Learning to think in Spanish

Dillon Cott, a Wichita seminarian who will be in his second year of theology this fall, is one of the dozen students immersed in Spanish for a couple of months. (Advance photos)

Seminarians immersed en español
Seminarians from four regional dioceses have joined seminarians from the Diocese of Wichita in an intensive Spanish course offered this summer through Newman University.
The 12 men from the dioceses of Wichita, Salina, Tulsa, Colorado Springs, and Springfield-Cape Giradeau cracked open their “libros” Monday, June 4, and will continue their immersion in Spanish until the end of July.
Sonja Bontrager, assistant professor of Spanish at Newman, said the university was asked by the diocese to design an intensive program that would allow certain seminarians to develop their language skills.
The students have been divided into four levels of Spanish that will merge into three levels as the students progress, she said. Bishop Carl A. Kemme and Father David Lies, vicar general for the diocese, are auditing the course as time allows.
The immersion begins at 8 a.m. and ends at 1:30 p.m., with traditional classes in the morning. At noon, all students gather for an umbrella course called Spanish in Community for 90 minutes. “That course involves lunch, but we also bring in ‘acompañantes,’ (companions), or conversation assistants, from the community, Bontrager said.
“Two are bilingual staff members at Newman University and are able to lead conversation at tables and small groups. When they finish lunch, they’re able to leave the dining area and use the grounds to practice conversation.”
Bontrager said Newman was honored to be invited to help the seminarians.
“It’s wonderful that they’re responding to the need of the community this way. We’re very happy to welcome the seminarians and I can’t express how grateful I am to the ASCs (the Adorers of the Blood of Christ) for opening up their center for us. We’re enjoying outstanding hospitality and support.”
The classes are taught in rooms near the chapel of the motherhouse of the Adorers, just south of Newman University.
“Being here allows us to have the academic program completely contained and makes it easier for faculty and acompañantes to work as a team. It also allows us easy access to the grounds and dining facilities, which are important parts of our Spanish in Community conversation course. We’re able to have a mid-morning break with refreshments, and the dining services go all summer, making the integrated conversation course go more smoothly.”
Their immersion doesn’t end after class, though. In the evening the seminarian Spanish students minister – and hone their language skills – at Hispanic parishes in Wichita. They eat with a Spanish-speaking family weekly and on Fridays a guest speaker talks about aspects of Hispanic ministry.
Father Chad Arnold, director of Vocations, said the course is as close to an immersion in Spanish as they can get in Wichita.
“It has been very edifying to see how the men have taken to their studies as well as how much they have enjoyed engaging with the Hispanic culture.”

Listening to Spanish instructor W. Michael Barton, are, from left, Wichita seminarians Jon Tolberd, Andrew Meng, and Dillon Cott; and Nick Zummo of the Diocese Springfield-Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

Ugandan priest seeking help for his parish church

The foundation of St. Kizito Church was dug and poured by hand. (Courtesy photos)

Father Vincent Kajoba has traveled over 8,200 miles – a third of the way around the world – to share the story of his parish church building project.
He has flown to the Diocese of Wichita for several summers to talk about St. Kizito Church in Madudu, Uganda, and to serve as a substitute priest for vacationing diocesan priests.
His summer holiday is spent educating the faithful of the diocese about the strong faith of the Catholics in Uganda, located west of Kenya in central East Africa – and looking for financial aid for his poor parish.
“We are constructing a church,” Father Kajoba said from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, which hosts him when he’s in the diocese. “We are looking for additional funding to complete the church.”
The foundation for the 800-seat church is complete for the $500,000 project. And a friend, Bob Powers, a member of Church of the Blessed Sacrament in Wichita, has helped Fr. Kajoba raise $41,000 of a $100,000 commitment he made to the Ugandan priest.
But the financial assistance has slowed dramatically, Powers said. He hopes a pledge by a generous donor to match donations to the project will help Father Kajoba’s efforts.
“I have lived in Wichita, Kansas, since 1963 and I’ve been a member of Blessed Sacrament Parish all my life except for two years,” he said. “And I have never been exposed to a hands-on opportunity…to get a realistic idea of what the Catholic Church is dealing with in the remote parts of the world.”
He said most of the faithful of the diocese have no idea how poor the Ugandan people are and how basic their lives are.
“My hope is to have the people in our parish and in our diocese learn what the church is dealing with,” Powers said. “We have no clue, we have no feel for it. We’re technologically-bound people here. My idea is to break through that a little bit.”
St. Kizito Parish has four priests who shepherd 20,000 parishioners at 43 mission churches. Each of the priests celebrate four Masses each weekend in service of the parish.

