Divine Mercy Parish
555 W. Main St. Gardner, KS 66030
114 E. Nelson St. Edgerton, KS 66021
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(C) Copyright 2016 | Divine Mercy Parish. All Rights Reserved | Mailing Address: PO BOX 267, Gardner, KS 66030 | P: 913.856.7781 F: 913.856.8893
Sacred Heart Catholic Church
Assumption Catholic Church
Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mother
In 1857, immigrants first began to settle in an area known as “The Bull Creek District.” This is now Southern Johnson
and Northern Miami Couties. They wanted to bring the blessings of religion to the area and in October of 1857, the first
documented Mass was held by Reverend Bernard Donnelly. It was held in the private residence of Mr. and Mrs. John
McCarthy. Six families were in attendance. Reverend Donnelly walked from Kansas City to bring the richness of
Christianity to the outlying areas and the Indian tribes. He encouraged the immigrants to build a church. The church
was built and dedicated in April of 1858 by Father Magee, who walked or traveled on horseback from Lawrence to
celebrate a monthly mass. The Patriarch Saint Columkille was chosen to preside over their parish and their new church
was named St. Columkille - St. Columbine. This was likely the first Catholic Church in the Kanza Territory. The church
soon became too small and a new stone church was built on the grounds of St. Columkille Catholic Cemetery just
south fo the original log church. The new stone church was also dedicated St. Columkille in 1867 by Fr. Francis
Wattron. In 1861, Kansas joined the union and in 1870 the railroad came through and the town of Edgerton was laid
out. More immigrants from the East traveled to this new state of Kansas and it was decided to build a new church in
Edgerton. The Assumption of Mary Catholic Church was dedicated on August 15, 1893.
Assumption had a resident pastor continuously since 1910. The priest was shared with Gardner parish until 1959.
From 1959 until 2011, Assumption shared the priest with Annunciation parish in Baldwin.
In the early years before there was a resident priest, Mr. McCarthy had a cabin which was used as the home of all
the priests and Bishops until 1890. In 1910, a miracle happened, Fr. Denis J. Fitzpatrick became the third resident
priest. He made a room for himself in the church sacristy. So a new rectory was built next to the church at a cost of
$2,646 and Fr. Fitzpatrick had a new home.
The Church of Assumption Parish has maintained St. Columbine cemetary which continues to bear the name of their
beloved Patriarch, St. Columkille. The name was Americanized to St. Columbine at some point in history. St.
Columbine Cemetery is indeed hallowed spot since in it repose the ashes of the Pioneers of Assumption and because
two humble churches were erected and dedicated to Almighty God under the patronage of St. Collumkille.