Bishop Kemme, priests back from their pilgrimage to Ars

“You have shown me the way to Ars,” said Saint John Vianney, to the shepherd who assisted him the first day at the parish, “I shall show you the way to heaven.”
Fr. Ben Nguyen, pastor of St. Anthony Parish in Wichita, said this quote of the patron saint of parish priests has made a lasting impact on him following the pilgrimage he took with Bishop Carl A. Kemme and 21 other priests and a deacon from the diocese March 28 to April 7.
“St. John Vianney will forever have an effect on my priestly life. I asked him to intercede for me to Jesus so that I may imitate his saintly example and be an instrument showing the way to heaven for the souls entrusted to me. I have learned so much from this retreat on the simplistic way of life of St. John Vianney and how much he loved and cared for the souls of the people entrusted to him. “
Father Ken Schuckman has a similar sentiment.
“I hope this retreat will make me a holier and wiser priest,” said Father Ken Schuckman, pastor of Sacred Heart, Colwich. “Learning and praying in the very town, the very church that the holy priest of Ars lived and ministered has been an awesome experience. I hope to put into practice what I have learned and share with my parishioners and others the wisdom of Fr. John Marie Vianney.”
The priests spent several days in the small town of Ars on retreat before exploring other areas in France. They celebrated Mass in the Basilica of Ars, where the incorrupt body of St. John Vianney is located, as well as visiting a chapel containing the heart of St. John Vianney.
“The highlight for me personally was being able to concelebrate Mass with the bishop and my brother priests on our last day in Ars,” said Father Aaron Spexarth, pastor of St. Joseph in Ost, St. Rose in Mount Vernon, and St. Louis in Waterloo.
“I had the opportunity to concelebrate this Mass on the Solemnity of the Annunciation and offer Mass for my three parishes, on the altar of the tomb of St. John Vianney, while using his chalice, and I even got to preach the homily that day for my brothers and my Bishop. For a pastor like me, that was pretty special.”
Fr. Michael Schemm, pastor of St. James in Augusta, said that he believes that St. John Vianney will not only affect the priests who attended this retreat, but also the Diocese of Wichita as a whole.
“Ordained now for 22 years, it is good to have renewed my priestly desire to serve the people of God,” said Father Schemm.
“Any graces that are received always overflow into the lives of those we love. I love the people of God that the Lord has sent me to serve. I pray that the graces of this time will assist me in bringing people to God and God to the people in such a way that we will all be renewed in our relationship with God, loving him and sharing in his life. The people of the Diocese of Wichita, especially the people of St. James, have been in my prayers each day.”

Dinner, auction Saturday Benefits Center of Hope

WICHITA – The Center of Hope will host its annual dinner and auction Sunday, April 17, at Newman University’s Dugan Library & Conference Center. The doors open at 5 p.m. with a private reception for those purchasing a table and at 5:30 p.m. with a beer and wine reception for all guests.
The Center of Hope, sponsored by the Sisters Adorers of the Blood of Christ, began as a shelter for women and has evolved into providing homeless prevention services.
“This is the only fundraising event we sponsor,” said George Dinkel, executive director, “and it’s a pleasant evening with our supporters. We update people on our expanded services for clients and tell some of our client success stories.”
A highlight of the evening will be the opening of a treasure chest containing treasure exceeding $2,000 in value including an American Eagle gold coin and a diamond necklace. The winning key can be purchased for $100 with a total of 50 keys being sold.
Auction items include a golf outing, a ladies’ day out, a sailing package, a men’s night out, Kansas City Chiefs and Royals excursions, dinner with Bishop Carl A. Kemme, a rocking chair handcrafted by Fr. Tom Welk, a Washington, D.C., trip, the use of a condo at The Lake of the Ozarks, and a $10,000 heating and cooling installation.

