Couple to Couple announces initiatives to promote use of natural family planning

The Couple to Couple League has announced initiatives to raise awareness of natural family planning and to attract more couples to use NFP.
The organization unveiled its CCL2025 strategic plan at a Humanae Vitae anniversary conference July 6-7 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The league developed the plan to respond to changes in the NFP world, to provide support to NFP users of all methods, and to develop and grow local NFP communities.
Becky Knapp, the program coordinator of Natural Family Planning for the Diocese of Wichita, said CCL’s magazine, Family Foundations, is a wonderful magazine that supports the family and natural means of regulating fertility.
“The work put into the magazine appears to be growing,” she said. “The response of CCL with the 2025 strategic plan promises a great opportunity for women and couples to have an authentic, reliable information resource for all who recognize fertility as a gift.”
One major part of CCL2025 is to make learning NFP easier, quicker and less expensive. CCL plans to create an introductory course to help couples determine what method is best for them, as well as develop new modular NFP courses using many approaches that fit the needs of today’s couples.
“We need to leave behind the method battles,” said CCL Executive Director Chris Reynolds. “All major NFP methods are scientifically proven to be effective, and different methods work for different couples and sometimes at different times for the same couple. It is our desire to work with other NFP providers and complement each other to provide great service.”
A second major goal is to become the primary resource for support and information on all things related to NFP, regardless of method. “On January 1, 2019, we will launch a new initiative called the Live the Love Institute,” he said. “This will be a method-neutral outreach to provide information and resources, and one in which I hope the other major NFP providers will be involved.”
In today’s culture of Google, Facebook, and YouTube, many NFP users are self-taught, mixing methods, or just relying on an app that may or may not be based in solid science. Many today do not see the value of formal instruction.
“However, we see the fallout of this approach as we watch incomplete or even completely wrong information being shared online time and time again,” Reynolds said. “We have decided to help all those seeking support or answers regardless of the method they practice. We aim to see the Live the Love Institute become a trusted resource – think the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval or Consumer Reports – for all things related to NFP.”
The Live the Love Institute will offer several channels of help: a method-neutral website that provides information and resources; an app that will deliver helpful content and connect NFP users both virtually and locally to build community; and tools to create local Live the Love Teams, which will consist of anyone who would like to provide support and education at a parish or local level on marriage and God’s plan for marital love. These volunteers could offer support in any number of ways: running an NFP support group, moms and dads groups, hosting date night programs or book clubs focused on faith-based marriage titles; or even coordinating babysitting services for new parents.
“We aim to start a movement across the country to create a culture that embraces NFP and rejects the use of contraception within marriage,” said Reynolds. “CCL has been teaching NFP for close to 50 years, but we’ve come to see that if we really want to see NFP embraced in larger numbers it is up to us – the laity – to witness and encourage each other.” He added that these plans are the direct result of listening to both the call of Pope Francis to accompany others and the 2017 Convocation of Catholic Leaders’ encouragement to be missionary disciples to each other.
“The last 50 years have shown us that the widespread rejection of the message of Humanae Vitae has given us exactly what Pope Paul VI predicted it would,” Reynolds said. “Since 1968 there has been an increase in marital infidelity, a lowering of moral standards, a loss of respect for women, and an increasing interference of the government in people’s sexual relationships. He knew what he was talking about.”
To turn the tide, CCL has a vision to build community locally among NFP-using couples – regardless of method practiced – so that more couples will be empowered to “Live the Love” of their marriage vows.
“Most importantly, we believe these teams will transform local communities, parishes and churches, and help bring NFP out of the shadows,” Reynolds said. “NFP use should be the norm, not the exception, among Catholic married couples. We believe these teams have the ability to renew parishes as more couples are drawn to NFP and their marriages and families are transformed.”

About the CCL
The Couple to Couple League teaches the Sympto-Thermal Method of NFP to more than 5,000 couples in the United States every year. It was founded in 1971, three years after the release of Humanae Vitae, to provide couples the practical help to live out its teachings. Learn more about CCL at www.ccli.org.

