Former school building named for St. Joseph
Tuesday, 12 October 2010 15:46
St. Joseph Pastoral Center is named for Joseph, the husband of Mary and patron of workers. The name also honors the Sisters of the Congregation of St. Joseph who taught at Cathedral High School. Several Sisters with ties to the school still live in Wichita including: (seated, from left) Sisters Ann Diskin, Margaret Nugent, Denise Sevart, Agnes Joseph Wachter, Cecilia Bush, Paula Marie Metz, Rebecca Martinez, Rose Helen Burger, Connie Robles; and (standing, from left) Sisters Rita Marie Thissen, Joan Marie Burger, Arlys McDonald, Barbara Baer, Louise Hune, Charlene Huffington, Elizabeth Ann Engels, Maria Guerrero.
After nearly 100 years, the former home of St. Mary’s Cathedral High School has a new name.
The building at the corner of Topeka and Central Avenues in downtown Wichita hasn’t been used as a school since the mid-sixties, but for years it has been known as the old Cathedral school building.
“We kept referring to the past,” said Bishop Michael O. Jackels. “And we certainly are people who live in the present and look to the future, not forgetting our past.”
The new name, St. Joseph Pastoral Center, was chosen to reflect the ministries available there while honoring the building’s history and paying tribute to the Holy Family.
“The idea came quite quickly and naturally to name it after St. Joseph, the husband of Mary,” Bishop Jackels said, “because it’s St. Mary’s Cathedral and usually we think in terms of Mary and Joseph.” But the bishop says St. Joseph has other ties to the history of this school and the ministries that take place there today.
The Cathedral school was blessed in 1920, and the Sisters of the Congregation of St. Joseph who taught there made a great impact on the Diocese as they helped to form young people in the Catholic faith by their teaching, by their example and by their prayers.
“It’s a wonderful tribute to the Congregation,” says Sister Helene Lentz, CSJ. “I think it’s wonderful the new name pays tribute to so many of our sisters who gave their lives teaching in this school and loved every minute of it.”
Although it’s no longer a school, faith formation has continued in this location through parish religious education classes, the diocesan Office of Hispanic Ministry and through the services of Catholic Charities.
“St. Joseph is patron for a lot of things,” says Bishop Jackels. “But he is also patron of workers, and so it seemed a natural thing to ask his intercession and protection over the work that takes place there that is a companion to worship that takes place in St. Mary’s Cathedral.”
Fr. John Sherlock, Rector of the Cathedral, says the St. Joseph Pastoral Center cares for families in need like its namesake. “St. Joseph would come across as the head of the family, taking the people in need under his wings, just as he took Mary and the infant Jesus under his wings,” he said.
The Diocese-wide TOGETHER special appeal aims to raise $16 million for a renovation of the Cathedral campus, which includes the St. Joseph Pastoral Center along with the church, parish offices, social hall and a newly constructed gathering space.
Go to TOGETHERvision.org to find out more about the TOGETHER special appeal and to see details of the Cathedral campus renovation.