History of St. Patrick
As early as the building of the Missouri Pacific Railroad (1854), Father Walsh of Jefferson City came on horseback to Sedalia and held services in the section house near the present site of the Missouri Pacific Shops. Also, Father Mueller of Jefferson City and Father Hillner of Boonville visited this place and held services in the home of Mr. P.R. Meyers. Father Kalmer of Jefferson City held services in the home of Mr. Michael Buckley, who lived one quarter mile south of Dresden, and in the home of Mr. Joseph M. Pilkington (the father of Mrs. Patrick O’Connell) who tells the following story:
“Prior to 1853 my father, Joseph M. Pilkington, a convert to the Catholic faith from Episcopalians, had come to Pettis County from Lexington, Kentucky, and had purchased a farm east of Georgetown. Sedalia did not yet exist at that time. In 1853, he returned to Kentucky to bring his family to Pettis County to live. While the river steamer, on which we were to travel as far as Boonville, was taking on coal and supplies at St. Louis, my father called on Archbishop Kendrick and requested him to send a priest to minister in the neighborhood of his future home. Pettis County was at that time under the jurisdiction of the Diocese of St. Louis, for the Kansas City, was not established until 1880. In answer to this request, soon after we were established in our new home, Father Kalmer came from Jefferson City on horseback and celebrated the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in our farm home. He gave instructions for first Holy Communion to the children of two Catholic families who were working on the Missouri Pacific Railroad which was first planned to run near our home and through Georgetown. When the course of the railroad was changed and Sedalia, instead of Georgetown, became the center of population. Priests came from Jefferson City, Boonville and Tipton and celebrated Mass in various homes and in the section house of the Missouri Pacific Railroad. Within a few years Father Kalmer took charge, money was collected, and a small church (24’x 60’), old St. Vincent’s was built north of the tracks on the corner of Pettis and Lamine. The church was named for St. Vincent de Paul, the patron saint of the poor. This was the center of the residential district in those days.
I can recall an incident in connection with the first Mass celebrated in the church building. Sedalia was built on high ground. As yet the houses were so scattered that they did not break the wind which swept across the surrounding prairies. On the day of the celebration of the first Mass in the new church the wind was high, the doors of the church were closed, the Mass proceeded, the most solemn part of the sacrifice was reached, suddenly the door of the church blew open, a strong gust wind picked up the Sacred Host and flipped it to the floor. The eyes of the priest filled with tears of regret over the incident as he knelt to pick up the consecrated Bread.”
In 1866 Father H.B. Murray took charge, and the next year built the pastoral residence in the rear of the church. He was succeeded by Rev. J.J. Swift in 1869, who was not long in seeing the need of a Catholic school. A lot was purchased from Gen. Smith just east of the church and Catholic education started in Sedalia in the little frame school building on Pettis and Lamine, taught by lay teachers. The Sedalia Catholic Benevolent Society of which Father Swift was president was organized September 3, 1871. The Society contributed $500 toward the building and had a hall finished in the second story, where the members held their monthly meetings.
About the same time, work was started on the new brick church. In 1872, Father F.W. Graham had taken over and through the united efforts of the priest and people the edifice (48’ x 96” x 30’ high) was near completion so that in the spring of 1875 services were held in it. The church seated 600 people, was heated by stove and lighted by gas. By 1896, the membership was 525, and Sunday School scholars were 110.
One of McShane’s bells from Baltimore was purchased for the church at a cost of nearly $500 including the framework. The bell also served as a fire alarm. When an individual wished to call the fire patrol, he would come to the church, and ring the bell. The fire patrol would then come to the church and be taken to where the fire was. One day when one of the Fathers, who had just been sent to the parish, was inspecting the building, he asked the janitor to tap the bell a little, he wanted to hear it. The janitor failed to tell the new Father that aside from the call to Mass it also served as a fire alarm. But the priest wasn’t long in finding the added service of the bell, as in a few minutes here came the fire patrol. This bell now hangs in St. Patrick Church.
In December 21, 1875 another Catholic Society, The Emmett Guards, was organized. In 1880 yet another Catholic Society, Irish Land League was formed and was composed of Irishmen and Irish-Americans.