National and world news, July 20, 2018

A displaced Syrian family who fled violence in Aleppo stands in a field in the rural area of Manbij in 2016. Amid the destruction in war-torn Syria, a community of Discalced Carmelites in Aleppo perseveres in its mission of continuous prayer and help to families in need. (CNS photo)

Provincial says Carmelite nuns in Aleppo Syria live in ‘heroic situation’
BEIRUT (CNS) — Amid the destruction in war-torn Syria, a community of Discalced Carmelites in Aleppo perseveres in its mission of continuous prayer and help to families in need.
The Carmelite nuns, four of whom are Syrian and two French, are in their quiet demeanor “a message of peace and a spiritual message of hope,” said the provincial of the Discalced Carmelite Fathers in Lebanon, Father Raymond Abdo, who visited the convent July 5-7.
The nuns’ convent on the outskirts of Aleppo, in an area that has often been a focal point of the fighting, once had a missile land in the yard. In seven years of civil war, the convent has suffered many food, water and electricity shortages, seen its windows shattered and a surrounding wall destroyed.
The sisters in the northern Syrian city are living a “very heroic situation, even if it’s difficult,” Father Abdo told Catholic News Service.
At one point, the nuns were hosting four uprooted Muslim families, who lived in a building adjoining the convent.
The nuns shared their food and the bounty from their vegetable gardens. Three families have since been resettled, and the convent is still supporting a family with 10 children.
Yet, the sisters have not lost their way of contemplative life, a structured routine that begins with silent prayer and includes Mass, working together in silence and more periods of prayer throughout the day and evening, Father Abdo said.
“They give a good example of real Christianity, because they don’t distinguish between Muslims and Christians,” he said.
A sister told Father Abdo how the head of one of the families who was sheltering at the convent approached her and asked, “Why do you help us?” The Muslim man then followed up with his observation, telling the religious, “You help us without asking anything in return. You Christians are very humble.”
“Giving this possibility to the Muslim people and other people to know the heart of Christianity” offers “real hope,” the priest said.
On the road from Homs to Aleppo, Father Abdo passed leveled villages, desolate and barren with “no sign of life anywhere.”
As well as destroying homes, war “destroys people, families, culture, social life, relationships, the economy — everything,” he said.

Pope nominates presidents-delegate for upcoming Synod of Bishops Oct. 3-28
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — As his delegates to preside over sessions of the Synod of Bishops in October, Pope Francis has chosen four cardinals from countries where young people are facing special challenges.
The Vatican announced July 14 the pope’s appointment of the presidents-delegate: Cardinals Louis Sako of Baghdad, the Chaldean patriarch; Desire Tsarahazana of Toamasina, Madagascar; Charles Bo of Yangon, Myanmar; and John Ribat of Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.
The synod will meet at the Vatican Oct. 3-28 to discuss “young people, faith and vocational discernment.” As presidents-delegate, the cardinals will alternate presiding over the synod sessions.
The four cardinals come from areas in the world that reflect several major issues outlined in the synod’s “instrumentum laboris” (“working document”).
The working document emphasized the struggles of young Catholic men and women “who continue to live in situations of war or political instability” as well as those who suffer “discrimination and persecution to the point of martyrdom.”

Mourning a friend — Young people mourn over the casket of Gerald Jose Vasquez, a student at the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua, during his July 15 wake in Managua. Vasquez was one of two students shot and killed by paramilitary forces when they were seeking refuge in Divine Mercy Catholic Church after being forced from the university they had occupied in protest for more than two months. (CNS photo/Oswaldo Rivas, Reuters)

