Retrouvaille returns to the Diocese of Wichita

Marriage can be hard, really hard. And time has a way of changing things.
The once young, giddy, and vibrant couple in love now faces the everyday challenges of marital life. Through the challenges couples can grow apart and – without the proper communication and commitment to one another – divorce may result.
For those who find it difficult to cope, there is hope through the Retrouvaille ministry.
The ministry helps couples stand up and say, no. No, to the worldly notion that unhappiness in marriages can only lead to separation. No, to the idea that marriage doesn’t come without challenges, and no to the idea that divorce is the only option.
The challenges of marital life – whether it be separation, fighting, affair, loss of job, addiction or financial troubles – can all be healed and trust can be restored. Retrouvaille reverses the gradual decline in a marriage to help a couple begin a climb to a joyful relationship.
Retrouvaille kicked off its marriage ministry in the Diocese of Wichita Dec. 8-10, when volunteers from California, Florida, and Oklahoma gathered in Wichita in an attempt to heal the marriages of 12 couples from our area through their three-phase process.
Retrouvaille is not marriage counseling, it is not a retreat, seminar, or even sensitivity group. Retrouvaille is a 40-year-old tried and true marriage ministry that helps couples uncover their burdens and provide restoration and healing.

Does your marriage need help?
If you and your spouse are struggling in your marriage please visit www.helpourmarriage.com or contact Dacia at 314-249-5227 to begin the process of healing.

Those who minister to prisoners say they, too, are changed by their work

By Don McClane
Most people tend to avoid criminals. So, why would someone volunteer to minister to the incarcerated?
“I asked myself ‘Why not?’” said Katie Potocnik, a member of St. Patrick Parish, Parsons, who lives in Altamont. “I was looking for a place in church community to serve God, and this was my choice.”
“We have the opportunity to share our devotion with a pious group of gentlemen from a variety of backgrounds who serve the Lord in a challenging environment,” said Mark Mall, a parishioner at St. Patrick, from Parsons.
Potocnik and Mall said the ministry has changed them. Mall said his ministry to the incarcerated has made him a more mature parent.
“When I witness the prayerful posture of the incarcerated, I see how important prayer is in my life and how necessary it is to instruct my children in prayer.”
“Change me?” Potocnik said. “Oh, what graces I have received!”
Has their ministry changed the inmates?
“I can only pray this is true,” said Potocnik. “They are all very appreciative for visits.”
“I’m under the impression that our ministry to them upholds their dignity, hope, and fraternity,” Mall said.
“Don’t be afraid!” if you are considering ministry to the incarcerated, Potocnik said. If you are unable to volunteer yourself, pray for the incarcerated and for more volunteers.
“These men are a great group and it’s a privilege to serve them,”Mall said.
“I am an old retired nurse,” said Potocnik. “I am not a preacher, nor do I know scripture inside and out, but so much compassion and caring is in my heart that I must share what He has given me.
“A good sense of humor can’t hurt either,” Mall said.

NCYC calls all to a relationship with Jesus

By Ryan Littlejohn
Called. We are all called to do something in our lives.
In November I had the opportunity of a lifetime – I attended the National Catholic Youth Conference. The theme of the whole weekend was “Called. We are Called by Name, Called to More, Called to Listen, and Called to Serve.”
We are called to be something amazing, called to be more than the person we already are, to lay down our lives like Christ did for us. We are called to serve like the saints did, to live out our faith in the hardest of times. We are called to be more by living out the Gospel message. Most importantly, we are called to listen, listen to what God wants you to do with your life. Every day was a new “called,” a new challenge to face in my life.
God’s will is hard to find sometimes with all the distractions in the world, social media, girls, school, jobs, the amount of stress we have in our life. Sometimes we need to unplug, put the phone down, go on a retreat, find what we are missing. Maybe it was God. That’s who I was missing.
Listening to the talks about the saints and the amount of love God has given us no matter what we have done to turn our backs on him. Loving God has to be the first step of the big picture of love. Then you love yourself, Jesus said to love others as you love yourself. After you have that self-love you can give it to others.
Sometimes you may wonder “Jesus, where are you in my relationship?” I was asking him that question going into NCYC “Jesus you gave me this amazing relationship but where are you in it?” After watching this relationship with this girl fall apart I started to wonder “How can He be there at first and then be gone?” In the talks and breakout sessions we heard stories of saints who went through the challenges we do.
I found my love for God in adoration. We keep hearing the whole weekend to give everything up. Give it to God, give our sorrows, joys everything to God. Adoration that night I gave everything up and I heard words from God that I never thought I would hear. It was like God wrecked everything just to start from the new to rebuild my life, clear away all the sin and start anew.
God works in mysterious ways, but he called me to follow him more that weekend. He called me to be more than I already was. I was called.
Littlejohn is a senior at Bishop Carroll Catholic High School and a member of St. Mary’s Parish in Newton.