Father Kajoba dumps a load of concrete for the church foundation.

Fr. Kajoba to speak June 24 at the SLC
Father Kajoba will celebrate a Mass at 3 p.m. Sunday, June 24, at the Spiritual Life Center in Wichita. After the Mass he will talk about Catholic life in Uganda, the parish building project, and how donations will be matched.
Photos and video are available at Father Kajoba’s website is TheJourneyOfFatherVincent.org. His email address is pulchrus2013@gmail.com.

Couple’s stewardship focuses on Drexel fund

Frank and Sharon LaForge, members of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Wichita, used their time and talent for the St. Katharine Drexel Catholic School Fund. (Advance photo)

Frank and Sharon LaForge have been retired for years, but they haven’t retired from an avocation that has evolved into stewardship that benefits Catholic education.
The LaForges began videotaping soon after the amateur cameras were made available for popular use – using videotape.
“Father (Thomas) McGread started us back in the video ‘revolution.’ He wanted us to do First Communions. He could see people showing up at Mass with 100 video recorders!”
Monsignor McGread was pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Wichita from 1968 to 1999. He died in 2013.
Over the years the LaForges recorded many ordinations in the Diocese of Wichita, about 20 graduation ceremonies for Bishop Carroll Catholic High School, and many First Communions at about 15 parishes.
When they became members of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in 1992 they began taping First Communions there for the families of the communicants.
“There was a time when, when we charged for it, but after I retired, for some reason I didn’t need the money anymore,” Frank said. For the last few Bishop Carroll graduations, the couple asked for donations that benefitted the school.
As compensation for the SEAS First Communion videotapes, the LaForges request donations to the St. Katharine Drexel Catholic School Fund. The fund provides financial support to parishes that struggle financially to carry out the mission of Catholic education in a parish school.
The LaForges now focus primarily on First Communions for SEAS parishioners.
It may take a couple of hours to videotape a First Communion Mass but it takes much longer to edit and produce DVDs, Frank said.
“It’s a monster to edit,” he said. “We start it off with a little video from around the church. And the kids come into the church from two sides and we’re filming both sides…and then we try to balance between showing the kids and showing the priests. We put a microphone on Father so that the kids hear the actual words of consecration.”
Frank said production might take about 10 times the two hours it takes the couple to videotape. After hours of editing, he must print an image on a DVD, burn the DVDs in real time, and package the final product attractively.
“There’s a lot of time involved in it,” he said, “but we certainly believe in the time, talent, and treasure thing.”

Several events planned for diocese during Religious Freedom Week June 22-29

By Bonnie Toombs
The faithful of the Diocese of Wichita are invited later this month to join Catholics from across the United States to pray and act in support of religious liberty at home and abroad.
Serving Others in God’s Love: Religious Freedom Week 2018 begins Friday, June 22 on the Feast of Sts. Thomas More and John Fisher, and ends Friday, June 29, on the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul.
This year’s theme is “Serving Others in God’s Love.” Religious freedom is necessary if we are to continue to serve in areas like education, adoption and foster care, healthcare, and migration and refugee services.
As part of the commemoration, a rosary will be led by Bishop Carl A. Kemme at 8:30 a.m. Friday, June 22, on the southeast corner of the U.S. Courthouse, 401 N. Market, in Wichita. At 5:30 p.m. that day, St Catherine of Siena Parish will host a Mass and Eucharistic Procession for Religious Liberty. Afterward, all are invited to join in watching the movie Paul: Apostle of Christ at the parish.
Prayer for religious freedom continues on Tuesday, June 26, when the Stations of the Cross will be prayed at 5:30 p.m. at the Spiritual Life Center. On Friday, June 29, the diocese is hosting a day of service with opportunities to join together for work projects from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Please call the office at 316-269-3935 to sign up for the day of service.
All parishes are invited to host activities in support of Religious Freedom during the week. It is a special time for us to reflect on the importance of religious freedom so that the church will continue to have the ability to carry out her mission of service and mercy.
The chairman of the USCCB’s Committee for Religious Liberty, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, said: “Religious freedom allows the space for people of faith to serve others in God’s love in ministries like education, adoption and foster care, healthcare, and migration and refugee services. We encourage people of faith to reflect on the importance of religious freedom so that we might have the space to carry out our mission of service and mercy, and we invite everyone to pray for our brothers and sisters who face intense persecution in other parts of the world.”
The USCCB said Religious Freedom Week has replaced the Fortnight for Freedom to center the event around the feast days of saints who bore particular witness to religious liberty and for other reasons. Resources for Religious Freedom Week and other religious liberty resources can be found at www.usccb.org/ReligiousFreedomWeek and www.usccb.org/freedom.
Toombs is director of the diocesan office of Respect Life and Social Justice Office.

