A Farm Animal Given As Payment To The Church St Boniface – Brief History on the Survival of a Large Country Church in Rural Kansas

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St Boniface – Brief History on the Survival of a Large Country Church in Rural Kansas

St. Boniface Church and Cemetery is located in Scipio, KS, a small town between the towns of Richmond and Garnett, and two miles east of Highway-59. This Catholic church with its 160′ copper steeple and stained glass windows is unusually large for a country church, it also has an equal wing-at-the-back ‘L’ wing which is currently being renovated and a combined setback . At one time this part of the two-story building was a monastery for 25 Carmelite members, who built the current limestone church, and who farmed the 600-acres around it.

The original church

In the mid-1850s, some Jesuit missionaries served the Native Americans in eastern Kansas. And then, against the wishes of these missionaries, these natives were moved further south. At about the same time, many immigrants were taking up farmland in the Scipio region, many of them German Catholics.

Because Scipio’s group wanted their own church to suffer, two prominent members of the community prevailed upon the bishop of Leavenworth for their own priest. They see a missionary who visits once a month. However, because his random visits did not work well, they prevailed on the bishop again, who visited them. After he saw about forty families who had dedicated themselves to the faith and were living there, he chose a priest who would stay for a long time.

Later, the people built a new priest who lived in a small house and a wooden church on 20-acres of land they donated. It was dedicated in the spring of 1859. St. Boniface would be the only Catholic church in Anderson County for 25 years. However, this position would change over time as the larger picture of its community developed.

Growing It

In 1865, St. Boniface was converted to the Carmelite order, a large order of friars with German roots. This order gave the church a huge boost in membership. By 1869, the railroad was nearby. By the 1870s, the parishioners had moved up to his dilapidated church, which was also damaged with burnt seats. With more families in the church now, plans have begun for a new church on the top of the hill, west of the wood.

In 1873, their head friar ordered the construction of a Carmelite wooden monastery which would also serve as Mt Carmel College in parallel to what would become the current church. For a while, church services will be held in this frame monastery, while the new church is being built.

Ultimately, the building layout of the future will give every facility a large ‘U’ shape facing west when built. Construction continues with a one-room parochial school, a community hall, and a house for Ursuline sisters north of the proposed church. Meanwhile, the friars and people with stone-masonry skills dried and assembled their own stone blocks for the planned 1881-built church. Its cornerstone was laid in 1882.

At this time, the people of Carmel have increased their land to 600 acres. The brothers planted/made his garden, which includes a 10-acre vineyard and vineyard. They also built a large rectangular red barn and barns for fattening cows, livestock, hay, grain storage, and equipment. Without a doubt, they had a smoke house and a place where they slaughtered animals, where they put cans, and to do laundry.

Times Change

Because the city in the Scipio region is on the national road between Highways 59 169, it is not mixed at all. There are only a few houses there today. Other Catholic churches also sprung up in the nearby towns of Richmond, Garnett, and Greeley, all three of which had busy streets that eventually became crowded.

The college frame was closed, and was eventually torn down. The parochial school is also closed. So was the nearby railroad, which eventually became a 51-mile railroad. Many friars and Ursuline sisters/teachers have left for other places. Agriculture stopped. We rented the land for a while, but eventually sold it. A storm hit the big barn of Kamel, and the people in the nearby towns were more.

Today

St. Boniface still has 60 active families in its parish today. Easter and Christmas services require room-only availability. Your college campus has been transformed into a meditation garden with a fountain. Its limestone monastery has been renovated into a modern three-bedroom retreat and retreat for priests and others in need of quiet healing. He called Elijah’s Rest.

Two friars live in the rectory, where they worship. The historic cemetery is still in use, and sits where the original log-church stood. Tourists visit this church and the well-kept cemetery. Your doors are always open. For more information on this church, see the brochure below.

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