In 1877, the Sisters of St. Joseph came to Sedalia and took over the teaching of the school on Pettis Street. They lived in a framed house on Jefferson Street until the purchase of the Phillips property October 21, 1881. The building on the property served as their home, and they conducted a private school there, known as St. Joseph’s Academy. Some of Sisters went back and forth each day to teach at the parish school, and the others taught the academy pupils in the convent.
According to Pettis County History, the first brick buildings were erected in the summer and fall of 1865. The old residence at Fourth and Washington streets, later the convent, was the first brick residence. This brick building which was occupied by the Sisters until it was razed in 1944, one of Sedalia’s oldest landmarks -- the second brick building to be built in Sedalia.
Many people hold fond memories of their visits with the Sisters in the old convent, of the hours they spent as children practicing their music lessons, or the early Masses they attended in the little chapel. The street number plate from the house, 319 and the star points from the building’s braces have been kept and were offered the Pettis County Historical Society as mementos of the first brick house in Sedalia. A story in connection with the Sisters of St. Joseph and which has special interest now that their historic home has been torn down is told by Miss Mary Sullivan. “When the sisters were moving into their new home they found on the front hall a very fine and expensive wallpaper. It had a dark background with lighter figured design. Although it had obviously been on the walls for years, there was only one damaged place in it. The Sisters were anxious to keep this fine old paper, if only they could find a matching pierce to mend the damaged place in it. The Sisters looked in the attic, but could find no remaining rolls of paper. It used to be my delight, recounts Miss Sullivan, to help the Sisters. I considered it a great privilege if I were allowed to carry the Sister’s books or umbrella, or to run errands for them. On this occasion one of the Sisters took me along downtown to look for a matching roll of the wallpaper. We went to several stores, but without any luck. Discouraged, Sister was just about to return home and be resigned to having the hall done in a cheaper paper, when I suggested another store. We went there and the proprietor brought out from a back shelf filled with dusty odds and ends a roll of the very paper that Sister was looking for.”
A number of years later a two-story frame building was erected west of the convent by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, Missouri, and was used as a school. Before this was completed the children who were going to the parish school, formerly on Pettis, were attending school in a house on the corner of Fourth and Lafayette, where the rectory now stands. The pupils attending the parish school paid tuition of $1 a month, and the Convent pupils paid $2 a month. The pupils were taught by the Sisters of St. Joseph. After the completion of the school building, all children went to the one school. It is interesting to know that about that time, 1890-91, a high school course was offered to girls only. Because of the number enrolled, it was not considered practical, so in December 1905, the high school course was discontinued.
About 1902 the old brick St. Vincent Church became unsafe and was vacated. Everything was moved into the first floor of the school building on Fourth Street, where a chapel was erected, and the school rooms were on the second floor. Father had canceled the insurance on the old building in the morning and placed it on the new building. About noon the old building burnt. Services were held in the school building until the new church was built.
The number of Catholics continued to increase in Sedalia and the enthusiasm and interest was running high toward the building of a much larger and finer church. An architect was consulted, plans were drawn up, and the sketch presented as the finished church would appear. The money in sight, all was approved. The rock for the foundation was donated by Patrick McEnroe, who owned a rock quarry northeast of the city. The parishioners, who were equipped, did the hauling. Since the Irish were so predominant in the parish, it was decided the new church be dedicated to St. Patrick after the patron saint of Ireland. It was in 1909 Circuit Judge Louis Hoffman granted permission to change the name of St. Vincent’s Catholic Church to St. Patrick Church, after a number of parishioners had made application for permission to change the charter to conform to the latter name. (The Sedalia Democrat, January 28, 1949) The foundation was laid about 1894 which was said to cost approximately $10,000. But, the setback came when Bishop Hogan made a division in the two parishes, ordering all Catholics west of Ohio Street to go to Sacred Heart, which was built in 1882, and all living east of Ohio go to St. Patrick Church. He made one exception, all German families living east of Ohio Street were privileged to attend Sacred Heart Church and School, where German was spoken and taught. Not only did all the German families go to Sacred Heart, but many of the more substantial Irish families moved to the west side. There being very little money left to start the new structure, hence the $10,000 foundation stood with nothing more done until Rev. B.R. McNamee came in 1905, who together with the parishioners worked untiringly to raise money to complete the new church.