Want to help prevent homelessness?
Tickets for the Center of Hope dinner are $75 each or $700 for a table of eight. Space is limited. Reservations can be made by calling (316) 267-3999 or mailing a check to Center of Hope, 400 N. Emporia, Wichita KS 67202. The dinner invitation and reservation card may be downloaded at

Bishop Kemme to speak at Catholic Assembly for Business meeting at SLC

Bishop Carl A. Kemme will reflect on how a business professional can maintain a balance between one’s spirit and a company bottom line at the Wednesday, April 27, meeting of the Catholic Assembly for Business.
He will speak from 7:45 to 8:30 a.m. at the Spiritual Life Center, 7100 E. 45th Street N.
The Catholic Assembly for Business was formed in 2015 as a ministry of the Catholic Diocese of Wichita to serve the unique spiritual, social, and vocational needs of Catholic Professionals.
“It’s a good scenario when Christian/Catholic business persons get together, hear an inspiring message and network with each other,” said member J.V. Johnston.
Steve Gebert, said, “When I attend the breakfasts, it is a place where we all seek to collaborate with like-minded, working Catholics in order to give and receive the wisdom of how to apply the principals of the faith in our individual workplaces every day.”
Christina Weber added: “It’s been energizing to connect with other Catholic professionals wanting to better integrate their faith in their work life. It doesn’t hurt that the speakers and programing for all of the CAB events have been highly engaging and inspiring.”
Upcoming quarterly breakfasts are Aug. 31 featuring Ed O’Malley from the Kansas Leadership Institute who will facilitate a discussion of a panel of business men and women and then Oct. 26 featuring Jim Berlucchi from the Spitzer Center for Ethical Leadership and a frequently sought after speaker.
The three pillars of the CAB are:
• vision is to bring about a spirit of faithfulness, service, and virtue in the business world by forming individuals and infusing Catholic principles into the local professional culture.
• mission is to equip Catholic professionals with the tools they need to flourish in their vocations of discipleship, family life, and professional trade.
• goals of the Catholic Assembly for business are to provide formation, community, and opportunity.

Interested in CAB?
Those interested in attending can visit to register. All are welcome. For more information or to talk with someone personally about CAB, please contact the Spiritual Life Center at (316) 744-0167.

Midwest Winefest Grand Tasting April 23

21st annual event benefits the Guadalupe Health Foundation
The 2016 Midwest Winefest Grand Tasting –­ a benefit for the Guadalupe Health Foundation ­– will be held April 23 at Century II.
For the first time in the event’s 21 years, Century II’s Kennedy Plaza will be turned into the Vineyard Patio, an outdoor extension of the Grand Tasting, where attendees can enjoy live entertainment by guitarist Bruce Huss.
Also, for the first time, Brett Harris and Tracy Cassidy of Q92 the Beat will broadcast live from the event in the Q92 Lounge. The live and silent auction this year features hundreds of items from elusive wines, fabulous trips, and merchandise galore. Many of the wines and trips can only be found at the event. The Winefest will have hundreds of wines for guests to sample and 35 of Wichita’s best chefs who are planning fabulous wine-friendly food.
Jodi M. Guillemette, director of Development for Guadalupe Clinic and Guadalupe Health Foundation, said, “If you love wine this is the place to be. If you don’t, just come to eat, you won’t go away hungry or disappointed!”
To add to all the fun of tasting fine wines and fabulous food, Guillemette said, participants will help name the 2016 Midwest Winefest Best by casting their vote for their favorite food. The winner will be announced that evening and ballots will be put into a drawing for a fun prize.

Want to go to the Winefest?
Tickets can be purchased through (316) 303-8100 for $60 plus a ticket handling fee. All funds raised benefit Guadalupe Health Foundation and provide healthcare for the uninsured and underserved in our community.

