Abilene, KS

a roman catholic church of the salina diocese

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Church History

Church History

Historical Highlights:
1859 - First Mass at Margaret Callahan's cabin.
1866 - Fr. Louis Dumortier, S.J. celebrates early Masses in 

           the area.
1874 - First St. Andrew Church cornerstone laid Nov. 30 St.

           Andrew feast day.
1875 - Bishop Fink of Leavenworth celebrates First Mass

           July 5,  Fr. Philip Sholes pastor.
1877 - Quick succession of Fr. Carius, Fr. Fogarty,

           Fr. Hayden, Fr. McNamara, and Fr. McAuliff.
1880 - Fr. John O'Leary, as first resident pastor, builds first


           Fr. O'Leary also helps Mother Bernard Sheridan,

           CSJ build Mount St. Joseph Academy, 
           north of Abilene.
1893 - Another quick series of priests:  Fr. Eugene

           Bononcini, Fr. Heller, Fr. Shields, Fr. Regan, 
           Fr. Horgan, and Fr. Conway.
1894 - St. Andrew's first bell installed - 1500 lb. bell is

            installed in current church.
1910 - Fr. Thomas O'Reilly assumes pastorate.
1915 - Parish razes first church and constructs the current

1916 - Cornerstone is laid in the spring.
1917 - Bishop Cunningham of Concordia consecrates

           The $60,000 structure is completely paid for then.
1930 - Msgr. C. J. Roche assumes pastorate.
1936 - Knights of Columbus hand dig church basement.  
           This is used as the social center for the next sixty

1939 - New church furnace installed.
1959 - St. Andrew School is built.  
           Sr. Stanislaus Porter, CSJ serves as first principal.
1962 - Msgr. Roche dies.  
           Fr. Alvin Werth serves as Administrator in interim.  
           Msgr. C. J. Brown is the new pastor.  
           He and Stan Veal build new altars and communion

           rail of solid imported walnut.

1966 - Msgr. Alfred Wasinger assumes pastorate.  He also heads Catholic

           Charities.   He implements many Vatican 11 changes.
1981 - Fr. John Moeder is the new pastor.  
           He builds the concrete parking lot, refurbishes the church windows

           and installs new church doors.  
          He also starts the school auction, initiates the cemetery collection, and

           establishes the church endowment.
1990 - Fr. Richard Lutgen follows as pastor at St. Andrew, as well as at St.

           Michael's in Chapman.
1992 - Fr. Henry Baxa is the new pastor.
1993 - Fr. Henry Baxa also serves as

           pastor of Immaculate Conception

           in Solomon.  
          St. Andrew Church interior is

1994 - Fr. Louis Mattas assumes

1997 - St. Andrew Parish Center is built.
1997 - New rectory is built at

           201 SW Fourth St.
1999 - Fr. Randall Weber becomes the new pastor.  He inaugurates school

           endowment and concentrates on liturgical renewal.  
          He installs a new sound system connecting the church and Parish

          Center, thus handling  an overflow crowd.
2004 - Fr. Henry Baxa returns as pastor.  
           He also serves as the pastor of St. Michael's in Chapman.  
          The church basement is renovated.
          A new Allen organ piano is purchased for liturgical worshi
2005 - Church flooring is resurfaced with carpet and tile along with other        

          refurbishing.  Sidewalks between the church and parish center are

          rebuilt, along with school sidewalk and parking lot repair. 

Parochial Vicars (Associate Pastors) serving St. Andrew's include Fr. Carl Kramer, Fr. John Moeder, Fr. Eugene Stehno, Fr. Alvin Werth, Fr. Basil Torrez, Fr. Norman Leiker, Fr. Jerome Morgan, Fr. Robert Reif, Fr. James Dallen, Fr. William Dunphy, and Fr. Chris Conklin.

Vocations to Priesthood and Consecrated Life
St. Andrew parishioners ordained priests include Fr. Roger Hough in 1964, Fr. Chris Conklin in 1973, Fr. Mark Wesely

in 1994, and Fr. Jarrett Konrade in 2005.  

Brother Chris Wesely, OSB is a Benedictine

monk at Blue Cloud Abbey, South Dakota.

Daughters of the parish in consecrated

religious life include Sr. Harriet Baldwin, CSJ, 
Sr. Marie Coleman, CSJ, Sr. Mary Mark

Whitehair, CSJ, Sr. Nancy Meade, CSJ, 
and Sr. Ann Wylder, CSJ.

Celebrating 120 years of Catholic Education in Abilene
St. Joseph Orphanage Home and School Highlights

1885 - Sisters of St. Joseph in Wichita build and staff Mount St. Joseph

1912 - Concordia (now Salina) Diocese purchases facility.
1915 - Reconversion of facility is completed.  St. Joseph Home and School is


 Sister of St. Joseph in Cordia staff.
1958 - St. Joseph Home and School closes.  This concludes the 73 year

1959 - Present St. Andrew Elementary School and CRE Catechetical

           Religious Education.