A message from heaven: God is the only way to peace

By Tony Magliano
    Jesus said to his first disciples, and to all future disciples, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you.”
    But political leaders, governments, corporations and countless people seek the false and fleeting peace of the world which seduces the senses, minds and even souls into believing that having more stuff – including more weapons of war, more money for war, more training for war – will bring peace. To the contrary, this self-centered, materialistic, militaristic mentality and lifestyle only leads to personal emptiness, tense truces, war, and more war.
    True and lasting peace, the peace our hearts are hungry for, the peace our world longs for, comes only from God. It is the “Shalom” – the right-relationship, serenity and harmony with the Creator, with ourselves, with each other and with all creation, best exemplified by the Father’s incarnate Son – which Jesus himself offers to us.    
    But the reception of God’s peace – the very indwelling of the Holy Spirit – requires the humility, trust and openness of a soul ready to attentively listen to God’s word and faithfully follow in his footsteps.
    But there always exists a tension between listening to and following the Holy One and listening to and following the evil one. The choice is ours.
    “I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life, then, that you and your descendents may live, by loving the Lord, your God, obeying his voice, and holding fast to him” (Deut. 30: 19-20).
    As is so much the case today, 100 years ago so much of humanity was bent on choosing death and the curse. Europe and beyond was embroiled in World War I which claimed approximately 17 million lives and caused untold destruction.
The era surrounding 1917 was one extreme persecution for the church. From Mexico to France, from Portugal to Russia the followers of Christ were under fierce attack.
    In Portugal, the newly installed atheistic republic pillaged Catholic churches and convents. Legislation was passed suppressing religious orders, religious feasts and the teaching of religion in schools. Most bishops were exiled and many priests were imprisoned.
    But in the midst of human sin and pain, the God of life always chooses to suffer with his people. He always gives us the strength and courage to persevere in faith. And when necessary, he sends his mother.
    One hundred years ago, on May 13, 1917, near the town of Fatima in Portugal, the Blessed Mother appeared to three children saying “Please don’t be afraid of me. … I come from heaven.” With a rosary in her hand, she requested that they pray and devote themselves to the Holy Trinity. And she asked them to “say the Rosary every day, to bring peace to the world and an end to the war.”
    The rosary is a beautiful and powerful heavenly gift. The Marian intercessory prayers are comforting. The mysteries centering on the life, death, resurrection and ascension of our Lord are awesome to meditate upon, and can lead the soul into a sublime contemplative experience of our peaceful God.
    In praying the rosary and other prayers for peace we become more peaceful persons who are more willing to spread the peace of God – the peace the world cannot give.
Tony Magliano is an internationally syndicated social justice and peace columnist. He is available to speak at diocesan or parish gatherings. Tony can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Bishop Kemme explains priest assignments

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Greetings of Easter peace and new life! In this edition of the Catholic Advance, you will find the list of priests who will be receiving new assignments from me this summer, excluding the assignments of the ten men to be ordained on May 27. Those assignments will be published in the June 2 edition. I write this brief pastoral letter to a diocese in a time of transition.
Over the past four weeks, I have been in numerous conversations with a number of priests about welcoming a new assignment. I have found these dialogues most edifying and inspiring. Without exception, every priest has received their new assignment with joy, enthusiasm, and a willing spirit. I could not have asked for a more fruitful dialogue. While no assignment is perfect, I believe these appointments will bring much fruit, for the priests, for the people they will be serving and for our diocese.
Often I hear from our people the sentiment that they want their priest to remain in their parish forever. I smile when I hear this from our people because I recognize that our priests are doing great work and are much loved by our people.
However, it is important from time to time to reassign our priests so that they can expand their pastoral skills and give others a chance to receive them. Our priests were not ordained for one or two parishes, but for an entire diocese. It is also good for our parishes from time to time to receive new leadership, with a different vision so that the parishes can grow and develop. All of this, I am convinced, is according to God’s plan.
In these conversations, I often remember my own journey from one assignment to another. Most of them I left, deeply moved by the love of the people I served. I would have gladly continued to remain there in service. In leaving, however, new doors were opened to me, greater pastoral experiences were in store, and more friendships were formed.
Now looking back over 31 years since my own ordination to the priesthood and the many moves I was asked to make, including this past one to Wichita, I realize how much God was at work through it all. All of it and so much more was a blessing, often in disguise.
I share these thoughts with the diocese since I know that transitions are sometimes challenging both for the priests and the people they leave. To the priests in transition, I say pray for the grace to go to your next assignment with a joyful heart; go with great anticipation of the pastoral surprises that will no doubt await you; give the people a loving and faithful service.
To the people of the diocese who will be receiving a new pastor or priest, welcome them also with a joyful heart; try not to compare them to the previous pastor, which though tempting is not an entirely Christian response, for each priest has his own unique gifts and talents and support them with your daily prayers as they enter into a new community and endeavor to share their priestly gifts.
Please know of my thoughts and prayers for our priests and people in this holy time.
+ Bishop Carl Kemme

