Youth and school news, December 1, 2017

KMC garners journalism honors
The Kapaun Mt. Carmel 2016-2017 Crusader yearbook has been named a Columbia Scholastic Press Association Crown Award finalist. Out of 1,100 entries nationwide, only 66 books were chosen – four from Kansas.
The Crown Awards are the top awards given by the CSPA.
The Pacemaker is the top award given by the National Scholastic Press Association, of which KMC’s Paladin is a finalist from last year as well. Each finalist yearbook will be either a gold crown or silver crown, to be announced in March at ceremonies in New York City.

High school students join together to earn money for SVdP charity
With the assistance of two Wichita area Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers restaurants, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul raised $935 for its Backpacks 4 Kids program.
Students from Bishop Carroll High School and Kapaun Mt. Carmel High School actively promoted the fundraiser, which encouraged customers to eat at the two participating Freddy’s locations on Nov. 1. Freddy’s agreed to donate a percentage of sales that day to the SVdP program.
The donation will help provide weekend food for about 170 children in the Backpacks 4 Kids program for one weekend.
Backpack program benefactors Ron and Petrina Morley donated $1,000 to the St. Katherine Drexel fund for both Kapaun and Bishop Carroll, in appreciation for their involvement in the event. “I went to Freddy’s on Ridge that day to participate in the fundraiser, and was excited to see the restaurant packed with Bishop Carroll students supporting the event,” Ron said.
SVdP Program Coordinator JoAnn Cooper said, “Thanks to the students of Bishop Carroll and Kapaun Mt. Carmel, for actively promoting this fundraiser. I was amazed at their enthusiasm and willingness to share their time, talent and treasure to help provide weekend food to deserving students in Diocesan Catholic schools. And we couldn’t have done it without the fantastic support of Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers.”
The “Backpacks 4 Kids” program was created 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.”

Spiritual Life Center news, December 1, 2017

Advent Day of Reflection Dec. 5
An Advent Day of Reflection will be held at the Spiritual Life Center Tuesday, Dec. 5.
Presentations will be given by two newly ordained priests, Father Andrew Labenz and Father Jorge Lopez.
Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. The first presentation begins at 9. Mass will be celebrated in the chapel at 11:15 a.m. with Father Paul Oborny as the main celebrant.
The cost of $10 includes lunch. To register call 316-744-0167 or email
The retreat is sponsored by the Senior Adult Ministry in the diocesan Office of Marriage and Family Life.

See The Canterbury Tales in a different light with the SLC book study Dec. 5
The Spiritual Life Center will host a book study of “The Canterbury Tales,” by Geoffrey Chaucer, from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 5. It is part of the center’s Good Books Bookclub Series.
The curriculum is based on the ideas of John Senior, founding father and leading professor of the Integrated Humanities Program, which throve at the University of Kansas in the 1970s and ’80s and helped form and inspire the young minds of many notable students such as Archbishop Paul Coakley, Bishop James Conley, and several of the founding monks of the Clear Creek Monastery in Oklahoma.
Senior said the great books movement of the 20th century “went flat” like “good champagne in plastic bottles.”
“Western tradition has given us the thousand good books as a preparation for the great ones – and for all the studies in the arts and sciences. Without them, all studies are inhumane,” he wrote in The Death of Christian Culture.
The book study is held at 7 p.m. on the first Tuesday of each month. Discussion, oral readings, opinions, critiques, commentaries, questions and answers are all on the agenda for the informal gatherings. There is no fee for attendance. The only cost will be for the optional purchase of textbooks and freewill donations for refreshments and hospitality.

Our Lady to be honored at SLC New Year’s Eve mini-retreat
Usher in 2018 at the Spiritual Life Center this year with Fr. Ken Van Haverbeke who will host a New Year’s Eve program centered on Our Lady. The evening begins at 7 p.m. and concludes with Mass starting at 11 p.m. Overnight rooms are available for those wishing to stay.
This annual New Year’s Marian program includes conferences, prayer, Eucharistic adoration, Mass, and a procession to an indoor Shrine of Our Lady. The cost is $20. Overnight rooms are available for a small donation.
You can register for this program by visiting the Spiritual Life Center’s web page at or by calling (316) 744-0167.