Nicaraguan bishops to pray as violence continues
MANAGUA, Nicaragua (CNS) — As attacks on Catholic clergy continue and anti-government protesters are besieged by Nicaraguan police and paramilitaries, the bishops said they would pray an exorcism prayer.
The bishops said July 20 would be a day of prayer and fasting “as an act of atonement for the profanation carried out in recent months against God.” On that day, “We will pray the prayer of exorcism to St. Michael Archangel.”
On July 15, the vehicle of Bishop Juan Mata Guevara of Esteli was shot as he traveled to the city of Nindiri, where he had hoped to stop an attack by police and paramilitaries. The bishop escaped unharmed but the vehicle’s tires were shot out and windows broken, said Father Victor Rivas, executive secretary of the Nicaraguan bishops’ conference.
An attack July 14 at the nearby National Autonomous University of Nicaragua campus in Managua left two students dead and injured 15 more. Some of the fleeing protesters sought shelter in Divine Mercy Church, where the injured were being treated, but armed assailants stopped ambulances from reaching the church.
A Washington Post reporter was among those trapped in the parish, which churchmen said had been “profaned,” and pictures posted to social media showed the church had been pockmarked by bullets.
“They are shooting at a church,” Father Erick Alvarado Cole, a pastor at the parish, told The Washington Post. “The government says it respects human rights. Is this respecting human rights?”
On July 9, Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes Solorzano of Managua and his auxiliary, Bishop Silvio Jose Baez, and Archbishop Waldemar Stanislaw Sommertag, the apostolic nuncio, were among clergy from Managua pummeled as they attempted to protect St. Sebastian Basilica in the city of Diriamba from an incursion by a pro-government mob. Bishop Baez and at least one other priest were injured. Journalists also were attacked and had cameras and other equipment stolen.
“In recent days, the repression and violence carried out by the pro-government paramilitaries against the people who protest civically has gotten worse. ... Today, like never before, human rights are being violated in Nicaragua,” the bishops’ July 14 statement said. “Members of the national dialogue” — convened by the bishops’ conference — “defenders of human rights and independent media have been the objects of campaigns of defamation by the government.”
Human rights groups put the death toll in Nicaragua at more than 350 since April 18, when protests erupted over reforms to the Central American country’s social security system.

Bishops urge governor to halt upcoming executions
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (CNS) — Bishops J. Mark Spalding of Nashville, Richard F. Stika of Knoxville and Martin D. Holley of Memphis have written to Gov. Bill Haslam urging him to “use your authority as governor to put an end to the fast-track executions planned” in the state of Tennessee in the upcoming months.
“It is within your power to establish your legacy as a governor of Tennessee who did not preside over an execution on your watch,” the state’s three Catholic bishops wrote.
The last person to be put to death by lethal injection in Tennessee was Cecil Johnson in 2009, when Phil Bredesen was governor. The state has carried out a total of six executions since 1976, five of those during Bredesen’s tenure.
In Tennessee, the governor has sole authority to grant clemency to death-row inmates.
There are currently 62 men and one woman on Tennessee’s death row.
The next man scheduled to be executed by the state is Billy Ray Irick Aug. 9. Irick, 59, who has a history of serious mental illness, was convicted in 1986 of the rape and murder of a 7-year-old Knox County girl named Paula Dyer, and has been on death row for more than three decades.
In their letter to Haslam, the bishops called for mercy, including for those who have committed terrible crimes. “We join with many other religious denominations in firm opposition to the execution of even those convicted of heinous crimes,” they wrote.
The bishops thanked Haslam for meeting with them in the past, and for his willingness to learn more about the Catholic Church’s opposition to capital punishment and the foundations of that teaching.
In their letter, the bishops recalled the story of St. John Paul II’s visit to St. Louis in 1999, when he called for an end to the death penalty as both cruel and unnecessary. The pope said, “It is simply not necessary as the only means to protect society while still providing a just punishment for those who break civil laws,” the bishops wrote in their letter. “Rather than serving as a path to justice, the death penalty contributes to the growing disrespect for human life.”

