Written by Lauren DeWitt, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
DYERSVILLE (KWWL) -
One Eastern Iowa church has stood the test of time. St. Francis Xavier Basilica celebrated it's 125th year Sunday. The twin-spired church has long been a tourist attraction for Dubuque County as it is one of the finest examples of gothic architecture in the Midwest. Along with being a tourist attraction, the church also serves as a place for families and friends to worship the Catholic faith.
"The Basilica is synonymous with Dyersville. Those spires that tower over 200 feet across the city have been a great beacon of hope and a testimony of faith to the people of this area. Their faith is very dear to them and to think in a town of over 4,000 people it's the only church..it's pretty special." Father Dennis Quint said.
On Sunday, the church's 125 year celebration coincided with the annual Corpus Christi Procession, a procession to announce the Catholic faith to the public.
"This weekend at each of the masses we had a special blessing with regard to the 125th anniversary of the church. We relit the dedication candles that are on the walls of the basilica and we hosted our annual Corpus Christi Procession and we spruced that up in a special way. After the procession we had some birthday cake." Father Dennis Quint said.
St. Francis Xavier Basilica was given the rank of Minor Basilica by a proclamation from Pope Pius XII in 1956. The proclamation was largely due to the church's architectural attributes. In years since, some changes have been made to the building to make it more accessible and reflective of evolving Catholic church practices. But through these changes, the buildings purpose still remains the same, a place for worship.
"Thankfully people don't just adore a building, but they take what happens in that building and live with it." Father Dennis Quint said.
Although St. Francis Xavier Basilica is celebrating its 125th anniversary, Father Dennis Quint says the parish itself is more than 150 years old.
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