The Nemaha County Federation of Catholic Societies Tours St. Mary’s Church

Saturday, February 5, 2022/Categories: History

This item was found in the historical books at St. Peter and Paul’s Parish in Seneca:

“The Nemaha County Federation of Catholic Societies was organized on June 28, 1903, at the instigation of Father Thomas Burk, then pastor of Sts. Peter and Paul’s Parish. 

. . . The high mark of the Federation’s history was reached on June 18, 1905, when probably the greatest gathering in the history of Seneca attended the First Catholic Congress of Kansas which was sponsored by the Nemaha County Federation of Catholic Societies.  Excursion rates were arranged on all railroads to and from Seneca for the occasion and over 200 carriages were assembled to carry visitors “four miles north of Seneca to see the most beautiful church west of Chicago at 25¢ a round trip.”  Guest speakers were: mayor of Seneca and ex Lieut. Governor of Kansas, A. J. Felt; the Hon. Nicholas Gonner of Dubuque, Iowa; the Hon. Jerry B. Sullivan of Des Moines, Iowa, and the Rt. Rev. Thomas F. Lillis, Bishop of Leavenworth. Both dinner and supper were offered at 25¢ plate to the 8.000 people who attended. The total income from the affair was $1339.03 and the expenses were $973.02.”

            In the parish house files at St. Mary’s, there is a small souvenir book that was created for this event in 1905. Written in both German and has a very nice thirteen-page historical sketch of the parish.



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