Sheed topic of next SLC Decennium on Tuesday, Dec. 19
Dr. Malcolm Harris of Friends University will present the monthly Docentium on Catholicism and Culture Tuesday, Dec. 19, at the Spiritual Life Center in Wichita. The program includes dinner and Dr. Harris’ presentation about the influential Catholic author Frank Sheed.
Docentium takes place each third Thursday of the month at the Spiritual Life Center with an evening of food, friendship, and learning. Doors open at 6:15 p.m., dinner is served at 6:30, and every month a new lecture will be given on some topic related to religion and culture. The cost is $15 per person. More information can be found on the SLC website.
Visit the Spiritual Life Center’s web page at to register or call (316) 744-0167. Advance registration is appreciated.

Learn about Saint John of Damascus over dinner on Dec. 4
Dr. Erin Doom of the Eighth Day Institute will deliver a presentation about Saint John of Damascus on Monday evening, Dec. 4, at the Spiritual Life Center in Wichita.
The program, part of the center’s “Dinner with the Doctors” series, includes a meal and pleasant conversation in the main assembly room surrounded by a one-of-a-kind collection of icons depicting the doctors of the church. After the meal, participants will hear a presentation by Dr. Doom about St. John in commemoration of his feast day.
The cost for the evening is $15 per person. Dinner with the Doctors will be held from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the Spiritual Life Center on Monday, Dec. 4. Advance registration requested. To register, visit

Respect the rights of all groups, pope tells Myanmar’s leaders

NAYPYITAW, Myanmar (CNS) — The plight of the ethnic Muslim minority in Myanmar’s Rakhine state was front and center in speeches by Pope Francis and Aung San Suu Kyi, but neither publicly used the word Rohingya.
After private meetings Nov. 28 with Myanmarese President Htin Kyaw and Suu Kyi, the state counselor and de facto head of government, the pope and Suu Kyi gave formal speeches to government officials and diplomats gathered at the convention center in Naypyitaw, the nation’s capital.
Suu Kyi, leader of the process to bring democracy to Myanmar and winner of the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize, publicly acknowledged, “Of the many challenges that our government has been facing, the situation in Rakhine has most strongly captured the attention of the world. As we address long-standing issues — social, economic and political — that have eroded trust and understanding, harmony and cooperation between different communities in Rakhine, the support of our people and of good friends who only wish to see us succeed in our endeavors has been invaluable.”
“The road to peace is not always smooth,” she told the pope, “but it is the only way that will lead our people to their dream of a just and prosperous land that will be their refuge, their pride, their joy.”
In his speech, Pope Francis was even less specific, although he repeatedly insisted that the rights of each member of society and each ethnic group must be respected.

Pope Francis names Fr. McKnight bishop of Jefferson City

Bishop-Elect Shawn McKnight, left, and the retiring Bishop John R. Gaydos at the press conference Tuesday at the Chancery in Jefferson City, Missouri. (Courtesy photo)

