St. Agnes Cathedral Parish, Springfield, MO, Founded 1908
General parish info
Pastor: Fr. Lewis E. Hejna
Associate Pastor and Minister to Vietnamese Parishioners: Fr. Gregory M. Tran Vi, CMC
Pastoral Minister: Sr. Elizabeth Ann Weiler, ASC
Director of Children’s Music: Andy Sun
Director of Faith: Sabrina Schmidt
Office Manager: Helen Rapp
Coordinator of Music: Kevin Otradovec
Principal St. Agnes School: Lindsay Paulsell (see ‘Parish related’ tab)
Phone: (417) 831-3565 • Fax: (417) 865-0367
Mailing address: 533 S Jefferson Ave., Springfield, MO 65806-3105
Weekend Mass times
7 & 8:30 a.m.
10 a.m., Vietnamese
11:30 a.m. & 5 p.m.
Daily Mass Times
Monday – Saturday
Tuesday – Friday
6:30 a.m., Extraordinary Form in Latin
Monday – Friday
5:30 p.m., held in Chapel on west side of Cathedral
Wednesday & Friday
5 – 5:20 p.m.
3:30 – 4:30 p.m. & 7 – 7:30 p.m., or by appointment
8:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Monday – Friday
8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
The story of St. Agnes Cathedral Parish is one of growth and development far beyond the dreams of the families who were its founders. On Aug. 24, 1956, public announcement was made of the creation of the new Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau, with Bishop Charles H. Helmsing, Auxiliary Bishop of St. Louis, as the first bishop. St. Agnes church in Springfield became a co-cathedral with the Church of St. Mary of the Annunciation in Cape Girardeau.
The coming of the Atlantic-Pacific Railroad in the 1870’s to the Springfield area brought Catholic German and Irish workers. Like an arrow of steel, the railroad tracks along Water Street in south-central Springfield pierced the heart of the city. As residential development took place to the south of the city following the turn of the 19th century, the railroad tracks accentuated the division between the north and south of Springfield and became a menace to life and limb. Fearing the danger to school children crossing the tracks, at that time traversed by some 20 passenger trains daily, Catholics of south Springfield decided to establish a school in a house on South and Elm Streets. In 1906, two Sisters of Loretto staffed a school of 35 students.
In 1908, 100 Springfield Catholics wrote the Bishop of the Diocese of Kansas City the following: “The earth does move,” said Galileo. “The world is round,” said Columbus. Springfield will be yet a great city, and the Catholic Church should grow with it!”
Bishop Hogan of Kansas City was impressed by the convictions of the Springfield Catholics from the south part of the city. He gave his permission to build a new church known as St. Agnes. The cost was $27,850. The parish started with an active membership just under 300. On Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 24, 1910, the church was dedicated.
The school children and the Sisters of Loretto also moved to the parish location in 1910. By 1914 the parish school enrolled 175 pupils and had five Sisters of Loretto teaching. Within the same period the number of families in the parish rose to 200.
Schroeger, Msgr. Valentine A., Jan., 1944 – July 29, 1965
Westhues, Msgr. John H., July 30, 1965 – July 31, 1977
Bauer, Fr. Sylvester W., Aug. 1, 1977 – July 1, 1981
Reidy, Msgr. Thomas E. VG, July 15, 1981 – Aug. 17, 1992
Kiefer, Fr. Thomas P., JCL, Aug. 18, 1992 – Aug. 12, 2003
McDevitt, Fr. Michael V., Aug. 13, 2003 – July 1, 2014
Hejna, Fr. Lewis E., July 1, 2014 –
Above is compiled from diocesan archives.
“D” designates information compiled from The Catholic Directory or Year Book.