Local Parishes

Lenexa parish celebrates church’s silver anniversary

Holy Trinity Parish in Lenexa celebrated the 25th anniversary of its new church recently. At the altar are, from left: Deacon Dana Nearmyer, Deacon Steve Lemons, Father Michael Koller, pastor, Msgr. Ray Burger, Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, Father Keith Chadwick and Father Richard McDonald. LEAVEN PHOTO BY JILL RAGAR ESFELD

by Jill Ragar Esfeld

LENEXA — At a Mass celebrating the 25th anniversary of the dedication of their main church, Holy Trinity parishioners here joined with Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann in thanking all those involved in the building effort.

“It’s good to have Msgr. Ray Burger with us tonight,” said the archbishop. “He led this effort to create this beautiful church.”

Msgr. Burger was pastor in 1994 when the master plan for the church was presented to the archdiocese.

To him, the anniversary event involved much more than commemorating a wonderful building.

“It is rather a time to reflect upon the graces of the Spirit within this church community, which brought about this building,” he said. “The parishioners of Holy Trinity have always been responsive to the gifts of the Spirit.

“And the 25th anniversary should remind us of the work of that Spirit even today.”

Msgr. Ray Burger, who was pastor of Holy Trinity Parish in Lenexa in 1994, talks with parishioners after the 25th anniversary Mass. LEAVEN PHOTO BY JILL RAGAR ESFELD

The anniversary fell on the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception.

Mary, under this title, is the principal patron of the archdiocese, and Archbishop Naumann told parishioners she is the example for “becoming living tabernacles that carry the very life of God within us.”

He also addressed why churches — the actual physical places of worship — are so important.

“What we try to do in our churches,” he said, “is create a space that recognizes the mystery of the Incarnation, the mystery of God’s presence with us.

“And how blessed we are to experience and encounter him in the Eucharist tonight.”

Hundreds of parishioners gathered to celebrate Holy Trinity Parish’s 25th anniversary. LEAVEN PHOTO BY JILL RAGAR ESFELD

Concelebrant Holy Trinity pastor Father Mike Koller spoke at the end of Mass, recalling the long history of the parish, and the community effort that went into building this main church.

All the furniture, aside from the pews, was handmade by Holy Trinity parishioners led by Nick Disidore,  he said.

Parishioner Cookie Moffitt painted the icon that hangs above the altar.

It was a community effort to build Holy Trinity Church in Lenexa. Parishioner Cookie Moffitt painted the icon seen here behind the crucifix. LEAVEN PHOTO BY JILL RAGAR ESFELD

The 12 stained-glass windows surrounding the interior were recovered from Msgr. Burger’s childhood church of St. Thomas, in the Armourdale neighborhood of Kansas City, Kansas.

“So, this evening,” said Father Koller, “we give thanks and praise to almighty God for having this beautiful structure that we call our home church.

“And Msgr. Burger, we want to thank you especially for your leadership and vision in making it all possible.

“And praise be to God.”

About the author

Jill Esfeld

Jill Ragar Esfeld received a degree in Writing from Missouri State University and started her profession as a magazine feature writer, but quickly transitioned to technical/instructional writing where she had a successful career spanning more than 20 years. She returned to feature writing when she began freelancing for The Leaven in 2004. Her articles have won several awards from the Catholic Press Association. Jill grew up in Christ the King parish in Kansas City, Missouri; and has been a member of Holy Trinity Parish in Lenexa, Kansas, for 35 years.

Leave a Comment