- Associated Press - Friday, March 28, 2014

DOUGHERTY, Iowa (AP) - A nonprofit group is the new owner of the 142-year-old former St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in the small northern Iowa community of Dougherty.

An event is planned Sunday to mark the transfer of the church from the Archdiocese of Dubuque to the Society To Preserve Antiquated Town Structures, according to the Mason City Globe Gazette (https://bit.ly/1i1trsu ).

The official transfer took place in late February, when the property was sold for $1. The archdiocese closed the church in 2012.

Dougherty resident Dennis Campbell said the group is still planning how to use the building. Besides the church, the archdiocese also transferred ownership of a rectory and former parochial school.

“This is all new to everyone here and to the archdiocese,” Campbell said. “We have to keep reminding ourselves this is our property now.”

The former church can be used for prayer services and weddings, but Mass can’t be celebrated. A kitchen and gym at the school will be used as a community center.

Dougherty, which is 13 miles southeast of Mason City, has a population of about 60 people.

Campbell said the nonprofit group is seeking donations of old photos and memorabilia that will be displayed in the school. Group members are considering dedicating different school rooms to various aspects of life in Dougherty.

As for the church, Campbell said “we are going to try to keep it as original as possible.”

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Information from: Globe Gazette, https://www.globegazette.com/

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