Old St. Patrick Oratory (the third Catholic parish established in Kansas City originally under the name St. Patrick’s Parish), was built in 1875 and is the oldest Catholic building in continuous use today. A passionate project of Father James A. Dunn and a community of about 200 families, the Baroque brick building was erected to serve the Irish community on the east side.
It is said that St. Patrick brought the word of God to the “once-heathen” island of Ireland. Patrick first experienced Irish paganism at young age; he was kidnapped at 16 and sold into slavery there, where he toiled for six years. After he escaped, he attained an education and became a bishop of the Catholic church, whence he returned to his slave-country to spread the gospel. Preaching the word of God to the godless, Patrick won “Ireland for Christ.”
These days, the congregation and building interior have been through many evolutions and near-extinctions since this humble beginning, threatened by freeway construction and a changing church. The distinctly historic building was severed from the diocese in 2005, now serving as an oratory for traditional Latin mass.