Overturning ‘Roe’ no ‘magic bullet,’ New York archdiocese lawyer says
NEW YORK CITY, July 16, 2018, (CNA/EWTN News) – The Director of Public Policy for the Archdiocese of New York has said that overturning the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision should not be the seen as the final objective for pro-life advocates in the United States.
In a blog post written before President Donald Trump nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh to fill a Supreme Court vacancy, Mechmann warned that during the confirmation process for any nominee, “the rhetoric will be heated and likely ugly, and may even include a large dose of religious intolerance.”
Mechmann’s post explained that the advance of secularism and moral relativism have detached judicial decisions from the principles of natural law. Without this foundation, Mechmann argued, judicial interpretation lacks a “moral and legal compass” to guide decisions.
The result is that the judicial process and the Supreme Court are increasingly accepted as politically tainted, something the framers of the Constitution never intended, he said.
If confirmed by the Senate, Judge Kavanaugh is expected to join the more conservative wing of the Supreme Court. He is widely considered to be an “originalist,” interpreting the Constitution according to its plain-text reading and the intentions and understanding of the founding fathers themselves.
This standard is then applied when “originalist” judges evaluate whether legislation conforms to the Constitution.
Originalist thinkers are often seen to oppose so-called “living” readings of the Constitution, in which legal rights and principles are inferred to exist in the light of modern values, even if they are not contained in the text itself.
In the context of abortion, the decision Roe v. Wade rested on the Court’s inference of a “right to privacy” for women seeking abortions, something which is explicitly not found in the Bill of Rights. The subsequent decision Planned Parenthood v. Casey, delivered in 1992, affirmed the right to privacy and the legal protection it affords abortion. That decision was co-authored by Justice Anthony Kennedy, who last month announced his retirement from the Supreme Court, creating the current vacancy. If confirmed, Judge Kavanaugh could create what many have predicted to be a 5-4 majority on the Court in favor of overturning Roe v. Wade.
But Mechmann, a Harvard educated lawyer who previously worked in the United States’ Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, noted that an originalist majority did not necessarily mean Roe would be overturned.
Roe, said Mechmann, did not just “emerge fully formed from the brow of Justice Blackmun” [author of the decision]. Rather, it was “the result of decades of prior decisions, reaching back to the 1920's.” Consequently, overturning Roe would involve repudiating a deeply embedded body of legal argument, he said. Such a dramatic step would “set off a political explosion that would undermine the legitimacy of the Court in the eyes of a large number of Americans.”
Such a “political explosion” might already have begun, as abortion advocates react to the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh. Terry McAuliffe, the former Governor of Virginia, said July 9 that Kavanaugh’s nomination “will threaten the lives of millions of Americans for decades to come.”
Even if a “pro-life” appointee were confirmed, Roe v. Wade is not certain to be overturned, Mechmann argued. Several of the more conservative Supreme Court Justices often prefer to make decisions on narrowly defined questions relevant to particular cases. Mechmann noted this tendency in past decisions from Chief Justice John G. Roberts, and Justices Alito and Gorsuch, and suggested there could be a succession of such rulings which chip away at legal protections for abortion, but stop short of a single dramatic reversal.
The strength of expectation around a possible reversal of Roe v. Wade has led many to assume it would result in abortion becoming illegal overnight, yet this is not the case, Mechmann said. In the event that the Supreme Court reversed itself and removed the inferred constitutional protection for abortion, the issue would again be subject to state-by-state legislation. This, Mechmann pointed out, would yield very mixed results.
“A number of states already have laws on the books that would essentially permit abortion on demand for some, if not all of pregnancy. New York's statute, for example, permits abortion on demand prior to 24 weeks of pregnancy.

The pope’s intention
Here is Pope Francis’ prayer intention for this month:
Priests and their Pastoral Ministry: That priests, who experience fatigue and loneliness in their pastoral work, may find help and comfort in their intimacy with the Lord and in their friendship with their brother priests.

