Thursday, 16 May 2013 10:35
Bishop Michael O. Jackels will be remembered for many accomplishments during his tenure as the ordinary of the Diocese of Wichita: traversing the diocese “from Baxter Springs to Lyons and from Fort Scott to Zenda” in his Nebraska Cornhusker red vehicle, his leadership in the TOGETHER Vision, his promotion of vocations, and his sense of humor are just a few.
Those who worked with him shared their thoughts about Abp.-elect Jackels – as the time of his service to the Diocese of Wichita wanes.
Sister Loretta Beckius, director of the Office of Worship, said the role of a bishop is one of service, not of honor, a definition Bishop Jackels lived.
“I saw this particularly in simple actions, in ordinary circumstances, in a ‘second-nature’ manner – little things that speak volumes more than the eye can see. Rising to go around refilling coffee and water; clearing plates for those seated at table; collecting trash after a gathering … such simple, seemingly insignificant, gestures, but which embody the words of Christ: ‘The greatest among you will be the one who serves the rest.’”
Bryan Coulter, diocesan director of Finance & Administrative Services, said the diocese has been blessed to have benefited from his spiritual direction. Bishop Jackels was a “phenomenal leader and a good friend to all,” he added.
Cindy Zimmerman, administrative assistant for the Catholic School Office, said she felt blessed to have worked in the same vineyard with Bishop Jackels.
“In the first homily I heard Bishop Jackels give, he directed our attention to the image of the pelican which is in the arch above the altar in the cathedral. Bishop told the story of the legend of the mother pelican piercing her own breast to feed her young chicks with her blood during a famine, and how early Christians used the story as a metaphor for Jesus Christ,” Zimmerman said.
“Today, that pelican image is still part of the cathedral sanctuary. It was brought forward during the cathedral renovation. It will be a reminder to me not only of Christ’s love for us, but for the sacrifice all our religious have given to help us grow in love for God and one another.”