Camino pilgrims to gather at the SLC July 23 to reflect
By Kristina Glicksman
The Camino de Santiago, or Way of St. James, is a network of medieval pilgrimage routes across Europe and Spain leading to the tomb of the Apostle St. James the Greater in the cathedral at Santiago de Compostela. Every year thousands of pilgrims walk anywhere from 80 miles (the minimum requirement to claim a compostela, a sort of pilgrimage certificate) to over 1,000 miles, starting from their homes across Europe.
In a sense, the Camino has very little to do with St. James and everything to do with one’s relationship with God and with others. Though few pilgrims probably realize it at the outset, the Camino is a sort of boot camp, training them in their understanding of and attentiveness to those two greatest commandments.
How easy it is in our affluent society to delude ourselves that we are independent and self-sufficient, cutting ourselves off from God and from others. Making a long journey by foot and carrying your belongings can be a frightening and yet paradoxically liberating reminder of our individual littleness and weakness.
Confronted with challenging topography and unfriendly weather, somehow it seems natural to lift one’s soul and place one’s cares in the hands of Him who has counted even the hairs on our heads. And more often than not, our desperate needs are not met by miracles and voices from heaven but by our weary fellow travelers and by the volunteers and staff of hostels and cafes along the way who day after day greet pilgrims with the same untiring hospitality.
And we ourselves are humbled as we realize that we too are the answer to the prayers of others if only we open our hearts and share what we have, if only we show to others the mercy that has been shown to us.
Glicksman is an assistant in the diocesan Office of Development and Planned Giving.
Want a Camino experience?
“Camino de Santiago: A Gathering of Pilgrims,” will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, July 23, at the Spiritual Life Center in Wichita. The cost is $10.
This day of reflection is for pilgrims who have traveled the way of St. James, or are planning to do so. The day is an opportunity to share experiences, relive memories, and to help future travelers to prepare for their pilgrimage. It will include Mass at 11:30 a.m. and lunch.
Parish Leadership Institute July 23
The reaction of one parishioner from Holy Cross Parish in Hutchinson after last year’s Parish Leadership Institute was: “Wow! What a great day! I only wish it was longer!”
This year’s institute will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 23, at the Spiritual Life Center.
Parish leadership can be complicated. Pastors are often reluctant to ask parishioners to participate in parish leadership positions because they realize the busy lives parishioners lead. Parishioners are reluctant to accept this act of stewardship as a leader in their parish because they do not feel well formed enough to accept.
The Parish Leadership Institute is designed to uncomplicate the task of parish leaders who participate in pastoral councils, finance councils, stewardship councils, parish and school staffs, and other parish organizations.
The Institute consists of general leadership sessions and specific council sessions. Ed O’Malley, a parishioner of Blessed Sacrament Parish and president of the Kansas Leadership Institute, will give the key note address about how leadership is an activity, not a position.
Father Ken Van Haverbeke, director of Stewardship, will present the history of the Diocese of Wichita, the organization and structure of the diocese, and some spiritual vices and virtues of leadership.
Jim Rundell, program coordinator of the St. Dismas Ministry to the Incarcerated and administrator of the Spiritual Life Center, will also speak about parish planning.
“Parish planning is a prayerful process that provides a vehicle, or a structure for sharing our gifts within our worshipping community,” Rundell said. “A parish plan provides an opportunity to share our individual gifts in a cohesive manner resulting in a strong community response to God’s call to discipleship.”
Workshops will include, Parish Council Formation led by Father Ken Van Haverbeke for pastoral council members and other ministry councils; Parish Finance Formation led by Bryan Coulter and Therese Seiler for parish finance councils and ministry group financial officers; Stewardship Formation led by Audrey Ronnfeldt for stewardship council members and volunteer coordinators.
Topics covered in the day’s formation at the Spiritual Life Center will include best practice ideas, conflict resolution, working with different pastors and leaders. Mass and lunch are included as part of the day.
Want to participate?