Extension helps to rebuild Texas diocese
PORT ARTHUR, Texas (CNS) — After Hurricane Harvey last year, “there was no rainbow,” Bishop Curtis J. Guillory of Beaumont said about the massive destruction wrought by the storm.
But with its commitment of nearly $670,000 to help the diocese rebuild, “Catholic Extension is that rainbow and the promise that things will get better,” the bishop said. “We are so grateful for their generosity.”
Father Jack Wall, president of Catholic Extension, presented a check for $100,000 to the Diocese of Beaumont during a special Mass July 10 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Port Arthur. The check was for the first part of the funds to come from Catholic Extension.
“We are privileged to help,” Father Wall said. “We have supported Texas for more than 100 years and in this time of crisis, especially, we want you to know that you are not alone. The church is bigger than any challenges you face.”

If it is broke, fix it: Ideas on reshaping U.S. immigration policy
WASHINGTON (CNS) — In 2008, Kenan Thompson of “Saturday Night Live” unveiled a “financial expert” character named Oscar Rogers on the “Weekend Update” segment. His advice on the economy, shouted loudly and often as the nation was careening into the Great Recession, was “Fix it!”
That Oscar Rogers mantra would suit U.S. immigration policy as well, as people and advocates complain about a broken immigration system.
The U.S. bishops in 2003 published a pastoral letter, “Strangers No Longer: Together on the Journey of Hope,” which listed principles of reforming U.S. immigration policy. But 15 years later, how do those principles translate into concrete legislative proposals?
“This year, we’ve seen the failure to pass on both sides of Congress larger-scale bills that have fixes for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), most recently here in the House,” said Ashley Feasley, director of policy for Migration and Refugee Services at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington.
“(The month of) June had a couple of votes that they didn’t pass and (got) broken down from bipartisan negotiations at the beginning of June to negotiations within the Republican Party,” which controls the White House and both houses of Congress, Feasley added. “The bishops opposed both bills, which failed to pass.”
Currently, according to Feasley, “there’s a lot of focus on the family separation issue and the family detention issue” after the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” on border crossers caused an uproar once it was put into effect this spring.
President Donald Trump signed an executive order to reunite families, but not all children who were separated from parents have been reunited with them.
Feasley described one aspect of the immigration system’s brokenness: “Frankly, there has been an overreliance on administrative methods because there’s been an absence of consensus in Congress on passing legislation on the immigration issues that need to be solved.”
DACA, she said, is “a perfect example. The DREAM Act was first introduced in 2001 and it has been brought up in several iterations, either by itself or part of a comprehensive bill, on the House and on the Senate side. The Obama administration initiated the DACA program in 2012, and the Trump administration ended the program in 2017, and now there’s judicial challenges.”
One suit, brought by Texas and several Southern states, is challenging DACA’s legality. If a federal court agrees with Texas, that could prompt a legislative fix, Feasley said.
But that is “reactive to the court case,” she added, and “there’s not a lot of proactive action going on now.” Depending on the midterm elections, Feasley said, a lame-duck session could see some immigration bills brought to the floor.
“We strongly believe that family-based immigration is one of the most important aspects. Then, after that, humanitarian issues. Protection for people seeking asylum, protection for people when things happen, the TPS (Temporary Protected Status),” said Jeanne Atkinson, executive director of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network.
“We need to legalize the people who are here. We’re talking about people undergoing background checks, paying fines and stepping forward. That is a component,” Atkinson said.

Learn from the past before looking to future, pope tells young people
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The future cannot be understood without reflecting on the past and on the history and traditions passed on to young people from parents and grandparents, Pope Francis said.
“It’s from your roots that you will get the strength to continue. None of us — neither you nor me — were manufactured in a laboratory; we have a history, we have roots. And everything we do, the results we achieve, the beauty we create in the future, all comes from those roots,” the pope said in a video message released by the Vatican July 15.
The pope’s message was sent to young people of the Caribbean attending the July 10-23 youth assembly sponsored by the Antilles bishops’ conference.
The conference’s theme was focused on transforming the family in the Caribbean in accordance with “Amoris Laetitia” (“The Joy of Love”), the pope’s apostolic exhortation on marriage and family.
In his message, the pope warned young people of the danger of becoming “aging youths” who are “settled” and do not have the strength to move forward and build a better future.
“Study it. Look at it and you will have the guidelines to move forward,” the pope said.

