WICHITA – St. Francis of Assisi Parish celebrated 25 years of Eucharistic Adoration with the help of Irish priest Father Sean Davidson, a member of the “Missionaries of the Most Holy Eucharist” from Marseille, France. Father Daryl Befort, pastor of St. Francis of Assisi, said, “The blessings received from adoration are beyond measure. We are blessed with vocations to the priesthood and religious life, our ministries continue to bring God’s life and love too many in the parish and we add new ministries as they unfold.” To help his parish celebrate its silver anniversary of adoration, Fr. Befort invited Fr. Davidson, who visited Feb. 11-13. Fr. Sean is a member of a newly formed order whose sole purpose is the promotion of Eucharistic Adoration throughout the world. In the past several years the parish, with the help of parishioner Sandy Rongish, has teamed up with the Brothers of St. John to help promote adoration for children through “The Children of Hope.” The organization promotes children’s adoration across the globe and is celebrating its 10th anniversary. Last year several parishioners and several of Brothers of St. John were asked to host a workshop in Rome for the Eucharistic Congress. The reception was overwhelming and this year Sandy Rongish and Vanessa and Rob Condreay, along with the brothers of St. John, have been invited to speak at the “International Eucharistic Congress” in Dublin, Ireland. They will work the entire week promoting and leading children’s adoration in Dublin. Want to help ministry? Those who wish to help international ministry may send a donation to “Children of Hope” c/o Sandy Rongish, 601 S. Westfield St., Wichita 67209. For more information, call (316) 990-6647. Any included intentions will be remembered throughout the week in the adoration chapels throughout Dublin.
Eighth grade students from St. Patrick School, Kingman, made a long-distance lunch delivery Tuesday, Feb. 7. Paige Kelley and Allison DeWeese represented the class when they delivered 110 lunch sacks for the men who were spending the night in the gymnasium at Holy Savior Parish in Wichita. The Diocese of Wichita is providing a warm night’s sleep for the homeless during February as part of its “Warming Souls” program directed by the diocesan Respect Life and Social Justice Office. St. Patrick Principal Bob Lyall, said the project was a perfect fit for Catholic Schools Week. The students raised the money to buy the lunches by hosting a school breakfast. Proceeds from the breakfast were used to buy the supplies to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and to buy potato chips, pudding, and fruit snacks. ““I am very proud of my students and their continuous efforts to participate fully in their faith. We were happy to help,” he said. Bonnie Toombs, director of the Respect Life ministry, said she appreciated the assistance from the many parishes and groups who have donated time and food to the effort.
Father John Hay wants more students involved with the Wichita State University’s Catholic community and is looking for Catholic Shocker alums so that he can stay in contact with them. To that end he has initiated a weekly YouTube upload called the Catholic Consumer, located at www.wsunewmancenter.com, to stay in touch with students and alums, as well as to teach a little about the faith. One of the challenges the young pastor faces is that his parish is frequently and mistakenly connected to another university across town. “We constantly get confused with Newman University and we are trying to create an identity that is truly our own,” he said. “We are trying to be known as the CSC, the Catholic Student Center.” To clarify that the WSU Catholic ministry is not directly connected to Newman University, the WSU parish has begun using the name St. Paul University Parish and Catholic Student Center, instead of St. Paul Newman Center.
The annual group dance competition at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Pittsburg takes a few people out of their comfort zones, says Janice Dellasega, but by the time the evening is over they understand that it’s well worth it. Dellasega, who directed the parish’s Best Dance Crew 3, Saturday, Feb. 4, said the money raised for the children is great, but it’s not about money. “They want to come because of the community,” she said. “They do it for the love of the kids and everybody made a lot of new friends.” The event, inspired by the Best Dance Crew television competition, features different groups in the parish who choreograph a dance, practice it, and then perform it. This year the groups were made up of teachers, high school students, elementary school pupils, That Man Is You participants, and the three priests of the parish who called themselves “Infallible.”
