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Published on Jun 26, 2011
It was a hot August afternoon in 1995 when a lone arsonist set fire to All Saints Church in Stuart, Iowa. In a matter of hours the rare Byzantine-style church, a local landmark, was engulfed in flames. Declaring rage for the Catholic Church, the arsonist claimed that his destructive act aimed to "take the heart and soul out of a small Catholic community."
Stuart's heart and soul was anything but weakened. A decade and a half later, Project Restore — the nonprofit group formed to salvage and reinstate the structure — is well on its way to reaching its goal of restoring Historic All Saints and creating a cultural center and a center for religious tolerance.