Wednesday, June 03, 2020

The Arrival of the Capuchins

Rev. Sommereisen started the first and second church and couldn’t make ends meet thus resigned and advised the Bishop to get priests of a mendicant order.  “Father Sommereisen had a good income and opposed the coming of the Capuchins.” Most Rev. Bishop Fink of Leavenworth, Kansas applied to Rev. Father Hyacinth Epp, who was the Comissionary Provincial, to send him German-speaking priests.

The following is an English translation of the document sent to Fr. Hyacinth Epp.

“We Louis Maria Fink, O.S.B. by the grace of God and the Apostolic See, Bishop of Leavenworth, by these letters give to the Capuchin Fathers of the Pennsylvania Province of St. Augustine, situated in Victoria, Ellis County in our diocese that they may erect there a convent or monastery and church. Through the same letters we give charge over the faithful living now or in the future in Ellis county around (north) the river which is called Smoky Hill River according to time and necessity, according to ours and our successors directions. For their living is given whatever temporal means are available.”

May 11, 1878 – The first Fathers that came were Rev. Father Matthew Hau, Superior, and Rev. Father Anathasius Muller. They arrived May 11, 1878.  They found an unfinished church, one vestment for mass, one rough box which served as an altar and trunk in which the Blessed Sacrament was kept.

When the Fathers known as Friars arrived, they found a frame house which had been emptied for them, one table, two poor benches, one mattress filled with straw, no bed sheets or bed covers of any kind. But they had a good helper, a tertiary Joseph Thanner, whom they brought along from Pittsburgh, PA. There was plenty of work waiting for them. Their work was neither small nor easy.  Until 1887 when the diocese of Leavenworth was divided, Victoria became part of Concordia dioceses with the following counties to take care:  Ellis, Russell, Gove, Logan, Rush, Barton and Wallace a distance of 170 miles. They took care of the following stations: Hays, Catherine, Munjor, Pfeifer, Ellis, Schoenchen, Liebenthal, St. Theresa, Bunker Hill, Russell, Wallace and Collyer. In all these places mass was offered and the sacraments were given in private houses. On June 25, 1878 Father Matthew died, much beloved by the people and for his priestly work; the cause of death was Cholera. Father Joseph Callisanctius Meyerhoefer was sent as Superior on July 15, 1878.



1876 – Rev. Adolf Willbert

            Rev. Valentine Sommereisen

1878 – Rev. Matthew Hau, O.M.Cap.

            Rev. Jos. Cal Mayershoefer, O.M.Cap.

1881 – Rev. Anthony Schuermann, O.M.Cap.

1885 – Rev. James Muench, O.M.Cap.

1887 – Rev. Anselm Bayerau, O.M.Cap.

1889 – Rev. Gabriel Spaeth, O.M.Cap.

1891 – Rev. Matthew Savelsberg, O.M.Cap.

1894 – Rev. Gabriel Spaeth, O.M.Cap.

1900 – Rev. Leo Egger, O.M.Cap.

1903 – Rev. Chilian Lutz, O.M.Cap.

1906 – Rev. Jerome Mueller, O.M.Cap.

1912 – Rev. Leo Egger, O.M.Cap.

1915 – Rev. Jerome Mueller, O.M.Cap.

1918 – Rev. Henry Kluepfer, O.M.Cap.

1921 – Rev. Placidus Wolker, O.M.Cap.

1923 – Rev. Cassian Hartl, O.M.Cap.

1927 – Rev. George Karlin, O.M.Cap.

1929 – Rev. Justin Walz, O.M.Cap.

1930 – Rev. Simon Knupfer, O.M.Cap.

1936 – Rev. Ildephonse Roeckl, O.M.Cap.

1939 – Rev. Alban Hammel, O.M.Cap.

1940 – Rev. Irenaeus Reinl, O.F.M.Cap.

1941 – Rev. Raphael Engel, O.F.M.Cap.

1947 – Rev. Irenaeus Reinl, O.F.M.Cap.

1954 – Rev. Robert Meis, O.F.M.Cap.

1955 – Rev. Ernest Horning, O.F.M.Cap.

1960 – Rev. Fabian Kekich, O.F.M.Cap.

1966 – Rev. Hugh L.Rauwolf, O.F.M.Cap.

1968 – Rev. Paulinus I. Karlin, O.F.M.Cap.

1970 – Rev. Neal Mahaffey, O.F.M.Cap.

1971 – Rev. Felix R. Petrovsky, O.F.M.Cap.

1978 – Rev. Michael Scully, O.F.M.Cap.

1981 – Rev. Gene Emrisek, O.F.M.Cap.

1983 – Rev. Gilmary Tallman, O.F.M.Cap.

1986 – Rev. Gene Emrisek, O.F.M.Cap.

1991 – Rev. Earl Befort, O.F.M.Cap.

1991 – Rev. Gregory Beyer, O.F.M.Cap.

1992 – Rev. David Gottschalk, O.F.M.Cap.

1993 – Rev. Frank X. Grinko, O.F.M.Cap.

2001 – Rev. David Gottschalk, O.F.M.Cap.

2001 – Rev. Maris Goetz, O.F.M.Cap.

2004 – Rev. Charles Polifa, O.F.M.Cap.

2007 – Rev. Michael Scully, O.F.M.Cap.

2011 – Rev. Jeffrey A. Ernst, O.F.M.Cap.

2013 – Rev. John Schmeidler, O.F.M.Cap.


1878 – Rev. Anastasius Mueller, O.M.Cap.

1880 – Rev. Anthony Berger, O.M.Cap.

1883 – Rev. Anastasius Mueller, O.M.Cap.

            Rev. Andrew Eusenhut, O.M.Cap.

1884 – Rev. Maurus Strobel, O.M.Cap.