In response to the growing Hispanic population in Wichita’s Planeview area, St. Margaret Mary Parish is expanding its evangelization to the neighborhood under the direction of Sister María Teresa Pacheco and Father Eric Weldon, St. Margaret Mary’s pastor. Sister María Teresa visits Planeview twice a week and has been warmly received by the Hispanic community. She found so many needs in the community, especially for evangelization, she initially visited door-to-door, inviting families to participate in formation programs, and getting to know them and their needs. She has already visited 100 families. Sister Maria Teresa has scheduled a Bible Study Thursday, Feb. 23, in the Planeview a mobile home complex as part of her evangelization effort. She is planning to offer other activities, such as, catechesis, in-home Stations of the Cross, a couples retreat before Holy Week, apologetics classes, and a Bible enthronement. According to the U.S. Census report, between 2000 and 2010 there was a 59 percent increase in the Hispanic population in Kansas, that is more than one Hispanic for every 10 residents in Kansas.
Derby Knights Lasagna/Spaghetti Dinner Feb. 25 The St. Mary Derby-Rose Hill Knights of Columbus will host their annual Lasagna/Spaghetti Dinner Saturday, Feb. 25, beginning at 6:10 p.m. in the commons of St. Mary School located at 2300 E. Meadowlark (1/2 mile east of Dillon’s Marketplace). The cost for dinner, silent auction, and game money is $11.50 per person. The cost for the adult dinner and silent auction only is $8. The cost for children’s dinner only is $5. Games begin at 7:45 p.m. Bidding for prizes begins at 9:30 p.m. All proceeds from this annual pro-life benefit will be distributed to Gerard House and Kansas for Life. For tickets call Ed at 788-7114, Ray at 788-1548, John at 684-7668, or Chuck at 788-0931.
The statues that will dominate the east and west transepts of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception are taking shape.
Sculptor Rip Caswell, who works from his studio in Troutdale, Ore., was commissioned to create two heroic size bronze sculptures as part of the cathedral renovation project. The two sculptures, “Mary and Joseph” and “The Crucifixion” will face each other from the east and west alcoves of the cross-shaped cathedral. The statues are scheduled to be installed in late August or early September.
The first piece, “Mary and Joseph,” depicts a pregnant Mary with her hand on her womb and Joseph as a supportive father figure and husband standing behind her. Mary is looking across the cathedral to a scene of the Crucifixion.
“We’ve made some bold departures with this piece,” Caswell said.
Traditionally, Mary’s pregnancy was hidden or portrayed as barely showing, he said. Joseph has been characterized as older, benign, and in the background. Caswell says he sees a wave moving in churches across the country now to tell the traditional stories, but with a new angle, with a fresh perspective.
St. Jude Valentine’s dinner, dance Feb. 11 WICHITA – St. Jude Knights of Columbus will host their 10th annual Valentines Dinner and Dance Saturday, Feb. 11, in the parish hall, 3030 N. Amidon. A social hour will be from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., with dinner and dance to follow. The cost is $15 person. For reservations or for additional information contact: Dan at (316) 943-4906, Alex at 841-3521, or Tom at 838-3793, or the parish office at 838-1963 from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Work crews began pouring the concrete floor in the sanctuary of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception last week.
As they finish the floor and steps, they are preparing the church for the paint crews that will arrive in mid-February. The decorative painting will begin on the inside of the central dome of the Cathedral after scaffolding is assembled under the dome, which is 94 feet above the floor.
Patty Zimmerman, a representative of the Chicago office of Evergreene Architectural Arts, said their work will take about eight months. She anticipates a completion date for their artwork by September.
Chris Baalmann, project manager for Simpson Construction Service, said the balcony area, which is being brought forward and expanded, is still in the structural phase. “We are putting in the wood joist and rebuilding the wood floor,” he said.
Work is in full swing underneath the Cathedral, as well. Baalmann said workers are installing new ductwork and are running new hydronic lines in the space.
The slab for the gathering space just east of the Cathedral has been poured, he said, and structural steel was to have been trucked in this week. “We will start erecting that on the north side first, which is the two-story side, and we will be working our way south.”
Mechanical work in the basement under the gathering space is about 55 to 65 percent complete, Baalmann said.
Crews began pouring footings at the entrance of the St. Joseph Pastoral Center last week and masonry work will follow. The new entrance will have an elevator with access to all three floors.