Sacred Heart Parish, Larned, celebrates centennial
By TIM WENZL
Southwest Kansas Register
In the year 2062, when Sacred Heart Parish in Larned celebrates its 150th anniversary, there will be 50- and 60-year- olds who remember that the Bishop rolled out a funny looking bicycle and the choir sang “A Bicycle Built for Two” during the centennial Mass back in 2012.
Those future 50- and 60-year-olds were the kindergarten through 4th grade students who assisted Bishop John B. Brungardt during the homily at Sacred Heart Church Oct. 26 when the parish celebrated its 100th anniversary.
Bishop John J. Hennessy of Wichita dedicated the first Catholic church in Larned on Oct. 24, 1912.
The funny looking bicycle was a tandem. Bishop Brungardt pointed out that the bicycle had two seats, two sets of pedals and two sets of handle bars, but only the front handle bars were used for steering.
Bishop Brungardt spoke of the Gospel reading when, after Jesus heals the blind man, “Bartimaeus followed him on the way.”
“That is our call,” the Bishop stated. “Jesus will steer us; Jesus will guide us. Left, right; straight ahead, as he guides us to holiness.
“At times it’s hard to be steered because we can’t see. At times we are blind, not by sight but by our spirituality. Our job is to follow Jesus and keep on pedaling.”
Concelebrating the centennial Mass were Father Warren Stecklein, pastor; Father Reggie Urban, Prince of Peace, Great Bend; Father John Strasser, St. Nicholas, Kinsley; Father Bernard Felix, St. Joseph, Scott City; and Father Robert Schremmer, St. Andrew, Wright. The Dominican Sisters who taught at Sacred Heart School and who operated St. Joseph Memorial Hospital in the community were well represented.
A banquet followed the Mass in the Larned Community Center. Event organizer Tom Giessel shared a moving tribute to Sacred Heart School. Several women Religious who taught at the school were in attendance, as well as former students who attended the school as early as the 1930s. Giessel also thanked the many people who helped with the anniversary celebration. They were presented a statuette of the Sacred Heart by Father Stecklein, in appreciation for their work.
Editor’s Note: In recognition of the 100th anniversary, the parish published a centennial history book (left), written by Tim Wenzl, the diocesan archivist; a cookbook, and made a Christmas ornament. These items are available through the parish office: 620-285-2035.