Brown Bagging’ It With Jesus, other events offered at SLC during Lent
Good Friday, April 3
WICHITA – The Spiritual Life Center has many programs planned during Lent, many of which are weekly during the season which ends on Holy Thursday.
The faithful are invited to join Fr. Ken Van Haverbeke, Dusty Gates, and other diocesan speakers at lunch each Friday for “Brown Baggin’ It with Jesus.” Speakers will discuss a relevant moral topic facing Catholics today.
Some topics they plan to cover include same-sex marriage, war and violence, women’s role in the church, vaccinations, and marijuana. The program lasts from 12:10-12:50 p.m. each Friday. Guests can bring their own lunch or they may reserve one at the center with at least 24 hours notice.
Stations of the Cross
Lenten Fridays will also include observation of the Stations of the Cross at the beautiful outdoor stations just north of the center. Guests can gather in the foyer of the center at 3:15 p.m. for a 3:30 p.m. start time.
The third weekly program occurring this year is entitled “Seven Sinners in Search of a Savior.” Dr. David Wall will lead participants through the biblical account of seven characters who encountered Christ and were transformed. “Seven Sinners” occurs on Thursdays of Lent from 7 to 8:30 p.m. There is no charge to attend.
In addition to these weekly offerings, the center will hold programs on St. John Paul the Great, Mother Teresa, Sacrifice, Mary, and a retreat day on the last words of Christ. And don’t forget to check out the Palm Sunday Retreat this year which highlights Divine Mercy.
Want to attend a Lenten SLC program?
Information about all the programs is available at the Spiritual Life Center’s website, www.SLCWichita.org, or call the center at (316) 744-0167. Financial aid based on need is available for all retreats and programs of the center and can be applied for on the web site.
Ahlquist to speak at Catholic Culture Conference April 17-18 at the SLC
By Dusty Gates
The term “culture” gets thrown around a lot. We use it when we really mean something very different from the true sense of the word. The 1980s pop group “The Culture Club” comes to mind as a particularly laughable counterexample of what the word is supposed to mean.
In the 21st century, references to culture are commonly references to multiculturalism, which often ends in pluralism, which really means no culture at all. A Catholic culture is an environment which fosters our authentic development – in mind, body, and spirit. John Senior described this culture as “the natural environment of truth, assisted by art, ordered intrinsically, that is, from within, to the praise, reverence, and service of God our Lord. To restore it, we must learn its language.”
That is the motivation and hope for the Catholic Cultural Conference April 17-18 at the Spiritual Life Center in Wichita. The inspiration behind the conference is the thought of G.K. Chesterton, an early 20th century Catholic English author, debater, and convert from the Church of England. Chesterton is known by many as the “Apostle of Common Sense,” and his extensive writings cover a variety of topics such as religious faith, economics, education, art, politics, and more.
Chesterton was an integrated thinker par excellence. To him, it made no sense to divide our thinking into separate categories and academic disciplines. All of our thinking, in Chesterton’s mind, should flow from the same source, therefore even when applied to diverse particular subjects should come back together in a synthetic harmony.
The keynote for the conference, Dale Ahlquist, international speaker, author, and president of the American Chesterton Society, will give two lectures, the first is entitled “The Glorious Side of Social Decline,” at 7 p.m. Friday, April 17, which Ahlquist describes: “A hundred years ago, G.K. Chesterton said that we are entering a new dark ages. Since then we have continued to watch our civilization decline and barbarism arise. But as also Chesterton pointed out, there was one light that led us out of the dark ages. It was the church. The session will explore Chesterton’s vivid description of both the darkness and the light.”
Ahlquist’s second talk at 9 a.m. Saturday, April 18, is entitled “The Trouble with Catholic Social Teaching.”
“This session will correct the misconceptions about what Catholic social teaching is and dispel the notion that Chesterton’s ideas about distributionism are socialist or opposed to freedom or economically unfeasible or simply quaint,” says Ahlquist, “find out why distributism that keeps being pronounced dead, keeps coming back to life.”
The conference will also feature local speakers Bo Bonner, Jackie Arnold, James Lewis, and Laurie Robinson, president of the Wichita Chapter of the American Chesterton Society. Additional lectures and breakout sessions will explore topics such as the importance of recreation for the integrated life, challenges and opportunities for to personal faith in your professional life, prayer, education, and conversion.
Gates is assistant program director at the Spiritual Life Center.
Want to hear Dale Ahlquist?
Space for the atholic Culture Conference April 17-18 is limited to the first 150 registrants, so sign up early by calling the Spiritual Life Center at (316) 744-0167 or online at SLCwichita.org.
Registration includes a wine and appetizer social Friday evening, and breakfast and lunch on Saturday. The early bird rates, which end April 6, are commuter $55, single occupancy $85, and double occupancy $75.
