Friday, June 28, 2024

155 Years ago

It was this week 155 years ago, on June 27, 1869, that St. Irenaeus was dedicated by Bishop Hennessy.  The new church was dedicated on the eve of the parish feast day.  This is an image from that year.  St. Irenaeus’s feast day was June 28 at that time, and is now July 3rd on the Traditional liturgical calendar.

(The north steeple was finished years later and was drawn into this image.)

In the Biography of a Parishone can read excerpts from that day.  (page 17)

A Lofty Transformation

The details surrounding the choir loft were improved this week.

This photo is as it was before:

In progress:

The finished work! Well done!

Prepare to Pilgrimage

Three days. Thirty-three miles.

Every step is a prayer to Restore All Things in Christ

The 2024 dates are August 22-24. Register now.

Thursday, June 20, 2024

On the Level

The crew of volunteers plus one company representative began the project by dividing the nave into quarters.  The first pour of leveling compound was on the north side.

Meanwhile, others prepared for the next pour by drilling boards onto the floor to wall up the wet mix.

Next, screws were drilled into the floor to show the level of the pour.  Then, the surface was vacuumed and primed.

You can see here how the screws are drilled to confirm the level height.   

The walls were also taped prior to pouring, any gaps were sealed with caulk, and the HVAC vents were temporarily filled. 

The leveling compound had the consistency of water.  Note the spiked shoes worn by the workers to avoid marking the surface.

Each pour required five gallons of water, two units of compound and a one of fiberglass (for strength), then mixing with a power drill.

There were two mixing teams to keep it all moving smoothly.

Behind them were more volunteers – hosing off messes, opening boxes, and disposing of trash.

Check it out – in action!

The floor set up quickly.  Shown here is the end of the second day.

Next up is to prepare the vestibule for leveling compound.

Tomorrow, five priests will be ordained at St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary.  Please pray for them.

Photo from

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

All in A WorkDay

Coming up quick is the pouring of a leveling compound to prepare the floor for a new surface and pews.

Volunteers work to secure compromised areas prior to the big week.   

Much consideration has gone into the selection and plans for the floor – overall strength, finished results, added weight, cost, time and more.

The floor will be leveled in three pours from the sanctuary to the vestibule.

Here you can see the section of the floor that was too high to be corrected by the leveling compound.   This part of the floor was cut out and made lower.   

Behind the busy work crew, young ladies gathered to learn a new song for the schola, or choir.

This couple visits St. Irenaeus Catholic Church each year on their anniversary.  Most years, they’ve only been able to access the front steps, as the church was locked up.

On this anniversary, they found the doors propped open and a bustle of activity inside! They were able to renew their vows on the altar.  

The happy husband’s great-grandparents were married by the church builder, Father F.C. Jean.

Friday, May 31, 2024

Mary, Our Queen

This image of Our Lady of Guadalupe is an original, painted and framed by Our Lady of Guadalupe Monastery at Silver City, New Mexico.

Happy Feast of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary!

Mary, Virgin Most Powerful, ora pro nobis!

Today’s Epistle (Ecclesiasticus 24: 5, 7, 9-11, 30-31)

I came out of the mouth of the Most High, the firstborn before all creatures. I dwelt in the highest places, and my throne is in a pillar of cloud. And I have stood in all the earth and in every people, and in every nation I have had the chief rule. And by my power I have trodden under my feet the hearts of all the high and low. He that harkeneth to me shall not be confounded, and they that work by me shall not sin. They that explain me shall have life everlasting.

Today’s Gospel (Luke 1:26-33)

At that time, the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth, to virgin espoused to man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David: and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. Who having heard, was troubled at his saying and thought with herself what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said to her: Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God. Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb and shalt bring forth a Son; and thou shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great and shall be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of David His father: and He shall reign in the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there shall be no end.



Mary, Assumed Into Heaven

Mass is planned for August 15, 2024, on the Feast of the Assumption – a holy day of obligation.  Watch for details to come later.

A Joyous Update

Maximilian “Irenaeus” John Pio’s suffering simultaneously secured St. Irenaeus Chapel for restoration. His Mass of the Angels was the first said at St. Irenaeus Catholic Church in over a decade. 

This past month, Maximilian’s baby brother was born healthy, and baptized at St. Irenaeus Chapel. Deo gratias!  

In two years

While we await the new floor and pews, take a look back at the condition of St. Irenaeus in 2021, before the restoration.

As Always

While we wait for a priest to be assigned to St. Irenaeus Chapel – according to God’s time, let us:

Pray for a HOly priest

Through our prayers, works, joy and sufferings of each day, and in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass said throughout the world.

pray for vocations

By the prayers of the mothers in Lu, Italy, 323 vocations came out of their community.   May parents, grandparents and Godparents raise up children so that they might say “yes” to His call.

