The tiny town of Greenbush, Kansas, has done a remarkable job of keeping their story alive. In doing so, they have kept a part of our Osage Mission story going.
A few weeks ago our daughter gave Rosie a couple of books for her birthday. One of them was Marion Amberg's Monuments, Marvels, and Miracles; a Traveler's Guide to Catholic America. Stacy knew it would be used because we tend to gravitate toward old churches and missions in our travels.
The Table of Contents of the 479 page book is arranged in seven main sections, each covering a geographical area: Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Midwest, Mountain West, Southwest and Pacific West. Each section includes a map of the geographical region, and individual maps of each of the states in that region. State maps have numbered travel symbols that correspond with articles about churches, missions or other Catholic locations in the state.
In addition to the numbered symbols and articles, each state chapter also has an unnumbered sidebar article titled "Finding Faith." These are special sites with stories that are unique to their state. Each state has only one Finding Faith article (except New York and Texas).
The Finding Faith article for Kansas is about — Greenbush! If the page shot at right doesn't enlarge well on a phone, it says:
How long is a promise? Forever, in Greenbush! In 1869 Father Phillip Colleton, SJ, was riding his horse on the prairie when he got caught in a fierce thunderstorm with pounding hail. Taking refuge under his saddle in some bushes, he promised to erect a church on that spot if he lived. In 1871, a small wooden St. Aloysius Church went up. The promise doesn't end there.
When an 1877 storm destroyed the church, a second church was built in 1881. A third and larger church was dedicated in 1907, and the 1881 church became a hall. When the third church burned in 1982, the 1881 church — the second church — was renovated and became the fourth church. When the fourth church closed in 1993, folks banded together to preserve the structure, now called St. Aloysius Historic Site, and to keep Father Colleton's promise alive."
Plan your visit: saintaloysius.weebly.com.
947 W. Highway 47, Girard, KS 66743"
Other Finding Faith Examples:
Were we surprised that Greenbush was selected for a special article? Yes - but no one had to pick us up off of the floor. They have always done a good job of beating their drum, so to speak. They have an active, incorporated historical society with a large number of members. They also have an attractive, well laid out website. But more than that, they have a strong community following; and their "community" seems to stretch across the country. The St. Aloysius Historical Society keeps Father Colleton's story alive, and also maintains their historic cemetery and church ruins. They, and the Southeast Kansas Education Support Center, complement one another well, and their annual celebrations attract hundreds of people! It is no wonder they were featured in the recent regional Kansas Samplers Foundation Big Kansas Road Trip.
But! When we looked through the book for Finding Faith comparisons in other states, we were very impressed. Greenbush is in very good company:
Some Reference Information:
1. Monuments, Marvels and Miracles, A Travelers Guide to CATHOLIC AMERICA, by Marion Amberg, copyright 2021, Our Sunday Visitor Publishing Company, Huntington, Indiana. The book is available through Amazon, Barnes and Noble and several catholic book outlets.
Thoughts 'n Things
Some 'Thoughts' and short articles about past and present-day St. Paul and the Southern Kansas - 4 State Region.