Local Parishes

Renovations of Corpus Christi, Mooney Creek, blessed

Father William Dun-Dery, pastor of Corpus Christi Parish in Mooney Creek, assists Archbishop Naumann in a Mass celebrating the renovation of the church on May 12. LEAVEN PHOTO BY JAY SOLDNER

by Joe Bollig

MOONEY CREEK — Corpus Christi Church here, one of the well-preserved rural jewel-box structures of the archdiocese, is more charming than ever thanks to a recently completed interior renovation.

The renovation of the 1915 church, which took place from January to March, was blessed during Mass on May 12, the solemnity of the Ascension. Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann was the main celebrant and homilist, and pastor Father William Dun-Dery concelebrated.

Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann blesses parishioners of Corpus Christi Church in Mooney Creek with assistance from Deacon Jody Madden. LEAVEN PHOTO BY JAY SOLDNER

Corpus Christi Parish has been making improvements to the church for the past seven years, said Greg Noll, parish finance council member.

Those improvements included new composite shingles, stained-glass window repair, tuckpointing, new guttering installation and tearing down two unused buildings — a former convent for teaching Sisters in 2017, and the former three-story grade school (closed in the 1960s) that had been used as a parish hall, in 2019. The former rectory is now used for meetings and religious education.

Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, assisted by Deacon Jody Madden, blesses the parishioners of Corpus Christi Church in Mooney Creek with holy water. LEAVEN PHOTO BY JAY SOLDNER

The recent renovation included crack repair and new paint on all interior surfaces, carpeting, pew repair and repair of two more stained-glass windows. The paint colors were Angora (eggshell white) for the nave walls, Truly Taupe (gray) for the trim, Reddened Earth (reddish brown) for the sanctuary walls and Gauzy White for the ceiling.

The cost of the interior renovation was $224,984.

Additional improvements to be done later include a new sound system and new lighting. New exterior doors were installed May 7-8 by L&L Construction of Atchison.

Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann shares a laugh with Father William Dun-Dery following Mass at Corpus Christi Church in Mooney Creek. LEAVEN PHOTO BY JAY SOLDNER

“Our parishioners are really proud that they’ve been able to achieve this,” said Father Dun-Dery. “We started somewhat with a sense of fear. We were not sure if our little parish community of about 60 families could make our fundraising target. . . . But we were able to do it. And we are very happy we achieved that.”

A reception was held following the Mass.

Companies involved with the interior renovation were Swann Painting Company of Leavenworth, Seifert’s Flooring of Tonganoxie and Sentimental Art Glass Company of Belton, Missouri. Some of the work was also done by parishioners.

To view more photos of the Mass and blessing, click here.

About the author

Joe Bollig

Joe has been with The Leaven since 1993. He has a bachelor’s degree in communications and a master’s degree in journalism. Before entering print journalism he worked in commercial radio. He has worked for the St. Joseph (Mo.) News-Press and Sun Publications in Overland Park. During his journalistic career he has covered beats including police, fire, business, features, general assignment and religion. While at The Leaven he has been a writer, photographer and videographer. He has won or shared several Catholic Press Association awards, as well as Archbishop Edward T. O’Meara awards for mission coverage. He graduated with a certification in catechesis from a two-year distance learning program offered by the Maryvale Institute for Catechesis, Theology, Philosophy and Religious Education at Old Oscott, Great Barr, in Birmingham, England.

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