O God, grant that one of my children may become a priest or religious! I myself want to live as a good Christian, and want to guide my children always to do what is right, so that I may receive the grace, O God, to be allowed to give You a holy priest or religious! Amen.

To be offered daily, along with Holy Communion on the First Sunday each month. It may be prayed at the communion rail after Mass.

talk about vocations

Get questions answered about the priesthood and religious life, and ask: “How can one be generous with his or her life?”

Rebuild Catholic Culture

Attend the “Rebuilding the City of God in the Age of Modernity” conference taking place in October, or look for the talks when they become available.

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

St. Joseph, the worker

Happy Feast of St. Joseph, the Worker!

When tackling projects at St. Irenaeus Chapel, St. Joseph is invoked under this title – asking “all for Jesus, all through Mary, all in imitation of Thee.”

This prayer is posted in the St. Irenaeus kitchen.

St. Joseph, ora pro nobis!

Recent Accomplishments

During this Easter season, some quiet tasks have been done:

  • A major support beam was secured in the basement.
  • Volunteers ripped up carpet in the nave and moved pews, again!
  • The plumbing for a downstairs restroom is awaiting city permit.
  • An entry door was improved.
  • The new steeple crosses were repainted for a uniform finish.
  • And always…mowing and trimming – nearly a city block worth!

Looking Toward Summer

These are the big things to anticipate in the near future:

  • New flooring installed in the nave
  • New oak pews installed in late July
  • Mass planned for August 15 – the Assumption

A Glance Back In Time

If you have stories or photos about St. Irenaeus, please submit them to  

This photo was submitted by a Clinton native.  It is joy to see old photos come in, as they help to put history and details together.   The son of the couple shared this story:

“At the end of WWII my father came home from the war and my parents got married. Only, twist was that my mother did not want to get married that first year as everyone was getting married and she wanted to be different. When they went to get married, St. Irenaeus was in the process of [see below].  Of course no services were being held at the church do to the ongoing construction. My mother spent one afternoon talking to the priest and somehow she changed his mind for her wedding to be held in the church. Attached is a photo from the wedding with scaffolding in the background.” 

This excerpt describes the restoration work done in 1947, from page 27 of the St. Irenaeus Centennial Celebration booklet, found in full here.

May God Reward You

A small amount is still needed for the pew and flooring project.

This restoration is done all for the glory of God, and all by you, its generous benefactors.  Thank you.

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Come To Mass

Easter Wednesday, April 3rd at 6:00 p.m.

Easter Thursday, April 4th at 7:00 a.m.

A simple supper with cold meat sandwiches will follow in the basement on Wednesday evening. Please bring a side dish to share.

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Come for stations

Pray the last Stations of the Cross of this Lenten season.    This Friday at 6 p.m. at St. Irenaeus Chapel.

Go to confession

As we approach the Easter season, we recall the precepts of the Church, instructing the faithful to:
1) To assist at Mass on all Sundays and holydays of obligation.
2) To fast and abstain on the days appointed.
3) To confess our sins at least once a year.
4) To receive Holy Communion during Easter time.
5) To contribute to the support of the Church.
6) To observe the laws of the church concerning marriage.

Before approaching the tribunal of Penance, the penitent must make an examination of conscience, with a carefully effort to remember all the sins committed since his last confession. It is particularly necessary to confess the mortal sins committed after Baptism that have not yet been directly forgiven by the power of the keys.

In order to make a good examination of conscience, the penitent will invoke God’s help:

O Holy Ghost, eternal source of light, dispel the shadows that hide from me the ugliness and malice of sin. Give me so great a horror for sin, O my God, that I may hate it, if possible, as much as Thou dost hate it, and that I may fear nothing so much as to commit it again.

He will carefully recall to mind the sins he has committed by thought, word, action or omission against the commandments of God and of the Church, and against his duty of state. He will mention the circumstances that could make a venial sin mortal, the number of times the sins were committed, the harm caused, etc.

If he has any trouble entering into his inner self, the penitent will not hesitate to seek help, either by using a missal or prayer book or by asking the priest to help him, always asking God and especially the Holy Ghost to help him see his faults and negligence more clearly.

Source:, 11-15-2018

For those in the Clinton area, confessions are regularly heard at Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace:
Monday 7:00 AM
Friday 7:00 AM
Saturday 4:00 PM
First Saturday of the month 8 AM and 4 PM 
Second Sunday of the month (with Spanish available) 2:30 PM
or by appointment by calling the parish office: 563-242-3311

plan to attend Mass

Easter Wednesday, April 3rd at 6:00 p.m.

