The Basilica of St. Fidelis
"The Cathedral of the Plains"
The First Basilica in Kansas and the
78th in the United States.
Cathedral of the Plains
Charitable Fund, Inc.
PO Box 281
Victoria, Kansas 67671
The Basilica of St. Fidelis
In July 1989, a group of members from the St. Fidelis Church, Victoria, Kansas, saw a need to establish a fund to assist with future plans and general upkeep of the building. They realized that with the increased cost and maintenance of an aging structure, coupled with the decline in parish populace and an inflated and depressed economy, it would be imperative, if the church was to be maintained and preserved for future generations. Thus on August 4, 1989, a corporate resolution was filed with the Secretary of State and the St. Fidelis Charitable Fund was legally created under the laws of the State of Kansas.
It was organized as a separate entity for the purpose of creating an endowment fund for the immediate and extended upkeep, support, maintenance, and improvement of the buildings and temporal needs of the church. The foundation is a qualified charity, is tax exempt as a 501 (c) (3) Charitable organization, and has its own governing board of directors.
In recognition of the Cathedral's historical significance, it was added to the National and Kansas Register of Historic Places on May 14, 1971.
Because St. Fidelis Church is most notably known for its architectural and historical significance, as the Cathedral of the Plains, the board voted to officially change the fund's name from St. Fidelis Charitable Fund, Inc. to THE CATHEDRAL OF THE PLAINS CHARITABLE FUND, INC. in January of 2000.
The fund is a permanent fund managed locally and its assets are invested in a diversified portfolio. The fund balance grows from donations, fundraisers, appeal letters, and interest earned on the principal and memorials.
Jeff Hertel - President
John Braun - Vice President
Wanda Karlin - Treasurer
Teresa Shepherd - Secretary
BRIEF HISTORY OF ST. FIDELIS
The current St. Fidelis Church was dedicated on August 27, 1911.
On May 4, 1971, the federal government inscribed the church in the National Register of Historical Places as a building of "architectural significance."
St. Fidelis Church was named as one of the 8 Wonders of Kansas during a ceremony held at the Capitol in Topeka on January 29, 2008.
In 2011, St. Fidelis celebrated its centennial.
The church was declared a minor basilica on February 21, 2014 (the first basilica in Kansas).
Cathedral of the Plains Charitable Fund, Inc. was established July 17, 1989, by members of St. Fidelis Church, Victoria, Kansas, under the original name of St. Fidelis Charitable Fund, Inc.
The charitable fund was organized as a separate entity for the purpose of creating a fund for the immediate and extended upkeep, support, maintenance, and improvement of the buildings and temporal needs of the "Cathedral of the Plains".
Cathedral of the Plains Charitable Fund, Inc., a 501(c)(3) organization (a tax deductible, non-profit corporation), is dedicated to building a fund that will provide help in maintaining the church.
Parishioners serve as Board of Directors to manage and disburse funds as they are needed.
Some of the projects which have been partially or totally funded by the Cathedral of the Plains Charitable Fund, Inc. include placing marble tile flooring in the sanctuary, installing air conditioning, a lightning rod arrestor system, a security system, and statue restoration.
In today's society, families are scattered far and wide. As they return from time to time to the land of their roots, seeing the twin towers of the "Cathedral of the Plains" appear on the horizon, they can say with pride, "See this our fathers did for us."
The Victoria community has always exhibited tremendous pride in the "Cathedral of the Plains" and has contributed to its maintenance, sometimes at significant personal sacrifice. The large families predominant in the past have shrunk to the modern family of only two or three children. Consequently, church support has dwindled and despite valiant efforts to maintain the church, inflation and the declining population has outstripped the parish's ability to do so. We can expect expenditures to increase as our building ages and more problems develop. We must be financially prepared to deal with known and unexpected maintenance requirements.