The 34th state to be admitted to the United States, 29 January 1861.
The proto-martyr of the United States, the Franciscan Father Juan de Padilla, slain by the Indians, 1541, is thought to have shed his blood within the limits of the present Kansas, although the exact spot has never been determined.
He is known to have accompanied the Spanish expedition under Francisco de Coronado which reached the central plains of Kansas from Mexico, 1541, looking for the mythical treasure lands of Quivira, and turned back disillusioned.
The missionary remained in New Mexico and then retraced his steps to the northeast, with a few companions, and was killed as he knelt in prayer, somewhere on the plains.
Among the Indians mentioned by Father Marquette in 1673 were the Kanzas, as he called them.
About 1821 a band of Spaniards, accompanied by a Dominican chaplain, were massacred by the Indians near the site of Fort Leavenworth.
Successful missions were only established after the United States government had begun, c.1825, to transplant beyond the Mississippi many eastern tribes of Indians who aroused the zeal of devoted Jesuits.
Among the latter the leader was the Belgian Father Charles von Quickenborne who had gone west from Maryland to Saint Louis, 1821, and ministered to the Indians of Kansas as early as 1827.
His first permanent mission, that of Saint Francis Xavier, was established among the Kickapoos near Fort Leavenworth, 1836.
Saint Mary's Mission on the Kansas was established 12 years later by Father Pierre de Smet.
At about the same time Father Schoenmakers founded a mission for the Osages on the Neosho J River.
When white settlers began to enter Kansas, their needs were looked after by Right Reverend John B Miege, SJ; appointed Vicar Apostolic of the so-called Indian Territory (including Kansas), 1850.
By 1855 the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Leavenworth was built.
Archdioceses, past and present, include
Dioceses, past and present, include:
Catholic influence on the place-names of the state is shown in the following:
- Saint Clere
- Saint Francis
- Saint George
- Saint John
- Saint Marys
- Saint Paul
New Catholic Dictionary