Soto to speak at stewardship celebrations

The former director of the Archdiocese of Denver’s Hispanic Ministry will speak in Wichita and Pittsburg at two diocesan stewardship celebrations planned for Saturday and Sunday, April 16-17.
Luis Soto, now a leadership consultant with the Catholic Leadership Institute in Wayne, Pennsylvania, will speak at both conferences about how parishes can be examples of unity and integration among many diverse cultures.
The institute provides clergy and the laity with pastoral leadership formation as well as consulting services designed to strengthen their confidence and competence in their ministry. The institute attempts to help leaders achieve the best strategies for a more fruitful and articulated evangelization in their local church.
Soto, a native of Ciudad Obregón in Sonora, Mexico, began his ministry at Saint Joseph and Annunciation parishes in the Archdiocese of Denver. In 2002, he began his work as the head of the Hispanic Youth Ministry and in 2005 became the director of Hispanic Ministry in the archdiocese. He left the diocesan ministry in June 2015.
Bishop Carl A. Kemme will deliver the keynote address at the celebrations reflecting upon how the Holy Spirit is leading our diocese by understanding the past, by recognizing and receiving the Lord’s gifts with responsibility today, and by challenging us to look to the future with even more trust and confidence.
The Wichita conference will include workshops conducted by Father Ken Van Haverbeke, Father Chad Arnold, James Bitting, and the team from Blessed Sacrament Parish.
The architects of stewardship in our diocese – Msgr. Thomas McGread, Bishop Emeritus Eugene J. Gerber, Msgr. Charles Regan – and the many lay leaders could not envision all the challenges of the future. A consistent challenge is sharing the message of stewardship to new parishioners.
To be led by the Holy Spirit, one must open oneself to love and trust enough to have as our only security the guidance of the Spirit. The blueprint stewardship gives is the ability to understand the past, to act responsibility in the present, and to dream and hope for the future.

Stewardship celebrations in Wichita, Pittsburg
Two stewardship celebrations are planned:
• Saturday, April 16, from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., at the Church of the Magdalen in Wichita
• Sunday, April 17, from 3 to 6 p.m., at Our Lady of Lourdes in Pittsburg
To register, visit

Newman University news, April 15, 2016

Former Newman University students scheduled to be ordained deacons
Newman University has seen a number of its former students enter formation, a period of six to nine years during which men prepare intellectually, spiritually, and pastorally for the priesthood. In the past 10 years, seven men from Newman have entered formation for the Catholic Diocese of Wichita, including Father Sam Brand, who was ordained in May 2014.
Last next month, five of the men – Kyle Dugan, Adam Grelinger, Andrew Labenz, Ed Herzog and J.D. Betzen – will take their next step in the process and become transitional deacons.
“As a deacon, we can baptize, witness marriages, [perform] funeral services and assist at Mass,” Dugan said. “But the main job of the deacon is to really, intimately know the needs of the people. They’re meant to be out with the people.”
While the men spent varying amounts of time at Newman – Dugan and Labenz were students for one year, Betzen for two, Grelinger and Herzog earned undergraduate degrees and Herzog added an MBA – they are several common reasons why they chose their common path. One was the influence of former Newman Chaplain Father Joseph Tatro.
“Fr. Tatro invited us all to start praying mornings with him for Lent,” Grelinger said, “to pray [and to] realize that prayer needs to be a part of our lives, that the more you pray, the more you start asking those questions [and] seeing where God wants to lead you.”
“Fr. Tatro was not afraid to challenge us,” Dugan added. “He saw something in us that we didn’t see ourselves, and challenged us and asked us to start thinking about this.”
Before long, the men began going to breakfast with Fr. Tatro after prayers, and getting to know one another. Over time they grew close, and became more certain in the paths they wanted to take.
In addition to guidance from Fr. Tatro, Labenz said spending time in the chapel where Father Emil Kapaun was ordained inspired him to ask if God was calling him.
“For me,” he said, “to pray in that chapel, to serve Mass in that chapel and to go to confession in that chapel was very powerful.”
Many former students also pointed to the overall influence of Newman, as did the Most Rev. Carl Kemme, bishop of the Diocese of Wichita. He noted that it was a sign “that Newman University is fulfilling its mission of forming young men and women for leadership in the church, and one of those roles is to be a deacon and, God willing, a priest.”
He also attributed the large number of men coming from Newman to the university’s Catholic heritage.
“It all begins in their homes, of course, and in their grade schools and high schools,” Kemme said. “But a big part of that is their university lives.”
The students agree.
“If it weren’t for Newman University, I can honestly say I wouldn’t be where I am right now,” said Herzog, who originally came to Newman from upstate New York to play golf but became more interested in faith. “Newman being a Catholic school with great professors, a great chaplain, great coaches – that’s what got me into the seminary.”
“I’m eternally grateful for the future vocation I found at Newman,” Grelinger added. “I don’t know if I would have found it anywhere else.”

