The following article appeared in the October 30, 1911, issue of the Chanute Daily Tribune. The Passionists had shown interest in establishing a new, western location in St. Paul 18 years earlier. Less than a year later, in September of 1894, they formally took possession of the Jesuit property, including the original Jesuit Monastery. For several years the Passionists made significant improvements to St. Francis Catholic Church, including restabilizing it's foundation. However, this article announced a major commitment to erect a large and elaborate monastery and retreat house in our community. The new 3-story brick and stone building, with a full basement, would cost "something near $50,000."
The Jesuit Monastery, completed in 1872, was razed to make room for the larger Passionist Monastery. That 3-1/2 story building sat about 60' west of the existing church and in about the same position as the existing St. Francis Rectory.
Our Passionist era lasted more than 90 years. Those who remember the Passionist Monastery and Novitiate period remember many priests, students and brothers, and an all-male choir. On Church feast days we often had three Masses being said, at the same time, as older priests watched from the lower panels of the stained-glass windows on each side of the main altar. We had our own small slice of Rome right here at home.
We Didn't Realize What We Had Until We Lost It!
Some Reference Information:
For some more information about our Passionist era, follow these links to Our Story Chapters:
Here is another look at the Passionist Novitiate years through the eyes and website work of a former student — Steve George. Steve's YouTube Channel includes some of the Gregorian Chants we grew accustomed to hearing.
Here is a later article, from the Chanute Weekly Tribune that discusses some of the building's details including a steam lighting system:
Thoughts 'n Things
Some 'Thoughts' and short articles about past and present-day St. Paul and the Southern Kansas - 4 State Region.