To be ordained on Feb. 6

Bishop-elect W. Shawn McKnight said at a press conference Tuesday morning that he is leaving the Diocese of Wichita, “which has nourished my faith and vocation as a priest, and has served as my home,” and is being given by Pope Francis “to you in service to God to teach, sanctify and shepherd the people of our local church.”
His appointment as the next bishop of the Diocese of Jefferson City, Missouri, was announced Tuesday morning in Washington, D.C., by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.
After thanking Pope Francis and others in the church hierarchy involved in his appointment, Bishop-elect McKnight talked about the shock the parishioners at Church of the Magdalen must be feeling and adding that they had been a blessing to him.
He said other than driving through on I-70, his visit was the first time he had been in the Diocese of Jefferson City. Being the first bishop of the diocese from outside of Kansas, Bishop-elect McKnight said he has a lot to learn.
“Your new bishop-elect eagerly anticipates the opportunities we will have over the coming weeks and months to get to know one another,” he said. “I am especially eager to learn how we are evangelizing those in our community, especially the youth, and how we are promoting a culture of vocations among them.”
Bishop-elect McKnight said in his 23 years as a priest he has spent more than half of them outside of the Diocese of Wichita studying, serving the Pontifical College Josephinum Seminary in Columbus, Ohio, or at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington, D.C.
As a result, he has been able get to know a number of bishops throughout the country – including Bishop Gaydos. “I had the privilege of working closely with Archbishop Robert Carlson of St. Louis, who served as the chairman of the (USCCB) committee I staffed. I look forward to working closely with Archbishop Carlson again as our metropolitan and in the Missouri Catholic Conference.”
After listing some points of interest after he is ordained bishop, such as nurturing the presbyterate, focusing on the pastoral care of the family, evangelization, and vocations promotion, Bishop-elect McKnight said he the faithful of the diocese will face the future together.
“In our time as a diocese there are a number of challenging pastoral issues we are facing, but we are not alone or without the help we need,” he said. “We have the deposit of faith, the communion of the church, and the charisms of the people of God. 
“We must discern the difficult issues facing our families, our cities and towns, state, country, and our world not as individuals but together as a church. And working together is what brings joy to my heart. I hope and pray that in being a bishop for you, you may tangibly see my personal faith and love for Christ, and for you his people.” 
The outgoing Bishop John R. Gaydos introduced Bishop-elect McKnight at the press conference.
“I have known Bishop-Elect McKnight for several years and I am extremely pleased that he will be the next Bishop of our beautiful Diocese of Jefferson City,” he said. “I know that you will give him a warm welcome and I believe you will soon begin to see what a great gift we are receiving in this dedicated priest as he prepares to take up his episcopal ministry in our midst.”
Bishop Gaydos is resigning because of health issues and because of his age.
Bishop-elect McKnight is scheduled to be ordained Tuesday, Feb. 6, at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Jefferson City.

Diocesan priests to gather with Bishop Kemme at SLC Nov. 27-30

Dear friends,
Each year, it is a joy to invite all the priests of the Diocese of Wichita to come together for our annual clergy convocation. This year, the convocation will begin on Monday, Nov. 27, in the late afternoon and conclude on Thursday, Nov. 30, with lunch.
The clergy convocation is a time for us as priests to grow in our pastoral service, spirituality, and fraternity. There are conferences on important and timely topics in the church today. There are periods for prayer and Mass, as well as opportunities to relax and enjoy each other’s company.
This year, our priests will participate in a listening session which will help me articulate a pastoral vision and key priorities for our diocese for the next five years. Our time together is a blessing and a gift.
Because the convocation is so important, I ask that all our priests attend the entire convocation – unless sickness or other circumstances prevent them from being present. Their time away will naturally have an effect on Mass and confession schedules.
I leave it up to each individual pastor to determine what is best for his parish, but I also approve of canceling the Masses for this period so that the priests can attend the entire conference. I would ask for your cooperation and understanding in this matter.
Please pray for our priests and for me. We are truly blessed with great priests. It is essential that we do all we can to strengthen the bonds of priestly fraternity as well as provide ample opportunities for our priests to continue their formation.
Thank you and God bless you.
+ Bishop Carl A. Kemme

Advent begins in two weeks

First Sunday of Advent is Dec. 3
It’s time to dust off the wreaths and find the purple and pink candles, Advent is on the next page of the calendar.
Sunday, Dec. 3, is the first Sunday of Advent this year. The season continues through Christmas Eve, Sunday, Dec. 24.
This year, because Christmas Eve falls on a Sunday, that day is not only the fourth Sunday of Advent, it is also the Vigil of Christmas.
And, yes, the Sunday obligation to attend Mass and the Christmas obligation to attend Mass must be fulfilled with two different Masses.
The origins of the Advent wreath are uncertain, but was probably adopted from a Scandinavian practice looking forward to longer, warmer days. Christians adopted the tradition in the Middle Ages with John 3:19-21 in mind:
“And this is the verdict, that the light came into the world, but people preferred darkness to light, because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come toward the light, so that his works might not be exposed. But whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.”