Christian recording artist Ike Ndolo to perform at NU’s Founder’s Plaza Saturday
WICHITA – Christian folk/praise musician Ike Ndolo and his band will present an outdoor concert from 6:30 to 10 p.m. Saturday, April 16, on Founders Plaza at Newman University, 3100 McCormick. The event is free and open to the public.
Ndolo was born in Missouri, after his parents moved to the United States from Nigeria. He grew up hearing hymns from his mother and songs of struggle and freedom from Bob Marley and the Wailers, and everything in between.
The event will include food trucks on site from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. The first 500 people in attendance will receive $5 vouchers to spend at the trucks. The concert is open to people of all faiths. Newman student Nathan Siple will open for Ndolo.
In 2009, Ndolo released his first record, “We are the Beggars,” produced by songwriter and producer Robbie Seay. “We are the Beggars” climbed to number 4 on the Christian iTunes charts. Ndolo recently released his second studio album, “Rivers,” recorded in Nashville and produced by Paul Mabury.

Diocesan news, April 15, 2016

Bishop Kemme’s calendar
Here is Bishop Carl A. Kemme’s calendar for the next month.
April 16: Stewardship Conference at Church of the Magdalen in Wichita
April 16-17: Weekend Masses at St. Michael in Girard and St. Joseph in Arma
April 17: Confirmation Mass at 10 a.m. at St. Michael in Girard; Stewardship Conference at Our Lady of Lourdes in Pittsburg
April 18: Confirmation Mass at 6:30 p.m. at St. Patrick in Kingman
April 19: Confirmation Mass at 6:30 p.m. at Church of the Blessed Sacrament in Wichita
April 20-23:Seminary visit to Mt. St. Mary in Emmitsburg, Maryland. Includes Mass of Installation of Lectors April 22 and Mass of Installation of Acolyte on April 23.
April 24: Private Mass with Carmelite Sisters of St. Teresa
April 27: Diocesan confirmation at 6:30 p.m. at Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception for St. Catherine of Siena, Wichita; St. Joseph, Ost; St. Rose, Mt. Vernon; St. Louis, Waterloo; St. John, Zenda; Sacred Heart, Cunningham; St. Peter, Willowdale; and St. Leo, Nashville
April 28: School pastoral visit to Holy Spirit in Goddard; Confirmation Mass at 6:30 p.m. for Hutchinson parishes at Holy Cross
April 29: School pastoral visit to All Saints in Wichita
April 29-May 1: Knights of Columbus State Convention
May 3: Confirmation Mass at 6:30 p.m. at St. Vincent de Paul in Andover
May 5: Confirmation Mass at 6:30 p.m. at Christ the King in Wichita
May 7: Respect Life Social Justice Life Run
May 7-8: Parish Pastoral visit to St. Anne Parish in Wichita; Confirmation Mass at 2:30 p.m. at St. Anne Parish in Wichita
May 11: Confirmation Mass at 6:30 p.m. at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Wichita
May 12: Pastor-Principal Appreciation Mass and lunch; Confirmation Mass at 6:30 p.m. at Church of the Magdalen in Wichita
May 13: Newman University Baccalaureate Mass at 7 p.m. at Cathedral
May 14: Confirmation Mass at 5:30 p.m. at Sacred Heart in Colwich
May 14-15: Parish Pastoral visit to Sacred Heart in Colwich