            Rev. Anastasius Mueller, O.M.Cap.

            Rev. James Muench, O.M.Cap.

1885 – Rev. Maurus Strobel, O.M.Cap.

            Rev. Martin Muelders, O.M.Cap.

            Rev. Francis Charles Strobel, O.M.Cap.

1886 – Rev. Maurus Strobel, O.M.Cap.

            Rev. Anastasius Mueller, O.M.Cap

            Rev. Matthew Savelsberg, O.M.Cap.

1888 – Rev. Anthony Berger, O.M.Cap.

            Rev. Matthew Savelsberg, O.M.Cap.

1890 – Rev. Maurus Strobel, O.M.Cap.

            Rev. Anthony Berger, O.M.Cap.

            Rev. Martin Muelders, O.M.Cap.

1891 – Rev. Maurus Strobel, O.M.Cap.

            Rev. Martin Muelders, O.M.Cap.

            Rev. Albert Andlauer, O.M.Cap.

1892 – Rev. Maurus Strobel, O.M.Cap.

            Rev. Emmeram Kausler, O.M.Cap.

1893 – Rev. Anthony Berger, O.M.Cap.

1896 – Rev. Ememram Kausler, O.M.Cap

1897 – Rev. Clement Pfeifer, O.M.Cap.

            Rev. Joseph Leonissa Trageser, O.M.Cap.

1989 – Rev. Jerome Mueller, O.M.Cap.

1899 – Rev. Clement Pfeifer, O.M.Cap.

1901 – Rev. James Steppe, O.M.Cap.

1903 – Rev. Celstine Oswald, O.M.Cap.

1904 – Rev. Anthony Burkhart, O.M.Cap.

            Rev. Titus Rumpelhardt, O.M.Cap.

1905 – Rev. Anthony Burkhart, O.M.Cap.

            Rev. Vincent Brandt, O.M.Cap.

1906 – Rev. Bernardine Kuhlman, O.M.Cap.

1907 – Rev. Vincent Brandt, O.M.Cap.

            Rev. Titus Rumpelhardt, O.M.Cap.

1909 – Rev. Titus Rumpelhardt, O.M.Cap.

1910 – Rev. Pancratius Dockler, O.M.Cap.

1911 – Rev. Ulric Zeller, O.M.Cap.

1912 – Rev. Martin Fuchs, O.M.Cap.

1913 – Rev. Richard die, O.M.Cap.

            Rev. Martin Fuchs, O.M.Cap.

1914 – Rev. Matthew Savelsberg, O.M.Cap.

            Rev. Anthony Burkhart, O.M.Cap.

1915 – Rev. Pancratius Dockler, O.M.Cap.

            Rev. Victor Schiele, O.M.Cap.

1919 – Rev. Anthony Burkhart, O.M.Cap.

1921 – Rev. Mark Haas, O.M.Cap.

1923 – Rev. Jordan Hammel, O.M.Cap.

1925 – Rev. Raphael Engel, O.M.Cap.

1927 – Rev. Edward Heyl, O.M.Cap.

            Rev. Raphael Engle, O.M.Cap.

1928 – Rev. Raphael Engle, O.M.Cap.

1929 – Rev. Herman Joseph Leiker, O.M.Cap.

1933 – Rev. Justus Meuller, O.M.Cap.

1934 – Rev. Casimir Debef, O.M.Cap.

1936 – Rev. Flavian Meis, O.M.Cap.

1938 – Rev. Irenaeus Reinl, O.M.Cap.

1940 – Rev. Andrew Hermann, O.F.M.Cap.

1942 – Rev. Edward Stoehr, O.F.M.Cap.

1943 – Rev. George Karlin, O.F.M.Cap.

1944 – Rev. George Karlin, O.F.M.Cap.

1946 – Rev. Casimir Debef, O.F.M.Cap

1947 – Rev. Leander Yoest, O.F.M.Cap.

1949 – Rev. Gabriel Giles, O.F.M.Cap.

1951 – Rev. Vincent Langguth, O.F.M.Cap.

1953 – Rev. Robert Meis, O.F.M.Cap.

1954 – Rev. Thomas Vohsing, O.F.M.Cap.

1955 – Rev. Robert Meis, O.F.M.Cap.

1962 – Rev. John Francis Jackson, O.F.M.Cap.

1964 – Rev. Marion (Donald) Gross O.F.M.Cap.

1969 – Rev. Fidelis McManus, O.F.M.Cap.

1971 – Rev. Fidelis McManus, O.F.M.Cap.

1974 – Rev. Justin Der, O.F.M.Cap.

1976 – Rev. Regis Scanlon, O.F.M.Cap.

1978 – Rev. John Lager, Deacon O.F.M.Cap.

1979 – Rev. John Lager, O.F.M.Cap.

1980 – Frank Grinko, Deacon O.F.M.Cap.

1981 – Lloyd Schmeidler, Deacon O.F.M.Cap.

1983 – Clement Naef, O.F.M.Cap.



Bro. Bonaventure Weber

Bro. Wendelin Wiesner

Bro. Lothar Mayerfofer

Bro. Pius Ryan

Bro. Felix Shinsky

Brother Wendelin served as a sacristan and a gardener.  In the realm of gardening, Brother Wendelin had no equal in the Province.  Men from Fort Hays Experiment Station would frequently consult him about the secrets of his success in this field.  In his work as Sacristan, he was orderly and conscientious; he loved to decorate the altars and took pride in doing so in his own unpretentious way.

Brother Wendelin Wiesner, O.F.M.Cap. 1875-1961.  Born in Kamenka, Russia on October 16, 1875.  Entered the religious life in 1895, at the age of 20.  Professed on September 8, 1896.  Died January 23, 1961.  Buried – Capuchin plot of St. Fidelis Cemetary, Victoria.