Construction on New Catholic Church and Rectory Has Started

The architect’s rendition of the future Mary Queen of Angels Catholic Church. Submitted graphic.

The area south and west of  St. Mary’s Catholic School is a hub of construction.

The August 2022 lightning-strike fire at Mary Queen of Angels Catholic Church destroyed the structure.

“Fr. Yancey Burgess, the pastor, said the destruction was too great to repair the old church,”  according to a news article in “The engineers have said it would be cost prohibitive to try to rebuild it because the church would lose its ‘grandfather’ status and would have to meet modern building codes.”

Simpson Construction Services, Wichita, is the general contractor for the new church building and has two employees on site, Howard Thome, superintendent, and Tyler Fox, field engineer.

The new church site is located at 702 Eddy, in approximately the same spot as the old one.

Fox said there are approximately 26 sub-contractors from start to finish on the project.

Construction began in November 2023.

“The church will be a little over 7,000 square feet,” Fox said. “The owner occupancy is expected to be November 2024.”


On December 5, R2 Concrete Construction, Fort Scott, was pouring the footings.

The gate to the construction site of the new Mary Queen of Angels Catholic Church.

“We had to go down to bedrock,” Thome said. “We put in a lean concrete to bring it up to bedding. The footing is on top, so should be stable.”

“We should pour the slab in the next couple of weeks,” Fox said. “Then start erecting steel in late January.”

The project is being funded partly through insurance because the church was struck by lightning in August 2022, according to Bo Casper, a church member and also a sub-contractor on the rectory building.

Above 95 percent of the original stained glass windows was saved from the fire/water damage and will be reinstalled in the new church, according to Mark McCoy, who is on the parish building committee.

It is also being funded by a capital campaign that the church parish is doing, McCoy said.

The church will be ADA-accessible with a zero-entry to the church.

The cost of the church rebuild is approximately $6.5 million, McCoy said.

The banner on the outside fence of the construction site.

To view a prior story about the fire:

Fire at Fort Scott’s Catholic Church Causes Extensive Damage

The church was built in 1872, according to

“The church was one of those founded by Italian-born Fr. Paul M. Ponziglione who helped establish many churches after he arrived in 1851 at the Osage Mission in Kansas” according to the article“Because of the Fort Scott fire, St. Francis Church in St. Paul is now the oldest church in the diocese.”

Church Rectory

Looking east from the new church rectory at 720 Holbrook to the construction site of the church. St. Mary’s Catholic School is to the left in the photo.

Casper Enterprises, a local company, was working on the church rectory, at 720 Holbrook, west of the new church building on December 5.

The Catholic Rectory of Mary Queen of Angels Catholic Church is being framed. The location is 720 Holbrook.

Bo Casper said the crew started the framing in November (2023 )of the 1,634 square foot home the church’s priest will live in. It will have three bedrooms, two baths, a large garage and a saferoom.

The rectory should be completed by the end of February 2024 “If the weather cooperates,” Casper said.

The lot where the rectory is being built belonged to the church.

The rectory was torn down and the site moved “because the church was totaled and had to be ADA compliant and needed more parking spaces,” Casper said. “We had to gain footage and tear down the rectory. It was just as old as the church. Bats were coming in through the chimney area. It was a three-story high brick building.”

The new rectory will have a brick facade and regular siding on the rear and sides of the building, Casper said.

The concrete has been poured at the rectory, and the three-man crew is currently framing, which will be done by the end of the week, Casper said.

Bo Casper left, and Frank Casper work on framing the rectory.

The cost of the rectory is approximately $325,000, McCoy said.


2 thoughts on “Construction on New Catholic Church and Rectory Has Started”

  1. WOW! I love how the new church will look like the old one! While this building is a house of worship for the Catholic faith, it’s a major part of history for all Fort Scott residents. The old church was built only 30 years after the building of the Fort. This proves that out of horrific situations, can come beautiful things with God’s help and inspiration! Well done parish building committee!

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