Easter Thursday, April 4th at 7:00 a.m.

Thursday, March 7, 2024

Two HOly MasseS

in the Octave of Easter

Holy Masses will be said at St. Irenaeus Church by Fr. Bernard Bevan, SSPX, during the Octave of Easter on: 

More details forthcoming.

One Row to Go!

Monday, February 19, 2024

The Way of the Cross

Join us on Fridays during Lent, 6 - 7 p.m.

You are invited to St. Irenaeus Catholic Church on Friday evenings during Lent at 6 p.m. to pray the Stations of the Cross – “to weep and atone for our sins, understand Our Lady’s sorrow, pray with the Church, contemplate Our Lord as Eucharistic Victim, accept the Will of God, prepare for judgment, and love our neighbor.” 

We will be using the St. Alphonsus version, similar to pages 1-18 found here.

A Look Back to May 27, 2022

The Third Station: Jesus Falls the First Time

The Twelfth Station: Jesus Dies on the Cross

Just a little left to fill!

Monday, February 12, 2024

Smiles All the Way Around

From serving and entertaining guests, to demo and detail work, there is joy in the work done at St. Irenaeus – all for the greater glory of God.

valentine Supper

The St. Irenaeus Youth Group organized a formal supper for benefactors, and as a fundraiser for new pews.   The young adults prepared the menu, decorated the venue, served tables and entertained their guests – with smiles all throughout. 

A big, big thank you to The Dutch Oven Co. for their good guidance, contributions and encouragement in the project!


While we pray and wait for a priest to be assigned, we work to make St. Irenaeus Catholic Church Mass-ready for future generations.

How can you help?    See the current PEW CAMPAIGN at bottom of this post!

For a Night View

The Crucifixion scene window received its own ceiling light and automatic timer.  It will now be illuminated during the night-time hours and visible to North 2nd Street.

Hidden Work

Much time has been spent above the nave to arrange wiring for additional lights and ceiling fans. In addition, volunteers constructed a catwalk to span the length of the building to better navigate the rafters.  More time will be spent in this area for smoke and fire alarm necessities.

Paint, Paint, Paint

Volunteers spent many, many hours freshening up St. Irenaeus with new paint.  The old paint was from 1947; it was aged, cracked, and had accumulated decades of dust.  With careful preparation, patience and good help, the painting was done well and for a fraction of the potential cost.

Ceiling Fans

Three 80″ ceiling fans were hung to keep air circulating in the nave.  This will keep heat from being lost at the ceiling level.


Upon inspection, this pillar in the basement was in very poor condition.  It was not steel like the others.  Outside it appeared to be sturdy block, but inside it was failing limestone. 

Temporary Support

A temporary structure was built to carry the weight while the old pillar is removed.  You can see here that it must support two, large weight-bearing beams.  

A Great Workday

Ten men volunteered 50 hours to demo the failing, limestone pillar.  It was sectioned off with plastic to control debris. Noteworthy: On this workday there were three father/son teams, and souls from California to Chicago!

Heavy Lifting

The scale of the building doesn’t accurately show the amount of debris that was hauled out in buckets.   It was a lot!

A Clean Cut

A wet saw and vacuum was used to neatly cut the floor and to dig one foot below the pillar area. New concrete will be poured for reinforcement.

Going Forward

A portion of the ladies bathroom wall was also removed in the demo.  This will allow better door placement and use of space.  Here, three toilets are being marked on the floor.

Professional Help

A father/son team gave 16 hours of labor to move an electrical box out of the kitchen and into a more practical place.  This amount of skill, strength and effort is greatly appreciated! 


New in a Sacristy

A new exterior door in the south sacristy took two professionals most of the day to install, and adds much light to the once-dark corner.

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Stephen Jeffrey and Helene Zielinski were married at St. Irenaeus Catholic Church on June 1, 1968.

Do you have St. Irenaeus photos or stories to share?

Please send them to

First Sundays: To Pray for Vocations

By the prayers of the mothers in Lu, Italy, 323 vocations came out of their community.  May parents, grandparents and Godparents raise up children so that they might say “yes” to His call.

O God, grant that one of my children may become a priest or religious! I myself want to live as a good Christian, and want to guide my children always to do what is right, so that I may receive the grace, O God, to be allowed to give You a holy priest or religious! Amen.


To be offered daily, along with Holy Communion on the First Sunday of each month. It may be prayed at the communion rail after Mass.

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Happy New Year!

Currently, 13 1/2 rows of the 19 1/2 rows are filled.

Thank you, benefactors!