All of these efforts brought about the dedication of the new Church in October 1910.
A second ruling was made in 1916 when all families, regardless of their nationality, were required to attend St. Patrick Church if living east of Ohio Street. Families living west of Ohio Street would attend Sacred Heart Church.
In 1919 Rev. Thomas F. Prendergast came to St. Patrick Church, and another building was started. The new parish house was completed at a cost of $17,000 in 1922, and a reception was held on January 23, 1923.
The old St. Patrick School house was razed at 315 East Fourth Street, which was replaced with new school.
Classes meet in the church the remainder of the school year. (Sedalia Democrat May 10, 1964)
The present school building was completed in 1924. The debt on the church of $19,000 was being paid off first. In 1929, two manual Moller organs were purchased from the recently closed Central Presbyterian Church and installed in St. Patrick Church by S.R. Payne of Kansas City, Missouri, with the assistance of Mr. A.J. Knipp who was the director of the church’s choir. (The Sedalia Democrat, August 9, 1929)
Fr. Prendergast supervised in 1930 a complete interior redecoration of the church. (The Sedalia Democrat, April 23, 1930) During this era, it was not uncommon for the ladies of the church to hold a Bazaar and Chicken Dinner. In 1931, the ladies of the Presbyterian Church Circle and of St. Patrick Church canned fruit in their respective meeting places, which used for the city’s poor. This was part of the food conservation program being carried out by the welfare board of Sedalia. (Sedalia Weekly Democrat, September 18, 1931)
In 1944, after the brick convent was torn down, St. Patrick parish bought a duplex apartment on the west side of Washington Street between Third and Fourth Streets for the new home for the Sisters of St. Joseph.
St. Patrick Church 1945-1983
Father Joseph Nolan was appointed pastor in 1945. In December 1946, the entire parish debt was liquidated. During his administration, the parish rectory was completely renovated and brought up to then modern standards. In 1956, the Diocese of Jefferson City was formed. St. Patrick Church was moved from the Diocese of Kansas City to Jefferson City (information from Diocese of Jefferson City/Turf Martin).
On April 30, 1958, Father Nolan celebrated his 25th anniversary to the priesthood with a Mass, and the parish had a dinner and entertainment to honor him. (Sedalia Weekly Democrat, March 19, 1965 and Sedalia Democrat, May 1, 1958)
After twenty years of service to St. Patrick Church, his life was brought to a sudden and tragic end in an automobile accident. He is buried in Calvary Cemetery in Sedalia.
Father Charles Pfeiffer came in 1965, and undertook the renovation of the interior of the Church according to the new Vatican II guidelines. The main chancel altar and two smaller ones were removed. In their place a simple table-type altar stands. Priests now celebrate masses facing the congregation. New lighting was installed and the ceilings were lowered and were painted a shade of blue. In addition to heating and outside renewal, the school received new flooring, lighting, lowered ceilings, and repainting of classroom walls. Four classrooms were enlarged, and the faculty lounge replaced the library, which was transferred to an upstairs room adjoining the auditorium. The cabinets and kitchen serving counters were replaced in the school’s kitchen. (Sedalia Democrat, January 23, 1966) In the May 23, 1969 The Sedalia Democrat paper, Fr. Pfeiffer stated St. Patrick’s parishioners were asked to vote on May 10 on the closing of the school. He received a 65.3% return on the 303 ballots mailed out, and of that percentage, 75.2% voted to close the school at the end of the school year. Prior to the actual counting of the ballots, Fr. Pfeiffer had received word from the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet in St. Louis that they were withdrawing teachers from Sedalia after the school year. The parish continued to use the school building until 1974 when the property was sold to the city of Sedalia to be used as a Community Center, Boys’ Club and Nutritional Center.
