The first post was a success story about the Greenbush, St. Aloysius Historical Society's work in beating their drum to keep their story, including Father Colleton's story, alive. However, Father Colleton's home base didn't do well.
A couple of weeks ago we published an article about a chapter in Marion Amberg's book Monument's, Marvels and Miracles, A Traveler's Guide to Catholic America. That chapter, about Catholic Places in Kansas, listed eleven Catholic Churches or other sites that stand out because of their historical relevance or beauty. Each chapter in Marion's book also includes an article about a special place or story. These articles labeled "Finding Faith" are about sites with stories that are unique to their state. We were delighted to see that the Kansas Finding Faith spot was Greenbush! Her comments include the promise missionary Philip Colleton made when caught in a dangerous prairie thunderstorm in 1869; and the historical society's efforts to keep the promise. For the first article, including the authors comments about Greenbush and Fr. Colleton, follow THIS LINK.
The Kansas Sites:
The eleven Catholic-related sites in Marion's book are:
It was hard to believe that the Cradle of Catholicism in southern Kansas missed the author's eye. Especially since Father Philip Colleton's home base was here at Osage Mission. The missionary trip that Fr. Colleton was returning from was one of many he made to the churches and mission stations between Mt. Vernon, Missouri and Pueblo. But even in talking about Father Colleton's fateful trip, she didn't mention the mission.
Puzzled, I took a look at the Oklahoma chapter that begins on page 384. Sure enough, the first Oklahoma church is the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Pawhuska, also known as The Cathedral of the Osage. I was encouraged for a moment because the central subject of the Pawhuska story is the spectacular Schoenmakers window, depicting Father John Schoenmakers, bringing the Gospel to the Osage Nation. BUT, no mention of the Osage Catholic Mission that Father Schoenmakers led for thirty-six years. Father Schoenmakers didn't take the Gospel to Oklahoma. He preached it to them right here in Southeast Kansas. In fact, our Jesuit missionaries weren't able to travel to Oklahoma very much after the Osages left Kansas in 1870.
Contacted the Author.
I sent Marion an email and was very polite. I told her we were pleased to see that Greenbush was the subject of her Finding Faith article for Kansas. I said that their local historical society was very active for a town of about 20, and they have a very effective communication network. But I also gave her a brief description of the Osage Mission and early St. Paul, and sent links to our acatholicmission.org website, as well as our St. Francis - St. Ambrose site. We were surprised we weren't included in her book.
Marion responded in six days — pretty quick since she was in the process of moving from Santa Fe back to the Midwest. "Honestly, I don't know how I missed St. Paul/Osage Mission." She explained her 'multi-pronged' research process which included contacting dioceses, state historical societies and tourism bureaus among other sources. We just didn't show up. She has a couple of other book projects in process and believes we will be in one of them.
Our Osage Mission, early St. Paul history has a lot of potential economic and community value if we develop it. Maybe we should see if we can borrow Greenbush's drum.
Some Reference Information.
1. For a brief bio on Father John Schoenmakers, including a photo of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church Schoenmakers window at Pawhuska, Click HERE.
Thoughts 'n Things
Some 'Thoughts' and short articles about past and present-day St. Paul and the Southern Kansas - 4 State Region.