On January 6, 1955 Father Ostdiek sent a letter to Bishop Daly requesting a new parish be established in the Northwest Des Moines/Urbandale District. A decree was established stating that a parish would be incorporated  under the patronage of St. Pius X on March 1, 1955. A new church and school will be constructed on the five-acre site at 66th and Oliver Smith Streets, known as Cornbelt Acres. 



 

While masses were said by Rev. Arthur Ring at a nearby skating rink for more than 400 people, building of the church began. This arrangement lasted for eight months. 



Planning soon began for the school and rectory. In addition to the original parcel of land, a residential lot was purchased at 3422 66th Street and construction began on a two-story home there. Although it first was used as a rectory, the building was designed to become a convent for the sisters who would teach at the new school.



Many families moved to Urbandale because of the promise of a new Catholic school. In September 1956, a one-story school with eight classrooms and a kitchen opened its doors to 120 excited students.



Three nuns from the Sisters of Humility in Ottumwa accepted the call to teach at St. Pius and arrived in August 1956. Sister Mary Camillus was the schools first principal. Sister Leona Mary and Sister Mary Sheila helped run the school. Only six classrooms were used the first year. First and second grades were not offered, because those two classrooms and the kitchen served as a convent. Eventually all eight grades plus kindergarten would be included. 



In January 1959, St. Pius Parish purchased a home at 3670 66th Street to use as a rectory. The former rectory could now be used for its original purpose: a convent. The sisters moved in the following fall. Father Ring lived in the house on 66th Street until the permanent church was completed in 1968. The new church had a large, attached rectory.



Construction to double the capacity of the existing school began on May1, 1962. A two-story, eight classroom addition was built and new students soon filled the space. 









 





History

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