We traveled to Larned Last weekend for our oldest grandson's high school graduation. The graduation weekend also included recognition of some of the seniors at 10:30 Mass on Sunday morning.
Every time I enter Sacred Heart Catholic Church I have to pause and look at the large mural on the back wall of the nave. It depicts religious figures who brought Catholicism into the central Kansas and Larned area. The brown-robed figure in the center is Franciscan Friar Juan de Padilla as he erects the first cross in Kansas in 1541, near Larned. The tall, black-robed Jesuit steadying the cross is Father Philip Colleton who served a missionary station at Fort Larned during the 1860's and 70’s. Father Colleton traveled more than 250 miles, from Osage Mission to Fort Larned, for the soldiers and rail workers at and near the fort — and he did it on a fairly regular basis.
I am also reminded of several Catholic churches in southern Kansas that discuss our Osage Mission Jesuits on the history page of their websites. It is odd that so few people here, at their missionary headquarters, seem to know who they were. A better local understanding of their role in the settlement of Kansas could certainly provide a cultural and even an economic benefit to our community.
So, there you go ... some Thoughts and Things!
Some Reference Information.
Father Philip is the missionary Jesuit who started many of the parishes in southeast Kansas, and inspired the W.W. Graves book "The Legend of Greenbush."
Thoughts 'n Things
Some 'Thoughts' and short articles about past and present-day St. Paul and the Southern Kansas - 4 State Region.