St. Joseph Catholic Parish



213 West Third Street
Topeka, KS


227 SW Van Buren Avenue
Topeka, KS 66603


The first Catholic Volga German colonists to arrive in Topeka in 1875 were served by the Assumption Catholic Parish.  A new influx of Volga German immigrants arrived in 1886 and Assumption was becoming overcrowded.  In December of 1886, Bishop Louis M. Fink instructed the newly ordained Father Francis Henry to organize a German-speaking parish in Topeka.  The first Mass of the new St. Joseph Parish was celebrated on 13 February 1887 in the church building of Assumption Parish.

In December of 1887, a two story brick building was acquired at 213 West Third Street and it became the home of the new St. Joseph Parish.  This structure provided room for the sanctuary and nave on the upper floor, and two classrooms and the pastor's quarters on the first floor.

Construction of a new church building began during the summer of 1898 located at 227 SW Van Buren Avenue and it was dedicated in 1900.  This facility continues to serve the parishners of St. Joseph.  A new school was built in 1913 on the site of the original church, and it operated as a parish school until 1970.

St. Joseph's membership continued to grow and many parishners began to settle some distance away in Topeka's Oakland neighborhood.  The need for another parish was discussed, and in 1917, Father Henry set up a committee to raise funds for the building of a new parish.  Bishop Ward appointed Father George Eckert as pastor to the new parish, called Sacred Heart, in May of 1919.

St. Joseph is now part of a dual parish in conjunction with Sacred Heart located at 312 NE Freemont Ave.  It is a part of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas.


The parish of St. Joseph has been served by the following priests:

Francis Henry
Tim Haberkorn



History of St. Joseph and Sacred Heart Parishes

Isadore Appelhanz, The Volga-Germans in Topeka, Kansas, 1875-85. Topeka: privately published, 1992.

St. Joseph Catholic Church Records, 1887-2002