Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Old St. Patrick's, Kansas City, Missouri (updated Nov 16)

I was saving this one for last, but due to recent events in my family, I haven't gotten out for further research, or further pictures. So here goes:

Old St. Patrick's Oratory at 8th and Cherry in Kansas City, Missouri, was canonically suppressed as a parish in the 1960s, and was a chapel of convenience within the cathedral parish from that time until October 2005. It was closed last month, but with good reason: it is going to be restored and operated as a public oratory exclusively for the indult Latin Mass community in KCMO, under the care of the Institute of Christ the King, Sovereign Priest. No date has been set for the reopening--lots of work must be done (infrastructure work, as well as restoration of suitable furnishings and decoration) and lots of money must be raised.

Click here for the "shagged out" sanctuary (PDF file).
Click here for pictures of the original (or at least the pre-shag) sanctuary(PDF file).
Click here for pictures of the shagged out sanctuary being dismantled (PDF file).

Kudos to oratory member John Quastler, who produced the bulletins with these pictures and keeps them archived online.

I have quite a bit of information on this parish, as a friend of a friend passed along the entry from This Far by Faith, a history compiled by the diocesan archivist in the 1980s. The abridged version is that the sanctuary was wrecked in the 1970s, with the altar rail mostly removed and the old high altar replaced with a plywood-and-resin clunky altar table, ambo and hanging baldachino left over from some hippy Eucharistic Congress. It's the sort of thing that makes you glad Robert Finn's the bishop and I'm not. I'd have burned somebody at the stake if I'd walked into the church and seen the wanton destruction. Finn doesn't seem inclined to do so; at least not yet.

Anyways, there area lot of challenges in getting this restoration done. The oratory community is small--only 70 or 80 families, I hear, and their resources are meagre. There are no promises that Bishop Finn's successors will permit the Oratory to continue with the old Mass--which makes mistrustful folks a little hesitant to contribute for the infrastructure for it. And even after the community restores the church, they won't have a rectory for their priest to live on-site, nor will they have any area to hold educational or social events. The rectory was torn down in the 1970s, as the second picture shows. Only the garage remains.

But, you've got to admire them and wish them luck (and perhaps make a donation to their restoration fund).


Anonymous said...

My great great maternal grandmother's name-Bridget Harvey, is in the window of the church at the most south east window.
Please let me know if the windows will ever be sold or removed. I am very interested in their preservation.

I am also interested in the preservation of the church. My kids were both under 4 when I took them to a noon mass there, now they are 22 and 18.

Bridget Harvey's son was Father Patrick Harvey. He was a Jesuite Priest. His preliminary training was in Atchison at St. Benedictine College in the early 1900's. We have been told by Rockhurst that he was part of the founding of this college. He taught all 4 years of the high school class and then this classes first year as Freshman to start the college.

This cousin, Sister Jane DeChantel, was a Sister of Charity at Leavenworth when she died in the 1960's.

I have some information on these people if you would ever want copies for your records.

My name is Tanya Coons-Redig,

Anonymous said...

This is Tanya Coons-Redig again. My email is if any one wants to contact me regarding the Old St. Pats of KCMO note I posted today(3/6/07)

Anonymous said...

My maternal grandparents were married in this church...My grandmother was born in 1888 and was 16 when she got married here to my grandfather Pasquale Mazza. They lived in the North End..the Italian area...until they moved to 10th and Bales a bit later. My grandmothers maiden name was Mary Trevison..she was born in KC but her husband, Pasquale, was born in Italy and came here when he was young....