If confirmed, Kavanaugh will keep Catholic majority in the U.S. Supreme Court

Biographical highlights of the current sitting justices of the U.S. Supreme Court and nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh, picked by President Donald Trump July 9 to fill the vacancy left by retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy. (CNS graphic/Michael Gresham, The Texas Catholic)

WASHINGTON (CNS) — When Brett Kavanaugh took to the podium July 9 at the White House after being introduced as President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, he revealed, among other things, that his Catholic faith is a big part of his life.
He spoke about coaching his daughter’s CYO basketball team, serving the homeless with a priest in the audience who used to be his pastor, following the motto of his Jesuit high school to be “a man for others” and being “part of the vibrant Catholic community in the D.C. area.”
The frank discussion of his Catholicism probably wasn’t shocking for many court-watchers who may already have known that three of the four candidates who were on Trump’s top list of potential nominees — Kavanaugh and Judges Amy Coney Barrett and Thomas Hardiman — are Catholic.
And if Kavanaugh is confirmed by the Senate, he will not only replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, who is Catholic, but he also will join four other Catholic justices already on the bench — Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Sonia Sotomayor.
Judge Neil Gorsuch, who was raised Catholic but now attends an Episcopal church with his family, attended the same Catholic high school as Kavanaugh — Georgetown Prep in Maryland. He filled the vacancy left by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, who was Catholic.
The other justices on the court: Elena Kagan, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer are Jewish.
Francis Beckwith, a professor of philosophy and church-state studies at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, thinks this current mix of religious traditions in the court could have something to do with the emphasis on law in both faiths: canon law in the Catholic Church and the Talmudic law in the Jewish tradition. But he also said the study of law and medicine was something the second generation of Catholic and Jewish immigrants sought as professions.
Richard Garnett, professor and associate dean at Notre Dame Law School, has periodically written about or been interviewed on the topic of Catholics in the nation’s high court for the past decade. He thinks the current influx of Catholics simply reflects that they were suitable candidates for Republican presidents because of the Catholic anti-abortion stance.
Sotomayor, was the exception, appointed by President Barack Obama. In a 2013 interview with The New York Times, she described herself as a “very spiritual person” although she added: “maybe not traditionally religious in terms of Sunday Mass every week, that sort of thing.”
For most of the court’s history, its justices were primarily Protestant, with only a smattering of Catholics.
Garnett outlined the history of Catholics in the court in a 2006 article for Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana.
According to his research, 12 Catholic justices have served on the Supreme Court and one more, Justice Sherman Minton, became Catholic after he left this post. The first Catholic named to the court was Chief Justice Roger Taney, appointed by President Andrew Jackson in 1836. He is principally remembered for writing the Dred Scott decision upholding slavery.
After Taney left the court, another Catholic, Chief Justice Edward White, was not named to the bench for another 30 years. In the early 1900s, White and Justice Joseph McKenna were on the court at the same time. They were followed by Justice Pierce Butler, appointed in 1923, and Justice Frank Murphy, appointed in 1940. The “Catholic seat” then sat empty for seven years until 1956 when Justice William Brennan joined the court.
Scalia overlapped with Brennan for four years and then came the current Catholic justices. Clarence Thomas was raised Catholic and went to Catholic college and the seminary, but at the time of his appointment in 1991, he was not a practicing Catholic. He came back to the church a few years later.
These nominees faced scrutiny for their Catholic faith. President Franklin Roosevelt promised that Murphy would “not let religion stand in his way” which Murphy reiterated in senate hearings saying his faith and vocation were kept “in air-tight compartments.” In Thomas’ hearings, even though he was attending services at an Episcopal church at the time, he was questioned if he would be independent from the pope, since he had attended Catholic schools.