In 1970, St. Joseph Church of Clifton City was joined with St. Patrick Church. The history of St. Joseph dates back to 1886 when the first Church was built there. It was remodeled in 1914, and served the needs of the community until it burned in 1961. In 1962, a modern structure was built and dedicated on November 18, 1962. Much of the new church was donated labor on the part of the devoted parishioners. Air conditioning, new doors, a new organ, renovation of the church hall was done in 1970.
In the 70’s, the Parish Council was formed. Father William Savage came in 1973, and saw the need for excavating the church basement, and converted it into a parish hall with partitions for religious education instructions for the parish children attending the public schools.
In November of 1975, the baptistery was moved beneath the Blessed Mother statue, the tabernacle was moved beneath the St. Joseph statue, and a small lectern stand replaced the tabernacle. The baptistery and new lectern stand were enclosed in wood cabinets to match other furniture in the sanctuary.
Late in 1975, discussion was held to reactivate the St. Patrick Altar Society. In February 1976, the Altar Society elected officers and one of their main service projects was serving funeral dinners to families of deceased members of the parish.
With the increase number of parishioners from Boeing and Whiteman Air Force Base personnel, parking became an issue for church services and activities. Bishop Michael McAuliffe granted permission for the parish to purchase the properties at 406, 410, 416 East 3rd Street in 1977. After the three houses were demolished, a parking lot was prepared and available for parishioners to use in October 1978. This parking lot is the area north of the Church.
Larry Riley was the first deacon ordained to serve St. Patrick Church parish on May 14, 1977. It was around 1977 when the parish hired its first secretary, Kathy Knox, who continued to serve the parish until 2015.
By the month of May 1981, Father Savage supervised another renovation of the Church as it is today. Also in 1981, Bishop Michael McAuliffe announced Fr. William Savage was assigned to St. Joseph Church in Slater, Missouri, and Fr. Anthony Kraff would be assigned to St. Patrick Church. Fr. Kraff celebrated his 45th Anniversary of Ordination to the Priesthood in May 1982 at St. Patrick.
On July 15, 1981, the Precious Blood Society was given the administration of St. Patrick and St. Joseph Churches by the diocese. Recent improvements consist of a new driveway for the rectory, new roof and siding for the parish garage, painting of the outside trim of the rectory, tuckpointing and waterproofing of the church and new sanctuary furniture, and tuckpointing and waterproofing of the rectory in Sedalia.
Parishioner, Marion Makarewicz, graduated from St. Thomas Seminary, Hannibal, Missouri in 1979. In 1983, he graduated from Conception Seminary College, Conception, Missouri, and continued his studies in Rome, Italy at North American College.
The installation of the Maas-Rowe Memorial Carillon took place September 1983 as a memorial of the many families of the parishes who worked hard and long for the beloved parishes of St. Patrick and St. Joseph. The principal donations came from the estates of Marie Kraff Smith and Mrs. Margaret Churchill. The balance of the donations came from the parishioners of St. Patrick and St. Joseph Churches.
St. Patrick Church History After 1984
In 1986, Fr. Paul Sattler was assigned to the parish replacing Fr. Anthony Kraff. Also in 1986, the first computer and printer were ordered to use in the office.
In 1987, the parish designed a logo entitled, “Unity In Service” and was published in the parish bulletin on August 23, 1987. The logo appeared on official publications of the parish as well as a new sign at the southwestern side of the church. Parishioners were given the opportunity to assist with the ministries of lectors and Eucharistic ministers.
Marion Makarewicz, son of Leonard and Mary Makarewicz, was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Jefferson City by Bishop Michael F. McAuliffe on Saturday, September 5, 1987, at St. Patrick Church and celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving on Sunday, September 6th at the church. Following his ordination, Fr. Makarewicz returned to Rome in October to finish his degree in sacred theology.
In 1988, several changes took place. Women began serving as ushers/greeters, and parishioners were invited to hold hands during the Our Father prayer at Mass as a sign of parish unity. On July 1st, Father John Wolf was assigned pastor of St. Patrick Church and under his leadership ministries were reformed. The RCIA program began in conjunction with Sacred Heart, newer forms of music were introduced, and coffee and donuts were available after Sunday morning Masses to encourage fellowship. The Food Pantry began in the church basement, serving needy families with food donated by church parishioners. In August, the retired Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet were honored for their years of service as teachers at St. Patrick School. Their special day started with a Celebration Mass, followed by coffee and donuts, and then a potluck dinner. The year ended with the formation of the Christmas Food Basket Program, which assisted 34 families in the community.
