The Orphanage

The Orphanage
In 1918, an influenza epidemic raged throughout the United States. St. John the Baptist Parish recorded 51 deaths that year and 71 in 1919. Many children of the parish were left without one or both parents. Msgr. Martin D. Krmpotic, Pastor of St.John’s was determined to remedy this situation. He asked the Sisters of St.Fransis of Christ the King to open an orphanage. Mr. John McFadden a neighbor of Msgr. Krmpotic expressed his desire to sell his residence, located north of the parish house.

On August 15, 1919 , Sister Mary Bonaventure, the superior, visited the McFadden home and purchased it for $15,400. The Sisters supplied the $3,000 down payment and the sum of $12,400 was raised in the parish.
It was decided that the orphanage was to open to the children of all nationalities, creeds and races. Along with the sheltered care for the children, the Sisters operated a day care and nursery school program. Within a few years there was a great increase in the number of orphans. Over the course of eight years, four additions were made to the original house but always leaving the main facade and ornate interiors intact.

By 1931 , the orphanage was caring for 68 children. In 1940, the orphanage received its first license from the State Board of health and was authorized to care for 70 children.

In the 1950’s , the Sisters started attending workshops on nursery care and become caseworkers. The Orphanage was changing.

The Orphanage operated through the Catholic Charities of the Archdioceses of Kansas City, Kansas, during the 1960’s. At that point they cared for only 35 children.

In 1973 , the name was changed to St. John Children’s home. During the 1970’s and 1980’s the focus changed from a children’s home to a long-term residential treatment facility.

In 1988 , the Sisters closed the Home. Thru it’s lifetime the orphanage cared for more than 3,000 children who called it “Home”.

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