August 22: Father Francis Verdan


August 22, 1932

Father Francis Verdan

Father Verdan was born in France on November 27, 1853. After completing his studies for the priesthood he came to the United States in 1897 and attended the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, IN. He joined the Holy Cross Order and was ordained a priest on August 15, 1881 by Bishop Napoleon Tache in New Orleans. That same year he was sent to work in the Diocese of Leavenworth under Bishop Fink who assigned him to Greenbush. Msgr. Moeder writes that at the time it was called “Hickory Church.” (History of the Diocese of Wichita, p. 46) For fifty years he was pastor of St. Aloysius Parish in Greenbush during which time he built a church in Greenbush, a rectory and church in Walnut, and a church at Hiatville. He returned to France only once and that was to attend the World’s Fair in Paris in 1900. Father Verdan died on August 22, 1932 at Mt. Carmel Hospital in Pittsburg. Bishop Schwertner celebrated his funeral at St. Aloysius Parish, Greenbush.