Handicap doesn’t stop young woman from participating in many activities

Voice of Ability
By Catherine Graham
My name is Catherine Graham and I have four siblings. I am the second oldest of five children. On top of that there are two sets of twins in my family.
I have a handicap known as Spina bifida. Spina bifida has left me paralyzed from the waist down, causing me to use a wheelchair. This has not stopped from doing things at all.
During high school I joined lots of extracurricular activities. A few of these were band, scholars’ bowl, and a girls basketball manager.
I have played the clarinet since my fifth grade year. With the help of friends and family I even participated in marching band. After high school I stopped playing the clarinet until I got involved with the Faithful Flocks band from the Diocese of Wichita.
After graduating from high school I started attending Butler Community College where I am currently a sophomore. I am working on a engineering graphics technology major. This major has a lot of classes that involve a lot of drawing on computers. When I am not in class I have two working jobs that keep me very busy.
I am also involved in the Catholic Grizzlies group at my college. When I get the free time I like to read whatever I can get my hands on. It is always helpful if people ask me before jumping in and helping me.
My favorite bible story is the story of David and Goliath because it is not only about David taking down Goliath with a stone but how he proved to his family and friends that he was not just a shepherd but could do lots more.

Fundraising? The rights and wrongs of it

What we’ve learned about Stewardship
By Fr. Ken Van Haverbeke
“Bingo!” she yelled! Excitedly she came forth to claim her prize from the associate priest who was running the parish bingo parlor. “I don’t think I was ordained to run a Bingo parlor,” the associate priest thought, “I really would rather hear confessions or preach the Gospel.”
Fundraising is defined as the process of gathering voluntary contributions of money by requesting donations or by selling products. There is nothing wrong with fundraising, but the Diocese of Wichita made a collective decision in 1985 to stop relying upon fundraising to pay for the various missions of the Church.
Instead, each family and each parishioner was asked to sacrificially, generously, and proportionately tithe a portion of their income. No more Bingo! No more selling of candy. No more operating a restaurant out of the parish buildings, and no more second collections at Mass to fund a worthy project.
As a diocese we promised if parishioners would simply tithe generously, sacrificially, and proportionately, the diocese and parish would not “nickel and dime” them with fundraisers and second collections.
This does not mean the youth group will not have a car wash, or that the Knights of Columbus won’t give out candy, but it does mean our parishes will not depend upon fundraising to pay for its ministries; rather they will depend upon stewardship tithing.
Why is this important? Spiritually it is vital. As disciples of Jesus we believe everything we have is from God. Our life, those whom we love, our talents, family, vocations, etc., everything is a gift from the Lord. Therefore we respond by developing and sharing our gifts: sacrificially, generously, and proportionally.
The spiritual difference between contributing to a fundraiser or making a donation and tithing of ones income is dramatic.
When asked to donate or contribute, we give something and receive a product or an experience in return. I give, I get. In the case of donations, we give and then leave. Often our “donations” are what we no longer need, or what is left-over. Not so with a tithe of our income.
In the Diocese of Wichita, we have learned that when we tithe as part of the Stewardship Way of Life, we are saying, “Lord everything I have is yours. Everything! Therefore I will give back to you, through my parish or church, the first fruits of your gifts.
It is very hard Lord to give you the first portion of my paycheck, but by giving it to you first, I place my trust in you. I’m not giving you leftovers, nor am I getting a food product or gambling experience in return of my money.”
Depending upon fundraising to pay for the cost of our various ministries is neither biblical nor sound financially. We are in the business of saving souls, not running gambling experiences or restaurants.

