The History of Holy Family Catholic Church

Holy Family Catholic Church was founded by the monks of New Melleray Abbey.  The monastery was established in 1849 by Trappist monks from Mount Melleray, Ireland.  Future Irish immigrants were attracted to this area of southern Dubuque County by the presence of the monastic community from their home country.  Nearby settlers initially gathered at the monastery to celebrate Sunday Mass.


In 1850 the people asked the monks to help them form their own parish.  Fundraising was done and a small stone church was constructed across the road from the abbey.  As the community continued to grow the need for a new, bigger church became apparent.  A wood frame church was built at the north end of the present cemetery.  In April 1889 the current brick church was dedicated and the parish had its permanent home.


The monks from New Melleray served as pastor of Holy Family from its inception, including Rev. Placid Magee, O.C.S.O. who was pastor from 1910 until his death in 1952.  Following the death of Fr. Magee the parish came under the care of the Archdiocese of Dubuque.  Several priests have served as pastor since then, including our current pastor Rev. Michael J. Podhajsky who was appointed as pastor of Holy Family in September 2011.


Holy Family Parish is a warm, active community of 240 families.  The parish community comes together to celebrate the sacraments, form our children through religious education, strengthen relationships through community support, and live out our Catholic faith in love of God and neighbor.

Our Staff

Fr. Michael J. Podhajsky, Pastor

Kay Goedken, C.R.E.

Marjorie Lehmann, Finance Council Chair

Jaime Ryan, Wedding Coordinator

Harriet Sullivan, Hall Rental

Pastoral Council

Tammy Van Cleve - Chair

Danielle Connolly

Kay Goedken

Marjoie Lehmann

Shannan Noonan

Keri Schwenker

Virgil Weber

Finance Council

Marjorie Lehmann - Chair

Jamie Veach

Sue Bergfeld