Metropolitan of Pittsburgh
Apostolic Administrator of Parma
HThe parish began in 1910 when Ukrainian and Ruthenian immigrants who originally settled in Pennsylvania came to Sugar Creek when Standard Oil opened a petroleum processing facility there. They built a parish hall at that time on the top of a hill that overlooks the Missouri River and the town below. In 1926, the church building was built on top of the parish hall and dedicated as St. Joseph Greek Catholic Church. Later, the priest who was assigned there was recalled, and in a move to preserve ethnic and ritual identity, the parish called on the services of the local Russian Orthodox priest who was serving in Kansas City, KS. Around 1950, the parish was returned to the Catholic Church and was administered by Ukrainian Catholic priest Fr. John Lazar, who was the pastor of St. Joseph’s Ukrainian Catholic Church in St. Joseph, MO. Two priests succeeded Fr. Lazar, but later many parishioners left the church. In late summer of 1984, the late Bishop Gabro, of the Diocese of Chicago, closed St. Joseph Church in Sugar Creek.
In the meantime, a Ruthenian Mission had been developed with Fr. Francis McGlynn as administrator. On 29 June, 1978, Fr. McGlynn received a call from the Lord to do something for the growing community of Ruthenian Catholics in the Kansas City Metropolitan area. He immediately began taking the steps for bi-ritual faculties, which he received the following year. Over the next several years, St. Paul’s Mission, as the parish was then called, used the facilities of two Roman Catholic churches and the chapel of Rockhurst High School, a Jesuit-run school in Kansas City. When St. Joseph’s closed in 1984, the mission asked for use of the property, and it was given to the mission. The following weekend, Liturgy was served there, as continues to be served there to this day.
In the spring of 1985, after all the paperwork was finished, Bishop Andrew came to formally claim the parish for the Eparchy of Parma. The ensuing years were spent renewing and restoring the parish church. Today there is a small, but strong and thriving community that draws people from as far as 100 miles for liturgy every week.
Rev. Fr. Francis McGlynn retired form the active priesthood as of 30 June 2002. Rev. Fr. Stephen Muth then became pastor until he was reassigned to St. Mary's Church (Whiting, IN) in November 2010. The parish was administered by Fr. Deacon Nicholas Szilagye, MD and was supported by the Sacramental Ministry of Rev. Fr. Thomas Bailey, OSB, a Benedictine monk of Marmion Abbey (Aurora, IL), who taught at Conception Seminary College (Conception, MO) from November 2010 to June 2018. In the fall of 2016, the parish suffered wind damage, which caused the interior ceiling to partially collapse. The parish saw this as an opportunity to renew our sacred temple. A new oak ceiling was installed, as well as the floor being refinished, and the walls repainted. Several icons were added to the Church, in particular a new festal set, as well as the lower-tier icons on the iconostasis, and topped with a new Pantocrator installed on the ceiling of the Church with some new furnishings added. The work was completed in time for Pascha services in 2017. With Fr. Thomas' departure for his new assignment at the Pontifical Greek College of St. Athanasius in Rome in the fall of 2018, Bishop Milan Lach, SJ (Eparchial Administrator) assigned a resident priest, Rev. Fr. Michael Lee, to the parish once again. He and his family began their service to St. Luke's on June 17, 2018. He is the first married priest to serve our parish community.
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