Living stewards at 99 years
Friday, 02 December 2011 10:55
Three remember the Church with their gifts
By Coryanne Graham, Diocese of Wichita
There are few Catholics in the Diocese of Wichita today who can say they were around when our Cathedral was first dedicated in September of 1912.
Congregation of St. Joseph Sister Cecilia Bush, Frank Schneller, and Walberga “Wally” Blick will celebrate their 100th birthdays in 2012 as our diocesan family celebrates the 100th anniversary of our Cathedral. And each one has chosen to recognize their ties to the ministry of the Church in a special way.
Each one has made a gift to the TOGETHER Vision.
Sister Cecilia Bush
Sister Cecilia Bush made a gift to the TOGETHER Vision.
The 99-year-old nun is known for her career in education throughout the Diocese of Wichita, her years as editor of the Catholic Advance and her work with young seminarians and priests.
She was a teacher for more than 30 years in four different schools throughout her career. But the years Sister Cecilia spent at St. Mary’s Cathedral High School in Wichita were always special to her.
“It was the best nine years of my life,” she said in a 2009 interview.
Sister Cecilia left quite an impression on her students as well.
In 2010 two Cathedral High School alumni began a seminary burse to honor their former teacher, and they invited the sister’s friends and former students to join them. The burse is an endowment fund that helps pay for the tuition, room and board of young men studying to be priests for the Diocese of Wichita.
To date, 53 donors have contributed to the Sr. Cecilia Bush, CSJ, Seminary Burse. And their gifts will continue to help seminarians in the Diocese of Wichita perpetually.
Walberga “Wally” Blick
Wally Blick has made gifts to the TOGETHER Vision.
Wally and her husband, Edward, were unable to have children of their own when a cousin, Fr. Michael Lies suggested another priest might be able to help them adopt a child.
Father Blackledge made regular trips to Ireland and had helped place Irish orphans with loving families here in Kansas in the past.
Wally remembers just before Father Blackledge left for Ireland, he asked the Blicks if they were hoping for a boy or a girl. They hadn’t talked about it, but Edward responded, “One of each.” He later told Wally that once she got one, he knew she would want another. “Might as well ask for both now,” he had said.
And so Father Blackledge returned from Ireland with twins: Michael and Mary Blick.
Decades later, the twins have children of their own. And Wally is still so grateful to the priest that helped her become a mother that she wanted to help support future priests.
“When we adopted Michael, I said well, maybe he’d be a priest,” Wally said. “Since he didn’t become a priest, I’ll do this.”
Walberga Blick began a seminary burse in memory of Father Blackledge, and then she began two more seminary burses. One burse is named for her parents, Charles and Rosa Lies, and another is named for Edward’s parents, Nicholas and Anna Blick.
Those three burses will perpetually honor Wally’s loved ones as they continue to support the education of seminarians through the interest accrued by each burse.
Frank Schneller made a gift to the TOGETHER Vision.
Frank and his wife Margaret were active in the Church. Frank was a member of the Knights of Columbus, and their three children attended Catholic schools. When news broke of the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 Frank remembers how his wife rushed to the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception to pray.
Margaret passed away in 2002, but throughout their 65 years of marriage, faith and parish life were important to Frank and Margaret. And so, Frank chose to remember the Church through his estate plan. He included the Church in his will.
“Now is the time of year when a lot of people think about the charitable contributions that are important to them,” said Mike Wescott, Director of Development for the Diocese of Wichita. “But any time is a good time to reevaluate your will or make a gift in support of something you care about.”
Contact the diocesan Office of Development at (316) 269-3900 or
to learn more.
What is a seminary burse?
A seminary burse is an endowment fund that is used to pay the tuition, room and board for seminarians in the Diocese of Wichita. Anyone can set up a seminary burse in honor of a loved one with as little as $1,500 or make a contribution in any amount to an existing burse. To learn more, contact the diocesan Office of Development at (316) 269-3900.