Diocesan news, January 5, 2018

Bishop Kemme’s calendar
Here is Bishop Carl A. Kemme’s calendar for the next several weeks.
January
Jan. 4-11: Region IX bishops annual retreat
Jan. 13-14: Parish pastoral visit to St. John, Clonmel
Jan. 15-16: Kansas Catholic Conference of Bishops in Topeka
Jan. 17-21: March for Life in Washington, D.C.
Jan 21: Mass at St. Isidore’s Catholic Student Center at Kansas State University in Manhattan at 5:30 p.m.
Jan. 22: Topeka March for Life Rally and Mass
Jan. 26-27: Diocesan Pastoral Council visioning session
Jan. 29-Feb. 4: South American Shrine Pilgrimage for Guadalupe Clinic

Fitness classes begin on Wednesday, Jan. 10
An eight session fitness class designed for the adult who doesn’t want to go to the gym will begin Wednesday, Jan. 10, at the St. Joseph Pastoral Center, 437 N. Topeka. It will be offered from 1 to 2 p.m. The cost is $20 and it will be facilitated by James Eicher.
The class will be a non-competitive, adaptive fitness class for adults who want to be more active. James will teach exercises one can do at home without any machines or equipment that can keep you fit for life. Many can be done sitting in a chair.
To register call the Office of Marriage and Family Life 316-685-5240.

Immigration information forum Jan. 21 at NU
A community forum sponsored by the Immigrant Family Support Network will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 21, in the Dugan Gorges Conference Center at Newman University in Wichita.
Information about legislative initiatives in Kansas, process in obtaining citizenship, the struggles individuals and families have in the process, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, and TPS, the Temporary Protective Status, will be discussed.
For more information contact Forrest at fehmke@aol.com.

Women’s retreat Jan. 26-27 in Newton

A women’s retreat, “Strengthening the Fabric of your Family for the Future,” will be presented at St. Mary’s Parish, 106 E. 8th St. in Newton, at the end of the month.
Any woman interested is invited to the presentation by Sharon Witzell, program coordinator of the diocesan Senior Adult Ministries.
The retreat begins with a social at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 26, and is followed by talks until 9:30 p.m. It resumes at 8 a.m. Saturday morning with a Latin Mass, breakfast, more talks, adoration, confession, and lunch. The event concludes at 3:30 p.m.
Witzell has been ministering to Catholic families for over 30 years and has taken graduate level courses in family life ministry. She will share her expertise about family systems theory that is supported by scripture and Catholic teachings. Women will learn what makes the best families and what they can do to help and heal their own family to make it better for future generations.
The registration fee covers breakfast, lunch, and materials. The fee is $40 before Jan. 14, and $45 afterward. For more information, or to sign up, call Lee Lamas 316-227-0706.

Musicians workshop Jan. 20 in Augusta
A Liturgical Musicians Workshop will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 20, at St. James Church in Augusta.
Christopher Walker from Oregon Catholic Press will be a major presenter. The event is open to all clergy and musicians. Visit npmwichita.org for further information and to register.

The Daniel Plan for downtown Catholics begins on Jan. 10
A class on the Daniel Plan, a healthy lifestyle program, will be offered from noon to 1 p.m. beginning Wednesday, Jan. 10, at the St. Joseph Pastoral Center, 437 N. Topeka.
Participants are invited to bring their lunch and listen to a DVD series created by some of the top experts on spiritual, physical, and emotional health. The program is for people who want to get healthy but don’t want to go on a diet. It is based on five areas, incorporating faith, fitness, food, friends and focus.
The cost is $15 for each six-week session and includes a workbook. To register or for more information call the Office of Marriage and Family life at 316-685-5240.

Sunday Mass pilgrimage ‘through time’ planned
Lance Reichenberger, a member of St. Joseph, Andale Parish, is organizing an ongoing Sunday Mass pilgrimage to a different church in the Diocese of Wichita, starting with the oldest and ending with the newest.
He plans to visit each church in the diocese. St. Mary, Queen of Angels, in Fort Scott, is the oldest church in the diocese still in use, and is first on the list and is scheduled for Sunday Jan. 21.
Reichenberger said depending on the number of persons interested, they will carpool or caravan. Pilgrims should meet at the Westlink Community Library just west of St. Francis of Assisi in Wichita. They will leave at 6:45 a.m.
No other activities are planned for the pilgrimage, except for an optional lunch, to keep the rest of Sunday open for family.
Those interested may contact Reichenberger at 316-706-1560 at lbreich88@gmail.com or via his Facebook page.

