1940: The Return of the Franciscans

Bishop Kucera had saved St. Patrick from bankruptcy, but that was not the end of financial problems for the parish. Bishop Kucera thus deemed it wise to return the parish to the Franciscan Fathers for their care, and so he wrote this time to the Franciscan Fathers in St. Louis, asking them to staff St. Patrick. They agreed. Bishop Kucera went so far as to ask for someone who “boasts of the shamrock,” since St. Patrick had a heavily Irish history. Instead, Father Godfrey Piontkowski was assigned as pastor, and, as Bishop Kucera remarked in response, the new pastor “may sell himself to the people the very first summer in the parish.” Father Godfrey did indeed sell himself. He became a much-loved pastor for St. Patrick’s, and succeeded in putting the parish back on its feet once again.