Bishop Kemme announces priest assignments

Father Sixtus Ye Myint, one of the priests from Myanmar serving in the Diocese of Wichita, will retire June 20. Father Myint is pastor of three parishes in Southeast Kansas, Moline, Caney, and Sedan.
His retirement is one of the priestly assignments announced by Bishop Carl A. Kemme, most of which are effective on June 20.
Ten pastors have been given new parishes. Three priests have been named parochial vicars at parishes in Wichita or Pittsburg.
Father Chad Arnold, pastor of Holy Name Parish in Coffeyville, has been named the director of the Office of Vocations and the associate director of the St. Joseph House of Formation at St. Joseph Parish. Father Michael Simone has been named director of the St. Joseph House of formation while continuing as chancellor of the diocese.
Father Benjamin Sawyer, who has been studying in Rome for the last two years, will return as pastor of Christ the King Parish in Wichita. His assignment is effective Aug. 1.
Father Jason Borkenhagen, pastor of St. Patrick Parish in Parsons, will take Father Sawyer's place in Rome.
After taking care of some personal engagements, Father Borkenhagen will leave for Rome on June 5. A week later he will begin studying Italian in Assisi, where he will be in intensive study until the end of August.
Father Borkenhagen will then begin his academic studies in Rome.
“I have always loved St. Thomas Aquinas,” he said last week, recalling several instructors who instilled a love of the church father. “The teachings of St. Thomas have always been a part of my formation as a priest. I’m really excited to have the opportunity to spend two years studying them.”
The pastor of St. Patrick Parish for 12 years will pursue advanced studies in theology and priestly formation at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, known as the Angelicum, and at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, known as Santa Croce. He will live at Casa Santa Maria, a residence for graduate priest students of the North American College in Rome.
Here is a list of the assignments.

The Rev. Sixtus Ye Myint
– Retired Priest Status, effective June 20, 2017

The Rev. Daniel Duling
– Pastor, St. Joseph Parish, Ost, St. Rose Parish, Mount Vernon, and St. Louis Parish, Waterloo, effective June 20, 2017
The Rev. Jeffrey Fasching – Pastor, Sacred Heart Parish, Halstead, effective June 20, 2017
The Rev. Patrick Kotrba – Pastor, St. Paul Parish, Lyons and Holy Name Parish, Bushton, effective June 20, 2017
The Rev. Daniel Lorimer – Pastor, Holy Name, Coffeyville, Kansas, effective June 20, 2017
The Rev. Roger Lumbre – Pastor, Sacred Heart Parish, Cunningham, St. Leo Parish, St. Leo, St. Peter Parish, Willowdale and St. John Parish, Zenda, effective June 20, 2017
The Rev. Matthew Marney – Pastor, Church of the Holy Spirit, Goddard, effective June 20, 2017
The Rev. Curtis Robertson – Pastor, St. Patrick Parish, Parsons, effective June 20, 2017
The Rev. Benjamin Sawyer – Pastor, Christ the King Parish, Wichita, effective Aug. 1, 2017
The Rev. Robert Spencer – Pastor, St. Mary Parish, Moline, St Robert Parish, Sedan, Sacred Heart Parish, Caney and Part time Chaplain, St. Dismas Ministry to the Incarcerated, effective June 20, 2017
The Rev. Aaron Spexarth – Pastor, Holy Cross Parish, Hutchinson and Holy Trinity Parish, Little River, effective June 20, 2017

Parochial Vicar
The Rev. Devin Burns
– Parochial vicar, Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Pittsburg, Kansas, effective June 20, 2017
The Rev. Joshua Evans – Parochial vicar, St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, Wichita, effective June 20, 2017
The Rev. Andy Walsh – Parochial vicar, St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Wichita, effective June 20, 2017

Chaplains and Special Assignments
The Rev. Chad Arnold
– Director of Office of Vocations and Associate Director of St. Joseph House of Formation, effective June 20, 2017
The Rev. Jason Borkenhagen – Advanced Studies in Theology and Priestly Formation attending courses at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) and the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross (Santa Croce). Residing at the Casa Santa Maria for graduate priest students/North American College, Rome, Italy, Effective, June 1, 2017
The Rev. Samuel Brand – Diocesan Master of Ceremonies, continuing as Chaplain of Bishop Carroll Catholic High School, effective June 20, 2017
The Rev. Curtis Hecker – Chaplain, Kapaun Mt. Carmel Catholic High School, effective June 20, 2017
The Rev. Michael Nolan – Chaplain, McConnell Air Force Base, Diocesan Coordinator of Rite of Christian Initiation, continuing in service to Diocesan Tribunal and Office of Worship, effective June 20, 2017
The Rev. Michael Simone – Director of St. Joseph House of Formation and continuing as Chancellor of the Diocese of Wichita, effective June 20, 2017
The Rev. Joseph Tatro – Full time service, Cana Counseling Department, Catholic Charities of Wichita, effective June 20, 2017
The Rev. David Voss – Full time, Chaplain, St. Pius X Student Center, with residence at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Pittsburg, Kansas, effective June 20, 2017

You are a priest forever...

10 to be ordained to the priesthood; 10 to the transitional diaconate
Bishop Carl A. Kemme will ordain 10 men to the priesthood and 10 to the transitional diaconate in the next two weeks. It is one of the largest classes of ordinandi in decades for the Diocese of Wichita.
Ten seminarians will be ordained to the transitional diaconate at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 20, at Church of the Magdalen in Wichita. The venue was changed to Magdalen from the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception because of the number to be ordained and its larger capacity.
The ordination to the priesthood of the 10 deacons will take place at 10 a.m. the next week, Saturday, May 27.
Here are the responses to questions emailed by the Catholic Advance to the 20 men to be ordained.

Deacon Andrew Bergkamp
The Rev. Mr. Andrew Bergkamp said he is surprised as how quickly his seminary formation has gone.
“But at the same time I am very excited that ordination is finally just around the corner,” he said. “I am most looking forward to being able to offer the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Holy Mass to the people of our diocese.”
He is the son of Ned and Teresa Bergkamp, of St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Garden Plain.

