Archdiocese Local

Breaking ground on a better Villa St. Francis

Shovels are at the ready as Villa St. Francis in Olathe breaks ground on improvements to the facility. From left are: Patrick Karanja, Villa’s director of nursing; Jackie Hollis, Villa’s chief operating officer; Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann; Mary Bibler, Villa St. Francis and Catholic Community Health board co-chair; Scott Heady, Villa St. Francis and CCH board co-chair; Dan Himmelberg, archdiocesan construction and real estate consultant; and Daniel Keelin, Villa’s director of maintenance. PHOTO BY JD BENNING

by J.D. Benning
Special to The Leaven

OLATHE — For 70 years, Villa St. Francis here has been providing top quality senior care to people in the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas. On Feb. 7, led by Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, it broke ground to further improve its facilities and the care it provides.

Money raised by the archdiocesan capital campaign One Faith, One Family, One Future in Christ are funding the start of the improvements, which include updates to the front exterior, new front and rear parking lots, an update of the HVAC system and a new rehabilitation wing. The new rehabilitation facilities will enable improved resident experience, creating additional private rooms as well as an additional dining area.

Archbishop Naumann says a blessing outside of Villa St. Francis with assistance from Father Anthony Saiki. PHOTO BY JD BENNING

Extra funds are being raised to provide updates to other sections of the community, including hallways, resident rooms and common areas.

“I’m really proud of what Villa St. Francis has done through its history to provide the best care for all of our residents,” said Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann at the groundbreaking blessing and ceremony. “What we’re embarking on today will improve the facility, and it will visualize for our residents just how important they are to us. We are glad that our church can provide this place and partner with families to help those that need the quality and extent of care that we offer here at Villa St. Francis.”

“We’re proud of our employees,” he continued, “and are especially grateful for the two religious communities that serve here. They bring a special quality to the care here and make the presence of Christ very real and visible to the residents.”

Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann blesses the grounds of Villa St. Francis with holy water on Feb. 7. Villa St. Francis will start making improvements to its facility soon. PHOTO BY JD BENNING

The leadership team at Villa St. Francis is excited to get this process started.

“This critical update will greatly improve our facilities and the care that we provide our residents,” said Jackie Longston, chief operating officer of Villa St. Francis. “Our mission is to provide personalized, resident-centered care. We are one of the only communities in the area that will accept residents regardless of their ability to pay — we are grateful to the archdiocese for their support of this project and are hopeful that we can raise the additional funds to continue to improve Villa St. Francis.”

The facility provides long-term care, short-term rehabilitation and skilled memory care to seniors in the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas. Not a strictly Catholic care community, it provides care to people of all faith backgrounds.

Archbishop Naumann and Villa St. Francis staff pause for a photo at the groundbreaking ceremony held on Feb. 7. PHOTO BY JD BENNING

For those Catholics in their care, Villa has a daily Mass and a chaplain available to provide the sacraments to residents. It is also the only community in the area with a psychiatrist, cardiologist and pulmonologist on staff.

“I began as a nurse, and when I came to Villa St. Francis, I fell in love with this place,” said Christina Osterhaus, director of marketing at Villa. “I am passionate about helping and serving others. And seeing the incredible care that our staff of nurses and rehabilitation specialists provide is truly inspiring. I consider it a privilege to be a part of this team and to serve these people, many of whom have incredible stories of love and service.”

Villa St. Francis provides top-quality end-of life care, memory care and a place of rehabilitation   for seniors, regardless of their background or ability to pay. Its mission is to put the love of Christ into action through its mission of mercy. To learn more, visit the website at:

About the author

The Leaven

The Leaven is the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas.

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