August 17: Father Leroy Downs


August 17, 1997

Father Leroy Downs

Father Downs was born on July 14, 1915 in Springfield, MO. While attending Rockhurst College in Kansas City, MO in 1933 he joined the Catholic Church. He decided to be a priest and upon the completion of his studies at Kenrick Seminary in St. Louis, MO he was ordained by Bishop Winkelmann on May 30, 1943 in the St. John Academy Chapel in Wichita. He served as an assistant at St. Teresa Parish in Hutchinson before becoming pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Eureka and St. John Parish in Hamilton in 1946. In 1961 he was assigned to St. Mary’s Parish in Moline and in 1962 he went to his last pastoral assignment at St. Joseph Parish in Humboldt. Father Downs retired on August 4, 1985 to the Priest Retirement Center in Wichita where he died on August 17, 1997. Bishop Gerber celebrated his funeral Mass in St. Elizabeth Chapel at the Catholic Care Center in Wichita on August 19, 1997. Father Downs was buried in St. Joseph Cemetery in Humboldt, Kansas.