by Joe Bollig
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — This is the kind of place Julie Mayne would have liked: sheltered and quiet, alive in the morning with the sounds of birds and with lush plants and a flowing fountain.
The place is a garden in the courtyard of Savior Pastoral Center, a feature since the building was finished in 1965. Now, the former seminary courtyard has new life and purpose, thanks to Julie’s friends and a couple of master gardeners.
The courtyard garden was renovated this spring and rededicated to Julie Mayne, who died on Feb. 18. A parishioner at St. Pius X in Mission, she was the wife of Jerry Mayne, chief financial officer for the archdiocese.
“I think it’s really nice to have a living memory of her,” said one of the couple’s daughters, Cynthia Kuxhausen, who participated in the renovation.
The project, explained Eileen Manza, program director for the pastoral center, came at the suggestion of Father Gary Pennings, archdiocesan chancellor.
“He recommended that we make an overview of Savior Pastoral Center and that we consider how the courtyard could be improved, possibly with volunteers,” said Manza.
Manza called Mary Kay Drees, director of volunteers at Catholic Charities, who in turn contacted Kathy Marincel, a parishioner at Good Shepherd Parish in Shawnee. Marincel is a master gardener from Johnson County and a friend of Julie Mayne.
The courtyard had been designed well and had “great structure,” said Marincel.
Over time, however, some parts had become overgrown, while some original plants disappeared. A makeover was long overdue.
Marincel enlisted the help of Elizabeth Duke, a master gardener from Wyandotte County and a parishioner of St. Patrick Parish in Kansas City, Kan., and some of Julie’s other friends. About 14 people showed up for the first work- day on May 3, and a smaller group returned on May 21.
The gardeners cleared debris, cut back overgrown bushes and vines, and weeded. They planted Knock Out roses, oak leaf hydrangea, pink impatiens, red salvia and a barberry bush. They drilled a hole in the fountain to hide its intake house, and planted water plants. The volunteers also brought in four 200-pound planters — one of which was donated by the Mayne family — and put various flowers and ornamental plants in them.
The cost of the project was about $1,000, which was raised by Marincel, Duke and Julie Mayne’s friends.
Duke will visit the garden periodically to work and water it, but more volunteers and funds are needed. Those who would like to contribute or volunteer can contact Manza at (913) 721-1097.