Catholic Church on Rainbow Blvd. renovating to accommodate demand for Latin Mass

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St. Rose Phillippine Duchesne Church, one of the few Roman Catholic Churches in the area offering the traditional Latin Mass, is nearing completion of a $950,000 renovation project.

The church at 5035 Rainbow was established as a Catholic parish in 2013 after the previous Lutheran congregation left in 2011. It was established to offer the traditional Latin liturgy by the Archdiocese of Kansas City, Kan.

Latin was the language of worship for many centuries before the Second Vatican Council decided in the early 1960s that Catholics should be able to celebrate Mass in their own language.

St. Rose Phillippine Duchesne is run by priests from the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter. Its membership has grown to 700 members, and two of its three Sunday Masses are standing room only, said Fr. John Fongemie FSSP.

“There is a desire for Catholics to continue the traditions of the past,” Fongemie said. “There’s a greater respect for silence.”

The building was completed in 1947 in the Spanish Mission style.

“The property was pretty Spartan when we got here and needed updating,” Fongemie said.

Interior renovations were completed in 2012. The current project includes freshening the exterior; improving drainage; repairing the parking lot and building a three-car garage for the rectory.

A new shrine to the Virgin Mary is being built on the south side of the church.

The work is expected to be completed in mid-November.