Bishop Kemme, priests to be interviewed on radio this week
Bishop Carl A. Kemme and several priests of the Diocese of Wichita will be interviewed Monday and Tuesday, April 18-19, on KPHN 1360 AM regarding their vocation stories.
Bishop Kemme, the priests, and some seminarians and religious sisters from the diocese will share their vocation stories during the Catholic radio station’s spring pledge drive.
The pledge drive will broadcast from the Chancery in Wichita from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on both days.
KPHN is the Wichita affiliate of the EWTN Global Catholic Radio Network and supports the diocese through programming that educates, inspires, and informs Catholics and other listeners about the truths of the Catholic Church.
“KPHN’s mission is to share the teachings and traditions of the Catholic faith. We are happy to help their efforts by supporting the pledge drive,” said Amy Pavlacka, director of the diocesan office of Communications.

Doors of Mercy schedule set at Cathedral
A schedule has been set for the times that the Doors of Mercy will be open at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Wichita.
The Cathedral’s two front center doors, marked by a papal and Door of Mercy flag, will be open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday through Friday and from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday.
An indulgence can be merited by passing through the doors and fulfilling the indulgence requirements. The Year of Mercy ends Nov. 20, 2016.

‘Casserole Club’ meets April 20 at Chancery
The Spiritual Casserole Club, a spiritual support group for Catholic adult family members of persons with mental illness, meets on the first and third Wednesdays of the month from 7 to 8 p.m. in the chapel of the Chancery, located at 424 N. Broadway.
The next session April 20. A prayer service format is used. Participants join for song, scripture reading, homily, reflection and prayer intentions. A facilitator and a priest will be present each evening.
Anonymity and confidentiality are strictly observed.
There is no cost and no registration is necessary to attend. For more information, contact the Ministry with Persons with Disabilities at (316) 269-3900 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Wichita Saints Young Athletes Program needs volunteers
The Wichita Saints Young Athlete program is in need of 10 volunteers. Young Athletes is a pre-Special Olympics program for children with disabilities between the ages of 3 and 7.
The program consists of a series of play-based activities that focus on motor skill development. The Young Athletes meet every other Wednesday until July 6 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the St. Joseph Parish gymnasium, 132 S. Millwood.
The next session is April 20. A fall session will begin in September. Those interested in volunteering may contact the Ministry with Persons with Disabilities at (316) 269-3900 ext. 143 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Liturgical musicians to meet April 24
Liturgical musicians are invited to music and sharing on the topic, “Expressing Our Faith Using Our Talents.”
The National Association of Pastoral Musicians event will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 24, at the St. Paul Catholic Student Center at Wichita State University.
Musicians of all ages are welcome and urged to attend. Register at or contact Sr. Nylas Moser at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at (316) 942-2201 ext. 1417.

NFP practitioner education program to be offered in diocese
In an effort to continue to provide excellence in FertilityCare Services, the diocesan Office of Marriage and Family Life will offer the FertilityCare Services Practitioner Education Program in Wichita.
Education Phase I will be held June 4-11. Education Phase II will be offered Dec. 4-10.
The FertilityCare Practitioner Program was developed through the Pope Paul VI Institute in Omaha, Nebraska, according to basic education principles utilized in allied health courses and prepares students to teach the Creighton Model FertilityCare System.
For more information visit or call the Office of Marriage and Family Life at (316) 685-5240.

CSJs of Concordia hosting vocations assembly in June
CONCORDIA – Catholic women interested in learning more about religious life will have an opportunity to share in one of the most important weekend events celebrated by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia.
The vocations team for the Concordia congregation is inviting women to come to the Nazareth Motherhouse during the June Assembly, when sisters from across the country “come home” for vow profession ceremonies and jubilee celebrations.
“Our guests will have a chance to meet as many sisters as possible,” explained Sister Lorren Harbin, who is vocations co-director with Sister Dian Hall.
“This particular assembly catches our community in its wholeness and oneness, to give our guests a genuine sense of our charism, energy and devotion to our mission and ministries.”
Catholic women of all ages, whether single, widowed or divorced, are invited to take part.
Activities begin with dinner Friday evening, June 10, and will conclude about 1 p.m. Sunday, June 12. All meals will be provided, but guests will need to reserve their own hotels rooms or other lodging. There is no cost to register for the weekend.
For more information or to register, contact Sister Lorren at (970) 260-2287 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or Sister Dian at (770) 546-6461 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . The deadline to sign up is June 1.
Special events include a profession ceremony as part of Mass on Saturday morning.

