The Bohemian Catholics of this vicinity first held services in St. Mary's Church, which had been built jointly by the Irish, Germans and Bohemians. There was no resident priest at first, the pastor coming from Cedar Rapids once a month. The first of these was Rev. Father Chmelar, who made regular monthly visits here for several years, and by his kindness and cheerfulness endeared himself to all. He was followed by Rev. Broz, who after the first year was succeeded by Rev. Kopecky. After four years of successful work, Rev. Kopecky was followed by Rev. Joseph Dostal, who was assigned this as a resident parish. It was during the pastorate of Father Dostal that it was decided to build a church which would be the property of the Bohemian Catholics, and accordingly, through the untiring energy of Father Dostal and the loyal support of his parishioners, the work was begun and successfully completed. The corner stone of the church was laid with impressive ceremonies November 1, 1897, and in June of the following year the church was formally dedicated.
The structure itself, built by Charles Shimanek, is a beautiful piece of work, one that the Catholics take delight in, and of which the town is justly proud. Located near the High School park, with a pretty parsonage, its surroundings are of the most pleasant character. Nor is the interior of the church in the least disappointing to one who knows only its exterior. The magnificent altars, with their decorations, the beautiful oak settees, the statuary, the pictures, the general air of cleanliness, all tend to inspire a spirit of reverence and worship, and no one can fail to be touched by a pervading sense of beauty.
Services within the church, aside from the ritual, are conducted in the Bohemian language, and are usually accompanied by appropriate music. But members of all nationalities are always welcome. The parish has been ministered to by several different priests since the erection of the new church. Of these Father Dostal was subsequently transfered to another parish. In 1903 the hearts of all who knew him were saddened by the news of his accidental drowning. Rev. Dostal was succeeded by Rev. Koerner, and he in turn by Rev. Svrlik. Father Lakomy came here next from Wisconsin. There was genuine regret among his parishioners when he announced his transfer to another parish. He was followed by the good wishes of them all. Rev. Opava came here then from Clutier, Iowa, remaining until 1906, when he was followed by Rev. Vrba, who stayed but one year. In 1907, Rev Ballon took charge of the local parish, remaining until 1911, when he was followed by Rev. Vojacek, who is still in charge, and well-liked by all, not only members of his own church, but those of other religious faiths as well.
The lawn surrounding the church and parsonage, which is a substantial two-story frame building, is well kept, and is beautified in summer by numerous flower beds, which are a delight to all observers.