They are everywhere.
Lord knows there are plenty of dilapidated homesteads scattered throughout our area in southeast Kansas — people’s past homes. Left lonely and abandoned, many here are hidden by timber, vines and high grass. There, they simply rot away, unnoticed.
But out on the desert floor they stand stark, like headstones commemorating past lives. This one is on the north side of San Luis County Road N6 between the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Colorado Highway 17, just north of Alamosa. In the high, arid environment they decay more slowly.
There are more of these on that valley road but this one always catches our attention when we drive into Alamosa. Maybe it is the position relative to the road, or the texture of the weather-worn siding. In places where you can actually see through the house you can almost hear the voices of a mother or children laughing inside of the sad, north-leaning structure. These old buildings were the center of someone’s life, hopes, and future expectations . . .
. . . until something happened.
Some More "Links" To Our Past ....
Our Lowly "Links" Page Contains Some Important Stuff.
Many websites have a Links page somewhere in the menu structure. Sometimes "Links" are included in the top-level menu bar. Or, Links might be buried farther down where they are difficult to find. It depends on how important the links are to the site developer.
We think ours are pretty important — thus, the "Links" position in our main menu bar .
Why are they important? They reflect the way others see us in the overall history of the region or even their own hometowns and churches. By "Us" I mean the Catholic Osage Mission and the missionaries who served it.
Take a moment and open This LINK to Links. Near the top of the page you will find a list of parish or diocese websites that include content related to us. Note that the first two links are to two different diocese websites — Dodge City and Wichita. Both of these dioceses include churches and/or mission stations that were served by Osage Mission Jesuits . As you scroll down, you find several more church sites that refer to Osage Mission Jesuits as the priests who helped get them going. Quite a few are southeast Kansas parishes, but Dodge City and Larned are both over 250 miles west. These are the church site links we have found so far and their are probably more; but it is another way of appreciating the broad missionary range of the Osage Mission Jesuits (map below, or go to Chapter 7 of OUR STORY, The Missionary Trails ... ).
As you scroll down through the remaining links you will find more information about the mission .... and about us! The "Early work of the Lorettines ..." is an interesting essay that was written by a St. Paul native who was also a historian for the Sisters of Loretto. Beneath that are links to a national and a state non-profit website that include information about us.
I will conclude with a thought about the national website. The Freedom's Frontier National Heritage Area commemorates the group of counties, on either side of the Missouri-Kansas line, that were prominent in the Bleeding Kansas border war and the early settlement of this region. The Freedom's Frontier site is only a few mouse clicks from the National Park Service website — one of the most popular tourism websites on earth. Their link to the "Places to See Page" shows their top ten mini-site pages based on website visits. Since our local museum joined the site, about eight years ago, Osage Mission has always been on this list, and is usually in the top five or six positions. On the date of posting we were #2. People care about our story! 
Some Reference Information:
1. On a desktop monitor "Links" is included in the top menu and at the far right end. On smaller monitors it might appear beneath "Thoughts ..." or as "Others." But it is a first level menu link.
2. One of Father Paul Ponziglione's missions evolved into the first church in Wichita, Kansas. As best as we can tell, that early church was located within a few blocks of the present Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.
3. The high ranking of the Osage Mission link on the Freedom's Frontier site probably isn't based on local historical displays, programs, etc.. There is relatively little Catholic Mission content around St. Paul. I believe the ranking is based on widespread interest in the Mission itself. If you do a Google search on "Osage Mission"; Freedom's Frontier, the Kansas Sampler or our page are usually near the top of the list*. But there are several other web sources that respond to an Osage Mission query. People know about the mission, are writing about it, and are interested. Imagine what could happen if our local historical content was beefed up!
* Even Google's summary story for the local museum (upper-right screen on a monitor) uses the Freedom's Frontier page link if you click the "Website" box.
Thoughts 'n Things
Some 'Thoughts' and short articles about past and present-day St. Paul and the Southern Kansas - 4 State Region.