The Chancery is located at 424 N. Broadway in Wichita, just south of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. (Advance file photo)

By Fr. Michael Peltzer, Diocesan Historian
The Catholic Diocese of Wichita can be proud of its beautiful Chancery Office directly behind the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in downtown Wichita. It was completed and dedicated by Bishop Leo C. Byrne in 1966.
A chancery is a special business building which houses the various offices arranged to assist the bishop, clergy, religious, and others in the diocesan family in their role of stewardship – building up the Body of Christ – as indicated in the inscription on the side in front of the building, as a reminder that we are called to “use our gifts in service to God and one another.”
Located in the building are the bishop’s office, and the offices of the chancellor, vice chancellor, assistant chancellor, vocation director, the building commission, foreign missions, youth ministries, financial officer, along with a conference room, meeting areas, a chapel, and a library.
Included are the diocesan archives, tribunal offices, Communications and the Catholic Advance, the offices of Divine Worship and Stewardship, and a dining room with a small kitchen. The diocesan school offices and the religious education department were located in this building, but were moved some years ago to a building next door called the St. Rose Philippine Duchesne Building.
The Wichita Chancery was formerly located temporarily in an apartment building located near Central and Emporia, just a block east of the Cathedral. It was purchased in 1947 by Bishop Mark K. Carroll shortly after his arrival that same year. Early chancery offices were located in a house that stood at the northwest corner of Third and Washington streets east of downtown not too far from both St. Boniface Church at Second and Ohio (now St. Anthony) and St. Aloysius Pro-Cathedral at Second and St. Francis Avenue. This large house was rented by Bishop John J. Hennessy in 1888 and was used for a short period of time.
Since there are no records of where the Chancery was located from 1889 until 1912, the year the new Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception was completed at Central and Broadway, it is assumed that the offices were located in the old Pro-Cathedral rectory.
For the next 12 years, from 1912 until 1924, the Chancery may have been located in the original cathedral rectory across from the new cathedral, in a former apartment building that now serves as the Inter-Faith Inn Homeless Shelter, located just east of the Lord’s Diner parking lot. (After 1924, this same building was used for many years as a convent for the Sisters of St. Joseph teaching at the Cathedral School.)
In 1924, under Bishop Augustus Schwertner’s direction, a new cathedral rectory was completed east of the church at 307 N. Central, now the current gathering space for St. Mary’s Cathedral. The front offices on the first floor located at the north end of this rectory were devoted to Chancery use until the move to the apartment building on Emporia Street in 1947.
Today, the Chancery office, with its beautiful stained glass windows and home-like atmosphere, graces the cathedral campus in the downtown area. Appropriately located near the mother church of the Catholic Diocese of Wichita, this attractive building is the heart of our diocesan family, where important and prayer-filled decisions are made, all for the honor and glory of God.

Etched into stone in front of the Chancery is 1 Peter 4:10: Put your gifts at the service of one another.