Many more changes took place in 1989. The first Sedar meal was held the Wednesday of Holy Week in the church basement with 168 parishioners attending. A Director of Religious Education, Earlene Dick, was hired. A 3-4-5 year old Sunday School program was started. Fruit baskets were distributed to the homebound parishioners at Thanksgiving. The Advent Tree service project was started in November. Family names were obtained from Division of Family Services and parishioners were able to purchase a gift for the name from the Advent Tree. Gifts and food baskets were delivered to the families the third week of Advent.
Lenten Soup Suppers began in 1990. Each Monday of Lent with speakers provided spiritual messages to the attendees of the suppers. A Nursery Director was hired for the 10 a.m. Mass and would provide babysitting at all parish functions. Even though the Ham and Bean Dinner for Vocations had been going for a few years, a Vocations Committee was formed. Through the Parish Life Commission, a Welcoming Committee was formed to welcome new members to the parish. The parish celebrated another family-style Thanksgiving Day Dinner for people with little or no family. By the end of the year, the St. Patrick’s Parish Council voted to have its own RCIA program.
In 1991, St. Patrick Church celebrated its 125th anniversary throughout the year. In March, marked the St. Patrick Day Mass, followed by dinner and a dance. In the summer, there was a parish picnic and outdoor
Mass at the pavilion at the Missouri State Fairgrounds. Fr. Bill Hoying was assigned to the parish in the summer of 1991. A parish mission was held in the fall. Finally, on October 27th, Bishop Michael McAuliffe officiated in a Celebratory Mass, joined by past pastors. The dinner, which followed, was enjoyed by many parishioners and friends of the parish. Two 125th anniversary quilts were made bearing names of the parishioners at the time of the celebration. The quilts were completed by Easter of 1993 and displayed for the liturgical season. In addition to the celebration, interior construction took place for a reconciliation room in the southwest corner of the church. At the end of 1991, adults were given the opportunity to be servers.
In May 1992, Fr. Bill Hoying was transferred. Fr. Richard Colbert was assigned pastor, but postponed his duties to take a sabbatical. Fr. Mike Volkmer acted as pastor to both Sacred Heart Church and St. Patrick Church until Fr. Hugh Ulrich arrived in July to serve as a sacramental priest of St. Patrick Church. Fr. Dave Dougherty served as pastor starting in 1993.
The parish purchased the property at 402 E. 3rd Street in 1994.
The Ministerial Alliance of Sedalia, sponsoring the formation of a centralized handling of aid and food to the needy, decided to hire a director and have a board made up of representatives of the various churches. The board decided to have one food pantry in town to be held at Open Door in Sedalia. Thus, the transition from St. Patrick Church to Open Door became final in 1996.
The youngest members of St. Patrick Church have had many opportunities to grow in their faith with the addition of a Director of Youth and Religious Education. One of the highlights was their celebration of World Youth Day with Pope John Paul II in 1993.
Over the years, Summer Bible School, Children’s Sedar Meal, Youth Choir, and Children’s Mass Ministries evolved. The children worked at delivering food baskets, and planning and implementing fundraisers like Spaghetti Dinners and Potato Bars. Their entertainment included canoeing, ice skating, lock-ins, and Worlds of Fun trips.
In 1995, Fr. Tom Albers was assigned as pastor of St. Patrick and Fr. Jack Behen became an associate pastor. During the same year, tuckpointing was completed on the church’s exterior.
Around 1996, the parish, as well as Sacred Heart Church, had two deacons, Peter Anderberg and Jerry Connery, who assist with ministry roles. Maintenance issues continued for the church. The roof was replaced, partial areas of the interior of the church were repainted, and the stove in the church basement was rebuilt.
