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Confession 30 minutes before 

Weekend Mass and by 

appointment.  Confessions will

also be on the 1st Thursday of

the month before daily Mass.


Thank you to the men who

did the trimming around the

church.  Lee Seivert,

Terry Gregg, Brian Watterson,

Ed Strouth Dale Wolter and

Ben  Butler.



For news from the Vatican, 

please visit News.va/en or 

click to be redirected to 

their website.



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St. Mary's Church History


The first Catholic Church was completed in Ashton in March of 1881. Father P. J. Lynch came and celebrated mass for the first time in the new, but, unplastered church on March 12, 1881. On this occasion they were happy to have him promise to visit them every three weeks. 


On July 14, 1888 a collection was taken up for a parsonage. It amounted to $848.00. Work was begun at once, and when completed the house, including furniture, sidewalks and well, cost about $1200.00. After the parsonage was completed the people greatly rejoiced, but they saw that the most necessary thing was missing, and that was a school. In 1889 a collection was taken up for the erection of a school house. Work was begun the same spring on a building 36 x 38 and before September the building was completed at a cost of $2300.00 They at once engaged three Sisters of the Order of St. Francis and opened teh school that fall with 35 pupils. The parish looked upon their school with great pride and they were justified in doing so.


Father Hoffman achieved a remarkable recording during the 33 years that he was pastor. Upon his arrival he found much need to furnish the interior of the church and within three months it contained a new altar, a 400 lb. bell, six candle-sticks, three chasubles, altar linens, albs, etc. Hen then turned his attention to the school, as only one classroom was furnished and they had a need for two classrooms. He ordered new desks and in a short time the second classroom was ready for occupancy. Then a small addition was built onto the schoolhouse which was used as a chapel. Father Hoffman visited Italy in 1891 and brought back the picture of Our Lady of Perpetual Help which he hung in the church. He founded the Confraternity of Our Lady of Perpetual Help and all the parishioners were enrolled.


By the year 1892 the number of parish families increased to 96 and conseuqently the church proved to be too small. On may 28, 1893, work was begun on the new frame church duilging, 44 x 112 at a cost of $8300. On October 25, 1893 the church was dedicated by Rev. John Treacy of Sioux City who acted as delegate of the Most Rev. Archbishop Hennessey of Duguque, Iowa.


By 1898 the parish had grown to 115 families and a new school building was erected At the same time the old parsonage was moved near the new school house and enlarged for a sister's residence adn the old school building was remodeled for a parsonage. Now it was expected that there would be room enough in the school and the church for years to come, but the parish continued to grow, and in 1910 it was decided to put a cross addition to the church, measuring 44 x 56. The interior of the church was remodeled, and a grotto of our Blessed Lady of Lourdes was built into the new addition. It was replica of the Grotto at Lourdes, France. The church would now seat 700 people, and the school would accomodate 250 students. Father Hoffman obtained a relic of the True Cross on one of his European trips. This relic is encased in a beautiful reliquary and is used with the prayers for favorable weather, which has been a custom throughout the years.


Plans for a new church were begun in the Spring of 1971. Building of the new church commenced in late September 1971. In addition to the church, a 60 foot bell tower was erected. It houses the three bells from the old church. The larger of the three bells which weighs 1269 lbs. was donated in 1899.


A new rectory which was attached to the church via a walkway was dedicated in 1976.


St. Joseph’s Catholic School closed in 1984.  Students continuing in Catholic school, were bussed to Sheldon to attend St. Patrick’s Catholic School.


Because of declining population, St Mary Catholic Church shared a priest with St Andrew Catholic Church in Sibley, Iowa, beginning in 1996.  Clustering of the three parishes of St Mary Catholic Church of Ashton, Iowa, St Andrew Catholic Church of Sibley, Iowa, and St Patrick Catholic Church of Sheldon, Iowa, and sharing one priest started in 2015.  As of July 2017, parishioners of the three parishes have the option of fulfilling their Sunday mass obligation with an English mass of anticipation on Saturday evening or two Sunday masses at 8:30 AM and 10:30 AM.  A Spanish Mass is available in St Patrick Catholic Church Sundays at 12:30 PM.


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