Deacon J.D. Betzen
Deacon J.D. Betzen answered that while priestly formation never really ends, he will be happy to return to the people of the diocese.
Betzen, the son of John and Barbara Betzen, members of St. Mary Parish in Derby, said he was excited to find out where Bishop Kemme would send him for his first assignment because of how much he enjoyed his assignment as a deacon at Holy Name Parish in Coffeyville.
“I most look forward to celebrating the sacraments regularly for the people of my new parish assignment,” he said. “The Sacrament of Confession has played a significant role in my spiritual life, so I am excited to be able to offer its graces to others as a priest, as well. It will also be great to learn from my new pastor and to engage in the priestly fraternity in the diocese.”

Deacon Jacob Carlin
Deacon Jacob Carlin, the son of Keith and Ann Carlin of St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Wichita, said he is humbled and grateful that God has called him to serve as a priest.
“When I first entered seminary I thought about priesthood primarily in regards to the ‘no’ – the things I would be giving up,” he wrote. “But now, I think of priesthood and this call in terms of a ‘yes.’ I look at it as saying yes to serving God with an undivided heart, yes to radical availability to his people, and yes to an intentional prayer life on behalf of those I serve.”
Deacon Carlin said he is excited to be ordained with nine classmates who are also his friends. “We have been through this journey together and I think that we will work well together for years to come.”
He also expressed a deep gratitude for his parents, siblings, family, friends, mentors, and all those who have supported him and helped him to realize God’s plan for him.
“God has blessed me in so many ways, I now give my life back to him,” he added.

Deacon Kyle Dugan
Deacon Kyle Dugan, the son of Glenn and Kelly Dugan of Holy Spirit Parish in Goddard, said the thought of gratefulness fills him as he ponders his priestly ordination.
He is grateful for his education, for the friendships that have developed, with the support his family, and “most importantly I feel grateful to God who continues to bestow his grace and gifts on me in so many ways,” he said.
“We’re about to experience a big change in our lives,” Deacon Dugan said. “The more we trust that whatever happens next is God’s gift to us, the better we will be.”
He added that he is looking forward to being accepted into a loving parish community. “The seminary has taught me all they can about how to be a priest, now I look forward to the parish teaching me what school can never teach.”

Deacon Adam Grelinger
The Rev. Mr. Adam Grelinger said he is excited about his ordination, and that although one can never be fully prepared for the priesthood, he believes the seminary has prepared him as much as it can.
“As for the rest, we will have to trust in the Lord,” he said.
Deacon Grelinger, the son of Bart and Melissa Grelinger, members of St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Wichita, said he is looking forward to being ordained with nine friends, “Who I know will be there for me when I need advice and with whom it will be a joy to serve the diocese with.”
He added that seminarians do get some “field experience” as seminarians and deacons, “but we are still very limited and it can feel like running on a hamster wheel.”
Deacon Grelinger said he is looking forward to getting out of school and settling into the life of a parish, getting to know families, and helping out in whatever ways he can. “What that entails, I don’t fully know yet. I do know that it will be a true joy to be able to celebrate the sacraments for the people of the diocese.”

Deacon Ed Herzog
The Rev. Mr. Ed Herzog, the son of Michael and Michaleen Herzog, of St. Anne Parish in Wichita, said he finds it hard to believe that his six years of seminary formation is coming to an end.
“Back in 2011, when I entered the seminary, ordination seemed like it was so far off, almost like it would never come. And now here I am in the final weeks of preparation for the priesthood,” he wrote.
“Needless to say I am very excited to be ordained, but most of all I am grateful to be a part of the Diocese of Wichita being that I am originally from outside the diocese.”
Deacon Herzog said he is excited to be a part of the historic ordination of 10 men to the priesthood and 10 men to the diaconate. “The fact that I get to be a part of such a great diocese with so much opportunity and promise on the horizon is exciting and humbling to say the least!”
In addition to celebrating the sacraments, he is looking forward to getting to work in a parish and engaging in pastoral ministry.
“For the last six years the people of the diocese have invested a lot of time and money into my formation, and for that I will be forever grateful,” Deacon Herzog said, “but now I am eager to share what I have learned and help bring the people of our great diocese closer to our Lord. I feel like I am finally able to do what the Lord put me on this planet to do, and that is to serve the people of God as a priest that continues to make Jesus Christ present in the world today.”

Deacon Drew Hoffman
The Rev. Mr. Drew Hoffman said as his ordination nears, he is “tremendously grateful” for the love, support and prayers of the many people who assisted him during his seminary studies.
“For the past six years I have received letters from students, notes of support from Serrans, and promises of prayers from people throughout the diocese. We are so blessed in Wichita to have this community, and I will always be grateful for that,” he said.
That support was an impetus to work and study hard in the seminary, Deacon Hoffman said.
“Now, on the verge of returning to the diocese as a priest, I am ecstatic about the opportunity to return the blessings that have been poured out on me by the people of God.” He added that he is looking forward to celebrating Mass and hearing confessions.
“The powerful experience of confession with so many of the priests of the Diocese of Wichita was a big reason I joined the seminary, and I am thrilled to be able to take up that mantle and be a mediator of God’s mercy and grace for people.”
Deacon Hoffman, the son of Mark and Sue Hoffman, of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Wichita, said he will be happy to be back in the Diocese of Wichita after six years of seminary study.
“I cannot wait to serve the people who raised me up in Wichita – now as a priest of God,” he said. “One of the most enticing parts about the priesthood for me is the opportunity to be in peoples’ lives, during good times and bad, at the beginning of life, and at the end. The priest as a spiritual father to the faithful is a tremendous gift in our church, and I am so excited about the possibility of taking up that responsibility!”