Talk about dementia, caregiving March 12
The Catholic Care Center is hosting “The Many Faces of Dementia,” a caregiver education opportunity from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, March 12, in the Bel Aire City Building, 7651 E. Central Park Ave. in Bel Aire.
Dr. Ryan Shroeder of the KU School of Medicine will speak about his research on dementia and share tips for caring for those with dementia.
A caregivers resource fair, information about the importance of caregiver wellness, and a lunch are part of the event.
The event is free, open to the public, but reservations are required. For reservations, call (316) 771-6593.
‘The Seven Last Words of Christ’ Feb. 28 at the Spiritual Life Center
Janet Moore will lead a Lenten day retreat, “The Seven Last Words of Christ,” from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 28, at the Spiritual Life Center in Wichita.
The last words someone speaks before their death are important. This must be especially true for Jesus’ last words:
• Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do. (Luke 23:34)
• Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise. (Luke 23:43)
• Woman, behold your son. Son Behold your mother. (John 19:26–27)
• My God, My God, have you forsaken me? (Matthew 27:46 & Mark 15:34)
• I thirst. (John 19:28)
• It is finished. (John 19:29-30)
• Father, into your hands I commit my spirit. (Luke 23:46)
The words of Jesus spoken in agony from the cross are steeped in meaning and power, and provide a means of looking directly into Our Savior’s Heart – into the depth of His love for us. Christians have contemplated these words for thousands of years and treasured them.
The day of reflection provides an opportunity to contemplate the unfathomable depths and grace of Jesus’ last words. Retreatants will ponder them through the wisdom of the saints and from the writings of such people as Fulton Sheen, Richard Neuhaus, Scott Hahn, and Mother Teresa. It will also provide an opportunity to reflect on what Jesus is saying to us through his last words.
The day will include Mass, opportunities for confession, snacks and lunch. Participants are asked to bring a journal and a Bible.
The cost for the day is $20 which includes lunch. Check in begins at 8:30 a.m. Reservations can be made online at www.slcwichita.org or by calling (316) 744-0167. Bedrooms are available for anyone wishing to stay overnight on Friday or Saturday.
Moore, who holds a master’s degree in theology from Newman University, is a member of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Wichita.
Spiritual Life Center patrons get food more quickly, lounge in the dining area
By Don McClane
The Canada geese in the Spiritual Life Center pond have adjusted to the center’s newly-enlarged dining room.
“I’ve made peace with my geese,” said Fr. Ken Van Haverbeke, director of the SLC. “They come up to the window and sometimes they tap at you, but other than that they’re fine.”
Renovations to the dining room began Dec. 1 and were completed two weeks ago, on Feb. 6.
“We expanded the dining room, so that we went from a single serving line to two buffet lines,” Father Van Haverbeke said. “So, instead of serving people one at a time, one plate at a time, now we have four lines of people serving themselves.”
It has made a difference in efficiency.
“We had an Engaged Encounter come through,” Father Van Haverbeke said. “There’s about 70 or 80 of those, so in under nine minutes we had all of them served breakfast.”
“We had the priests there yesterday, and they thought it looked really good,” he added.
The dining room is also a brighter place. “The room is very light because we have windows on both sides now, whereas before it was just on the one side where the pond was,” he said.
The center’s director said one goal of the renovations was to make the dining room a place to feed the soul, in addition to the body.
“Another goal was for people who are coming out on a retreat or conference could get a cup of coffee, get a book, and sit at one of the tables, kind of like what they do at college unions,” he said. “Just a nice gathering space for small groups and individuals.”
The budget for the renovation was a little over $300,000. Howard and Helmer Architecture of Wichita designed the space. Simpson Construction Services of Wichita completed the work.
The work went smoothly, with no major surprises. “That’s always good,” Father Van Haverbeke said. “That keeps you within budget.”
To do the work, the SLC borrowed money from the diocese and relied on contributions from donors.
“Engaged Encounter was very generous,” he said. “Other than that, it was all individuals – a number of priests were very generous – and different parishes.”
“Bishop (Emeritus Eugene J.) Gerber and the diocese back in 1990 envisioned a retreat space, not knowing how it would be used,” Father Van Haverbeke said. “This renovation shows really that it’s being used so much that we have to keep making it larger.”
Senior Adult Ministry Day of Reflection March 11 at the SLC
The diocesan Senior Adult Ministry is offering a Lenten Day of Reflection from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, March 11, at the Spiritual Life Center in Wichita.
The mini-retreat will feature Lenten-themed talks, time for prayerful reflection, and the celebration of the Eucharist.
Participants will enjoy refreshments, lunch, and time to reflect on the beautiful grounds. Registration is $10 per person and includes lunch. To register, contact Catherine at the Office of Marriage and Family at (316) 685-5240.