Topeka March for Life bus deadline Monday, Jan. 15
Bishop, Abp. Naumann to celebrate Mass
Those who can’t make it to the March for Life in Washington, D.C., may participate in a related march in Topeka Monday, Jan. 22, sponsored by the diocesan Respect Life and Social Justice Office.
Buses will leave from Church of the Magdalen in Wichita at 6:45 a.m.
The pilgrimage will include adoration by Wichita Adore Ministries, a talk by abortion survivor Melissa Ohden, Mass celebrated by Bishop Carl A. Kemme and Archbishop Joseph Naumann, and a rally on the Capitol steps.
The Respect Life Office said the trip is a great opportunity to join in with the thousands of people in the March for Life around the country.
The cost for bus transportation and lunch with Bishop Kemme at Texas Roadhouse is $35 per person. The deadline is Jan. 15. Register by sending payment to Respect Life Social Justice Office. Contact toombsb@CatholicDioceseOfWichita.org or call 316-269-3935 for more information.

Please remember our priests in your prayers
The Diocese of Wichita has a necrology, a listing of our deceased priests of the diocese online. The necrology is arranged by months and includes the names of priests who died that month.
Visit the page at CatholicDioceseOfWichita.org and clicking on “Find A Parish.” The “Necrology” link is on the right side of the parish listing home page.

Several ‘last chance’ Masses now available
There are now several late Sunday Masses in Wichita, including two in Spanish, for those who hit the snooze button one too many times:
5 p.m.: Holy Savior
5:15 p.m.: Blessed Sacrament
6 p.m.: St. Elizabeth Ann Seton; St. Anne, en español
6:30 p.m.: Our Lady of Perpetual Help, en español
7 p.m.: St. Paul, WSU; St. Patrick, en español
9 p.m.: St. Paul, WSU

Struggling with same sex attractions?
Have you had these feelings for so long…keeping them hidden, afraid to speak out? Where do you go now? The Diocese of Wichita offers spiritual support and fellowship for men and women with same sex attractions who are striving to live chaste lives.
Contact ineedhelpfather@gmail.com or the Office of Marriage and Family Life at (316) 685-5240.

Pro-life ministry offering ‘pill kills’ DVD free of charge
Physicians prescribe the pill to many young women to regulate monthly cycles, lessen cramping, or to control acne.
But the life and health threatening side effects from taking the pill are not worth it, according to the West Sedgwick County Chapter of Right to Life of Kansas. The pill not only causes abortions but has dangerous side-effects.
The chapter is offering a free DVD, “The Pill Kills Symposium,” that explains the problems associated with the pill.
For free copy of the DVD, send an email jcsfam6@yahoo.com with your name and address, or call Carolyn at 316-531-2227. For more information or to watch the DVD online, visit ThePillKills.org and click on “2012 National Symposium” box on the left of the home page.

Parish news, January 5, 2018

Women’s retreat Jan. 26-27 in Newton
A women’s retreat, “Strengthening the Fabric of your Family for the Future,” will be presented at St. Mary’s Parish, 106 E. 8th St. in Newton, at the end of the month.
Any woman interested is invited to the presentation by Sharon Witzell, program coordinator of the diocesan Senior Adult Ministries.
The retreat begins with a social at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 26, and is followed by talks until 9:30 p.m. It resumes at 8 a.m. Saturday morning with a Latin Mass, breakfast, more talks, adoration, confession, and lunch. The event concludes at 3:30 p.m.
Witzell has been ministering to Catholic families for over 30 years and has taken graduate level courses in family life ministry. She will share her expertise about family systems theory that is supported by scripture and Catholic teachings. Women will learn what makes the best families and what they can do to help and heal their own family to make it better for future generations.
The registration fee covers breakfast, lunch, and materials. The fee is $40 before Jan. 14, and $45 afterward. For more information, or to sign up, call Lee Lamas 316-227-0706.

Bingo at Sacred Heart Parish, Colwich, Jan. 7
Cash bingo games will be held beginning at 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 7, in the Religious Education Building at Sacred Heart Parish in Colwich.
Doors open at 1 p.m. The suggested donation is $3 for one card for all 21 games, or $8 for three cards for all games. Snacks and desserts will be available.
Proceeds from the event will benefit the retired priests and seminarians of the Diocese of Wichita and other Catholic charities.
Other dates scheduled: Feb. 4 and March 4. Comforter bingo for Missions is on March 11.