Fr. Kapaun’s birthday to be celebrated on April 20
The 100th anniversary of Father Emil Kapaun’s birthday will be celebrated April 20 at Kapaun Mt. Carmel High School in Wichita.
A brief prayer and opening remarks will kick off the event at 6:30 p.m. An open house will follow until 8:30 p.m. A 30-minute film about the life of Father Kapuan will be shown in the auditorium at 6:45 p.m.
Those attending will be able to see Father Kapaun’s Medal of Honor, the crucifix carved in his prisoner of war camp, as well as other personal items.
Father Kapaun, a priest of the Diocese of Wichita, died on May 23, 1951, in a prisoner of war camp in North Korea. The cause for his canonization is now under consideration by the Vatican.

German Catholic boy needs host family
Host families are needed for high school exchange students for the 2016-2017 academic year. The students will arrive in mid-August and will attend local high schools.
One of them is 16-year-old Tobias, a Catholic, from Germany. He is an “A” student and earned a perfect score on his English language test. Tobias is interested in aviation and has considered becoming a pilot. He likes children, and also spends time helping his elderly grandparents.
His interviewer describes him as “a friendly and polite young boy with a very pleasant personality.” He likes all kinds of sports.
For more information call Wilma Fast at (316) 681-1236.

Youth and school news, April 15, 2016

St. Joseph class ‘adopts’ fellow student
WICHITA – Kylan Collins’ seventh and eighth grade class has adopted David Watts.
David, a student with special needs, spends his mornings learning core subjects at Hadley Middle School and transfers to St. Joseph Catholic School for afternoon religion, science, and social studies.
“He’s kind of part of our family now,” Collins said. “The kids take care of him and look after him – and nobody messes with David. You see the smile on his face? That’s the smile that he gets because the kids really welcome him.”
David said there is a difference between the two schools and that he feels much more comfortable at St. Joseph School.
“It’s been an interesting experience for us, Collins said. “The class has accepted him. He’s a brother to them and they really look after him and care for him.”
David’s mother, Colleen McGrath, a member of Christ the King Parish, where David’s two sisters attend school, said David’s two-school arrangement resulted after she met with Tom Racunas, director of the diocesan Ministry with Persons with Disabilities, who encouraged her to try it.
Last year, McGrath said, she felt David was ready academically for a Catholic school.
McGrath, who previously lived in Michigan, praised the Diocese of Wichita’s stewardship way of life which has made a difference in her children’s academic and religious lives.
In Michigan her three children participated in parish school of religion classes, she said, but the Catholic schools in Wichita have clearly benefitted her children at school and at home.
“I have seen David grow in his faith,” she said.
She praised the stewardship way of life adding that those who truly understand the blessing stewardship is have no problem embracing it.
St. Joseph’s Principal Ellen Albert described David as a wonderful young man. “It has been a great experience for all of our students to have him here.”

Fr. Kapaun’s birthday to be celebrated on April 20
The 100th anniversary of Father Emil Kapaun’s birthday will be celebrated April 20 at Kapaun Mt. Carmel High School in Wichita.
A brief prayer and opening remarks will kick off the event at 6:30 p.m. An open house will follow until 8:30 p.m. A 30-minute film about the life of Father Kapuan will be shown in the auditorium at 6:45 p.m.
Those attending will be able to see Father Kapaun’s Medal of Honor, the crucifix carved in his prisoner of war camp, as well as other personal items.
Father Kapaun, a priest of the Diocese of Wichita, died on May 23, 1951, in a prisoner of war camp in North Korea. The cause for his canonization is now under consideration by the Vatican.

