates for flood and tornado damage.” Dubuque: The Witness, 28 September 2008, p. 13.

Harvey, Theresa. “On Sunday, March 1, 271 were called to the Easter sacraments.”  Dubuque: The Witness, 8 March 2009, p. 1.

Hulme, Jenny. “Dedication of St. Mary Church, Waverly.” Dubuque: The Witness, 11 January 2009.

Pfiffner, Kraig. “Waverly men raise funds for St. Mary’s.” Dubuque: The Witness, 18 August 2002, p. 2.

“Some Place Closer to Town.” N.p., ca. 1988. (3 documents)

“St. Mary’s Catholic Church: Building with Living Stones, A Special Edition of the Waverly Newspapers.” Ca. 2008.

“St. Mary’s Church, Waverly.” Dubuque: The Witness, 22 June 2008.

“St. Mary’s Year of Jubilee.” Waverly: Bremer County Independent, Vol. 132 No. 3, 15 March 1988, Section A.

“St. Mary, Waverly, breaks ground.” Dubuque: The Witness, 9 September 2007.

“St. Mary’s Waverly kicks off big project.” Dubuque: The Witness, 30 October 2005.



“St. Mary (Waverly, Iowa),” Loras College Digital Collections, accessed May 19, 2024,