Want to participate in the day of service?
Those who wish to take part in the day of service on Friday, June 29, may call 316-269-3935 or email toombsb@CatholicDioceseOfWichita.org.

Bishop Kemme to lead rosary June 22
Bishop Carl A. Kemme will lead a rosary to kick off the week at 8:30 a.m. Friday, June 22, on the southeast corner of the U.S. Courthouse, 401 N. Market, in Wichita.

P&A missionaries to be based in Schulte and Pittsburg

Prayer and Action will soon host its sixth summer of mission projects for the Diocese of Wichita – this year in Schulte and Pittsburg.
Prayer and Action is a summer program designed as a low-cost mission for young people. Participants live in community, prepare meals together, pray together, and work on various projects, such as painting, cleaning, yard work, for those in need.
Over 250 youth will roll up their sleeves this month and next month to help families in Schulte and Pittsburg. Despite oppressive summer heat or gully-washing rains, the young volunteers cheerfully scrape, paint, mow, and weed for four solid days during each week of Prayer and Action.
College- and high school-aged volunteers will be working from St. Peter the Apostle Parish in Schulte in the month of June. They will be working from Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Pittsburg on July 8-13 and July 15-20.
Their joyful demeanor is a result of the foundation of personal and communal prayer that begins and ends each day, said Christine Edmonds, coordinator for Prayer and Action for the diocesan Office of Faith Formation.
“In their unique way, they evangelize the people in the communities they serve,” she said. “Not only are the people amazed that they would volunteer their time so generously, they are also moved by how cheerfully they serve. Some people have even returned to the faith because of the witness of these young disciples.”
This year’s team is ready to guide the young participants through each week of Prayer and Action. Leaders are Ashley Krier, Paul Brungardt, Mitchell Doerneman, Chauncey Toon, Amy Bergkamp, Paul Stadler, and Kylee Mernagh.
“The generosity of this team of young adults, combined with the sacrifice of chaperones who accompany the young people and the energy of the participants themselves provides a powerful and often life-changing experience for all who attend Prayer and Action,” Edmonds said. “I know they would all be grateful for your prayers.”

Motorcycle pilgrimage to Pilsen June 16

Father Adam Grelinger with his father, Bart, and Father’s Kawasaki Versys.

A motorcycle pilgrimage to Pilsen, Kansas, the hometown of and site of the Chaplain Emil J. Kapaun Museum is being organized for Saturday, June 16.
The Father Kapaun Memorial Ride will leave Wichita at 7:30 a.m. The tour in Pilsen will end at about noon.
Scott Carter, the coordinator of the Father Kapaun Guild for the Diocese of Wichita, said the Father Kapaun Memorial Ride is an opportunity for people to connect with Father Kapaun’s story on a deeper level. “Riding through the Kansas countryside where Father Kapaun grew up and visiting his home church really helps in understanding who he was. If Father Kapaun was still alive I think he would have loved to ride along!”
Dennis McDonough, a member of St. Michael Parish in Mulvane, is helping to organize the pilgrimage. He and his wife, Melinda, often take part in rides for fallen soldiers in Kansas and take long motorcycle trips.
McDonough, who will ride a 2016 Harley Davidson Road Glide to Pilsen, said the pilgrimage will allow him to participate in a motorcycle trip, one of his loves, and do something he has always wanted to do, visit Fr. Kapaun’s museum.
“This will give me a chance to learn more about Father Emil, and appreciate what he represents and what he did,” he said. “He’s my ultimate hero.”
Father Adam Grelinger, who rides a Kawasaki Versys, said he didn’t know how much of a biker he is but that he enjoys riding with his father, Bart, a member of St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Wichita.
Father Grelinger, a parochial vicar at Church of the Blessed Sacrament in Wichita, said on his days off he and his father occasionally ride to visit various churches in the Diocese of Wichita.
When he learned about the motorcycle pilgrimage to Pilsen he asked his dad if he’d like to go.
Bart agreed. And now, with the visit to St. John Nepomucene Church, they can tick one more church off their diocesan church bucket list.

Annual Fr. Kapaun Mass June 3 in Pilsen
The Annual Father Kapaun Day Celebration will take place Sunday, June 3, at St. John Nepomucene Church in Pilsen.
Bishop Carl A. Kemme will celebrate Mass at 11 a.m. Lunch will follow. The Chaplain Kapaun Museum will also be open for tours.
Want to join the ride?
The event is limited to the first 60 participants. A $10 donation includes lunch and the tour. To register and for details, contact Scott Carter at 316-440-1735 or email CarterS@CatholicDioceseOfWichita.org.