Deacon Clay Kimbro
The Rev. Mr. Clay Kimbro said he was grateful for the support of the people of the diocese during the last seven years and that he understood many sacrifices have been made for him to be able to receive the best formation possible in the seminary.
“Now comes the investment so many have made as 10 new priests will be at the service of the people in the Diocese of Wichita,” he said. “I am filled with gratitude and joy for the many people who have helped me along this journey. There is truly no place like home, and I cannot wait to return home to serve the people of God.”
Deacon Kimbro, the son of Kim and Kari Kimbro, members of Sacred Heart Parish in Colwich, said even after so many years of seminary training he understands that nothing can completely prepare him for the priesthood.
“The fact that when I wake up one morning in May I will not be able to forgive sins, or celebrate the Mass – and at the end of that day I will be able to do those things, and people will call me “Father,” and place all their trust in me, fills me awe and wonder.”
He said he is eager to learn about his first assignment so that he can finally put faces and names to the people for whom he has prayed so much during his preparation.
“I am simply excited to finally be who I was made to be,” he said.

Deacon Andrew Labenz
The Rev. Mr. Andrew Labenz, the son of Tyler and Valerie Labenz of Church of the Holy Cross in Hutchinson, said as he nears his ordination he is thankful to Almighty God for his vocation.
“How truly humbling and awe-inspiring it is to be called to be a priest of Jesus Christ,” he said.
Deacon Labenz said he is also grateful for the support he has received from Bishop Carl A. Kemme, the priests of the diocese, his family, his parish, and the diocese as a whole.
“Please continue to pray for me that I will be a holy priest who is daily conformed to the priestly heart of Jesus Christ!” he said.
“Words cannot capture how excited I am to celebrate the Holy Mass where I will be united with Christ as both priest and victim,” Deacon Labenz said. “I am also looking forward to being a part of a parish community where I can both learn from my future pastor and become a spiritual father to the people God has called me to serve.”

Deacon Jorge Lopez
The Rev. Mr. Jorge Lopez said as his ordination to the priesthood nears, he is filled with gratitude to God for his vocation, and to his family for their unconditional love, prayers, and support.
Deacon Lopez, the son of Jesus and Maria (del Carmen) Lopez, said, “I have relished the reassurance that I am not alone on this journey. God has gifted me by introducing many great people to me throughout the diocese, for whom I am so thankful for their support. I know that I will have the same support as a priest.”
He is looking forward to celebrating the sacraments and working with the people of the diocese “by putting to practice everything I have learned in seminary, most importantly by loving, serving, and walking with them in our journey of faith.”

Michael Brungardt
Michael Brungardt, the son of Jerry and Cas Brungardt, members of Church of the Magdalen in Wichita, said after all the years of seminary study his first thought as his ordination to the transitional diaconate nears is “gratitude.”
“Everything that I have received during these years preparing for ordained ministry in the Diocese of Wichita has been a gift,” he said. “Call me unoriginal, but I think it is the result of the stewardship way of life we lead. It’s about the grateful response we make in response to the recognition of all that we have been given.”
Brungardt said his second thought is “wonder.”
“Looking back on the five years I have spent in seminary, the many years before that I spent discerning whether or not to go to seminary, and even the years before that, I constantly find myself in a state of wonder and awe about how the Lord was able to get me where I am today,” he said.
Brungardt added that he has come to realize that he is only at the beginning of many years of service to the good people of the Diocese of Wichita.
“That he has placed such a joyful path before me, such a beautiful pilgrimage to walk, is indeed something that fills me with wonder,” he said.
Brungardt said he is looking forward to sharing all he has received. “As a deacon I look forward most to preaching, baptizing, preparing couples for marriage, witnessing marriages, and visiting the sick…I look forward to be able to spend my first three months as a deacon.”
Although being in a seminary has often kept Jim away from the diocese for almost eight months out of the year, he said, “I never tire of longing for the day I will return to Wichita for full time ministry.”

Garrett Burns
Garrett Burns, the son of Pat and Jackie Burns, members of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Wichita, said he is humbled and grateful to God for his vocation.
Looking back, he said, he is in awe and full of gratitude for the love, prayers, and support of his family, friends, and everyone across the diocese.
“I have a burning desire to lay down my life for the Church in love, but I realize that I have this love for the people of God only because you loved me first,” he said.
Burns said he is looking forward to celebrating baptisms and delivering homilies.
“Oftentimes, I catch myself daydreaming in class as I ponder creative ways to share the Gospel through my preaching,” he said. “Hopefully my professors do not notice!”
Burns said he is looking forward to becoming a part of the lives of the people of the diocese. “When at seminary, I often feel distant and disconnected from the daily lives of those that I am called to serve. My ministry as deacon will provide unique chances to learn from you, to pray with you, and to walk next to you on the journey of faith.”

Isaac Coulter
Isaac Coulter, the son of Bryan and Jodi Coulter of Church of the Resurrection in Wichita, said a lyric by the rock band Foo Fighters kept coming to mind as he pondered his ordination: “Mine is yours and yours is mine/ I will sacrifice/ In your honor/ I would die tonight/ For you to feel alive.”
He said seminary is long and he has yearned to give himself completely to the sacramental commitment of ordination.
“By ordination to the diaconate, I will go deeper into that mystery,” Coulter said. “A new outpouring of the Holy Spirit by Bishop Kemme’s prayer sounds pretty cool too.”
He is eager to serve the people of the Diocese of Wichita as a deacon, he said, quoting 1 Thessalonians 2:8: “I have longed to give you the Gospel, and more than that, to give you my very life; you have become very dear to me.”

