St. Canera Parish, Neosho, MO, Founded 1871

St. Canera Church, Neosho, MO (circa 2010)
St. Canera Church, Neosho, MO (circa 2010)

General parish info

Contact info

Pastor: Fr. Derek Swanson, CM
Administrative Assistant: Debbie Gorham

Phone: (417) 451-3411 — Fax: (417) 451-3432
Mailing address: 504 S Washington St., Neosho, MO 64850-2324

Web site:


Weekend Mass times

8 a.m.
5 p.m. Vigil Mass
7 p.m. Spanish

Daily Mass Times

Tuesday – Friday
8:30 a.m.
Thursday in chapel at office


7:30 a.m. to 7:45 a.m.
4:30 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.


9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.,
7 – 8 p.m.

Office hours

Monday – Friday
9 a.m. – 12 noon & 1 – 4:30 p.m.

Updated: 10-20-15



Two historic events marked the beginning of the Catholic parish in Neosho: the donation of land for a church site and the arrival of Catholic immigrants from Ireland, Germany, Switzerland, and the eastern US.

In 1871 the Atlantic and Pacific Railway deeded a half-block of ground to Archbishop Peter R. Kenrick of St. Louis. It crowned the hilltop on South Wood and Hill Streets, overlooking Neosho. The mission at Neosho and other southwest Missouri missions were served infrequently by two missionary priests with headquarters in Pierce City, Fr. Henry Hugh O’Reilly in 1876, and Fr. John Hennes in 1878, who had to journey long distances by foot, horseback, or carriage to celebrate Mass.

In 1876, the dream of building a church began to take tangible form with the excavation for the church foundation. Native stone was prepared and laid by the pioneer Catholics. However, by the time the foundation was completed, the church funds were exhausted and construction work had to be suspended.

By 1880, a building fund of a few hundred dollars was raised. In December of 1883 construction of the church was carried out under the direction of Fr. Dennis Kelly of Sarcoxie Prairie. The 30- by 50-foot building was completed in 1884 with a cost of $800. In the meantime, boards on nail kegs served as pews. A few months later, altars, pews, and a choir loft were added. The parish numbered 125 at this time.

In 1885, Fr. James Wood was appointed first resident priest, and during his residency the interior church furnishings were completed. That same year the Seneca mission, now a parish, was attached to the Neosho parish with Fr. Wood as missionary priest. On May 23, 1889, Bishop John Hogan, first bishop of the Diocese of Kansas City, dedicated the church and named it after a sixth-century Irish saint.

Priests served

McGrane, Msgr. Walter J. (priest in charge), May 29, 1940 – May 31, 1948
Nugent, Fr. Leo W., Jun 6, 1948 – Sep 18, 1952
Rynish, Msgr. John J., May 3, 1954 – Apr 22, 1960
Rochford, Fr. William B., Apr 23, 1960 – Jun 14, 1965
Reker, Fr. Val H., Jun 15, 1965 – Aug 13, 1970
Landewe, Fr. Robert A., Aug 14, 1970 – Jul 30, 1976
Unterreiner, Fr. James J., Aug 1, 1976 – Aug 18, 1991
Harth, Fr. John M., Aug 19, 1991 – Aug 16, 2001
Leveillee, Fr. Roger L., Aug 17, 2001 – May 8, 2003
Than Van Liem, Fr. Joseph, CMC (Administrator), 2002 – Aug 12, 2003
Braun, Fr. John S., Aug 13, 2003 – Jul 5, 2006
Hulshof, Fr. David F. (temp. Administrator), Jan, 2006 – Aug 9, 2006
Skrzypek, Fr. Jaroslaw Z., Aug 10, 2006 – Jun 30, 2009
Grodecki, Fr. Henry, CM, Jul 1,2009 – Jul 10, 2014
Restrepo, Fr. Ruben D.,CM, Jul 11, 2014 – Jun 30, 2015
Swanson, Fr. Derek, CM, Jul 1, 2015 –

Above is compiled from diocesan archives.
“D” designates information compiled from The Catholic Directory or Year Book.

Parish related

GPS coordinates: N36° 51.855’, W094° 22.127’ (click here for map)

Attends to: Nativity of Our Lord Mission, Noel, MO

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