Musicians workshop Jan. 20 in Augusta
A Liturgical Musicians Workshop will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 20, at St. James Church in Augusta.
Christopher Walker from Oregon Catholic Press will be a major presenter. The event is open to all clergy and musicians. Visit npmwichita.org for further information and to register.

Event Jan. 20 to feature prayers for life in five languages
A pro-life rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet will be recited in five languages beginning at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 20, in All Saints Church in Wichita.
The faithful are invited to join as one body in Christ for the event to lift up their prayer to fight the culture of death and to pray for all its victims.
Each decade of the rosary will be in a different language. The event is sponsored by the All Saints Respect Life group.

Spiritual Life Center news, January 5, 2018

Fr. Dwight Longenecker to speak at the Spiritual Life Center March 16-17
Well-known author and convert, Father Dwight Longenecker, will speak March 16-17 at the second annual Seasoned Servant Symposium at the Spiritual Life Center in Wichita.
Fr. Longenecker will talk about how youth, in their innocence, and the elderly, with their wisdom, can feed one another today.
For years Father Longenecker yearned to be a writer, but it was only when he left the Anglican Church to become Catholic that he had something to write about. He has since published about 20 books on Catholic culture, the saints, and apologetics. His latest book is “The Mystery of the Magi-the Quest for the True Identity of the Three Wise Men” and is currently working on a book about angels.
Father Longenecker enjoys meeting the faithful. He often talks about his conversion story: how he went from being a student at Bob Jones University to being a Catholic priest. He likes to speak about the threats to a positive, joyful Catholicism in the world today, Benedictine spirituality, and the “hero’s quest of faith.”
A married man with a family, Fr. Longenecker was ordained in 2006. He moved his family from England to Greenville, South Carolina, and accepted a post as chaplain to St. Joseph’s Catholic School. He is now pastor of Our Lady of the Rosary Parish in Greenville.
Friday night’s presentation will include a wine, beer, and cheese social. Afterward Father Longenecker will talk about his conversion story.
The cost for the symposium is $75 for commuters, $115 for a single room, and $105 for a double. Call the Spiritual Life Center 316-744-0167 to register or email slc@slcwichita.org.
The event is sponsored by the diocesan Office of Marriage and Family Life.

Premier Catholic Faith Conference Jan. 19-20 at Spiritual Life Center
The Spiritual Life Center is gearing up for its first Catholic Faith Conference Friday and Saturday, Jan. 19 and 20. The Catholic Faith Conference: Catholicism Beyond the Pew is intended to reach the average Catholic who longs for a deeper connection to the faith.
The conference includes breakout sessions for all stages of life, an information fair, adoration with Wichita Adore Ministries, and a “Stump the Padre” panel where guests can ask whatever questions they may have about the Catholic Faith to some of our diocesan priests.
The keynote presenter, Jon Leonetti, is a nationally-known Catholic speaker, best-selling author and radio host. He explains that one’s deepest longing for happiness and wholeness is fulfilled in the encounter with Jesus Christ. Through prayer, the Sacraments, family life, and the help of Mary and the saints, Leonetti wants to cultivate an intimate relationship with Jesus, and help others do the same.
In addition to the keynote talks the conference will feature breakout sessions for women, men, seniors, and young adults. Mika Gross will talk about “Finding Balance in Motherhood.” Rob Knapp will give a talk entitled, “The Vocation of Fatherhood.” For the senior breakout session, Sharon Witzell will present “Modeling Stewardship as Grandparents.” And young adults are encouraged to attend the breakout session entitled “Spiritual Friendship as a Path to Heaven,” by Veronica Hill.
Space is limited to 150 persons. Register by calling the Spiritual Life Center at (316) 744-0167 or online at SLCwichita.org.
Registration includes a social Friday evening featuring wine and appetizers, and breakfast and lunch on Saturday. Early bird rates end Friday, Jan. 12. Early bird rates are $75 for commuters, $130 for single occupancy, and $105 for double occupancy.