To register for the Parish Leadership Institute, visit www.SLCwichita.org, call 316-744-0167, or contact your pastor and say, “I really would like to go to this!” The cost is $20 per person, with an additional $30 suggested donation if staying overnight, but no one will be turned down due to lack of funds.
Fr. Van Haverbeke to discuss how to pray with your personality on July 9
Each morning I see him. He comes into the parish church. First person. Reverently he genuflects, bowing his head while doing so. Slowly he comes up and enters a pew. Hands clasped, forehead buried into his intertwined hands, for at least five minutes he is motionless, praying intently.
How does he do it? What is he doing? What is he praying?
There is no “right” way or “wrong” way of praying when you are praying from your heart. We know that. But sometimes we would like to know what others seem to know: how to pray! Even the apostles of John the Baptist and of Jesus needed to be taught how to pray. (Luke 11:1-4)
On July 9 at the Spiritual Life Center, Father Ken Van Haverbeke, will teach you how to pray according to your personality. Looking at five different personalities of saints: Saints Benedict, Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Francis, and Ignatius, the day retreat will allow participants to learn and experience how they prayed. Attendees will study their strengths, weaknesses, and life experiences as related to their lives of prayer.
Each person is unique: unique personality, life experiences, and desires. St. Theresa of Avila taught in “The Interior Castle” that understanding oneself is vital in prayer. Knowing one’s personality and establishing certain prayerful habits results in faithful prayer.
The retreat will begin Saturday morning at 9 a.m. and conclude around 4 p.m. Reservations can be made online at www.SLCwichita.org or by calling 316-744-0167.
The beauty of a diocesan retreat center is a perfect setting for a retreat on prayer. The relaxed and leisurely pace of the retreat will allow the participants to grow in their knowledge and love of the Lord, with each unique personality.
Summer symposium at SLC July 14-16
WICHITA – The Spiritual Life Center will host a three-day conference July 14-16 for adult faith formation featuring classes on doctrine, spirituality, literature, and Catholic living.
The teaching faculty for the Summer Symposium consists of Fr. Frank Coady, Fr. Ken Van Haverbeke, John McCormick, and Dusty Gates. The symposium is an opportunity for presenters and participants to gather for prayer, celebration, and intellectual exchange. The program begins with a keynote banquet on the evening of Thursday, July 14, and continues all day Friday and Saturday.
John McCormick, Ph.D., will teach about “Green Discipleship.” Dusty Gates will lead a course called “Inklings and Imagination: What Lewis and Tolkien taught us about Reality.” The title of Fr. Ken VanHaverbeke’s class is “God speaking through the imagination: Illusion or prayer?” And Keynote speaker, Fr. Frank Coady, priest of the Diocese of Salina, will teach on “Scripture and Tradition.”
The Summer Symposium begins Thursday evening at 6:30 p.m. with a banquet followed by the keynote lecture. The symposium continues both Friday and Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.
Various registration options are available depending on which parts of the symposium a participant attends. The commuter rate is $115, and the overnight rate is $200. Adjusted rates are available for those who can only attend part of the symposium. Registration may be made by calling the Spiritual Life Center at 316-744-0167, or online at SLCwichita.org.
Totus Tuus for children with special needs set for Aug. 1-4
A Totus Tuus program for children between the ages of 6 and 13 with special needs will be held Monday through Thursday, Aug. 1-4, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Spiritual Life Center in Wichita. Lunch will be provided.
This will be the third time it has been offered. The curriculum is the same as it is for all other children attending Totus Tuus but is modified to meet individual learner needs. The children engage in lessons that are hands on and interactive, they attend Mass and exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. The teaching team, comprised of Totus Tuus team members who have taught throughout the summer, participate in a day of special training that includes instructional and classroom management techniques, and how to use visual schedules.
A mother of a former student said about the program: “The reason I loved Totus Tuus for children with special needs and encourage other parents to have their child participate, is that it is conducted in a relaxed atmosphere, young people are teaching (which my son loved), it is fun and the team teaches about Christ in a way that my son could absorb it – it was right on his level.”
The cost is $50 per child. To enroll, call 316-269-3940 or go to www.CatholicDioceseOfWichita.org/Faith.