Archive for Thursday, June 16, 2005

Priest’s roots are deep in area

June 16, 2005

Though he's only been in Lansing for nine years, the Rev. Mike Stubbs and his family have a long history in the area. Stubbs, pastor of St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church, 900 Ida St., said several generations of his family have lived in Kansas.

"My great-grandfather came over here from Ireland in the 1850s at the age of 15," Stubbs said. "He settled in Kansas and rode with the Pony Express for a time along with his younger brother."

Stubbs said his great-grandfather endured many hardships to start a life in the U.S. First, he survived the dangerous trip on what was called a coffin ship, Stubbs said. The vessel got its name because one third of the immigrants died on their journey to America, he said.

Once he arrived, Stubbs said his great-grandfather did some work hauling freight for the military as well as riding with the Pony Express on a route that included Nebraska.

"He had to be a tough character to have survived all that," Stubbs said. "I hope I inherited some of that."

Stubbs grew up close by in Bonner Springs and said much of his family still lived in the area.

"I like being close to my parents and brothers," he said.

Before coming to St. Francis de Sales, Stubbs worked as pastor of three other churches throughout the country and then spent time at Harvard earning his master's in Scripture.

Despite his experiences in other places, Stubbs said he liked living and working back where he grew up and where much of his family history lies.

Name: The Rev. Mike Stubbs

Address: 119 Woodland Drive

Graduate of: University of Kansas, 1974 (B.A., French); Gregorian University, Rome, Italy, 1974 (Bachelor of Sacred Theology); Harvard University, 1996 (master's degree in Scripture)

How long have you lived in Lansing and what brought you here? I've lived here since 1996 when I came to be the pastor of St. Francis de Sales.

What do you like most of Lansing? The people. They are honest and open.

What do you do to relax? I like to jog. I can think; it's exercising, but there is no pressure.

What would surprise people about you? I grew up close by.

What's the best advice you ever received? Give people a second chance. A priest at my first assignment after being ordained told me that. I saw him giving an example of that because he was the kind of person that would give someone a second chance. It just seemed to fit.

What organizations or clubs do you belong to? I am a part of the Leavenworth County Clergy Association, which gives me a chance to meet with ministers from different churches in the area and organize events and projects that benefit the community. I am also a member of the Knights of Columbus.

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