Holy Name Church traces its roots back to Father Paul Ponziglione, an Italian who traveled throughout southeast Kansas in the mid 1800ís. Fr. Ponziglione reached Winfield from St. Paul in 1869 and said the first Mass in Winfield at a local home. The parish was established on a plot of donated ground. A small frame church was built and from 1878 to 1880 the parish was served by Fr. F. X. Kraus of Wichita. The first resident pastor was Fr, Gregory M. Kelly who arrived in 1881. He established a rectory and opened a school which was taught by a sister, and opened St. Maryís cemetery.
Several other priests served the parish until the arrival of Fr. B.J. McKeman. Under his direction, the cornerstone was laid for a Gothic stone church in 1887. The basement served as a school, the first students being taught by a lay teachers and then by Sisters of St. Joseph. Other physical changes were made in 1904 when the pastor at the time, Fr. J. F. Burke, remodeled the rectory. Seventeen years later, a fire destroyed the church. Construction of the present church began in the fall of 1922. in the meantime, mass was held in a former lodge building on Main Street Bishop August Schwertne dedicated the present church on November 4, 1923. Although the church was a result of the zeal of Fr. Austin Hull, who served the parish until 1945, one of his fervent hopes was the Holy Name would also have a school. At his requiem, Bishop C. H. Winklemann reminded parishioners of that hope and suggested that the people of Holy name build a memorial to Fr. Hull, a parish school.
Fr. Thomas C. Glynn became the pastor of Holy Name after the death of Fr. Hull. And Holy Name was opened in 1952 and blessed by Bishop Mark K. Carroll. The Sister of St. Joseph served the school until 1986-87 school years. Lay teachers now make up the faculty.
During Fr. Glynnís pastorate, the parish acquired the remaining property on the block already owned by Holy Name except for the Church of Christ building on the northeast corner. A house on the southwest corner was converted into a parish hall, two houses were moved away, two others were torn down, and the remaining house became the sistersí home.
Fathers F. Raymond Schmidt and James J. Shaughnessy succeeded Fr, Glynn, who during his stay at Holy Name had several assistants. Fr. Michael Garrahy became pastor in 1963. During his pastorate, the parish bought the Church of Christ property for a parish hall and the house formerly used for that purpose was demolished. Also, the church was painted and the sanctuary was carpeted for the first time.
Fr. Garrahy was transferred in 1967 and was replaced at Holy Name by Fr. Ivan Eck, who served until 1970. He was followed by Fr. John L. Dinan who served the parish from 1970 to 1983, during which time the present rectory was constructed and other improvements such as the blacktopping of the parking lot were made. The centennial of the church was celebrated under Fr. Dinanís pastorship.
Fr. Francis Cox succeeded Fr. Dinan. He served until 1987, when our present pastor, Fr. Eugene Grabner was appointed. Under Fr. Grabnerís guidance, a kindergarten was added to the school. And the school received a new boiler and air-conditioners. St. Maryís Church in Oxford, is a mission to Holy Name. It was established in 1872 as a station.
Submitted by Fr. Eugene Grabner
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