Cathedral rectory chapel dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul
By TIM WENZL
Southwest Kansas Catholic
The 477th anniversary of Father Juan De Padilla’s “first Mass in Kansas” on June 29, 1541, was celebrated fittingly enough with an outdoor Mass at the parish rectory in Dodge City. Father Wesley Schave, pastor of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and Father Aneesh Parappanattud, MSFS, parochial vicar, concelebrated. The rectory chapel, here before without a patron, was dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul.
Following the Mass, the congregation was invited into the rectory to view the chapel and tour the priests’ residence. A storyboard inside the residence provided a brief history of the rectory entitled “This Old Catholic House.”
The residence, constructed in 1890, was the home of James M. and Maude Kirkpatrick. The Kirkpatricks belonged to the First Methodist Church. They had six children: two sons and four daughters. Kirkpatrick was an attorney. He served two terms as Ford County Attorney. Toward the end of his career, he limited his practice to abstract and title law.
The house remained in the hands of the Kirkpatrick family until one of the daughters sold the residence to Charles L. Clinton in 1943. Clinton owned the Wholesale Brokerage Company and was a member of the National Candy Wholesale Association. He also served as Mayor of Dodge City from 1951 to 1954.
In 1953, during the pastorate of Msgr. Joseph Grellner, plans were underway to expand Sacred Heart School with additional classrooms, offices, a kitchen and a gymnasium-auditorium.
The nine Sisters of St. Joseph who taught in the school were living in a convent at 907 Central Avenue. This residence needed to be removed to allow room for construction to proceed.
The Clinton home, located just north of the school on Elm Street, was purchased as the new convent for the Sisters on December 31, 1953, for $25,000
The two-story stucco home served the Sisters of St. Joseph as a convent for the next 32 years.
Father Joseph Bahr, pastor from 1984-1988, was looking to purchase a residence near the parish plant and make the rectory space between the church and school available for offices and classrooms.
The two Sisters of St. Joseph in ministry at the school during this time offered the convent to the pastor and his assistant as a rectory.
The Sisters moved to Saint Mary of the Plains College to live in community with the Sisters in ministry on the campus.
This house has served as the rectory for the priests at Sacred Heart Cathedral and now the Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe since 1985.