People are seen outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington July 9. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)

Avance Católico, Viernes, 20 de Julio 2018

Las Hermanas Misioneras Catequistas de los Pobres con anfitriona Bernice Scanlan de la parroquia de All Saints.

Dios nos muestra su rostro a traves de nuestras culturas
Por Danny Krug

Dios nos muestra su rostro a traves de nuestras culturas, dicen las Catequistas.
El tiempo de verano normalmente es el tiempo en que las hermanas Catequistas de los Pobres lo toman para estudios espirituales, retiros, etc. e ir de regreso a visitar a sus familiares en México, pero este año las misioneras decidieron estudiar el inglés y estar inmersas en la cultura anglosajona. Las hermanas están tomando el programa de inglés intensivo de dos meses en la Universidad de Wichita State y al mismo tiempo vivieron con diferentes familias durante el mes de junio para compartir y aprender de sí mismos y del rostro de Dios.
Durante el mes de junio cada una de las hermanas compartió con dos diferentes familias o comunidades religiosas en Wichita y queremos agradecerles a todas las familias/congregaciones que abrieron sus puertas y sus corazones para un compartir de amistad y cultura: los Macias y los Davied de la parroquia de la Resurrección; los Powells y Bernice Scanlan de la parroquia All Saints; los Knapps de la parroquia de la Magdalena; Kay Tate de la parroquia S. José y también las congregaciones religiosas de S. José, Adoradoras de la Sangre de Cristo y las hermanas de la Paz.
Cada una de las hermanas Catequistas compartió algunas cosas que nunca olvidarán y que aprendieron de su experiencia con la familia/congregación anfitriona:
La Hna. Maria de Lourdes (Lulú) Moreno nos comenta que para ella su experiencia fue significativa ya que ellos estaban tan disponibles para ayudarme y para recibirme con gusto y alegría. “el deseo de que yo aprendiera y conociera su idioma. También la paciencia y el esfuerzo de ellos de compartir su vida, su espacio y su tiempo…el interés de conocerme tanto de los adultos como los jóvenes” dice la hermana Lulú. Ella comentó como ella tenía una mentalidad diferente de la cultura americana de que son alejados y cada quien por su lado pero esta experiencia cambió esta mentalidad. Ella dice, “algo muy bonito es que los viernes llegaban todos y comían juntos y que constantemente estaba en comunicación a través de la tecnología. Una comunicación de familia unida, diferente y constante aunque cada quien en su mundo.” Dice la hermana que son personas que tienen mucho a Dios y el interés no solo en que esté en la vida de ellos sino también el de transmitirlo a otros como una responsabilidad grande. “Mi visión cambió, dice la hna., antes había observado las personas americanas en la iglesia pero es muy diferente cuando tienes la experiencia de vivir en su casa, es más personal y es crear más amistades de Dios.” La experiencia con las hermanas religiosas dice la hna. Lulú fue muy significativa. Ellas muy liberales en muchas cosas pero muy comunicativas y espirituales. La Hna. Llulú comentó que rezó y cantó con ellas sobre su fundador y su espiritualidad, esto fue muy bonito.
La Hna. Silvia Dominguez nos comentó que tambien fue una experiencia muy significativa para ella. Comenta la hermana que ellos se sentían bendecidos por su presencia y esto la llenó mucho: “El sentirse bendecidos por mi presencia en su casa pero que también para mí fue una bendición. Me hizo sentir muy especial como persona, como religiosa, pero también con un compromiso muy serio. Responder a su generosidad.” La Hna. Silvia comenta que otra cosa muy positiva fue el interés de ellos de conocer su vida misionera, su familia, de su misión y lo que ellas hacen y sobre todo lo que compartimos con el pueblo hispano. Ella dijo, “Bueno eso fue una experiencia muy fuerte para mí y también fue un reto de estar con ellos y de tener que hablar en inglés en todo momento…” Ella también comentó: “Me hace sentir con mucha responsabilidad en la misión en el trabajo de responder de compartir y de involucrarnos más en las actividades americanas.
