In the late 1800’s, the Capuchin Franciscan Friars used ten acres of land donated by the Kansas Pacific Railway Company in Victoria, Kansas, to build St. Fidelis Church.
St. Fidelis was built to serve the Catholic Volga-German immigrants who had fled southern Russia and settled in the area. My husband’s grandparents and great-grandparents were part of this Volga-German community.
Native limestone blocks weighing from 50 to 100 lbs. each were used to build the church. The blocks were quarried from the local area, and each parishioner was required to haul six wagon loads of stone from the quarry to the church.
Inside these rather utilitarian doors (see Dan’s Q&A in the comments) is a truly exquisite building. There are stunning stained glass windows and beautiful altars.
Victoria, Kansas has a population of approximately 1,200 and is located 1 mile south of Interstate 70 in central Kansas, 129 miles northwest of Wichita and 243 miles west of Kansas City.
One mile is not far to go to see St. Fidelis Church. It is open 365 days a year with seating for 1,100, and mass is celebrated daily.
When he visited in 1912, William Jennings Bryan gave it the nickname, Cathedral of the Plains.
In 2014, St. Fidelis was named a minor Basilica.
My husband grew up less than 8 miles from this beautiful landmark so on our recent trip it was definitely on our list of stops. If you are ever in the area, I’d highly recommend taking a few minutes to visit St. Fidelis.
And, if you’ve ever thought about living in a rural small town like Victoria, just remember they keep things simple and practical. For instance:
SIREN BLASTS: Please Post Near Telephone
- 1 Blast – at noon and 9:00 pm everyday, and 6:45 on Fire Department meeting nights
- 2 Blasts – Fire South of 8th Street
- 3 Blasts – Fire North of 8th Street
- 4 Blasts – Rural Fire
- The attack warning signal is a 3 to 5 minute wavering tone.
- The tornado warning signal is a 3 to 5 minute steady tone.
- The all clear signal is 5 short blasts.
If you like doors, check out Norm Frampton’s Thursday Doors, 05/05/16.