Finnegan, Rev Peter



June 26, 2000

Personal Info

  • Date of Birth: 29 October 1916
  • Place of Birth in Ireland: Monaghan
  • County: Monaghan
  • Education: St Macartan’s College, Monaghan and St Patrick’s Seminary in Carlow
  • Date of Ordination: 7 June 1942
  • Place of Ordination: St Patrick’s Seminary in Carlow
  • Ordained by: Bishop Thomas Keogh

Diocesan Appointments

The arrival of Father Finnegan in Wichita was delayed until April 1943 due to World War II. However, once he arrived he was assigned to serve in the following parishes in the Wichita Diocese.

  • Pro-Tem – Mount Saint Mary’s Convent, Wichita – 6/18/1942 to 6/17/1943
  • Pastor – St Patrick, Parsons – 6/18/1943 to 10/14/1947
  • Pastor – St Barbara, Chicopee, St Anastasia, Cherokee and St Cronin, Fleming – 2/13/1945 to 9/3/1950
  • Pastor – St Joseph, Humboldt – 9/4/1950 to 5/31/1951
  • Pastor – St Patrick, Chanute – 4/21/1954 to 5/1/1965
  • Pastor – St Anne, Wichita – 7/1/1964 to 6/30/1969
  • Pastor – St Patrick, Parsons – 7/1/1969 to 6/30/1981
  • Pastor – St Bridget, Scammon and Sacred Heart, Weir – 7/2/1981 to 9/30/1992

Not only did Father Finnegan serve as the pastor of St Joseph in Humboldt, Kansas but he also served as the boys’ baseball coach. His style of coaching the boys led to the team being recognized as having the most sportsmanlike conduct during the 1952 season. The Rev. Mr. Floyd R. Shively, commissioner of the league sponsored by the Humboldt Ministerial Alliance stated that “The Catholic boys asked for no quarters or favors, accepted every call by the plate umpire without censure, and took every decision of the base umpire without protest.”

While pastor at St Patrick’s Parish in Chanute, Father Finnegan took on the expansion of the school by adding 20,000 square feet of building to incorporate four classrooms, a kitchen and a gymnasium. The expansion was expected to ease the already overcrowded parish grade school and to take care of increased enrollment anticipated in the mid-1950s. The cost of the school expansion was estimated to be $150,000.

A surprise birthday party was held for Father Finnegan following the St Patrick’s Fall Festival held on October 29, 1978 while he was pastor for the parish in Parsons. State Senator Michael L. Johnston, an alumni of St Patrick’s Grade and High Schools was master of ceremonies. During the celebration, Senator Johnston outlined the accomplishments of the parish during the nine years that Father Finnegan has been its pastor. They included:

  • All debts associated with the high school were paid off,
  • A new organ was purchased for the church,
  • A new heating and air conditioning unit was installed in the rectory and the church,
  • An elevator was installed in the church,
  • A thrift shop was opened and operated by the church women for the benefit of the Profits generated from the thrift shop was donated back to the community for needy families. The article stated that in 1978, the parish reported around 380 registered families.

  • Date of Death: 26 June 2000
  • Place of Death: Priest Retirement Center, Wichita, KS
  • Age of Death: 83
  • Funeral Celebrant: Bishop Eugene Gerber
  • Burial: Ascension Cemetery, Wichita, KS

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