THE LIGHT OF CHRIST

MaryJo Hunninghake hands Katie Wise, a second grader, a candle after she received her First Reconciliation Thursday, March 2, at Blessed Sacrament Church in Wichita. Hunninghake is a second grade teacher. Fifty children made their first confession during a special service led by pastor Father John Jirak. (Advance photo)

OUR LADY OF LOURDES SHINING BRIGHTLY IN SOUTHEAST KANSAS

Alice Coltrane says there is something special about Our Lady of Lourdes Parish she wishes she could bottle and distribute.
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STEWARDSHIP: AN OCCASION OF GRACE

My brother-in-law, Philip Weber, recently shared an article with me entitled “Honoring Near Occasions of Grace.” I had never heard that phrase before. I’ve heard of “avoiding near occasions of sin,” but not “honoring near occasions of grace.” The article was about the spiritual aspect of the ministry of stewardship and honoring those “near occasions of grace.”
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LIFE RUN MAY 6 AT COUNTY PARK

The 4th Annual Life Run will take place Saturday, May 6, at Sedgwick County Park in Wichita. The event is held to raise awareness of the gift of life and to celebrate all life.
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FATHER O’HARE DIES MARCH 12 AT 93

Father Donal J. O’Hare, a priest of the Diocese of Wichita for 62 years, died Sunday, March 12 at age 93.
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TEACH YOUTH BY LOOKING TO THE FATIMA CHILDREN

Three children dancing, playing games, and laughing typified the three Fatima children, who herded sheep every day together. Their strongly Catholic parents said the rosary as a family, but these children, urged by their mothers, also said another rosary on their breaks.
These children from the Marto and Santos households happened to be from Portugal, a country known to love Mary.
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ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI PARISHIONER WRITES TIMELY BOOK ABOUT FATIMA

Jean Heimann’s third book will be released May 13 – a perfect date for the book. “Fatima the Apparition that Changed the World” will be released on the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the Fatima apparitions.
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BISHOP: GROW THIS LENT BY FOCUSING ON PRAYER, FAMILY

This past week, on Ash Wednesday, we began the season of Lent. Lent is the church’s primary penitential season, a 40-day period of more intense prayer, focused fasting and increased charity or almsgiving. These efforts are designed to help us deepen our spiritual lives as we prepare to celebrate the Paschal mystery of the Lord’s saving passion, death, and resurrection, which we will celebrate at Lent’s conclusion during Holy Week and Easter.
The mark of ashes we received on Ash Wednesday is an outward sign of our interior desire and need to die to ourselves so that Christ, the Risen One, will live more fully in us, in order that his presence will be more visible in our world. Jesus invited us in the Gospel “to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow him.”
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KANSAS BISHOPS ISSUE JOINT STATEMENT REGARDING REFUGEES AND IMMIGRATION

In recent years our nation has experienced painful acts of violence and terrorism. Following the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, it has become clear that there are those outside as well as inside our borders who wish to harm us. Indeed, the majority of terrorist acts perpetrated in the United States have been home-grown. This recent history clearly reveals a pressing need to protect our citizens.
It is an important responsibility of our president and government leaders to protect the safety of the American people. It is reasonable for the new administration to conduct a review of the current refugee vetting procedures, especially from nations where domestic unrest and instability make it difficult to conduct reliable background checks. However, our response to past and present evils must also strive to be consistent with our deeply cherished American values of welcoming refugees and immigrants that is part of the very fabric of our history and national identity.
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‘HANDS’ THE AGENT OF STEWARDSHIP

Where I grew up, the Catholic church was the most visible landmark in town, as is St. Patrick Church in Parsons. Both were built by hands – which laid bricks, installed windows, and loaded rock to take to town and place in the steeple.
Those hands folded to pray, hugged to comfort and encourage, placed hard earned money into the collection basket, bid welcome to Mass and, most importantly, held bread and wine that became the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
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BASIC EVANGELIZATION TRAINING MARCH 30

You don’t need a master’s degree in theology to evangelize – just a baptismal certificate.
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