Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in union with the Roman Catholic Church chooses to be an evangelizing people. We desire that our faith radiate the love of Jesus by the way we think, speak, and act. We strive to share our enthusiasm for the Gospel by becoming a welcoming, forgiving and reconciling community. We strive to live the Gospel values that transform our families, our neighborhoods and our whole society.
THE FIRST CHURCH 1889-1890
Upon arriving in the Goodland area in the spring of 1889, newcomers found only six Catholic families in the area. The needs of the Catholic families were attended periodically by visiting priests who would arrive on special occasions, and have Mass in a soddie.
No church as such existed at that time, and unsubstantiated reports have it that first celebration of Mass in Sherman County was in a "soddie" where altars were crudely constructed affairs, and planks substituted as pews.
The persistence of the Catholic families prevailed. On October 11, 1889, the site of the first Catholic Church in Sherman County was obtained two and one-half miles east of Kanorado, Kansas [Wisbaum settlement], with Father A.P. Heimann as the first missionary priest on a regular basis.
After only one Mass was celebrated, this structure was destroyed by a strong wind. The beautiful high altar as carried one hundred feet, stood erect, and though surrounded by splintered lumber, had not even a scratch on it. A large white cross, located approximately 2 1/2 miles east of Kanorado and just south of Highway 24, still marks the location of this church.
THE SECOND CHURCH 1890-1902
Mr. J.W. Beahm donated all of block 32 to the City of Goodland to be used for church purposes. In the spring of 1890 a contract for a new church east of the Courthouse in Goodland was let to a man named LaPlanta, a French Catholic from Oberlin, Kansas. He completed the work on the little brick church in the fall that year. At this time there were 14 Catholic families in Goodland. This brick church served the needs of Catholics until 1902. The brick church was located between 5th & 6th streets and between College & Arcade Streets.
At this time the church was named Our Lady of Suffrage [for Poor Souls]. Because this name was unfamiliar to parishioners, it was changed to Our Lady of Perpetual Help. The records for baptism, matrimony, confirmation, death and burial, and first communion records began about 1889 and are now preserved in the parish archives.
THE THIRD CHURCH 1902-1926
The third Catholic church in Sherman County was built on lots in the original town of Goodland, and was located on the northeast corner 13th & Sherman streets. The land cost $45, and the white framed Catholic church was completed in 1902. This church served the Catholic congregation until December 13, 1926, at which time it was sold to the Lutheran congregation.
The present rectory was built in 1920-21 and used by the parish priest at this time. It is a 35'x25'; two-story building faced with cement and brick ornamentation, with a veranda the width of the house on the north side.
THE FOURTH CHURCH
The fourth site for the Catholic church in Sherman County, Kansas, was purchased by Rev. Michael Mulvihill for the sum of $800. It is located between 13th and 14th Streets on the west side of Sherman Street. The ground was broken for the new church building on June 26, 1926. This church, of Italian Renaissance architecture, was built under the direction of Rev. William John Butzer, the pastor.
Mass was first said in the new church on December 20, 1926, and Masses were said continuously in the church basement until the church was completed. With the completion of the present church in the year 1927, the parish found that it had spent $46,000 and possessed a debt of $24,401. The great depression of 1929 occurred, and due to the effect on the local economy, the debt, was not paid in full until 1944.
In 1964 the Parish House was purchased for $9,500 from the Methodist Church. It was rented for several years. Since 1970 it has served as a convent for the Sisters who work in the parish.
HOLY FAMILY CENTER
It had long been the dream of the local parish to have a parochial school available for youth and adult education. Far-sighted priests and church communities foresaw the need of additional space, and started purchasing additional lots on the block where the church is located. The building committee was instituted in 1960, and gradually accumulated $120,000 by the fall of 1967.
In 1964, a delegation visited with Bishop Freking, bishop of the Salina Diocese, and the bishop expressed his hope that a parochial conversations with Bishop Freking, and additional studies, it was evident that the parochial school expense and staffing problems seemed insurmountable. It was the consensus of the congregation that the parish budget was not commensurate with school staffing and other expenses. However, parents and Religious Education teachers insisted that a classroom atmosphere must be created. An election was held in the parish, wherein it was determined that a Religious Education Center, which might later be converted to a parochial school, should be built. Woods & Starr, architects from Hays, KS, formulated the plans. The formal groundbreaking of the Holy Family Center took place March 19, 1968, with Carson-Crider-Speicher from Wray, CO, as the general contractors. By November 30, 1968, the Holy Family Center and the classrooms were completed. The parish debt at this time was $40,000.
In 1975, new church offices which joined the rectory to the church were established. Improvements to the front entrance, and new steps were completed in 1976. At this time the new church was free of debt and had a nest egg of$16,000.
In 1980 a major renovation of the church interior was completed under the direction of Fr. Merlin Kieffer.
During the 1990's renovations were undertaking on the Rectory and the Parish House.
In 2001 it was decided that the interior of the church needed renovation. On April 23, 2001 the first building committee meeting for this purpose was held. Fr. Daryl Olmstead along with Fr. Frank Cody, Director of Liturgy Department of the Diocese of Salina were present to direct the committee in deciding the church needs. In January of 2004, after many meetings to discuss the remodeling and enhancing of the church worship space, it was decided to begin the renovation.
On May 16, 2004 approximately 60 volunteers from the parish assembled to remove pews and old carpeting from the church. More volunteers came to help prepare the walls for painting. All the painting was done by volunteers who spent many late night hours over several weeks. Work also began on the sanctuary wall and altar area remodeling which would give more room during weddings and funerals and enhance the church's Italian Renaissance architecture. The entire church body was re-carpeted. A Para-Liturgy Blessing, a Musical Program, and an Appreciation Dinner were held on August 22, 2004 in celebration of the completion of the renovation of the church. The cost of the renovation of the church interior was approximately $27,000. This most recent renovation took place while Fr. Norbert Dlabal was pastor.
In February of 2005 the pews and sanctuary furniture were re-upholstered and a new sound system was installed.
During Fr. Butzer's time in Goodland (1925-1940), the Grotto of the Blessed Mother was erected north of the church. The shell in the background as set in place by Fr. Butzer with the help of altar boys. The Grotto has been the scene of many May crownings and other ceremonies. The statue was refinished in the year 2001.