Sr. Cora Marie makes first profession

By Sr. Marie Bernadette
Sister Cora Marie Geonner professed her first vows as a Sister of the Immaculate Heart of Mary of Wichita on Oct. 7, the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.
Sr. Cora Marie is the daughter of Kurt and Anita Goenner of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, Wichita.
The ceremony was held in the chapel of the community’s Novitiate House of Formation located south of Colwich. Family and friends gathered to witness Sr. Cora Marie give her life completely to Christ as she professed the vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience – three expressions of a single “yes.”
Father Ben Sawyer was the main celebrant for the Mass of religious profession. In his homily, Fr. Sawyer said, “From this point forward, your life [Sr. Cora Marie] will be that radical witness for the rest of the church of what it means to be set apart for God alone, a life that points us to heaven.”
During the Mass, she received the habit of the community which included a black veil signifying her consecration, a scapular with a badge of the Immaculate and Sorrowful Heart of Mary, and a rosary of the Seven Dolors. The habit serves as a reminder of her bridal relationship with Christ as well as a visible witness of hope for the eternal reality that awaits all of the faithful.
Following the ceremony, a luncheon was held in the convent to give guests an opportunity to extend their congratulations. Everyone shared in the joy of the occasion. The exciting journey that lies ahead for this newly professed IHM can be summarized by the solemn blessing that concluded the profession Mass: “May God, the inspirer of every good resolve, foster your purpose and strengthen your heart, that what you have promised you may keep with persevering faith.”
Now that she has professed her first vows, Sr. Cora Marie will continue her formation as well as begin preparing to engage in the active apostolate of the community by pursuing degree in education.

Ecumenical service set for Tuesday at Cathedral

The faithful are invited to a prayer service with Bishop Carl A. Kemme and Lutheran and Episcopalian pastors at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 21, in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Wichita.
Although the event, “Listening for Peace, A Unity of Christians in Prayer,” marks the 500th year of separation of a large portion of Christendom from the Catholic Church, the gathering will focus on unity rather than mark division.
The Rev. Dave Fulton, pastor of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Wichita, is one of the driving forces behind the service. He said his feeling “that this is the right path forward for us is really, really strong – especially if you look at it in contrast to the American culture, which is becoming increasingly divisive.”
The idea of peaceful conversation based on prayer and common ground spiritually makes sense, he said, adding that the tone set by Pope Francis makes it even easier.
When the conversation is over, Rev. Fulton said, he hopes a spiritual movement will emerge in the community that will bring prayerful people together who will work towards consensus on matters in the community.
Bishop Kemme said last week that he is looking forward to the event “as a time for us to emphasize the many qualities that our faith traditions have in common.”
“Since the exciting days of the Second Vatican Council in the early 1960s, the Roman Catholic Church has been deeply involved in the ecumenical movement in order to build bridges between the various churches and denominations,” he said. “The 500th anniversary of the Reformation offers us a moment to strengthen the bonds that unite us and to forge ever stronger bonds of unity and charity among Christians.”
Father Lies, vicar general for the Diocese of Wichita, said, “Given today’s increasingly secular climate and the exclusion of God and all things religious that we see occurring in our culture, I recognize more and more that we Christians must bear better witness to all people that true fulfillment of human desire and meaning comes only through a relationship with God the Father through his Son, Jesus Christ.”
Father Lies added that, personally, the “Listening for Peace” gathering of prayer is a renewed effort on his part to recommit to seeing God’s presence and work in all bodies of believers in Jesus.
Catholic author Peter Kreeft said the anniversary of the Protestant Reformation is “an opportunity to take stock of the progress Protestants and Catholics have made toward reunion and focus on how to heal the barriers that remain.”
Kreeft, who teaches philosophy at Boston College, said last week at that the path to reunion will not be the result of compromising the truth but from fervent prayer for reunion.
In his book, “Catholics and Protestants: What Can We Learn from Each Other?”, he says the primary issue of the Reformation, justification by faith, has been misunderstood for 500 years and that there is no longer a substantial disagreement between Catholics and Lutherans.
For reunion to begin, he says, Christians must stop hating each other, ignoring each other, and begin listening to each other.

