June 24: Msgr. William Farrell


June 24, 1966

Msgr. William Farrell

Msgr. Farrell was born in Kentland, IN on May 12, 1876 but his family moved to Independence, KS in 1880 with the hope that the Kansas climate would benefit his father’s tuberculosis. At nine years of age he attended school at Osage Mission and was taught Latin by Father Paul Ponziglione. After attending St. Benedict’s College in Atchison, KS he prepared for the priesthood at Kenrick Seminary in St. Louis, MO and North American College in Rome. Cardinal Respighi ordained him in Rome for the Diocese of Wichita on December 5, 1905. His first assignment was to the Pro-Cathedral as an assistant for two years and then to St. Teresa’s Parish in Hutchinson as pastor for nine years. When told by Bishop Hennessy that he was being assigned to the cathedral he said that he liked it in Hutchinson. Bishop Hennessy replied, “It doesn’t make any difference what you like. You do as I say.” (The Advance Register, July 1, 1966) Msgr. Farrell obediently spent the next thirty years at the cathedral and during that time he built the school and gym. He also was a Diocesan Consultor, editor of the Catholic Advance, Vicar General, and a member of various community organizations. In 1924 he was made a monsignor. He died at ninety years of age while serving as a chaplain at St. Joseph Hospital in Wichita. Bishop Byrne celebrated his funeral Mass at the cathedral and Bishop Carroll preached the sermon.