In 1950, Urbandale was expanding. With the increasing number
of Catholic families in the district, it became apparent a new parish needed to be developed. With this in mind, Father F.B.
Ostdiek, then current pastor of Holy Trinity, purchased about 5 acres of land for a future church and school site. On January
6, 1955, Father Ostdiek sent a letter to the Most Rev. Edward C. Daly, O.P., Bishop of Des Moines, requesting a new parish
be incorporated. Bishop Daly then issued a decree to proceed with construction of a new church and school at 66th and Oliver
Smith Streets. Rev. Ostdiek, as initial administer, proceeded with formation of the civil corporation. The area included in
the new parish would be bounded by 57th St. on the east, half way to Waukee on the west, Grimes on the north and Hickman Rd
on the south.
On July 12, 1955, Bishop Daly announced the appointment of Father Arthur Ring as pastor of
St. Pius. The first Masses offered at St. Pius were celebrated on July 25 in a roller rink at 3827 70th St. The roller rink
served St. Pius as a temporary church.
A lot was purchased at 3422 66th Street the summer of 1955 and a
two-story white frame rectory was built. Although first used as a rectory, the building was designed to be a convent for the
sisters. At the same time, construction started on an all-purpose building known as the Butler Building, to serve as a temporary
chapel. On Easter Sunday, 1956, the first Masses were offered in the Butler Building.
The limited capacity
of the Butler Building soon became too small to serve St. Pius’ needs, so construction of a church and rectory began.
On August 25, 1968, dedication rites for the new church and rectory were held by Most Rev. Maurice J. Dingman. The Butler
Building was remodeled and later expanded in 1986 with the addition of a kitchen, meeting rooms, band room and restrooms.
This now serves as our Parish Center.
The current three bells (cast in 1903) in the bell tower in front of
the church came from old St. Mary’s Church on 2nd Ave. which was torn down to make way for the MacVicar Freeway.
The faceted colored glass windows were designed by John L. Coleman, a teacher at St. Pius School, and installation
was supervised by John Dwyer, owner of Art Glass Company. The window on the north depicts the life of St. Pius X. One window
shows Mary as “Queen of the Universe” and the other depicts St. Joseph as a carpenter.
of the parish staff to serve the needs of a growing parish necessitated the purchase of a duplex in 1989 to serve as housing
for the priests. The former rectory attached to the church now serves as the parish offices.
In 1990, as
membership grew, the parish began to develop a long range plan to expand the parish facilities to meet the continued demand
for space. In 1993 the parish was able to purchase the house immediately east of the church, providing the parish with additional
parking and playground space.
Additional improvements in 1995 included a 13,000 square foot addition to the
educational building, providing an expanded media center and computer lab, enlarged administrative and staff area, and additional
classroom and parish meeting space.
The current pastor’s residence was purchased in 2001. In 2003,
much needed playground space was purchased just to the south and adjacent to the Parish Center. And the vision of additional
meeting space became a reality with the renovation of the garages in the Parish Office into one large meeting room in December
Construction on a major renovation project began in the Fall of 2007. The parish now enjoys a new gathering
space, narthex, entrance and drop-off, Adoration Chapel, and renovated offices. Changes inside the church include new Stations
of the Cross, baptismal font, floor and wall coverings, and sound system. To accommodate the renovations, the inside of the
church was rotated so that the entrance is on the south side, and the altar is on the north side. Dedication of the new church
was held on June 7, 2008.