Bishop: a ‘new life’ awaits us beyond the grave

Many have wondered since the dawn of time if there is anything beyond the grave, Bishop Kemme said at the Easter Vigil in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.
“This is an honest question and one that I suspect all of us have wrestled with or will at some time in our life,” he said. “I recall struggling with that question upon the death of my grandparents, whom I loved very much.”
Bishop Kemme said he remembers walking away from his grandmother’s grave thinking that the family couldn’t leave her there.
“While that lasted longer than I would have wanted, those reactions gradually melted away and I attribute it all to faith, for you see, the Christian has an answer to the question: Is this all there is? And the answer is the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”
The church throughout the world gathered on Holy Saturday, a world torn apart by violence, poverty, and sickness, Bishop Kemme said, a world that sees death too often and too brutally.
The empty tomb, though, is the hope of the world.
“Mary of Magdala was the first evangelist and provides for us an example of how we should tell others what we have seen and heard,” he said. “The Apostles Peter and John ran to the tomb to see for themselves. They saw and believed.”
Their understanding of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus developed, Bishop Kemme said. “And so, too, will ours.”
There is something infinitely better and more beautiful awaiting us beyond the grave, he said, that is made possible by God’s remedy to the reality of death: the Resurrection.
“The Resurrection will not restore us to a former life,” Bishop Kemme said, “for that we should be ever thankful, but it will raise us to a new life. This life is something of which eye has not yet seen and ear has not yet heard…a new life that set the early Christians apart and must do so for Christians today.”
Good Friday
Jesus’ obedience in suffering became the source of our salvation, Bishop Kemme said at the Good Friday service at the Cathedral.
“Obedience is often misunderstood as a lack of freedom, as being controlled or manipulated or a blind submission to another,” he said. “But true and soul-filled obedience is one of the highest forms of freedom, a complete control and mastery over one’s will and a loving surrender to the will of another for a higher good. Understood in this way, Christ is the most obedient of all and one whose obedience to the Father’s will, in spite of the cost and pain and price, brought about the greatest good, our salvation.”
It is through our crosses that we learn obedience, he said. “As disciples of Jesus, we are called to follow him wherever he leads us and that means even to Calvary.”
The cross is a sign of Jesus’ saving mission, Bishop Kemme said.
“When you venerate this sign, let your heart truly venerate all the forms of the cross that will present themselves in your life: sicknesses, distress, anxieties, frustrations, loneliness, loss and grief, among them,” he said. “These are not ends which leave us embittered and beaten but means to an end, eternal salvation of which Christ is the source.”
Holy Thursday
On Holy Thursday Bishop Kemme talked about how the word “awesome” is overused in our culture. However, that isn’t true of the gifts of God, he said.
“Awesome are the gifts that God bestowed upon us on the night before his Son Jesus Christ handed his life over for our salvation. Those gifts are of course three in number and inestimable in value. They are the enduring gift of Christ’s Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Eucharistic sacrifice, the sacred priesthood which offers this sacrifice and will do so until the end of time, and the commandment to serve in imitation of Jesus, who washed the feet of his disciples and commanded them to do the same.”
Bishop Kemme described in detail how each of the three gifts affect the faithful. “On millions of altars this very night in every corner of the world, this sacrifice is being offered as it is done every day, indeed every minute of every day, a continual offering of the perfect sacrifice of Christ for our sins,” he said.
He said Christ entrusted the priesthood to Peter, to the apostles, and through them to the priests. “As priests, our first and highest duty is to offer this sacrifice and to make available the gifts of God’s grace emanating through these offerings so that God’s people will grow into the likeness of the Risen Christ.”
The commandment of love is awesome, Bishop Kemme said. “[Jesus’] example endures in the church as he calls each of us to such humility, allowing Christ, the servant, the slave of the Father to wash the feet of God’s children, made dirty and worn by the journey to the Kingdom. We must imitate this service in our families, our parishes, our places of work, our schools and neighborhoods, not thinking of ourselves, but always of others.”
These gifts should leave us awestruck, he said, “filled with deep contemplation and gratitude knowing that we receive them, as unworthy as we are, purely because of God’s infinite and unchanging love for you, for me and for the whole world.”
Chrism Mass
Bishop Kemme, in his homily at the Chrism Mass, said he envisioned the oils he would consecrate “being taken to every nook and cranny of the diocese, carried there lovingly by pastors, parishioners, and members of local communities, so that the hand of Christ will reach into the very marrow of our human lives, enriching us with the sanctifying grace of the sacraments.”
He said he could imagine “the children and adults to be anointed with the oil of Chrism as priest, prophet, and king, and those completing their initiation through confirmation, many of whom it will be my honor to confirm…strengthening them for growth in wisdom and knowledge.”
Bishop Kemme added that he thought about “the men – well man – I will ordain to the priesthood, anointing his hands for sacred duties, of the incredible number of men, women, and even children who will be anointed because of sickness and even pending death, so that the healing hand of Christ may not be absent from them in these moments of grace.”
The Rev. Mr. Gabriel Greer, a member of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, in Pittsburg, is scheduled to be ordained to the priesthood Saturday, May 26, at the Cathedral. Ten seminarians will be ordained as transitional deacons the evening before at Church of the Magdalen in Wichita. God and Bishop Kemme willing, they will be ordained to the priesthood on May 27, 2017.
Bishop Kemme said few Masses in the liturgical calendar bring together a fuller representation of the diocesan family than does the Chrism Mass. Representatives from 90 parishes in the 23 counties in the diocese attended. After a post-Mass luncheon, the representatives picked up the oils consecrated at the Mass to take to their home parishes.
In addition to honoring the priest jubilarians, the multitude of diocesan priests attending the Mass participated in a Renewal of Priestly Commitment. “The priesthood is God’s gift to the church so that the ministry of Christ as priest will be carried on until the end of time,” Bishop Kemme said.
“To you my brother priests, I address words of profound respect and admiration for the fidelity of your pastoral service. Since coming here as your bishop, I have never ceased to be inspired by what I learn about you and from you, by your uncommon fraternity, your selfless desire to help others, your obedience to me and my successors and your joy in living a priestly life.”
The Chrism Mass is a reminder to be thankful, he said.
“We are a blessed diocese. This should not result in feelings of superiority or smugness, but rather humility so that our hearts and minds will continually be open to even greater measures of God’s graces.”