Surviving Divorce program begins Jan. 8
The diocesan Office of Marriage and Family Life is hosting another 12-week “Surviving Divorce” program beginning Monday Jan. 8.
The event will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the multipurpose room at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic School at 3642 N. Ridge Road in Wichita.
The program offers valuable insight to everyone, despite how long ago they were divorced. It is designed to bring hope and healing to divorced and separated Catholics. Topics such as shock, denial, anger, grief, guilt, forgiveness, money, the courts, the kids, the ex-spouse, annulment, dating, sexuality, spirituality, remarriage or staying single, and more, will be discussed.
The cost is $35 and includes a “Personal Survival Guide.” To register, call 316-425-0595 or email clista@saintcatherinewichita.com.
Parishes may request the program by contacting the Office of Marriage & Family Life at 316-685-5240.

Program on mental health Jan. 13 at SLC
A program entitled “Mental Health First Aid” will be offered from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 13 at the Spiritual Life Center in Wichita.
The program is designed to help individuals assist those experiencing mental health challenges or crises.
Lead by Church of the Resurrection parishioner and Licensed Clinical Social Worker Jason Scheck, the program prepares attendees to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses, and provides the tools to help friends, family members, colleagues, or others in your community.
The “Mental Health First Aid” program is ideal for college and university leaders, educators, human resource professionals, nurses, social service staff, social workers and many more. A certificate of attendance will be provided for eight continuing education hours.
The Saturday program includes a workbook, snacks, beverages and lunch for $60. Register by calling the Spiritual Life Center at 316-744-0167 or visit SLCWichita.org. Scholarships are available by request on the website.

New SLC Theology Institute semester begins on Jan. 27
The Spiritual Life Center Theology Institute begins its spring session Saturday, Jan. 27. The Institute is an adult religious studies program offered by the Spiritual Life Center as part of its mission to serve the Diocese of Wichita in the area of adult faith formation.
Each semester includes three Saturday sessions and four optional evening special sessions. Each Saturday session consists of four 75-minute classes on scripture, morality, prayer, and church history. The special sessions are open to regular institute attendees as well as the public in general.
The Spring 2018 Institute begins on Saturday, Jan. 27, and continues on March 3, and May 5. Each Saturday session will meet from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., with Mass and lunch included in the day. Special sessions meet from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Registration for the entire semester is $95, which includes the three main Saturday sessions (with lunch), and registration for the four special sessions.
Want more information?
Contact Dusty Gates at dgates@slcwichita.org or 316-744-0167. Registration and specific class topics are available at www.SLCwichita.org or by phone.

‘Mental Health First Aid’ course Jan. 13
Continuing education credits available
The Spiritual Life Center will offer a Saturday program from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 13. entitled “Mental Health First Aid.” Participants are eligible for eight continuing education hours.
The program is designed to help participants how to assist anyone experiencing mental health challenges or crises. It is ideal for college and university leaders, educators, human resource professionals, nurses, social service staff, social workers and everyone else.
Lead by Church of the Resurrection parishioner and Licensed Clinical Social Worker Jason Scheck, the program prepares attendees to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and provides the tools to help friends, family members, colleagues, or others in your community.
Register by calling the Spiritual Life Center at 316-744-0167 or visit SLCWichita.org. The Saturday program includes a workbook, snacks, beverages and lunch, all for $60. Scholarships are available by request on the website.

‘Politically incorrect’ course begins Jan. 18 at the SLC in Wichita
Dusty Gates, the adult education director at the Spiritual Life Center, will lead a series entitled “A Politically Incorrect Course on Catholic Social Teaching” on three consecutive Thursdays, Jan. 18-Feb. 1 at the SLC.
Gates will highlight the seven themes of Catholic Social Teaching as they have been articulated by the magisterium throughout Church history – especially since the turn of the 20th century.
“This course might be a bit different than what folks are used to when it comes to Catholic Social Teaching,” Gates said. “We will address Catholic Social Teaching bluntly and honestly, without the watering down that normally occurs for reasons that are sometimes sentimental, sometimes political, and sometimes caused by a confused understanding of ecumenism.”
Want to attend?
The program is from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Jan. 18, 25, and Feb. 1. The registration cost is $30. Visit www.SLCWichita.org or call (316) 744-0167 to register. Pre-registration is requested but walk-ins are welcome.

