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Our History

In 1869, the Benedictine Abbey in Atchitson, KS sent priests to Creston to serve a territory within a radius of 150 miles of that city. These priests traveled on horseback celebrating the Mass in private homes. The town of Lenox was not yet on the map, yet those pioneer priests were nourishing the faith of the men and women who would eventually help build the town and St. Patrick Catholic Church. The first church building, a wooden structure with a foundation of large wooden blocks, was built in 1875. The second church ( presently the home of Roger and Barb Heim), was built in 1881, and a parsonage, was added in 1889. The brick building was completed under the direction of Father James Troy, in a year’s time free of debt. It was dedicated by Bishop Austin Dowling in 1914.

Father William Tracey replaced Father Troy in 1918.  He was then replaced by Fr. Henry Pouget in 1921. Fr. Pouget served until the arrival of Fr. Peter McStay in1935. In 1940 Msgr. Paul Marasco came and was replaced in 1942 when he was replaced by Msgr. William J. McMahan.  In 1959 Father Ada Reisz replaced Msgr. McMahan. Fr. Reisz was then replaced by Msgr. Stephen Kane in 1962. Fr. Nelo Leto arrived in 1964 when he made many changes, including the tradition of kneeling for five minutes after mass to say a prayer for vocations. Father Laverne Wingert replaced Fr. Leto in 1967. When Fr. Wingert left in 1969, the parish was without a resident priest. Fr. Reginald Malinski, Chaplain of the Rosary Hospital, in Corning served our parish.  

In 1973, Fr. Blaze Schumacher came, followed by Fr. Joseph Bacon in the same year.  Fr. Daniel O’Connell arrived in 1974 and stayed until 1976 when Fr. Schumacher returned.  A team ministry joining the parishes of Clarinda, Vllisca, Bedford and Lenox was formed in 1977. Fr. Tim Fitzgerald and Mike O’ Meara served these four parishes. In 1978, the Lenox Parish joined with the Afton and Creston Parishes. At that time, Fathers Art McCann and Tom Coenen joined Father Fitzgerald and Father O’Meara in a new team ministry. The team ministry of Fathers Tim Fizgerald, Tom oenen and Mike Sims was formed in 1981. Since then, St. Patrick’s has been served by the following: Fr. James Chairo, Fr. Dennis Trusch, Sister Jean Goering, Father Gerald Stessman, Father Michael Berner, Sister Kay Lewis, Fater John Richter and Father Howard Fitzgerld.

During 1988-1989, under the direction of Father Gerald Stessman, the renovation of St. Patrick’s took place. This renovation included new carpet, the installation of air conditioning and an elevator. In 1990, the Corning and Lenox parishes were joined together under the leadership of Father John Bertogli. Father Dan Siepker took over in 1995 and served our parishes until July 2004 when Father Tan Tran accepted leadership responsibilities. Father Lazarus Kirigia replaced Fr. Tran and under his leadership the new parish center was built. Father Mike Peters replaced Fr. Kirigia in 2018. Fr. Litto Thomas replaced Fr. Mike Peters in 2020, and after one year of worthwhile service Fr. Litto was replaced with Fr. Emmanuel Bassey, who presently administers to our parish.

 in all that we do,
We remember them all
  and pray for them 

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