Osage historian and author Louis Burns credited the Osage Mission missionaries with being the main line of defense between his people and extinction:
"The Jesuits and Sisters of Osage Mission, probably more than any other outside factor, were responsible for the survival of the Osage people. It is no small wonder that eighty percent of the Osages are still Catholic today. These dedicated souls accomplished more than they lived to realize. Their Influence on the souls and aspirations of the Osage people is still present today.”
Louis Burns — A History of the Osage People, 1989
The missionaries educated the Osage children; they supported their spiritual needs; they treated their illness during the horrible epidemics of the 1850's and Father John Bax died with them. Father Schoenmakers served as their business, and legal as well as spiritual adviser.
The advertisement at right has been posted to the Osage Nation and Osage Cultural Center pages several times recently. The picture is of St. Francis Church, Monastery and Academy in the middle 1880's. It should not be a surprise that Friday's Osage Book Club meeting discussed pages from W. W. Graves' "Life and Letters of Father Ponziglione, Schoenmakers, and Other Early Jesuits of Osage Mission."
Their time in Kansas was not pleasant. But the Osages still know that our Jesuit and Loretto Missionaries helped them get through it.
They haven't forgotten us.
For more information about the tragedies and triumphs of the Osages time here, follow THIS LINK.
Thoughts 'n Things
Some 'Thoughts' and short articles about past and present-day St. Paul and the Southern Kansas - 4 State Region.