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 Jesuit Father Louis Deumortier, based at St. Mary's Indian Mission, began serving settlers in the area in 1859, and he celebrated Mass in teh home of the first Catholic residents of Manhattan in 1865. The home of Mrs. J.T. Ellicott, the niece of Cincinnati Archbishop William Elder, was the center of Catholic activity in the community from 1868 until the old Methodist church was purchased in 1880. Because of anti-Catholic sentiments at the time, the 1859 structure was purchased through a non-Catholic lawyer in Wamego. The first resident pastor arrived in 1881.

In 1908, a three-story home across the street from the church was purchased, and Sacred Heart Academy, the first Catholic high school in the diocese, was opened, staffed by Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia. 

In 1919, plans for a new church were developed. The brick-and-stone structure with twin towers rising 85 feet was dedicated on Oct. 31, 1920, at a cost of more than $66,500.

In 1938, the parish purchased a frame structure from the Free Methodist congregation, moved it next to the Academy and remodeled it for use as a grade school. An addition was built in 1945.

With student enrollment surpassing 200, plans were made to build a new high school. The new Msgr. Arthur Luckey High School, named for the parish pastor who arrived in 1913, was dedicated in September 1951. Before is retirement in 1954, Msgr. Luckey began planning for the construction of a new grade school. He died three months before the new building was dedicated in March 1955. An addition was completed in 1961 after the old Sacred Heart Academy building was razed.

Msgr. William Merchant, who succeeded Msgr. Luckey in 1954, remained at the parish until 1968. During his tenure, school enrollment reached 600.

The Sisters of St. Joseph left the school in 1985, and the high school was closed in 1986, with 11 seniors graduating that last year. The old frame building that had served as a grade school since 1938 burned in 1992, but in its place the parish constructed a fine arts wing.

In 1995, the Seven Dolors Church was listed on the Register of Historic Sites.

Currently, the parish is raising funds to start a multi-million dollar renovation of the church and school buildings.

Seven Dolors refers to the Seven Sorrows of Mary.  The parish was named by Mrs. J.T. Ellicott, a parishioner who was instrumental in its early development.

1865: The first Mass is celebrated in Manhattan in a private home.

1880: The old Methodist Church on the corner of Pierre and Juliette is purchased for $1,400.00 to become the first Catholic Church in Manhattan.

1881: August 5, Rev. A. T. Ennis is appointed by Bishop Fink of the Leavenworth Diocese as resident pastor of Manhattan, with Elbow, Ogden, and McDowell as missions.

1908: Sacred Heart Academy is founded with the purchase of a large house  diagonally across the intersection from the church.  The Sisters of St. Joseph  of Concordia open the school with about 40 students in the grade school and first year of high school.  Each year thereafter, another year of high school is added so that by 1911 a full four-year course is offered.  It is the first Catholic high school in the Concordia Diocese and the first complete high school course in Manhattan.

1919: Due to the increasing size of the congregation, construction of a larger, brick  church is begun.  Dedicated in 1920, it measures 66 ft. wide by 124 ft.  long, and has twin towers rising 85 feet high.

1925: The old frame rectory, built in 1885, is sold and moved away.  Mont Green,  who built the church, constructs a modern eight-room rectory of brick to  match the church.

1930: A pipe organ is purchased from the First Presbyterian Church of Manhattan and is used until 1982, when it’s replaced with a new 21-rank Wicks organ.

1931: Rev. A. J. Luckey becomes Pastor and remains until his retirement in 1954. His dedication to Catholic education leads to the building of a parish high school that is named in his honor and dedicated in 1952.  Seven Dolors Grade School is later built and dedicated in 1955.

1957: The Sisters of St. Joseph convent building and chapel at 731 Pierre are completed.  Since 1985, the convent has served as the Parish Center.

1966: Father Richard Weixelman becomes the first member of Seven Dolors to be  ordained a priest.

1982: The parish is divided to begin the new St. Thomas More Parish in Manhattan.

1985: The Sisters of St. Joseph convent building becomes the Parish Center.

1984: The Family Center Budget Shop at 710 Colorado is built, at first serving as the Seven Dolors Child Care Center.

1986: Monsignor Luckey High School is closed and remodeled to house the  growing Child Care Center.

1995: Seven Dolors Church is listed on the Kansas Register of Historic Places and  included in the National Historic Register.

1995: Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration begins in the Chapel.

