Parish History

When the Redemptorist priests settled between the frontier towns of Westport and Kansas City in 1878, they never dreamt of establishing a parish. They were missionaries. They built a mission house, high on a hill, overlooking verdant meadows. From there, they traveled to the newly settled towns of the Midwest, preaching missions. Soon neighboring Catholics befriended the priests and brothers and began worshiping with them in their chapel. As the congregation grew, the Redemptorists were invited to establish a new parish on the mission house grounds. In 1888, the parish of Our Lady of Perpetual Help was founded, but to this day, the church is still widely referred to as “Redemptorist.”

Today, the campus houses the church, rectory, and parish office; Cristo Rey High School, a Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth High School providing a Catholic, college prep education enhanced by an innovative corporate work study program to culturally diverse students with economic need; Redemptorist Social Services Center, proving a lifeline to the poor and elderly of metropolitan Kansas City since 1986; and Redemptorist Senior Center, serving the elderly with a hot meal and activities weekly.

The current church underwent a major renovation in 2000 and was refreshed again at its 100th anniversary in 2012. It is a popular destination for weddings, with the longest aisle in Kansas City and its old world French Gothic architecture, beautiful stained glass windows, and five spectacular Carrera marble altars hand-carved in Italy.
The outside of Redemptorist church many years ago