The Diocese of Salina occupies the northwest quarter of Kansas, flat farmland stretching from mid-state to the Colorado line. Over the years, the traditional family farm has steadily given way to large corporate spreads; the population of rural Kansas is thinning as young people move away in search of jobs. Many of the 31 counties that make up the diocese average fewer than 12 people per square mile. Parishes are located for the most part in country towns, typically serving a couple of hundred Catholics. In recent years, many Hispanics have moved to northwest Kansas in pursuit of jobs in agriculture. With only four Spanish-speaking priests, Salina is experiencing a great need for qualified bi-lingual clergy and laity, but training deacons and lay leaders is a challenge, since the diocese has no Catholic college or university. Despite winter snows and the occasional tornado, travel is relatively easy across the open prairie. Nevertheless, it is four to five hours from Salina to Goodland along Interstate 70, heavy duty for the mostly elderly priests serving multiple small-town parishes.
The Diocese of Salina has:
- 47,456 Catholics (15% of total population)
- 88 (50 without resident pastor)
- 40 active priests
103 North Ninth Street
Salina, KS 67401-2503
Fax - 785.827.6133
Did You Know?
As everyone knows, Dorothy was in rural Kansas when the tornado whisked her away to the wonderful Land of Oz. In the real world four centuries ago, the Spanish explorer Francisco Vasquez de Coronado, lured by tales of El Dorado, trekked to Kansas from Mexico with a band of soldiers. He found no City of Gold and left disappointed, with scarcely a glance at this rich and endless land.