The growth of the parish continues with the Spanish families moving into the area around 1996-97. Sr. Ellen Orf assisted our priests at least one day a week and St. Peter parish in Marshall with the Spanish community. A Spanish Mass was said in August with 40 participants attending. An increased number of Spanish Masses were celebrated in 1998 due to more families moving into the area to work for Tyson. In May, a Spanish Mass and fiesta was celebrated for Cinco de Mayo. Fr. Kevin Gormley became associate pastor in 1998, and Sr. Eileen Scheiber came to assist with the Spanish-speaking community. With the growing needs of the Mexicans and El Salvadorian immigrants, Sr. Eileen was hired full-time in 1999 to help with various ministry developments. Initially, much time and work was spent in taking care of everyday issues, such as:
doctors’ appointments, immigration office visits, document translations, pre-natal care check-ups, immigration lawyers and court visits, and driver’s training and exams. During this time, Latino liturgical ministers and catechists were also trained to help with the sacramental life of the community.
In the fall of 1999, a base was poured for a new stone sign on the southwest corner of the church property. The base, along with a brick-encased time capsule, which was built by parishioner Gerald Wolf, was dedicated on January 2, 2000, after the 9 a.m. Mass. After the dedication, the parish continued the celebration of the new millennium with a breakfast brunch. As noted in the Catholic Missourian January 14, 2000 edition, Fr. Tom Albers stated the time capsule would not be disturbed until the year of the Church’s next Jubilee Celebration.
In 2000, a new bible study series, “Disciples in Mission” began and continued through 2001. As the parish continued in the new millennium, Fr. Kevin Gormley was assigned to another parish and Fr. Tim Guthridge, an associate pastor, was assigned to assist with the Spanish-speaking community. Fr. Paul Bequet, a retired priest, came, also. Spanish Masses occurred every Sunday. The parish started another parish directory that was completed in 2001.
Bilingual Masses took place for Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Vigil.
In 2003, more maintenance work continued on the church and garage. Fr. Jack Behen retired retired as an associated pastor, and Fr. Vincent Hoying was assigned to the parish in November. St. Joseph Church in Clifton City returned to the care of St. Joseph Church in Pilot Grove. The Mass schedule changed at this time to the present schedule of 4 p.m. on Saturdays, 9 a.m. on Sunday, and 11:30 a.m. for Spanish-speaking Catholics. The Sunshine Minstrels provided music for every 9 a.m. Mass from this point.
Several priest changes took place in 2004. Fr. Timothy Guthridge was assigned to another parish, and Fr. Linus Evers came in July for a short period and left in December. Fr. James (Jim) Betzen, an associate pastor, came at the end of December to minister to the Spanish-speaking community. In 2004, more exterior maintenance was necessary. Bricks were tuckpointed, gutters and louvers painted, and the bell tower repaired. In 2005, new carpet was installed in the church. Spanish-speaking families attending their 11:30 a.m. increased to over 200.
Continued maintenance issues took place in 2006 with reupholstering of the chairs in the sanctuary to match the recently laid carpet. Due to a springtime hailstorm, roof repairs on the church and rectory were necessary. New tile was laid in the church basement floor. Father Jim celebrated his 25th Anniversary of Ordination in June. Also in June, a farewell brunch was given on behalf of Fr. Tom Albers’ reassignment to another parish. In July, Fr. Timothy Armbruster was assigned pastor for the parish. In August of 2006, Father Marion Makarewicz, former parishioner of the St. Patrick Church, was named Monsignor by the Most Holy Pope Benedict XVI.
In 2007, the renovation of the rectory took place and was completed in 2008. The Marion Grotto project was started on the southeast corner of the church. Parishioners could purchase engraved bricks in memory of loved ones or a personalized family brick to help with the beautification of the area. Fr. Timothy was reassigned to another parish in the Liberty area in June of 2008. Fr. Jim Betzen became the pastor of St. Patrick Church as of July 1. Fr. Bill Miller, an associate pastor, was assigned to the parish in June. Another church pictorial directory was started and completed in 2009.
In 2009, several parishioners purchased the property to the east of the north parking lot and donated it to the church for additional parking. Sr. Eileen Scheiber took over the PSR Director position in July and celebrated her 50th Anniversary to the Sisterhood in August.
