The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

December 6, 2012

St. Boniface doors open for Christmas program

By Scott Levine
Associate Editor

CLINTON — Local history will be on display during a Christmas program this weekend.

The Catholic Historical Center at St. Boniface will host a Christmas open house from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the former St. Boniface church building, 2500 Pershing Blvd. But Christmas decorations won’t be the only sights for attendees.

A Nativity scene, along with several artifacts from the many former Catholic parishes, will be on display during the event. For Catholic Historical Society President Gary Herrity, this weekend’s program gives residents, who may not know about the center, another opportunity to see back into Clinton’s history.

“It’s been an ongoing battle to get people here, but they’re getting here,” Herrity said.

Once people step into the more than century old church building, they will have an opportunity to take a tour that features stained glass windows, statues, shelves full of archives and more displays from not only St. Boniface, but the other former Catholic Church buildings, including St. Irenaeus, St. Patrick’s, St. Mary’s and Sacred Heart.

The building, which was put on the National Register of Historic Places in February, has been put back as close as volunteers could to its original state from the early 1900s, archivist Bill Foley said.

In addition to tours Sunday, the main program begins at 1:30 p.m. consisting of the Sugar Creek singers and Father Ken Kuntz reading the Christmas story. Barbara Neil will play the organ starting at 1 p.m.

The Catholic Historical Society at St. Boniface includes approximately 75 members, and the building is open for tours from 9 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays.  About a dozen workers help keep the building in working order and if residents want to tour the facility, special accommodations can be made through Catholic Historical Society at St. Boniface members.