St. Susanne Parish, Mount Vernon, MO, Founded 1939
General parish info
Administrator: Fr. Chori Seraiah
DRE: Joey Wilke
Administrative Assistant: Laura Davidson
Phone: (417) 316-9250
Mailing address: St. Susanne Church, PO Box 126, Mount Vernon, MO, 65712-0126
Weekend Mass times
Daily Mass Times
Tuesday, Thursday, & Friday
10 a.m., Veteran’s Home, Mount Vernon, MO
St. Susanne Parish owes its origin to a large tuberculosis sanatorium in the town. Many Catholic patients treated for a longer time at the vast hospital needed the services of a priest.
Bishop Edwin O’Hara, bishop of the Kansas City diocese, appointed Fr. James Devine to serve as chaplain of the hospital. The bishop also instructed Fr. Devine to start a parish in Mt. Vernon. On Dec. 17, 1939, Mass was celebrated for his original congregation of ten and two visitors.
Fr. James Ahern succeeded Fr. Devine as pastor in November 1940. A two-story house on the corner of Center and McCanse Streets provided the little parish with an enlarged “chapel in a house.”
Soon the parish grew to more than 50 parishioners and, with the assistance of the Extension Society, a new church was constructed and dedicated by Bishop O’Hara in July 1945. The church, originally named St. Cecilia, was now named St. Susanne, the patron saint of the Extension Society that had helped to make the church a reality.
In 1967 under the leadership of Fr. Ralph J. Duffner and another Extension Society grant, a new church was erected on land just west of Mt. Vernon on V Highway. Bishop Ignatius Strecker dedicated the new facility on March 17, 1968. Today St. Susanne serves 110 households.
Brody, Fr. Joseph W., Aug 1, 1943 – Jun 4, 1947
Connell, Fr. William J., Jul 4, 1947 – Jun 23, 1957
Seyer, Fr. James A., Jun 24, 1957 – Apr 22, 1960
Duffner, Fr. Ralph J., Apr 23, 1960 – Jun 14, 1968
Rath, Fr. Theodore J., CPPS, D, 1969
Duffner, Fr. Ralph J. (Administrator), Sep 14, 1970 – May 31, 1974
Chambers, Fr. Leonard R., Jun 1, 1974 – Jan 14, 1976
Duffner, Fr. Ralph J., Jun 1, 1974 – Jan 14, 1976
Reynolds, Fr. James L., Aug 17, 1990 – Aug 18, 1991
Lutz, Fr. Frederick J., Aug 19, 1991 – Aug 16, 1994
Westhues, Msgr. John H., Aug 17, 1994 – Aug 17, 1998
Landewe, Fr. Robert A., Aug 18, 1998 – Aug 16, 2005 (retired)
Teter, Fr. Patrick A., Aug 17, 2005 – Jun 30, 2013
Wenani, Fr. Kizito, Jul 1, 2013 –
Above is compiled from diocesan archives.
“D” designates information compiled from The Catholic Directory or Year Book.