 

Priests who have served the Parish:

1881-1884            Msgr. A.T. Ennis †

1954-1968            Msgr. W. Merchant †

1884-1886            Fr. C.D. Curtin †

1968-1971            Fr. J. Grennan

1886-1889            Fr. J.F. Lee †

1971-1981            Fr. J.A. Moeder †

1889                      Fr. E.F. Dooley †

1981-1983            Fr. N. Diabal

1889-1892            Fr. B. Martin †

1982-1985            Fr. R.L. Vering †

1892-1893            Fr. L.H. Schulze †

1983-1993            Fr. J. Morgan

1893-1896            Fr. G. Lecoutre †

1993-2005            Fr. L. Grennan †

1896-1898            Fr. R. Loehrer †

2005-2015            Fr. J. Popelka

1898-1899            Fr. J.C. Regan †

2015-Present        Fr. K. Ninemire

1899-1907            Msgr. A.J. Luckey †

 

 

 

Pastors who gave assistance to the Parish:

1954-1963            Fr. J. Whitty

1975-1981            Fr. C. Kramer

1963-1970            Fr. M. Kieffer

1981-1988            Fr. D. McCarthy

 

Priests who have served as Parochial Vicars:

1937-1938            Fr. B. Jaster †

1968-1970            Fr. J. Wolesky

1938-1939            Fr. M. Hogan †

1970-1971            Fr. R. Dreiling †

1939-1942            Msgr. R. Menard †

1971-1974            Fr. L. Grennan †

1942-1944            Fr. E. Sinner †

1975-1976            Fr. Chris Conklin †

1944-1949            Rev. R. Schott

1985-1988            Fr. B. Sterrett †

1949-1952            Fr. R. Dreiling †

1988-1991            Fr. K. Weber

1952-1954            Msgr. G. Landoll †

1991-1993            Fr. R. Weber

1954-1957            Fr. W. Killian †

1993-1994            Fr. J. Popelka

1957-1960            Fr. H. Kuhn †

1994-1997            Fr. M. Wesley

1960                      Fr. K. Kenny †

1997-1999            Fr. U. Tin

1960-1961            Fr. J. Moeder †

2001-2001            Fr. M. Elanjimattathil

1961-1966            Fr. R. Aschenbrenner †

2005-2007            Fr. G. Chalbhagam

1962                      Fr. M. Ptacek †

2008-2009            Fr. J.M. Thomas

1962-1963            Fr. D. McCarthy

2009-2010            Fr. F. Montoya

1963-1966            Fr. L. Metro

2015-Present        Fr. C. Ruiz-Santos

1963-1971            Fr. M. Kieffer

 

 

History of St Patrick's in Ogden

 

Compiled by Fr. Merlin Kieffer

The impetus for the founding of St. Patrick’s Parish came with the building of Ft. Riley in 1853.   Irish and German immigrants, stone masons and carpenters, employed in the construction of the Fort later settled in the area, many of them in and around Ogden.

In 1854, at the invitation of the commandant, Major Ogden, a priest from St. Mary’s Jesuit house began to hold services at Ft. Riley once a month.   He was called upon from time to time to administer the Sacraments to the residents of Ogden.   Jesuit Father Duerinck probably performed the first marriage in Ogden.   As the number of settlers in the area increased, Ogden became a regular mission station.

Fr. Louis Dumortier, a Jesuit from St. Mary’s, began serving the Catholics in the territory of the upper Kaw River and its tributaries in 1859.    As far as we have been able to determine it was at about this time that Ogden became a parish – the people meeting in house churches.   (As far as I know there is no actual date of the founding of the parish recorded.) The first baptism recorded by Fr. Dumortier at Ogden was in December of 1859.

One of the stories told about Fr. Dumortier is that when he was still some distance from Ogden he would dismount and send his horse on ahead.   The familiar rider-less horse coming into town was the signal for the parishioners to gather for Mass and the Sacraments.   By the time Fr. Dumortier had walked in from across the prairie reciting his Breviary, his people had gathered.

Five or six Jesuit priests followed Fr. Dumortier in those early years.   Noteworthy among them was Fr. Joseph Rimmele who saw a great potential for the Catholic Church in Kansas.   He notes in a letter to the famous Fr. DeSmet in 1869 that at Ogden was the “Church of the Immaculate Conception, 30 x 18 feet, with twenty-five families and annual resources of $50.   The church is finished.  The Irish predominate.”  (Manhattan had only six Catholic families at this time!)

Fr. Dumortier’s diary and Account Book in the archives of former St. Mary’s College seems to leave no doubt that the first church was actually finished in 1866.   As many of you know it is the east part of St. Patrick’s Parish Hall today.

In 1876 the Ogden parish was turned over to the Diocese of Leavenworth by the Jesuits.   Bishop Fink was then the Ordinary.  In 1881 Bishop Fink appointed Fr. A. T. Ennis resident pastor at Manhattan, and foreseeing that it would become the larger center, he made Ogden a mission, even though at the time it had a larger congregation.   In 1897 Riley County became part of the Concordia Diocese.