Silent retreat focused on the Eucharist set for Jan. 12-14 at SLC
The Spiritual Life Center will be enveloped in silence to allow God to speak—and allow participants to listen during a special silent retreat Friday evening through Sunday, Jan. 12-14. Father Ken Van Haverbeke is presenting the retreat weekend that focuses entirely on the Eucharist and Eucharistic Adoration.
The retreat will provide an opportunity to get away from the hectic pace of everyday living and to experience the Lord in the Eucharist. It will afford a chance to relax and give undivided attention to the interests and concerns of one’s spiritual life before the Blessed Sacrament.
Those who come are asked to leave cell phones and all other electronic devices at home.
Registration for the retreat is now underway. More information and pre-registration is available by logging onto the Center’s web site at www.SLCwichita.org, and clicking on Calendar of Events.

Bishop Emeritus Gilmore part of SLC Feb. 9-11 retreat
Bishop Emeritus Ronald Gilmore of the Diocese of Dodge City and Jacqueline Loh of Grace that Reigns USA will lead a retreat called “Light and Darkness Together” Feb. 9-11 at the Spiritual Life Center in Wichita.
The retreat will explore how people can remain hopeful through times of darkness. Participants will learn practical ways to respond to prayer with illustrations from scripture, stories and testimonies regarding how much God responds to each of us through the ministry of healing.
The Grace that Reigns Society was founded by Jacqueline Loh and Spiritual Director Bishop Ronald Gilmore. It is made up of lay individuals who have been brought together by a common desire to inspire others and share about the beauty and action of God’s Grace in the world through discipleship, prayer, and action. The group prayerfully supports the clergy and organizes workshops to help deepen and renew personal relationships with God.
The cost of the weekend is $190 for single occupancy and $150 per person for double occupancy. Early bird registration by Jan. 29 is $145 for single occupancy and $120 per person for double occupancy. The commuter cost is $100. All registrations include a $50 non-refundable deposit.
Check-in Friday, Feb. 9, begins at 6:30 p.m. The retreat concludes Sunday, Feb. 11, at 1 p.m. Register by visiting www.SLCWichita.org or calling the Spiritual Life Center at (316) 744-0167.

Youth and school news, January 5, 2018

Morleys honor Wichita Catholic high schools
Couple hopes efforts will prompt students to feed the hungry
Ron and Petrina Krimm-Morley recognized both Wichita Catholic high schools for student stewardship efforts in feeding the hungry.
As a result of a 2017 All Saints Day fundraiser coordinated by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul for the “Backpacks 4 Kids” program and incentivized by the Morleys, Bishop Carroll High School was honored Dec. 1, and Kapaun Mt. Carmel High School was honored on Dec. 13.
Students and parents at both schools were presented a large trophy and recognized by the Morleys for the fundraisers held at two area Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers restaurants. The two restaurants donated a percentage of their sales to the “Backpacks 4 Kids” program to help provide food to deserving children needing extra food on weekends.
In addition to the trophies, Ron and Petrina Morley donated $1,000 to the schools’ St. Katharine Drexel Catholic School Fund. As Mr. Morley noted during the presentation, “You students have contributed to the biblical request to feed the less fortunate, while you are still in high school, while many adults can’t make the same claim.” He said if there were a “spiritual bucket list”, “feeding hungry children would be on the list.”
The Morleys hope the trophy will be part of an annual fundraising effort to generate future donations to the “Backpacks 4 Kids” program. Plans are already underway to hold similar All Saints Day fundraisers for both of the high schools in 2018.
The “Backpacks 4 Kids” program was created by the Wichita Council of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, to address “marginal food security” in Diocesan Wichita area Catholic schools. Marginal food security is defined by the USDA as “… typically…anxiety over food sufficiency or shortage of food in the house.”

St. Joe students place in writing contest
Three seventh and eighth grade students from St. Joseph Catholic school placed in the Patriot’s Pen writing contest sponsored by the VFW.
Sam Boman placed second in the district competition of “America’s Gift to My Generation.” Other winners were Abbie Sanders, and Leti Sixtos.

