Bethel and Stone's Folly Today

Most Pure Heart of Mary Rectory

Exterior of rectory north east of Most Pure Heart of Mary. 

Most Pure Heart of Mary's

Basement of rectory, original foundation of Stone's Folly.

Stone's Folly Today

The Most Pure Heart of Mary Catholic Church on SW 17th Street and SW Stone's Avenue in Topeka now occupies the land once home to Stone's Folly. The property, on the western outskirts of town in 1901, is now in a central location in the capital, a mile west of Washburn University.

A few hints tell us that the basement of the church rectory was built on the original foundation of Stone's Folly. Its location on SW 17th Street and SW Stone's Avenue, its stone foundation, the positioning of the basement windows, and the location of the stairwell are consistent with the photos we have of Stone's Folly. Also, when the rectory was expanded years later, the excavation of the land surrounding the rectory unearthed remnants of the burned down mansion.

In 1906, Thomas and Emily Owen built the old rectory that now sits on the property. The home was sold to the bishop of the Diocese of Leavenworth in 1946 (Defendorf 54). That same year, the property was approved by the Catholic Church as a future parish location. A new rectory was completed in 2019, and the old rectory currently stands unused due to its small, outdated, and unsafe conditions.

Visit Most Pure Heart of Mary Catholic Church's website :

Stone's Folly and its Significance for Charismatic Catholics

Some charismatic Catholics, Catholics who emphasis a renewed interest in the gifts of the Holy Spirit, take particular pride in the location of The Most Pure Heart of Mary Catholic Church resting on the grounds of the historic Stone's Folly. Other than the mansion's foundation being directly west of the church, according to some records, the timing of the "Topeka Outpouring" aligns with a prayer Pope Leo XIII prayed in Rome on that same night. 

Elena Guerra, founder of the "Oblate Sisters of the Holy Spirit" in Lucca, Italy, wrote to Pope Leo XIII: 

"Preachers praise all the Saints, but when do we ever hear a sermon in honor of the Holy Spirit, He who shapes the saints?... Therefore, oh Holy Father, you alone can make Christians return to the Holy Spirit, so that the Holy Spirit may return to us; defeat the evil reign of the devil, and grant us the long sought renewal of the face of the earth"(Defendorf 15).

On January 1st, 1901, Pope Leo XIII, influenced by Elena Guerra's letter, prayed the Veni Creator Spiritus in front of the Holy Spirit window in Rome. For these charismatic Catholics, the pope's prayer was answered in Topeka that night when the Holy Spirit poured out on Agnes Ozman and she spoke in tongues.

Defendorf, Lee. It’s All in God’s Plan. Topeka, KS: Glorium Deo Catholic Media LLC, 2016.

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Bethel and Stone's Folly Today