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

The St Boniface Abbey and Cemetery is amid in Scipio, KS, a baby apple amid the towns of Richmond and Garnett, and two-miles east of Highway-59. This Catholic abbey with its 160′ chestnut steeple and its stained-glass windows is abnormally ample for a country church, aswell accepting an equal-in-length rear ‘L’ addition that is currently a rectory and retreat combined. At one time this two-story limestone addition was a abbey for 25 Carmelite friars, who congenital the accepted limestone church, and who affluence farmed/gardened up to 600-acres about it.Original ChurchIn the mid 1850′s, a scattering of Jesuit missionaries served the Native Americans in eastern Kansas. And then, adjoin these missionaries wishes, these citizenry were confused added south. At about the aforementioned time, abundant immigrants were demography up acreage acreage in the Scipio region, a lot of of them German Catholics.Because the Scipio accumulation capital its own abbey bad, two arresting associates of this association prevailed aloft the abbey in Leavenworth for their own priest. They got a once-a-month visiting missionary instead. However, because his unannounced visits didn’t plan well, they prevailed on the abbey again, who paid them a visit. After seeing the about 40 committed families of acceptance and agency alive there, he assigned them a abiding priest.

The association afresh congenital their new citizen priest a baby home and log-church on 20-acres of donated land. It was committed in the bounce of 1859. St Boniface would be the alone Catholic abbey in Anderson canton for 25 years. However, this bearings would change in time as its surrounding big account developed.Outgrowing ItIn 1865, St Boniface was angry over to the Carmelite Order, a ample adjustment of friars with German roots. This Adjustment gave the archdiocese a big addition in membership. In 1869, the railroad came nearby. By the 1870′s, the archdiocese had outgrown its log church, which was aswell damaged by a prairie fire. With added families in the archdiocese now, affairs were started for a new abbey on top of the hill, west of the log one.In 1873, their arch abbot ordered the architecture of a log anatomy Carmelite abbey which would aswell serve as Mt Carmel Academy alongside to what would after become the accepted church. For a while, the abbey casework would be captivated in this anatomy monastery, while the new abbey was getting built.Eventually, this approaching architecture adjustment would accord the accomplished ability a ample ‘U’ appearance adverse west if done. The architecture connected with a one-room biased school, a association hall, and a Ursuline Sisters home arctic of the proposed church. Meanwhile, the friars and lay-persons accepting stonemason abilities hewed and stockpiled their own limestone blocks for the planned 1881-built church. Its cornerstone was laid in 1882.By this time, the Carmelites had added their acreage backing to 600 acres. The brothers farmed/gardened it, which included a 10-acre acreage and winery. They aswell congenital a massive ellipsoidal red barn and sheds for dairy cows, livestock, hay, atom storage, and equipment. No doubt, they had a smoke abode and places for butchering, canning, and accomplishing laundry.Times ChangedBecause the belt surrounding Scipio is on a country alley amid Highways 59 & 169, it never incorporated. Alone a few houses abide there today. Added Catholic churches sprang up in the adjacent towns of Richmond, Garnett, and Greeley, all three of them on alive highways that came into getting in time.

The anatomy academy closed, and was eventually broken down. The biased academy aswell closed. So did the adjacent railroad, which after became a 51-mile rail-trail. Several friars and Ursuline sisters/teachers larboard for added places. The agriculture stopped. The acreage was busy out for a while, but was eventually sold. A storm destroyed the big Carmelite barn, and the citizenry in the adjacent towns increased.TodaySt Boniface still has about 60 alive families in its archdiocese today. Its Easter and Christmas casework accept standing-room-only attendance. Its college-building breadth is angry into a brainwork garden with a fountain. Its limestone abbey has been retrofitted into a rectory and avant-garde three-unit retreat for priests and others defective quiet healing. It’s alleged Elijah’s Rest.Two friars reside in the rectory, area they serve the church. The actual cemetery is still used, and sits area the aboriginal log-church stood. Tourists appointment this abbey and its apple-pie cemetery. Its doors are consistently open. For abundant advice on this church, see the album below.