Kapaun grads examples of benefits of the St. Katharine Drexel Catholic School Fund

Thanh Pham, left, Nancy Vargas, and Fernanda Reyes participated in Kapaun Mt. Carmel Catholic High School’s Baccalaureate Mass and Convocation Thursday, May 17, at Church of the Magdalen in Wichita. They are three of the many young women and men who have benefited from the St. Katharine Drexel Catholic School Fund. (Advance photo)

Three graduates of Kapaun Mt. Carmel Catholic High School exemplify the benefits of stewardship in the Diocese of Wichita and how the St. Katharine Drexel Catholic School Fund can change lives. All of the three young women are members of St. Margaret Mary Parish in Wichita.
Thanh Pham, the daughter of Sang Pham and Nga Le, said in an email interview that her Catholic education and stewardship are things she does not take lightly. She estimated that the education for her and her sister would have cost over $150,000.
As a result of that education, she said she is now blessed to have a total of over $1 million in college scholarships. “The generosity of the Catholic church has not only afforded me this privilege, but it has also cultivated my mind and spirit, allowing me to balance both academics and Christ in my life.”
Pham is planning to major in neuroscience at the College of William and Mary, located in Williamsburg, Virginia.
“This is only due to a Catholic education, as we believe that life starts at conception, which is contrary to most secular school curriculums,” she said.
“My Catholic education has instilled in me a profound love for the unborn and I want to do the best I can to…help the unborn babies in need, who are truly the most innocent.”
She encouraged other students who may be a part of a low-income family or who might be first-generation college students to keep studying. “Your hard work will pay off and your parents love you so dearly!”
Nancy Vargas, the daughter of Armando Vargas and Fabiola Balderas, will be studying math and computer science in the fall at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge.
“A Catholic education has helped me become a well rounded individual,” she said. “Kapaun and St. Margaret Mary have not only helped me excel academically, but also physically, spiritually, and emotionally.”
She said she will apply in college what she has learned in grade and high school.
“When life or school get too stressful, you can always turn to your faith for comfort,” Vargas said. “That will probably help me through many tough times in college.”
The mission of the Diocese of Wichita’s St. Katharine Drexel fund is to assist parishes that struggle financially to carry out the mission of Catholic education in parish school.

Wichita’s Center of Hope receives a $10,000 matching gift donation

By George Dinkel
The Center of Hope has been notified anonymously that a donor will match donations made to the Center of Hope up to a total of $10,000. The donations need to be received by the end of this year.
This is a great opportunity for your donation to have a double benefit. If you donate $100 it really becomes $200 by this matching gift program. During the summer months our donations typically slow down and the demand for our homeless prevention service continues to increase as utility bills rise during the hot summer months. By the end of summer, we are usually very low on funds and struggle to meet the needs of all those coming to us for help.
This matching gift program can make a great impact on us being able to serve those in need throughout the summer months.
The Center of Hope is a homeless prevention program started by the Sisters of Adorers of the Blood of Christ to help those in danger of being homeless to stay in their homes. The Center of Hope is unique as 100 percent of the donations received are used directly for rent, utility, and other emergency assistance paid directly to the landlord or the utility companies. No donated money is used to pay administrative, salary or operating costs.
We are very appreciative of the anonymous donor that is willing to make this matching contribution and for your most kind generosity by participating in this program.
Dinkel is executive director of the Center of Hope.

Want to help?
To make a donation that will be matched, write a check to Center of Hope, Inc., and write “matching donation” on the description line at the bottom of the check. Payments may be mailed to Center of Hope, Inc., 400 N. Emporia, Wichita KS 67202. Or, call 316-267-3999 to make a credit card payment.

Missionary Guadalupans of the Holy Spirit say goodbye to Wichita

The Missionaries Guadalupans of the Holy Spirit will leave the diocese next month. From left are Sisters María Teresa Pacheco, Aida Sansor, Magdalena Carrillo, and Reyna Reséndiz.

