FATHER FREDERICK J. BARNETT
Fr. Fred J. Barnett passed away March 19th, 2011 at the Little Sisters of the Poor in Kansas City where he has resided after leaving St. Pats five years ago. Father was returned to the place he loved so much and is buried in the Historic St. Patricks Cemetery.
Fr. Fred J. Barnett was born Sept 9, 1925 in Kansas City, MO. He was ordained a priest March 8, 1952. In 1976 he was appointed pastor of St. Patricks Church in Gravois and the Mission Church of St. Philip Benizi in Versailles. He oversaw the building of the new Shrine of St. Patrick in Laurie, dedicated Memorial Day, 1980.
He also oversaw the creation and building of the Mary, Mother of the Church Shrine, dedicated in 1988. He was also responsible for the design and creation of the life-like 14 foot sculpture of Mary that was dedicated in 1992. Father Barnett pursued the designation of the Shrine to become a National Shrine in 2003.
Father Barnett celebrated his Golden Jubilee as a priest in March, 2002 at the Shrine of St. Patrick.
During his lifetime, Father pastored churches in Shackelford from 1957 to 1959, Marceline from 1959 to 1969 and Moberly from 1969 to 1971. In 1971 he moved to Columbia to pastor a church and serve as chaplain for the hospitals in Columbia. He served in Montgomery City from 1973 to 1976 when he moved to Gravois Mills.
In 1962 he was appointed Director of Rural Life for Diocese of Jefferson City and founded the Movement for Industrial Development in Rural Areas. He was President of the Linn County Rural Areas Development Association and helped organize the nine-county Green Hills Regional Planning Commission. During his years of pastoral service in Columbia, he was appointed to organize the Diocesan Stewardship Program. He was appointed as Diocesan Director Development from 1973 to 1976. He served as a member of the Diocesan Priests Senate, as well as the Dean of Lake Ozark Deanery. Father was appointed to the College of Consultors from 1988 to 1998. He was appointed to the Board of Regents of St. Marys Health Center in Jefferson City 1990.
While in Marceline, Father flew to California to meet with Walt Disney to discuss the poverty in the rural areas. He had persuaded Disney to build a Disney World in Marceline. Father spent many hours with Disney and Disney flew back to Marceline to see the land Father had selected. Land was being purchased and the development had just started when Disney passed away in 1966. The plug was pulled on the project following Disneys death.