NEIA Church in Need of Repairs

PETERSBURG, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- A northeast Iowa church is in need of repair, but due to its old age and what needs to be done, it comes with a hefty price.

The Ss. Peter & Paul Catholic Church in Petersburg opened back in 1906. Now churchgoers say the church has never needed more repair.

The church, placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1995, showcases everything from stained glass windows to original hand painted murals.

But in recent years its distinct features have deteriorated.

Outside the church, the roof and steeples both need repair. Inside, the windows and interior walls all need fixing.

With all of the projects the church hopes to fix, they have already set a timeline to preserve a piece of history.

“I think we’re looking at a three to five year timeline,” said Rick Domeyer, President of the Ss. Peter & Paul Parish Council. “Aggressive would be three years but five years is our ultimate goal.”

Both Domeyer and his wife, Karen Domeyer, are general chairpersons of the church renovation committee. Rick Domeyer has come to the church since he was seven years old. Karen Domeyer has attended for the last 42 years.

“Our motto is ‘treasuring our past, preserving our future,’” Karen Domeyer said. “And for me personally, we’re leaving a legacy for our children. And it’s all about leaving something behind for our kids and our grandkids and for generations to come.”

Though it will take some time to raise the money for the 112 year old church, those who know the church best are already looking forward to the future.

“I expect that when people walk into the church for a ceremony as we celebrate the generosity of folks that we’ll have a lot of smiles and beautiful music radiating through the area,” said Rev. Dennis Quint, who serves the Ss. Peter & Paul Parish.

Rev. Quint said often times in church, the focus is on the people or “living stones,” but this is a time where focus turns to the building stones as well.

For those who have never seen or been to the church it may be difficult to understand the price tag.

Steeple repairs are estimated at $182,000, and the roof repair is estimated at $160,000. Karen Domeyer said these two projects need to be completed before work inside can begin.

The inside of the church carries the heavy financial load.

Between the stained glass window repair and repainting detailed murals, that could be upwards of $1 million by itself. The stained glass window repair is estimated anywhere from $289,000 to $485,000, while the interior painting and mural cleaning is estimated at $700,000.

Including lighting and electrical improvements, cleaning the remainder of the church, and other expenses, the total cost is estimated anywhere from $1,482,600 to $1,678,600.

Rick Domeyer said they began fundraising Sunday, April 29 and have already received pledges.

Those who are interested in pledging can message the Spires of Faith Facebook page or call the Ss. Peter & Paul Catholic Church at (563) 875-7992 for more information.

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