The Maryhill Parish, which had a history dating back to the 19th century, ceased to exist on May 1 when R. Walker Nickless, Bishop of the Diocese of Sioux City, signed a decree formally disolving the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Maryhill in Cherokee County.
The original church was built on the site in the 1890's and was replaced in 1905 when the original church burned down.
The rural church, located about seven miles from Cherokee, was leveled during a storm on Aug. 1, 2006. The decision not to rebuild was made in November of 2006.
Each registered household within Visitation Parish Boundaries is now being instructed to register at a neighboring parish, principally (but not exclusively) Immaculate Conception Parish in Cherokee, St. John the Baptist Parish in Quimby, or Holy Name Parish in Marcus. An appropriate share of the insurance settlement will now follow each household to the parish at which they register.
"This is a sad time for the Parishioners of Maryhill and for the Diocese. But knowing how many of the good people of Maryhill understand the significance of what has happened, I feel confident that I have reached the right decision. It is my hope and prayer that all Parishioners of Maryhill will receive a warm welcome at their new parish and will soon feel at home there," said Bishop Nickless.
Many Maryhill Parishioners have been attending Immaculate Conception Parish in Cherokee. Reverend Armand Bertrand, Pastor of the Immaculate Conception Parish feels most parishioners are ready for a new chapter. "With the passing of time, many have come to see that genuine faith is not the building we worship God in. Buildings come and go with the passing of time or in our case, a great wind. Many of our parishioners have told me, Father, it is time to move on. Our loving God continues to call to us and invites us to bring our gifts and talents into a new way to be church."
Maryhill Parishioners are instructed to complete the registration process of their new parish within 60 days. Plans for a memorial on the Maryhill grounds continue to be discussed.