Congregation Says Farewell to Church Destroyed by Tornado

By Steve Nicoles, Iowa City Reporter

IOWA CITY - After an emotional April, members of an Iowa City church have turned their focus to moving forward.

St. Pat's Church was one of the many buildings April's tornado destroyed or damaged. Church members still don't know what the future will hold, but there are plenty of options.

Church leaders haven't found a place to rebuild yet, but they are looking at a few places on the east side of town. Possibly out in the county. And anything will be better than the way the church stands now.

The church was destroyed in April's tornado, or the 'holy storm' as it's known at St. Pat's. As for the current church, it could come down as soon as Thursday, depending on the weather.

The church pastor says a few groups have asked about buying the land. It's prime real-estate located near downtown Iowa City. It is worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $2 million.

St. Pat's will put together information for prospective buyers in January.

For now, the church's outlook is good. And according to the pastor, it's amazing how everyone has come together and moved on from the devastating night last April.

"We've come together like a super phenomenon in the sense that you couldn't pay for this kind of unity," said Father Rudy Juarez.

The church is hosting a candle light vigil and farewell service Wednesday night. It starts at 7:00 p.m. in the St. Patrick's Parish Hall, which is across the street from the battered church.
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