Father Solanus: squeaky violinist, tamer of bees

DETROIT, Mich., (CNA/EWTN News) - You’ve heard of Christ’s multiplication of the loaves.
But have you heard of Fr. Solanus Casey’s multiplication of the ice cream cones?
To be sure, what Fr. Solanus is most remembered for his is gentle holiness, humility and obedience to the will of God in all things. It’s why the beloved Capuchin friar was beatified Nov. 18 in Detroit.
However, there’s something endearingly unconventional about the story of Father Solanus Casey - from the miracles reportedly worked through his intercession down to his breakfast habits - that makes his story especially unique.
The ice cream miracle
Fr. Solanus was a friar and simplex priest, meaning that, due to lesser academic abilities, he was not allowed to preach or to hear confessions.
But this freed him up for other charisms in which he particularly thrived - including serving as the porter (doorkeeper) at St. Bonaventure Monastery in Detroit, from 1924-1945.
As porter, Fr. Solanus became the main link from the brothers to the outside world, and he soon became renowned for the gentle and willing counsel that he offered, and for the miracles attributed to his intercession.
Fr. Tom Nguyen, OFM Cap., a Capuchin friar who lives in Detroit, recalls a story commonly told at the Solanus Casey Center in Detroit:
On one warm summer day in 1941, a fellow friar in the novitiate came to see Fr. Solanus, in need of a miracle of healing. Something was wrong with his tooth, and if things went poorly at the dentist, the friar could miss too much formation and be sent back to the beginning of novitiate, as was the practice at the time.
The young friar sought Fr. Solanus’ blessing before heading out to the dentist, who told him to trust God that everything would work out.
While the friar was at the dentist, a lady who came to visit the monastery brought Fr. Solanus two ice cream cones. Too busy to eat them at the moment, Fr. Solanus shoved the cones into his desk drawer, much to the dismay of his secretary, who was sure they would be a soupy mess in a matter of minutes.
After more than half an hour, the younger friar returned from the dentist, his tooth found miraculously healthy. He went to thank Father Solanus, who pulled out three (not two!) perfectly frozen ice cream cones from his desk drawer on the hot summer day, which he offered to the friar to celebrate his good outcome.
The breakfast penance
Saints are often people known for offering up some kind of physical penances to the Lord - whether that’s wearing a scratchy hair shirt, taking on some kind of fasting, or sleeping on a hard floor. Even in this way, Fr. Solanus’ penance was uniquely quirky.
The friar was known for eating all of his breakfast at once - cereal, juice, coffee, and milk all mixed together in the same bowl.
Tamer of bees
Like St. Francis of Assisi, the founder of the Franciscans, Fr. Solanus also had a special relationship with animals - bees in particular.
On several occasions, witnesses recalled Fr. Solanus taming the bees that were kept by the Capuchin friars.
On one particular occasion, the witness was Father Benedict Groeschel, cofounder of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal.
Fr. Groeschel was visiting St. Felix Friary in Huntington, Indiana, where Fr. Solanus Casey was stationed at the time.
Then a young Capuchin, Fr. Groeschel had also heard of the holy Fr. Solanus, and watched him closely.
One day, Fr. Groeschel and another friar were visiting the beehives kept by the friars, when the bees started swarming angrily.
Fr. Groeschel was instructed to get Fr. Solanus, who started talking to the bees and calming them when he arrived.
“He started to talk to the bees. ‘All right now. Calm down. All right,’” Father Groeschel recalled in a story to Our Sunday Visitor. “And they started to calm down and go back into the hive.... I was absolutely in total shock.”
A violinist of ‘more love than skill’
Also on display at the Solanus Casey Center is the friar’s beloved violin, which by all accounts he played “with more love than skill.”
He loved to play the violin and sing, a skill he picked up while still living at home. But he had a high squeaky voice that some friars found grating. According to one account from the Catholic Education Resource Center, one of the Capuchin friars had fallen ill, and Fr. Solanus went to fetch his violin in order to cheer him up. While he was gone, the sick friar asked one of his visitors to turn on the radio to deter Fr. Solanus from playing his violin.
In another story about his violin playing, a friar heard a squeaky noise coming from the chapel. When he went to see where the noise was coming from, he found Fr. Solanus alone in front of the chapel’s Nativity scene, playing and singing Christmas carols in his squeaky voice for the baby Jesus.
On the whole, Fr. Solanus’ quirks only served to make him more beloved among the people of Detroit and those who have a devotion to him.
Over 20,000 people came to pay their respects after the friar died, and an estimated 70,000 people attended his beatification Mass.