November 29: Father Michael Blackledge


November 29, 1995

Father Michael Blackledge

Father Blackledge was born on March 14, 1920 in Liverpool, England. After attending seminary in England and Ireland he was ordained for the Diocese of Wichita at St. Patrick College, Carlow, Ireland on December 18, 1949. He served as a chaplain at the St. Joseph Home in El Dorado and as an assistant at St. Mary’s Parish in Parsons, St. Patrick Parish in Wichita and Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Pittsburg before becoming pastor at Yates Center with Owl Creek as a mission. Later pastoral assignments for Father Blackledge were to Neodesha, Chase, El Dorado, and Clonmel. In 1984 he retired for health reasons and lived at the cathedral and later at the Catholic Care Center. He worked with Marriage Encounter for many years and was instrumental in helping Kansas families adopt Irish orphans and in bringing the Korean Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament to the diocese. He died on November 29, 1995 several weeks following the death of his brother, Father Dennis Blackledge, in Oklahoma. A concelebrated Mass of Christian Burial was held for Father Blackledge at the cathedral after which he was buried in Ascension Cemetery in Wichita.