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:
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.