During this timeframe, the Pettis County Catholic Community evolved as St. Patrick, Sacred Heart, and St. John at Bahner integrated activities. Special Mass schedules for Lent, Easter, and Christmas evolved. The Catholic Community Picnic was celebrated. Stewardship, Liturgy, and Social Concerns Commissions coordinated activities between the three churches.
In 2010, the parish saw a change in the Mass. The congregation was encouraged to greet one another at the beginning of Mass. The Spanish-speaking community continued to grow with attendance over 400 at the 11:30 a.m. Mass on Sunday. Fr. Joseph (Joe) Miller was assigned an associate pastor in November 2010, and remained until his assignment to Sacred Heart Church in Warrensburg in August 2011.
In 2011, Fr. Mark Miller was assigned pastor of St. Patrick Church, and Fr. James Betzen was assigned a senior associate pastor of the parish. While the major change in how we celebrated the Mass and other Sacraments happened during the Second Vatican Council, other changes have been happening throughout the years with little fanfare. However, there were some changes that took place beginning with Advent 2011 that affected both the clergy and laity. Some of the common responses which the laity used were changed to conform more directly to what the Latin text indicated. This was done to bring about a more uniform manner of worship and to exemplify a greater unity among the many cultures and languages of the Church. It took several months for this new language to become “normal” for people who have grown accustomed to what was previously used for over 40 years.
In 2012, special maintenance fund collections took place at the Masses to obtain sufficient funds for tuckpointing and sealing the exterior of the church as well as repairing and painting the back sanctuary wall. New speakers were installed in the sanctuary to enhance the sound for the musicians, and the funds were raised by the Spanish-speaking families. A mission, “The Privilege of Being Catholic,” was presented by Fr. Oscar Lukefar, and a bible study series of “Why Catholic” was started in 2012 and ran through 2013.
Throughout the year, lay parishioners took part in giving their testimony on tithing at the Masses. Father Dennis Schaab was assigned an associate pastor of the church July 2012, but had a short assignment with St. Patrick until November. As part of the technology world, St. Patrick Church developed a Facebook page to share daily scripture and events in November.
With sufficient funds raised through the special collections towards the end of 2012, the tuckpointing and sealing of the exterior of the church took place in spring of 2013, and the interior painting took place in the fall. In December 2012, Sister Eileen Schreiber bid farewell after 13 years of working with the Spanish-speaking community. The Sisters of the Most Precious Blood requested her to move closer to the motherhouse in O’Fallon and to reduce her workload. St. Patrick Church provided a farewell reception in the church basement December 16th.
In 2014, the Spanish-speaking community hosted the Spiritual Congress in September and saw visitors coming in from Arkansas, Iowa and Illinois. July 2014, Fr. Deusdedit “Deo” Mulokozi was assigned to the parish and left in July 2015. The Annual Ham and Bean Dinner for Vocations was moved from November to January of the following year and continues to be held in January.
In February 2015, a surprise celebration was held for Joyce (Cook) Woolery, a lifelong member of the parish, for 50+ years of service of playing the organ. New Bible Study Groups were formed for a 12-week program called “Longing for the Holy.” A part-time parish secretary was hired as well as a maintenance man during the year. Fr. Deo recruited Spanish-speaking members to join the different commissions of the church. In July, a new website was created for the Sedalia Catholic Community. Fr. Geoffrey A. Brooke, Jr. joined the parish as an associated pastor in August 2015. Preliminary work was started on the 150th celebration for the church in 2016.
In March of 2016, the bulletins for St. Patrick, Sacred Heart, and St. John in Bahner were merged to form the Pettis County Catholic Community bulletin. In the spring, the roof was replaced on the church, and in the summer, the roof was replaced on the rectory. On April 30th, parishioner Chris Wickern, was ordained a deacon by Bishop John R. Gaydos at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Jefferson City.
On October 23, 2016, the church celebrated its 150th anniversary with a Mass officiated by Bishop John Gaydos, Fr. Mark Miller, Fr. Geoffrey Brooke, Jr., deacons, and past priests. A celebration dinner was held in the old St. Patrick’s School now known as the Boys and Girls Club.