Eleven years ago Father José Machado took the initiative to bring additional communities of religious sisters to the Diocese of Wichita to help with evangelization in Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish and with Archbishop O. Michael Jackel’s (current Bishop of Dubuque) drive, this project was assigned to the Office of Hispanic Ministry under the moderator Father John Brungardt (current Bishop of Dodge City) and the then director Josefa Fernandez. They traveled to Mexico to personally request the service of the Guadalupan sisters.
In 2007 Sisters Alicia López, Reyna Resendiz, and Aida Sansor arrived in Wichita and established a new community in Perpetual Help parish and began their work of evangelization. In addition to that parish, the sisters added missions in St. Patrick, St. Margaret Mary, St. Anne, Cathedral, and in the parishes of Hutchinson, Newton, Lyons, and Arkansas City. They also dedicated themselves to the direct administration and development of the Institute of Faith Formation sponsored by the Hispanic Ministry.
During those years other sisters were also part of this mission, such as Sr. Rosa Cruz, Sr. Isabel Escamilla, and Sr. Esther Ramirez.
Over the years the sisters dedicated themselves to the catechesis and formation of leaders in the Cursillos of Christianity and Apostolic Movements. Sister Aida believes the formation of leaders and consolidation of communities has solidified the most. “The parishes are more integrated and the Hispanic community is no longer isolated, I think it is a great achievement,” she said.
Sister Reyna said, “The continuity of the formation of Hispanics through the Institute of Formation has made Hispanics more aware of their belonging to the Catholic Church.” Around 20 people have achieved a Masters in Catechesis and this is a great satisfaction for them, she said. They also managed to open new courses in the Institute to expand the original content Josefa Fernandez and the Catechist Sisters began.
Sister Reyna is most satisfied with the leadership in the parishes, and mentioned, “It gives me great joy and grateful to the Lord because the catechesis is the right foot of the pastoral in the parishes.”
Something very special that Sister Aida takes is the experience, notion, and knowledge of stewardship. She said it is something that in other missionary experiences she had not experienced or grasped. “Also the human warmth and the hunger for evangelization, the immense desire to receive the word of God, this is great satisfaction, she said.”
On June 15, the Guadalupan sisters will leave the Diocese of Wichita for different destinations, however they leave a footprint of service, constant work, spirituality and, above all, great joy in giving to others.
Sister Reyna asks the Hispanic community not to give up, to persevere, and to continue with hope and with a strong and firm faith, with the enthusiasm to know and learn more about the Gospel, and to live stewardship.
Sister Magdalen indicated that she will take in her heart the richness of stewardship that is not just in theory but the practice that she saw parishioners gradually become grateful disciples of Jesus. She invites people to visit St. Patrick and take a few minutes to see the convent that gave shelter to the Guadalupans and the Cross of the Apostolate that remains as a gift from Jesus through the founder of their community, Concepción Cabrera de Armida.
Lastly, Sister Maria Teresa Pacheco shared that her most beautiful experience has also been stewardship and the beautiful people in Wichita and South Hutchinson God gave her the chance to share with. She said Fr. Blick has been a great example to the children and youth.
Sister Maria Teresa invites the parishioners to fully live their baptismal priesthood with Guadalupan characteristics as being life bearers, encountering people, accompanying the suffering, being agents of communion and unity centered in the Trinity, and having a great love for the Virgin Mary.

Diocesan representatives from around the Midwest to gather for regional Encuentro

By Jake Samour
Eighteen years have passed since the fourth National Encuentro (Gathering) of Hispanic Catholics in the United States that took place in Los Angeles. Another national Encuentro is being planned because the demographics and needs of Hispanic Catholics have changed drastically since then.
The Encuentro is a four-year process which seeks to listen to the voice of the Hispanic and Latino people in the peripheries, and in the process call forth to form new leaders. The hope is to go out and evangelize while we go through the consultation process. It has been convened in and was made one of the priorities of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
On the last weekend of April, nearly 200 delegates of the 15 dioceses from Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, and Missouri gathered at the Savior Pastoral Center in Kansas City, Kansas, to participate in the Region IX Encuentro.
In many amazing ways, the upcoming V Encuentro has already been a success. A total of 143 dioceses have celebrated their diocesan Encuentros and the regional Encuentros are still being held with much joy and enthusiasm across the country. The numbers speak for themselves:
• The mission and consultation process has reached more than 330,000 people.
• More than 45,000 leaders, both new and experienced, have participated in diocesan and regional Encuentros. Three more regional Encuentros will take place in May and three more in June.
• More than 26,000 leaders have been trained as missionary disciples
• In addition, all dioceses in the country have completed their report on the present state of Hispanic ministry. This has never been done so completely and professionally.
More than 3,000 delegates and over 100 bishops will attend the V National Encuentro Sept. 20-23, in Grapevine, Texas. Representatives of the Holy See and Latin America will also attend. This effort is inspiring a new generation of leaders and fostering a space to develop creative ways of evangelizing and reaching out to those on the peripheries of our communities.
Samour is director of the diocesan Office Marriage and Family Life.