Wylie, Rev William ‘Stephen’


January 6, 2000

Personal Info

  • Date of Birth: 26 December 1914
  • Place of Birth in Ireland: Dublin, Ireland
  • County: Dublin
  • Education: Ushaw College, Durham, England; Buckfast Abbey, Devon, England; and Maynooth College, Ireland
  • Date of Ordination: 22 June 1941
  • Place of Ordination:

Diocesan Assignments

  • Assistant – Holy Name, Winfield – 1952 to 1956
  • Assistant – Holy Savior, Wichita – 1956 to
  • Pastor – St Helen, Hugoton with St Timothy, Satanta (mission)– 1957 to 1961
  • Pastor – St Lawrence, Jetmore with St Anthony, Hanston (mission) – 1961 to 1965
  • Pastor – St Andrew, Wright – 1965 to 1971
  • Chancery – Comptroller, Episcopal Vicar for Financial Affairs & Business Manager of the Southwest Kansas Register – 1971 to 1990

Following Father Wylie’s ordination in Ireland, he studied canon law for two years and received his JCL degree. He then taught canon law and moral theology for several years before engaging in parish work in Bristol and Trowbridge, England.

On 12th of November, 1952, Father Wylie boarded the Star of New Jersey, a TWA plane at the London airport and headed to Wichita where he landed 32 hours later. He would have landed in Wichita sooner but for the many transfers at various airports (London, Shannon, Boston, New York – Idlewild Airport, New York – LaGuardia Airport, Kansas City – plane had engine trouble).

However, 32 hours versus other transportation methods wasn’t much of an inconvenience when you know that it could take up to five or six months by sailing vessel, six or seven weeks by steamboat, six or seven days by steam liner. He was met at the airport by Monsignor Ignatius Strecher and Father Vincent Dillon.

Religious leaders from around Kansas urge passage of the civil rights legislation being voted on by Kansas state senators. According to the records of the Kansas Council of Churches, it was the first formal meeting of leaders representing the Catholic, Protestant and Jewish faiths in the State. Representing the Catholic Church were: Archbishop Hunkeler, Kansas City, Kansas; Bishop Marion Forst, Dodge City; Rev William Finnerty, Kansas City, and Rev Stephen Wylie.

With his background in moral theology, it was not unusual that Father Wylie took positions for those who had no voice. In the Wichita Eagle, Father penned a letter to the editor with this sentiment in March, 1963.

“Within the past week, we have been treated to incredible spectacle of the Kansas Senate rejecting a bill to save life by requiring seat belts in automobiles and passing a bill to legalize murder of unborn children. This is responsible legislations? Truth is indeed stranger than fiction. Rev. Stephen Wylie, Pastor, St Lawrence’s Church, Jetmore, KS.

In 1979, Father Wylie, serving as the comptroller for the Dodge City Diocese, reported that four busloads of people would be making the trip to Des Moines, Iowa for a chance to see Pope John Paul. He said “We’re astonished at the response, we thought we might get one busload, but we wound up with four.” Around 170 from Dodge City alone and it was estimated that 2,500 Kansas would be making the trip to the Living History Farms.

  • Date of Death: 6 January 2000
  • Place of Death: Catholic Care Center, Wichita
  • Age of Death: 85
  • Funeral Celebrant: Bishop Ronald Gilmore, St Andrew Church, Wright
  • Burial: St Andrew Catholic Cemetery, Wright, Ford County, Kansas

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