Two priests later in 1907 Fr. James M. Reade became pastor, and seeing that the original church was too small for the growing congregation, Father Reade built a new church in 1909, which is preserved in the limestone walls of the present church.   Fr. Reade was still remembered with affection when I came here in the 1960’s.   He loved the good people of Ogden and even wanted to be buried here.   Some parents still remembered him for his wonderful catechism lessons.

Msgr. Christopher Roche gave St. Patrick’s, as the parish came to be named, a touch of Ireland by building a stone and concrete block fence around the property.   It was still there on the south side near the present sidewalk when I came here in 1964, but it was in disrepair and falling down, so it was removed.   I believe the stone wall still on the west side of the property is part of that fence.

On March 18, 1938 a disastrous fire gutted the church and toppled the upper part of the walls.   Fr. Joseph Browne declined to remain and rebuild it, so Fr. Edmund Arpin, the new pastor, did so in 1939.    The standing walls were used and built on, but the church was enlarged, and I believe the bell tower was added.  With the coming of World War II, an enlargement of Ft. Riley took a large portion of the parish territory to the north and many of its farm families were forced to move elsewhere.

While I was pastor, on December 8, 1966, the feast of the Immaculate Conception, we commemorated the official dedication of the Ogden parish to the Immaculate Conception one hundred years earlier.    And here we are 43 later commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the Parish, the 143rd anniversary of the First Church and the 100th Anniversary of the current Church.I succeeded Fr. John Whitty in March of 1964, who had been pastor here for 17 years following Msgr. Arpin in 1947.   Just prior to our 100th Anniversary celebration the current altars were built by Msgr. Cornelius Brown and the sanctuary area was enlarged and re-fashioned to reflect the changes in worship following Vatican II.

Quite a few priests and one nun, Sr. Janis Wagner, SSJ, have served the people here since my departure in 1971.    I am not so familiar with St. Patrick’s history since then, having been exiled to Goodland, the western-most parish of the diocese by Bishop Vogel.The priests who have been successive pastors since then were: Msgr. Raymond Menard for several months in 1971.   And then Fr. Marvin Kaiser, 1971-73; Fr. Larry Grennan, 1973-75;  followed by Msgr. Thomas Keogan with his assistant, Fr. Chris Conklin, for a short period in 1975-76 from St. Xavier Parish, Junction City; Fr. Carl Kramer, a native son, from 1976-82; Fr. Donald McCarthy, 1982-88; Fr. Reginald Sanders (a Benedictine priest), 1988-89.  When Fr. Jerome Morgan became pastor at Seven Dolors, St. Patrick’s became a mission of Seven Dolors and was served by its pastor and associates.  Fr. Morgan is listed from 1989-91, and then Associate Fr. Keith Weber for a brief period.

And then thru April 1997 several priests from area parishes lived at the rectory and offered Mass here, or were associates at Seven Dolors: including Fr.  Randall Weber and Fr. Richard Lutgen, who was Sacramental Priest at Chapman.

During Fr. Larry Grennan’s pastorate 1993 thru 2005, Joe Popelka, Fr. Mark Wesley, Fr. David Metz, Fr. Urbano Tin and Fr. Michael Elanjimattathil were Associates who also cared for St.  Patrick.  Since 2005 Fr. Joseph Popelka with his Associates, Fr. George Chalbagham, Fr. James Thomas, and, of course, Bishop Emeritus, George Fitzsimons, have serve here.  Sr. Janis Wagner came to assist as Liturgy Director at Seven Dolors in 1994, and in 1999 came to live in the rectory here and became more directly involved as Pastoral Associate to Fr. Grennan for St. Patrick, where she worked extensively with parishioners both spiritually and in beautifying the buildings and grounds.   She was instrumental in the renovation of the Parish Hall in 2000, and, in getting the electronic Carillon installed in the Church in 2003.  July 1, 2005, Bishop Emeritus George K. Fitzsimons took up residence in the rectory under the pastorate of Fr. Joseph S. Popelka.  On March 15th, 2009, Bishop Paul S. Coakley celebrated a Mass to honor the 150th Anniversary of the founding of the parish, the 143rd Anniversary of the Original Church, and the 100th Anniversary of the Current Church (built in 1909) and rebuilt after a fire in 1939.

Priests who have served the Parish:

1899-1907            Fr.Shields     

1973-1975            Fr. Grennan

1907-1913            Fr. Reade     

1975                      Fr. Keogan

1913-1930            Fr. Roache

1976-1982            Fr. Kramer

1930-1939            Fr. Brown

1982-1988            Fr. McCarthy

1939-1946            Fr. Arpin

1988-1989            Fr. Sanders

1947-1964            Fr. Whitty

1989-1993            Fr. Morgan

1964-1971            Fr. Kieffer

1993-2005            Fr. Grennan

1971                      Fr. Menard

2005-present        Fr. J. Popelka

1971-1973           Fr. Kiser