Matt Davied
Matt Davied said his immediate thought as he looks ahead is: “Finally, it’s here!”
Davied, the son of Resurrection parishioners Greg and Kelly Davied, said he will finally be able to fulfill the reason he left for the seminary, to promise to give himself to the people of the diocese in celibacy, prayer, and obedience.
“Yet, I also look back at all this formation, and am grateful for all the formation I’ve been through, because not only is ordination finally here, but I feel ready to take it on. I am not in seminary to be here forever, but to be out in the parish, and that begins this summer.”
He said a deacon is ordained to serve, to help the pastor in various capacities.
“But this particularly includes celebrating the sacraments of baptism and marriage, and I am looking forward to this, certainly,” Davied said. “These are very joyful sacraments to celebrate, and it is a blessing for a deacon to have the ability to take part in the beginning of a Christian’s sacramental life, and the beginning of a man and woman’s vocation together.”
Davied said he is most excited to become a minister of the Word. “A deacon proclaims the Gospel and is able to preach the homily. In these duties, the deacon does not simply facilitate bringing Christ into the world, but speaks Him to the people,” he said. “It is very humbling to be a minister of the Word, and very exciting.”

Nic Jurgensmeyer
Nic Jurgensmeyer, the son of Terry and Debbie Jurgensmeyer, members of St. Joseph Parish in Baxter Springs, said he is excited to serve the people of the diocese. “I know this is what God is calling me to do and that gives me a great peace.”
He added that he is looking forward to serving the people as a transitional deacon. “I am also excited to see the different ways in which God will work through me after ordination.”

Michael Kerschen
Michael Kerschen, the son of Martin and Lila Kerschen, members of St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Garden Plain, said his upcoming ordination feels like the culminating moment of everything he has been doing.
“Prayer, study, relationships, parish assignments, and all the rest being offered in promises and consecration to a lifelong commitment to ordained ministry of the church,” he said. “It’s exciting and fearful!”
Kerschen added that he is a little nervous about the idea of giving a homily, “but it excites me more than any other official function of a deacon,” he said.

Christopher Martin
Christopher Martin, the son of Don and Shirley Grimm, members of the Church of the Holy Spirit in Goddard, said he is humbled and honored to be considered for ordination.
“The gifts that I have been given by God will now be put to a better use than anything that I would have done with them before entering the seminary,” he said. “It is a great joy to believe in God’s plan for you. I fully trust that whatever task God will give me, he will be with me along the way.”
He said he is looking forward to serving the people of God to a greater extent after his ordination.
“I have always been a person who loves to be ‘in the trenches’ with the people,” Martin said. “Giving homilies, serving at Mass as a deacon, and teaching others about how much Christ loves them as his children are just a few of the things that I will be able to do more fully after ordination. I trust that God will make me an instrument that will bring others closer to himself.”

James Schibi
James Schibi, the son of Vince and Mary Schibi of St. Patrick Parish in Parsons, said after five and a half years of seminary he’s excited about his ordination and happy that God called him to his sacred vocation.
“Throughout these years I have reflected on my own unworthiness and inadequacies in regards to this calling, but through my experience of trusting in the power of the Holy Spirit I have gained a certain peace in these last few weeks before my ordination,” he said. “I know that it is only through Jesus Christ that I am able to be in this position and am eternally grateful for His and His mother’s guidance and intercession along the way.”
Schibi said he is looking forward to giving back to the people as a deacon and in the future as a priest.
“I know I have much more to learn and this is a great learning opportunity for my future priesthood God willing. I am filled with excitement and joy as I begin this part of my life and especially to help people become closer to Christ and his church,” he said.

Todd Shepherd
Todd Shepherd said he is ready, after seven years of preparation, to officially give himself to Christ and his people to build up the church.
“All vocations are geared towards gift of self. As St. Francis of Assisi says, ‘In giving we receive,’” he said. “It is precisely in giving ourselves to God and others that we find true fulfillment. My life is a gift from God and I firmly believe this is the most fulfilling way I am supposed to live my life in gratitude for that gift.”
Shepherd, the son of Thomas and Sheila Shepherd, members of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Wichita, said he is looking forward to serving in a parish this summer.
“All of the aspects of seminary formation are geared towards parish ministry,” he said.
“Throughout my years of seminary I have experienced little tastes of parish ministry that have only made me hunger for more. After seven years of these little tastes – learning, discussing and dreaming about parish ministry, I’m excited to finally jump in and be at a parish full-time in order to apply, in a more real way, everything I have learned so as to impact others and hopefully get them closer to life’s goal: heaven.”

Derek Thome
Derek Thome, the son of Howard and Jean Thome, members of St. John Parish in Clonmel, said the closer he gets to ordination the more he realizes his inadequacies.
“Ordination, then, is that recognition of God’s grace to configure my life, even with its imperfections, towards its ultimate beauty, my given vocation,” he said. “Ordination is not the completion, but the beginning of a more perfect configuration to the life of Christ, in service as a deacon, and as priest and victim in the priesthood.”
He said his ordination is a great moment of anticipation, as he is completing his tenth year of college.
“It is with great joy that God’s will is manifested in such a permanent way,” Thome said. “It is this moment in my life where true peace, knowledge that I belong entirely to God, is not only confirmed, but is sealed by the sacramental character of the sacrament.”
He is looking forward to giving himself, he said.
“For a priest, or even a deacon, this is visible in his commitment to prayer for the people, his availability to the faithful through his living out of celibacy, and his exercise of sacramental responsibilities and privileges,” Thome said. “I look forward to proclaiming the Word of God, preaching the Gospel message and inviting people to a deeper relationship with Christ, baptizing children, and witnessing marriages.”

