Thursday, 02 August 2012 12:05
KMC founded as Mount Carmel Academy in 1902
Kapaun Mt. Carmel Catholic High School celebrated the 125th anniversary of the opening of Mount Carmel Academy on Monday, July 16, Our Lady of Mount Carmel’s feast day.
The evening began with a rosary led by members of KMC’s Handmaids of Mary, followed by a Mass. Celebrating the Mass with KMC chaplain Fr. Aaron Spexarth were KMC alumni Fr. Eric Weldon and Benedictine Fr. Jeremy Heppler. They were assisted by several seminarians who are also KMC graduates, Zach Pinaire, J.D. Betzen, Cody Saunders, Isaac Coulter, and Christian May.
Fr. Aaron’s homily focused on Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the significance of her role as our Blessed Mother, and how the school is blessed to have her as its patroness.
Following Mass, KMC President Mike Burrus talked about Mount Carmel Academy as the oldest educational institution in the diocese. He said this year not only marks the anniversary of Mount Carmel Academy, it also marks the 125th anniversary of Catholic education in the Diocese of Wichita.
Burrus also presented a short history of Mount Carmel Academy, which opened in 1887 as All Hallows Academy, a boarding and day school for young women. It was opened by Mother Mary Francis Clarke, foundress of the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mother, and was originally located on West Douglas near Friends University.
In 1902 its name was changed to Mount Carmel Academy. In 1957, with the rapidly increasing number of eastside Catholic students, Bishop Mark K. Carroll purchased the Vickers estate on East Central and in January of 1962, Mount Carmel opened its doors in the new building with the BVM sisters as staff.
Mount Carmel Academy continued to operate as an all-girls school for the next decade, until its merger with Chaplain Kapaun Memorial High School in the fall of 1971.
The evening concluded with a reception in the commons.