Ray County’s Catholic church celebrates 150 years

Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 602 S. Camden St., recently received new siding, just in time for its 150th- anniversary celebration. Bishop James V. Johnston Jr. of the Kansas City-St. Joseph diocese will lead a special 4 p.m. Mass on Saturday. (Photo by JoEllen Black/Richmond News)

By JoEllen Black/Richmond News Executive Editor

The one and only Catholic church in Ray County celebrates a big milestone this weekend.

On Saturday, Immaculate Conception Catholic Church will offer a special 150th anniversary Mass. Bishop James V. Johnston Jr. of the Kansas City-St. Joseph diocese will lead the 4 p.m. service, with a dinner to follow.

The bishop will be joined by former Immaculate Conception pastors, the Revs. Joseph Cisetti and Ronald Elliott, as well as Richmond native the Rev. Donald Farnan and the Rev. Christopher Smith, who currently serves the Richmond and Lexington Catholic churches, as concelebrants.

Built by miners

Not much detail is known about the origins of the Richmond church, other than diocesan records that mention the church was founded in 1868. During its early period, priests from Carrollton, later from Plattsburg and then from Norborne came by train to Henrietta depot. Parishioners met them and took them to church members’ homes for services, according to Michael Johnson, an Immaculate Conception member who compiled the church’s history book in 2008.

The complete version of this story appears in the Friday, June 1, 2018, edition of The Richmond News.

Click here for our E-edition and read the rest of the story.

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