International TEC Encounter July 7-9 at the SLC in Wichita

By Janet Holden and Kyle Bauer
The Diocese of Wichita is hosting this year’s international TEC Encounter July 7-9 at the Spiritual Life Center in Wichita.
David Walker, program director for the diocesan Office of Faith Formation, said the international Teens Encounter Christ family gathers annually at the event to strengthen and deepen their encounter with Christ.
“TEC members ages 18 and over from across the country and beyond are invited to participate in TEC Encounter 2017,” Walker said.
The year’s theme is “Make Me Your Instrument.” Featured speakers will be Dr. Michael Carotta of Omaha, Nebraska; and Fr. Aaron Spexarth and Kit Lambertz, both of Wichita. Carotta is currently the National Advisor for Adolescent Catechesis for Our Sunday Visitor Curriculum Division and the 2012 Recipient of the Emmaus Award for Excellence in Catechesis awarded by the National Association of Parish Catechetical Directors.
Walker said nearly 30 members of the Diocese of Wichita’s TEC community are part of a planning team. Sub-committees have been established under the coordination of Jodi Simon and have been meeting monthly since the fall to coordinate events they hope will help attendees gain a deeper sense of community with other members of the TEC family, gain a greater knowledge of the spiritual process of TEC, share resources, and grow in their personal spiritual renewal.
“The committee is reaching out to Wichita TEC members and the faithful of the diocese for support and prayers,” Walker said. “A major aspect of TEC is the idea of wheat – the sacrifices made in order to benefit others.
“Therefore, the committee is asking for your wheat and prayers. Whether it be extra time throughout the day for prayer, additional visits to the Blessed Sacrament, or giving up other daily luxuries that many take for granted, the committee greatly appreciates any and all sacrifices made for the success of the event.”
TEC is a three-day retreat based on the Paschal Mystery of Jesus Christ. It involves older adolescents and young adults encountering Christ in a way they have never experienced before. TEC participants have opportunities to grow in their relationship with Christ through talks, group discussion, individual reflection and prayer, and sharing in the Sacraments.
Since TEC began in the Wichita Diocese in 1984, there have been over 150 retreat weekends in our diocese that have impacted over 3,700 youth.

Want to be a part of the TEC Encounter?
The international TEC Encounter will be held July 7-9 at the Spiritual Life Center in Wichita.
Registration is available online at www.tecconference.org for adult members of the TEC community. You must have attended a TEC retreat to participate in TEC Encounter. For more information, contact David Walker at the Office of Faith Formation, 316-269-3940.

Bishop seeking input regarding visitors’ center for Fr. Kapaun

As the cause for Father Emil Kapaun’s Beatification and Canonization continues to be studied by Rome, Bishop Carl A. Kemme has gathered a committee to look at what can be done to accommodate the growing number of pilgrims visiting Fr. Kapaun’s hometown of Pilsen.
The committee has been tasked with making recommendations on a possible Father Kapaun Visitor’s Center. Several parishioners from Pilsen are on the committee, as well as members of the Cause for Father Kapaun’s Canonization, and other diocesan offices.
“It will still be years before the process for Father Kapaun’s canonization is complete,” says Scott Carter, diocesan coordinator for the Father Kapaun office, “but the need for a more suitable way to welcome visitors to Pilsen is already here.”
Harriet Bina, one of the several local caretakers and tour guides of the Chaplain Kapaun Museum, sees the need all the time. “The Medal of Honor Ceremony [in 2013] brought a lot of attention to Father Kapaun’s story. Five to 10 years ago we had few visitors, and very few school groups. Today we have a lot of military men stopping in, and far more schools. It has even brought visitors from outside the country.”
Harriet says that visitors are excited to walk the same grounds that Father Kapaun walked on and to pray in St. John Nepomucene Church where he received his sacraments. The small farming community of hard-working and resourceful people hasn’t changed much in the 75 years since Father Kapaun last lived there, so it’s the perfect place to learn about what formed him into the hero he would later become.
Over 100 groups a year now visit the museum, which displays many artifacts from Chaplain Kapaun’s life and has several models to help illustrate his heroic deeds. In addition, tour guides also tell stories of potential miracles attributed to Father Kapaun’s intercession.
Unfortunately, the current buildings do not adequately meet the needs of visitors. The only handicap access to the church is by an antiquated lift which does not always function properly, and there is no handicap access to the museum. Furthermore, the size of the current buildings forces the guides to split school and other group tours up.
One group is able to spend time in the museum while another hears stories in the church basement. Often Father Kapaun’s story must be told in the main body of the church because there isn’t another space big enough for it.
A potential visitor center would help alleviate these needs. Upgrades, including a handicap ramp, would be made to the church to help welcome visitors. A new multipurpose building will be built that can host large groups for talks and meals, as well as providing adequate space for displaying Fr. Kapaun’s artifacts and telling his story.
Some preliminary work on plans has already occurred, and the building committee will continue to meet regularly to further develop the plans and report to the Bishop.
“We hope to find a way to better honor Father Kapaun and to allow visitors to be inspired by his story,” says Carter.

Father Kapaun to be honored in June
Father Emil Kapaun will be honored next month at his home church in Pilsen. A 60-mile pilgrimage from Church of the Magdalen Church in Wichita to St. John Nupomecene Church in Pilsen will be held from June 1-4. A Mass will be celebrated on the last day, Sunday, June 4, at the church. Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m., instead of 3 p.m. as in previous years, followed by lunch and tours. For more information or to register, visit www.FrKapaun.org.
The Chaplain Kapaun Museum is located at 2744 Remington Road in Pilsen. It is open from 1 to 4 p.m. Tuesday and Friday. To schedule a tour at another time, call Rose at Holy Family Parish, 620-382-3369.

