A Legacy of Beauty.
St. Francis Catholic Church is blessed with many gifts from the Passionist Order which maintained a presence here for more than ninety years. One of those gifts is our beautiful garden which remains decades after the Passionists and their monastery-retreat house disappeared. The garden holds many reminders of our past including the stone tower which contains the bell from the original Osage Mission log church.
The "Monastery Gardens" are a treasure that attracts visitors from around the region. It is also a place of quite solitude for parishioners and residents of nearby Prairie Mission Retirement Village.
Needless to say, the gardens require care. The heavy maintenance and mowing are done by parish employee Larry Coomes with a lot of part-time help from Charlie Brown. But much of the planting, watering and plant care is done by a not-so-small team of parish volunteers.
The "team" is not directly tied to any specific parish organization. Looking at a list of team members is like browsing the parish directory: Carter, Coomes, Chambers, Corn, McCracken, Pecha, VanLeeuwen, Vitt, .... . And it is not just individual family members. The daily work crews often include children, spouses and several adult members of some large families. It is a parish stewardship project.
While hesitant to accept the title of "Team Leader" Diane Coomes gets the nod from other team members. According to Diane, it is group of folks who love the gardens and want to keep them looking great — 'Everyone knows what to do and when it needs to be done.' While that seems pretty simple, watching the amount of work done by these women and their families reflects a whole lot of pride, effort and love!
A Garden Tour With Captions:
The St. Francis - St. Ambrose Parish School of Religion kicked of the 2017/2018 program on Wednesday, September 6th. It started with a 7:00 p. m. Family Mass for parents and students followed by ice cream served in the parish gardens. The formal class schedule begins Wednesday, September 13. Program details and class schedules are available in the bulletin and the back tables of the church.
Our Religious Education Program is made up of four components, one of which makes our local program unique among many parishes of the diocese:
*Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS).
Item #2, The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Program, is somewhat unique to our local religious education program. We are among a small number of parishes in the Diocese of Wichita that offers it. Also resident parishioner, Frances Casey, is among a handful of degreed catechists in the diocese.
The CGS program embraces the Montessori theory of education — an emphasis on independence, freedom within limits, and respect for a child's personal desire for development. Teaching is done in one of three "atrium" rooms in the PSR building where a team of five recognized Level One CGS catechists emphasize learning with hands-on materials. Many of the materials, which are sized for the hands of K-3 students, have been made by local artists and craftsmen.
For more information about the Catechesis of Good Shepherd Program, including our local as well as the global programs, follow THIS LINK. A copy of the September 2017 CGS newsletter is linked below.
Some Reference Information:
For more information about our joint-parishes Religious Education program, including current staff and schedule, follow THIS LINK and sub-links. Information about the historical banner photo is also included on that page.
This is the community website for the St. Francis de Hieronymo and St. Ambrose Catholic Churches in Neosho County, Kansas. Both churches are located in the center of the historic nine-county southeast Kansas area. We share one of the richest Catholic Heritages in Southern Kansas and the Four-State Region. For more information about our churches, history, organizations or programs browse our site including its links.