“We, the community of St. James, are a prayerful and Eucharistic people who treasure our Catholic traditions. We strive to grow in our faith by being good stewards of the gifts God has given us and by sharing God’s truth with all. As the Body of Christ, we are called to love and serve everyone, especially the marginalized, with joy and hospitality.”
St. James Catholic Church of Liberty is part of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph. The community of St. James- Liberty is served by both the Missionaries of the Precious Blood and the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.
In the late 1830s two Jesuit missionaries journeyed west into Indian Territory to minister to the Kickapoo Indians near Fort Leavenworth. They also visited both Liberty and Plattsburg and decided to establish missions in each town. It was in November, 1837 that the parish of St. James the Greater, had its beginning with about 170 members and is now one of the oldest Catholic parishes in the Diocese of Kansas City.
For seventy-five years, St. James continued as a mission church with masses scheduled on the average of once a month. With more than a century and a half of history, it is one of the oldest parishes in the diocese. And on July 25, 1997 the congregation celebrated its sesquicentennial.
In the early days of the parish, diocesan priests served the congregation. But in 1977, the bishop entrusted the community of St. James to the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, which had located its seminary in Liberty.
Rapid growth in the city of Liberty has meant a continually growing Catholic population. In 1988 there were 666 families registered in the parish. In 1997 the register showed almost 1,000 families led by Pastor Fr. Ron Will C.PP.S along with the help of Associate Pastor Fr. Dien Truong C.PP.S. and Fr. William Dineen C.PP.S.. We continue to grow and have over 2000 families.
The current church/school facility at 309 South Stewart Road, was built in 1981. Located on 10 acres the site provided ample room for growth. In 1988 the parish added on to the school and social hall. In 1996, a new three-phase expansion plan began and included 12,272 square foot activity center with a stage, kitchen, gym and meeting rooms; a cafeteria; art and music rooms; six additional classrooms; and a additional parking spaces. In 2012, the parish began another capital campaign to increase parking and to work towards paying down debt and begin raising funds for a new church building to meet the needs of the growing church community.
Today, both Fr. Mike Roach and Fr. Michael Volkmer serve the St. James community.