Traveling Fatima statue visits diocese

A carved, wooden image of the Blessed Virgin Mary is making its way west in the United States as part of a Fatima Centennial U.S. Tour for Peace.
The World Apostolate of Fatima U.S.A., which is sponsoring the tour, initially wanted the statue to visit 100 dioceses to promote the message of Fatima as part of the Fatima centennial. But when the tour ends in Texas at the end of this year, it will have visited all 50 states and likely over 200 dioceses.
Katie Moran, tour coordinator, said as of early May the statue had already stopped in over 175 dioceses.
“People need to know that she came as a mother to take her children under her arm, so to speak, and just gather them all up,” she said.
The Blessed Virgin came from heaven 100 years ago, Moran said, because of the love she has for us. “She came as a mother realizing the danger her children were in. And she came and brought a peace plan from heaven. And if everyone would do this simple plan…an era of peace would be granted to us in the world.”
The world-famous International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Fatima is one of two “twin” statues sculpted in 1947 by José Thedim, who Moran described as the Michelangelo of Portugal. The image reflects the precise instructions of Sister Lucia.
Before the centennial tour the statue would visit a diocese for two to three weeks. After the centennial tour, it will return to its regular touring timetable.
The statue, which also stopped at the motherhouse of the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Colwich, and Resurrection and Blessed Sacrament parishes in Wichita, will visit Nebraska, Iowa, and North Dakota through May and June.
For more information and for a tour schedule, visit FatimaTourForPeace.com.
A related story appears on page 15 of the print edition.

Want to hear the talks, homily?
A talk, “The Message of Fatima,” in both English and Spanish, as well as Bishop Carl A. Kemme’s homily from the event May 10 are posted available in a podcast at www.WichitaCathedral.com.

Bishop blesses cemetery addition

Bishop Carl A. Kemme blessed the new Holy Family Mausoleum at Resurrection Cemetery in west Wichita Saturday, May 13. The mausoleum was recently completed and has room for over 360 full casket burials and 240 cremated remains.
The mausoleum is part of an expansion of the ground burial area at the cemetery. The expanded ground area will be a departure from the existing area, upright tombstones will be allowed in the new area.
Diocesan Director of Cemeteries Jim Sheldon said the expansion and new mausoleum will position Resurrection Cemetery well into the future to care for the families of the Diocese of Wichita.
Sheldon said an Italian mosaic studio was commissioned to make four features that will be added to the mausoleum. Scheduled to arrive late this year are four four-foot by six-foot mosaics: Mary and Child, Joseph and Child, Jesus the Good Shepherd, and Jesus Divine Mercy.

Diocesan news, May 19, 2017

Bishop Kemme’s calendar
Here is Bishop Carl A. Kemme’s calendar for the next month.
May 20: Diaconate ordination, 10 a.m.,Church of the Magdalen, Wichita
May 21: Bishop Carroll Catholic High School Graduation at 1:30 p.m.; Kapaun Mt. Carmel Catholic High School Graduation at 4 p.m. both at Hartman Arena
May 24: Holy Hour in solidarity with our immigrant brothers and sisters at the Cathedral at 7 p.m.
May 25: Evening with Seminarians at the Cathedral
May 27: Ordination to the priesthood, 10 a.m., Church of the Magdalen, Wichita
June 2: Evening with Seminarians in Southeast Kansas, Pittsburg
June 4: Parish Pastoral visit to St. Mary in Aleppo
June 5-9: Wichita priests retreat
June 10: Jubilee Mass for Sisters of St. Joseph
June 10-11: Parish pastoral visit to Holy Cross in Hutchinson
June 11-15: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Indianapolis, Indiana
June 16: Holy Family Camp Mass
June 18: Corpus Christi at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Wichita

Pope Francis Build 2017 begins Aug. 12
The Diocese of Wichita is again partnering with Habitat for Humanity Wichita for a Pope Francis Build.
Bonnie Toombs, director of the diocesan Respect Life and Social Justice Office, said initial construction will begin on Aug. 12 at a lot located at 1227 N. Estelle, just a few blocks from Holy Savior Catholic Church..
Volunteers are needed when the hammers start swinging on Aug. 17. Work days for this year’s build will be Thursdays and Fridays from Aug. 17 to Oct. 20.
“We are reaching out to you today to see if you can help either with a donation towards the cost of the build or if you would like to help work on the build,” Toombs said.
Individuals, families, parishes, work groups and any others interested may sign up to work the Pope Francis Build 2017. Those interested may contact the Respect Life and Social Justice Office at 316 269-3935 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
In the words of Pope Francis, Toombs said, : “Works of love directed to one’s neighbor are the most perfect external manifestation of the interior grace of the Spirit….”

Harvest House Mass and luncheon with Bishop Kemme June 27
The diocesan Office of Marriage and Family Life invites all adults over age 50 to a celebration Mass and luncheon with Bishop Carl A. Kemme at 10 a.m. Tuesday morning, June 27, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, 430 N. Broadway in Wichita.
The event is to show appreciation to all “seasoned servants,” the senior adults in our diocese, who are still serving our church and community in many capacities. All senior adult ministry groups who are meeting in parishes will be recognized. The 28th anniversary of Harvest House will also be celebrated.
A catered luncheon will begin immediately following the Mass. Door prizes will be given away.
For reservations, send $10 per person with your name, address, and phone number by June 16 to the Office of Marriage and Family Life 437 N. Topeka Wichita, Kansas 67202. Checks should be made payable to: Catholic Diocese of Wichita.