Mother-son duo educating parents about the danger, availability of pornography

The mother-son relationship between Lori and Eric Doerneman drastically changed when Lori caught her son looking at pornography.
“My goal as a Catholic mom is to raise saints. I want my kids to embrace the cross, to love Jesus,” she said. “I thought I was doing a good job. I was doing everything I was taught to do. My children were totally loving, but…”
But, she didn’t introduce the topic of human sexuality into raising children, Lori said, “because I thought it would ruin their innocence. And I wanted to protect their innocence.”
At the time, Lori said, she didn’t consider discussing pornography with her children.
“I was teaching moral teachings. Why would I introduce anything immoral?” she said. “And…I knew that they would never choose that. There was no way. That was from the pit of hell. We are on this path, why would that enter?”
Eric, the oldest of eight children, praised his mother’s catechesis, but that didn’t stop the sexually-laced messages that are a part of modern life – especially on the internet.
“When you’re surrounded by this culture of sexual images you get curious,” he said. “And the porn industry wants lifetime users. The earlier you begin the more profitable it is for them.”
Eric said he had questions but felt he couldn’t ask his mother. “She had never talked to me about anything like that and she thinks I’m so moral.”
Innocent searching eventually became less innocent, he said.
“I could not talk to my parents because they cannot know I’m doing this,” Eric said. “If they found out I was doing something so despicable, they would think I was despicable.”
Lori said Father Sean Kilcawley, the director of the Office of Family Life for the Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska, explained in a talk that parents are in love with their children but that children, because of their activity in pornography, begin to disconnect with the parent.
“But the parent doesn’t understand,” she said. “And so this child has a second life. That dichotomy is so stressful for the kid.”
The turning point in Lori’s parenting and Eric’s ability to be honest about his hidden life began when she caught her son looking at pornography.
Eric praised his mother for not shaming him. “She said I could tell her anything – period.”
“I wasn’t sure what to do,” Lori said. “How do I shift my parenting? Obviously, this is an issue. I got more kids coming down the pike. I’m a researcher and I said, ‘This ain’t going to come into my family! I’m a momma bear.”
Lori began changing the way she parented and Eric became more comfortable in confiding to his mother. She, too, began sharing with him.
Eric said parents engender more moral authority when they explain that they, too, have sexual struggles.
“You are building that bond,” he said. “And it’s only built when you’re vulnerable.”
Parents teach their children to take their sins to God who will always respond with love, Eric said, adding that when parents respond as the Father does: “That’s when relationships are built.”

Porn easily accessible by children
Software available to parents to block sites
According to Bitdefender, a security technology company, children under the age of 10 now account for 22 percent of online pornography consumption among those under the age of 18.
That same age group accounts for one in 10 of the visitors to porn video sites. According to Fight the New Drug, an anti-pornography website, the sites most visited by children under 10 are “porn mega sites” that feature disturbing sexual activity.
In addition to having discussions with their children, parents can also install parental control software. The top rated this year by PCMag were Net Nanny 7, Norton Family, and Custodio Parental Control 2015.

Adult Day Services spreads kindness with painted rocks

Catholic Charities Adult Day Services clients are working to spread kindness by painting rocks and hiding them in the community for others to find and enjoy.
To date, the “Kindness Rocks” project has generated over 150 painted rock creations which have been hidden at seven local parks and landmarks.
Dana Bond, Adult Day Services program director, said similar projects sparked her interest and she knew it was a great idea to engage the community and to provide a unique activity for the 100 clients served through the program.
“I saw on social media that many communities were doing ‘rock projects’ like Wichita’s ICTAREROCKS and 060, and thought it would be great for our clients,” she said. “Each rock brings me joy because they are all unique.”
While Bond said clients love painting the rocks, they like hiding them in the community for others to find even more. Adult Day Services has also painted rocks for its own gardens at 5920 W. Central. Bond said anyone in the community is welcome to take or leave a rock, but to please leave one if you take one.