For a number of months Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace Catholic Parish pastor Tony Herold has been on an emotional roller coaster ride with excitement mixed in with nervousness and stress. Several years ago it never occurred to him that as a pastor he would be building his own church.

"I never wanted to build a church," he admits. "I have heard of pastors having break downs during the building of a church." But today Father Tony and his parish will have an opportunity to do what very few pastors and parishes have an opportunity to do. They will dedicate their new church building at 1105 LaMetta Wynn Drive at 10:30 a.m.

The parish was hoping to dedicate the new church by Christmas 2008, but extremely wet, cold and snowy weather caused delays for a completed church until now. "I am very, very pleased with the way it turned out," Father Tony says. "Some people say the building looks like a barn and those comments pleased the architect," he says. The new Arts and Crafts theme of the Craftsman architecture will allow the church to blend in with its prairie surroundings.

Helping celebrate today's dedication will be Bishop Martin Amos, at least 40 priests from throughout and 22-county diocese, former Clinton Mayor LaMetta Wynn and present city officials. A public open house of the new church is being held Sunday from 1-3 p.m.

Despite a new building, parishioners should recognize a number of items from all of the Clinton Catholic Church buildings that have been used in the interior decor of the new church. Among these are the pew ends and the facade of the old confessionals and the gospel book stand from St. Mary's Church. The corpus on the crucifix from St. Boniface Church was restored and placed on the cross behind and over the altar. The candlesticks from St. Patrick's Church have been re-plated for use on the altar and the Tabernacle Lamp from St. Irenaeus. Also the original stations of the cross from St. Irenaeus Church dating from the 19 century have been discovered under a staircase in the church. They were restored and now grace the walls of the new church.

Father Herold has been pastoring Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace Parish for 10 years. Shortly after his arrival, the leadership of the parish spent time evaluating the worship needs of the Catholic community. It was determined that St. Boniface and St. Mary's would be best suited for renovation to make them handicap accessible and modernized with efficient heating, air conditioning and electrical systems. Further studies led leaders and parish members to realize that the renovation of two churches would cost as much or more as building one church. Besides doubling up on building maintenance and operating costs, upkeep and repairs, the parish would continue to be divided among two major places of worship on a Sunday.

After much discernment and talk, the decision was made by the Pastoral Council and Finance Council in consultation with the people of the parish to purchase property and build one new church for the parish.

Father Tony says it is hoped that the parish will someday be reduced to just two properties. Sacred Heart Church will continue to be used for the Education Center.

Herold had been pastor of St. Patrick's Church in Ottumwa for nine years before coming to Clinton. Before that he was associate pastor of St. Mary's Church in Iowa City and vocation director of the diocese at St. Ambrose University. Father Tony says he grew up in Fort Madison, and felt God calling him to the priesthood in his freshman year at Truman State College in Kirksville, Missouri.

He graduated from St. Ambrose in 1975 and did graduate seminary studies in Rome, Italy from 1975-79. He says he was in Rome during the election of Pope John Paul II as the leader of the Catholic Church in 1978 and was also back in Rome for a sabbatical when the popular pope died in 2005.

Father Tony says when he is not busy with his pastoral duties, he likes to exercise and enjoys taking walks along the river. He also enjoys reading (non-fiction), likes to do some traveling and loves music, especially classical and contemporary Christian.

Father Herold is the fourth of five children in his family. He has two brothers and two sisters. He says his 87 year old mother still lives in Fort Madison and will be here for today's church dedication.