Bishop Kemme to lead trip to South America
Bishop Carl A. Kemme will lead a trip to South America Jan. 29-Feb. 8, 2018.
The trip, “a walk in the footsteps of Pope Francis,” will include stops in Lima and Machu Picchu, Peru; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and Buenos Aires, Argentina.
“We were so thrilled when Bishop Kemme agreed to lead this trip as a benefit for Guadalupe Clinic,” said Jodi Guillemette, director of Development for Guadalupe Clinic.
“It will be a wonderful spiritual experience. We will see the shrines of South America, walk in the footsteps of Pope Francis, and have the opportunity to have Mass every day with the bishop. We are blessed to have such a kind, giving soul as Bishop Kemme leading our diocese.”
The trip includes airfare from anywhere in the country, daily Mass, four- or five-star hotels, all ground transportation, tour guides, entry into all sites, and all breakfasts and dinners.
The cost is $3,850 per person, of which $250 is a tax-deductible donation to the Guadalupe Clinic. For a reservation or more information, call (508) 340-9370 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Fatima/Lourdes trip reception May 24
Father Michael Schemm will host a reception from 6 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 24, in the Pius X Room at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception for those interested in a trip to Lourdes and Fatima. Father Schemm will be the spiritual advisor for the trip. (See ad on page 10 of the print edition.)
The 12-day pilgrimage to the shrines of Spain and Lourdes and Fatima is scheduled from Oct. 4-15. The pilgrimage is special because it will end on the special feast day of Oct. 13 in Fatima.
Scheduled to be visited are Lourdes; the Shrine of Our Lady of Pillar, where the Blessed Mother appeared to St. James; several sites in Madrid; Avila, St. Theresa’s birthplace; Alba de Tormes, where St. Theresa’s body is located; Santiago de Compostela, the cathedral built in honor of St. James; Pontevedra, the largest Marian shrine in Spain; and Fatima on Oct. 13, the Feast Day of Our Lady of Fatima.
Those interested in attending may send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or call 316-269-3965.

Catholic seniors invited to Bible study at Reflection Ridge
Catholic adults are invited to a video-based Catholic Bible study for seniors on the second and fourth Fridays of the month at Reflection Ridge, 2300 N. Tyler Road in Wichita.
For more information, call 316-721-0500.

In an article in the May 5 Catholic Advance about new student leadership at Bishop Carroll Catholic High School, Julia Howey’s father was misidentified. His name is Mark. Julia is the new student body president.
Chloe Charles, the vice president, is a member of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, Wichita.

Parish news, May 19, 2017

St. Anne parishioners mark anniversary with pilgrimage
Parishioners of St. Anne Parish in Wichita walked from the Keeper of the Plains to their church on South Seneca on Divine Mercy Sunday, April 23.
Nearly 300 pilgrims made the four-mile walk, and met other worshippers at the church for a holy hour, Mass, and dinner. The annual event celebrates the founding of the parish in April of 1955 and the graces poured out on the parish during Lent.
The group began walking about 2 p.m. While gathering, Irish dancers, Vietnamese Dragon dancers, and Mexican matachines dancers entertained the crowd. The St. Anne youth group presented skits and meditations on the mysteries of the rosary at three spots along the river bike trail.
The pilgrims arrived at the church, located at 2801 S. Seneca, around 4 p.m. for a holy hour and confessions, followed by a bilingual Mass.
After Mass the St. Anne Altar Society hosted a dinner in the Activity Center.

Magdalen Knights hosting June 17 golf tournament
The Magdalen Knights of Columbus Council Open Golf Tournament will be played Saturday, June 17, at the Sierra Hills Golf Club, 13420 E. Pawnee, in Wichita.
Check in for the 4-person scramble begins at 7:30 a.m. the shotgun start is at 8:30. An awards dinner will follow play.
The cost is $65 per player or $260 per team. The cost includes green fees, cards, driving range, the awards dinner, drink tickets, and drawing prizes.
Proceeds will benefit Catholic Charities, the Guadalupe Clinic, and the youth groups at Church of the Magdalen.
The entry deadline is Monday, June 12. to enter or for more information contact Tom at 259-3383 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or John at 651-7170.

St. Francis hosting bus trip to Royals game Sunday, June 3
The faithful are invited to join parishioners of St. Francis of Assisi for a bus trip to watch the Kansas City Royals play the Cleveland Indians at 1:15 p.m. Saturday, June 3.
The cost is $149 per person for transportation and reserved seating at the game. The bus will be at the parish parking lot, located at 861 N. Socora, at 8 a.m., will leave at 8:30, and will arrive at Kauffman Stadium at noon. The bus will return to the parish campus by 8:30 p.m.
For reservations, call Village Tours & Travel at 316-721-4455.

Notre Dame Folk Choir to visit Wichita area on May 27-28
The University of Notre Dame Folk Choir will sing at St. Peter the Apostle Church in Schulte Saturday, May 27.
The choir, which sings every Sunday at Mass during the school year, will sing at the 5:30 p.m. Mass and will perform at a concert at 7 p.m. The concert of sacred music is open to all for a free-will offering.
The choir began making national and international tours as part of its regular ministry in the mid-1980s. In addition to its performance at Schulte, its spring 2017 tour includes a National Pastoral Musicians workshop in Wichita.
The workshop will be held from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, May 28, at St. Peter the Apostle Church. The cost is $15. It is free for NPM members. To register visit npmwichita.org or call Sister Nylas at 316-942-2201 ext. 1417.

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