Created in 1981, by decree of Most Rev. Daniel Kucera, Bishop of the Salina Diocese, a third parish in the city of Salina, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, was formed to serve the continuing growth to the south.
Beginning modestly with less than 170 families, the early parish resembled the early Church, meeting for fifteen months in private homes and celebrating Masses in a bank, a movie theater, a high school gymnasium and a nearby Lutheran Church.
Nine acres of land was purchased for the original 8400 square-foot St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church and Parish Center. Ground-breaking was scheduled for August 10, 1981; however, rains forced the ceremony into St. Mary's Grade School where a large tub of soil from the building-site was blessed -- providing a most unusual "Ground-breaking Ceremony".
The first in-church Mass was celebrated on October 16, 1982.The original church building included worship space on the main floor; a kitchen, meeting space and classrooms in the basement; and the priest's quarters on the second floor. When the parish began to out grow the space, particularly the religious education program, the living quarters were remodeled into classrooms and a neighboring town house was purchased for the priest's residence.
The parish was built and expanded through the guidance of Frs. Melvin Long, Lawrence Grennan, LeRoy Metro and Frank Coady, and Pastoral Associates, Srs. Connie Haug O.P., and Janis Wagner.
In July of 1997, Sr. Rose Walters, CSA, was appointed as Parish Life Coordinator, a unique post allowing Fr. Coady to focus on canonical responsibilities and turning over all parish administration and pastoral duties to Sr. Rose.
The building served the parish until 2007. By about 2000, parishioners began discussing building a new hall and education center until they learned the cost would be equivalent to the construction of a new church. Plans for a church were developed, and a fund drive began in2001.
The new church, reminiscent of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture, was dedicated in January 2007. It is connected to the old church, with the renovated main floor containing a new parish hall and kitchen. Additional stenciling and murals above the font and altar, as well as some stained glass windows were added in 2008 and 2009. In 2012, another set of stenciling and artwork depicting the Four Evangelists was added to the altar area as a final design project of Fr. Frank Coady.
The three Salina parishes opened a perpetual Eucharistic adoration chapel in 1996 at the Catholic Charities building downtown. That chapel moved to the new St. Elizabeth's Church and has its own entrance for 24-hour access. Another chapter of parish history was begun with Fr. Keith Weber taking over as Pastor in the Fall of 2012, when Fr. Coady was transferred and Sr. Rose Walters retired.
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton has grown to include over 575 families and continues to grow, in size and membership, in outreach, in vision, and in service to its mission.