Seven priests of the diocese were honored at the Chrism Mass on their jubilees this year
65 years of priesthood: Father Ivan C. Eck
60 years: Monsignor John P. Gilsenan
55 years: Father Leroy Linnebur
40 years: Father Stephen Thapwa, Father Douglas Campbell, and Father Robert B. Wachter
25 years: Father Sherman A. Orr and Father Kenneth S. Van Haverbeke

New post-abortion ministry to meet April 3 at the SLC

Hope Lives, a new ministry for women who have had an abortion, will begin Sunday, April 3, at the Spiritual Life Center in Wichita with a Bible study called “Forgiven and Set Free.”
“If you’ve had an abortion, you are not alone in your experience,” said Bonnie Toombs, director of the diocesan Respect Life and Social Justice Ministry. “If you’ve recently had an abortion, it’s important to remember to take care of yourself, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. If some time has passed since your abortion, it’s never too late to find a way to express your feelings or talk with someone who listens.”
She added that many women have found talking with other women while keeping Christ at the center to be most healing.
Hope Lives is for all women, no matter how long it has been since the abortion. The group will meet at the Spiritual Life Center at 2 p.m. twice a month beginning Sunday, April 3. A trained counselor is part of the team, as well as team leaders who have gone through the Bible study and Rachel’s Vineyard’s retreats.
One previous participant said: “This study has helped me to overcome shame and guilt about my abortion. It helped reveal to me some things that I didn’t know that I was not fully recovered from yet. This study is amazing and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who has had an abortion.”
Interested in meeting?
Those interested in participating in the Bible Study and group may call (316) 269-3935 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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