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On the day of the dedication, November 14, 1894, the cannon awakened the people at 5 a.m. By 8 a.m., a large crowd of people had gathered.
On April 30, 1893 the Rt. Rev. Bishop Fink laid the cornerstone. Although nothing is recorded about the event anytime the bishop shows up there is sure to be a celebration of some note. Three and a half months later on August 11, 1893, the Seneca Courier-Democrat carried this news item: "The immense church structure at St. Benedict is up now to about three feet above the windows, or in other words 32 feet high. It puts on an imposing appearance.
The Veil Removed is a short film that helps us understand the coming together of heaven and earth at Mass, revealed by scripture and in the catechism of the Catholic Church. See it here: https://theveilremoved.com
When Mr. Monty Jury of Oklahoma City took the side road (Hwy 178) to St. Benedict on July 19, he had no idea of what a beautiful church he was about to visit. As a tribute, he created this amazing video and provided for use on the St. Mary's Church website.
Enjoy it here: https://youtu.be/z2OU4ZSzxXo
St. Mary's Church Picnic, held Saturday, June 26, had a record net income. There were 566 dinners served and 263 "to go" dinners for a total of 829.
Click on the title above (article title) to see the results of the various stands, chances and dinner.
Thank you for Covid Relief. See video here.
Dispensation from attending Mass being lifted
Church Picnic, 2021
The Parish Council and Altar Society Officers have decided to move forward with the summer picnic. It will be held Saturday, June 26. Parishioners who may be unable to work because of health or other reasons are encouraged to contact an officer of the Altar Society.
Adoration on Lenten Sundays
First sections of new cemetery fence were installed on Saturday, April 24, 2020. The project involves 1,430 feet of fence and numerous gates.
Except for a short time in the 1930's the parish has always been debt free. All large expenditures were paid by assessments.
Since the church was dedicated there have been more than 2000 baptisms and more than 700 marriages in the church. Almost 50 members of the parish have become priests, brothers, or sisters.
In 1993, the parish was successful in receiving funding in the amount of $96,500 from the State of Kansas Heritage Trust Fund Grant to relead the transept windows and install two new exterior windows on the west side of the church.
The heating plant is in a near-by boiler house. The records show that a new heating system was installed in 1895; another completely new system in 1911 cost $3600.
Also in 1991, several new rafters were installed in the steeple.
Any building 100 years old has been painted, shingled and repaired many times. The ferocious Kansas weather with its extremes in temperature, thunderstorms and high winds have relentlessly assailed the structure for the past century.
In 1977, there were many sections of plaster that needed to be repaired and repainted. The ceiling and walls were generally very grimy with dirt.
Satory decorated the church based on the fifteen mysteries of the rosary which are inscribed in Latin around the church.
St. Mary's Church is best described in these quotations from the nomination form in 1980 to the National Register of Historic Places: "The architectural style can be termed 'late Romanesque'; the exterior appears simple but not stark; it is carefully detailed, not overworked
The church cost $40,000 and was paid for upon completion. Another $40,000 was gradually spent to finish the interior. In 1895 a used organ was bought in Atchison.
The Seneca, Kan. newspaper, The Courier-Democrat, Nov. 23, 1989, describes the dedication of the church which took place Nov. 14, 1894.