La Hna Marta Acosta nos comentó como en una oportunidad durante una clase en la universidad una de las maestras le preguntó cómo era la familia donde estaba y ella respondió muy espontáneamente: “mi familia es la mejor que me había tocado porque sentí que Dios me dio lo que yo necesitaba y quizás lo que ellos necesitaban: mi presencia con ellos y ellos para conmigo.” La Hna. Marta comentó como aprendió mucho de su experiencia con las familias porque le dio una oportunidad de vivir en otra comunidad fuera de la suya compartiendo horarios, espacio y quehaceres. “yo pensé que iba a extrañar mi comunidad; sin embargo, yo siento que Dios siempre está ahí atento a nuestras necesidades porque con ellos lo hacíamos todos juntos.” Comentó la Hna. que ellos demostraron mucho interés y paciencia para que ella aprendiera el idioma al igual que su tiempo, su hogar, su familia y el esfuerzo de ellos para incluirla en toda parte de su vida y de darla a conocer a su familia extendida y amistades como también su confianza y acogimiento. Ella le impresionó como ellos ponían su interés también en expresar su cariño y engrandecer su comunicación. El matrimonio de los Powells fue un gran testimonio de vida matrimonial y cristiana para la hermana Marta y la Sra. Berenice le pareció bien acogedora y paciente a pesar de su edad. “Esta experiencia me dejó muy edificada.” La hermana continuó diciendo “Yo no conocía como era al americano y con ellos siento querer más a esta cultura… no es una cultura cerrada como he leído y creído sino que está el otro lado del rostro del americano y siento que es el rostro que Dios me mostró. Un rostro de mucha ternura de mucha acogida, un rostro donde no me sentí menos sino que me sentí como una más para ellos…son personas normales muy de Dios.”
Para la Hna Guadalupe Salazar (Lupita) fue muy especial el introducirse en la vida de una familia americana. Ella se sintió muy acogida por ellos y por su apoyo e interés para sus cosas y la hizo sentir como parte de la familia. La Hna Lupita nos comenta que la delicadeza de la Sra. Becky de llevarla cada día a misa, rezar juntas y llevarla a la universidad. Tambien pudo participar de las actividades parroquiales y aprovechar de practicar su inglés. En ellos vió el valor de la familia y la apreciación de buscar un momento para estar juntos. La hna. Lupita tuvo la oportunidad de compartir con las Hnas. de S. José y fue algo muy diferente porque eran muchas y muy lindas y le mostraron el rostro misericordioso de Dios. Comenta la hna. Lupita que algunas de las hermanas de S. José les ayudaron a practicar su inglés, cocinar, recorrer todo el edificio, y hasta jugar con los rompecabezas.
Comentó la hermana, “los detalles fueron muy significados y me ayudaron a palpar la paciencia y la misericordia de Dios y de cada una de las personas para el proceso de estar aprendiendo inglés.
Todas las hermanas Catequistas estuvieron de acuerdo en que esta experiencia las dejó muy motivadas, enriquecidas y muy edificadas. Ellas agradecen de todo corazón a cada una de las personas que estuvieron envueltas en este proceso de seguir aprendiendo el idioma y la cultura.
Las hermanas continúan estudiando en la universidad de Wichita State hasta finales del mes de julio y ahora residen en el convento de la parroquia San Patricio.

La Hermana Marta Acosta con su familia anfitriona Rick and Janelle Powell de la parroquia de All Saints.

La Conferencia Católica del Midwest 3 al 5 de Agosto
La Conferencia Católica del Midwest presentará a los populares oradores católicos del 3 al 5 de agosto.
Scott Hahn, Tim Staples y el Dr. Ray Guarendi volverán a catequizar y entretener a los asistentes en la Conferencia Familiar Católica del Midwest del 3 al 5 de agosto en el Century II en Wichita.
Hahn, el autor de Rome Sweet Home, es quizás el converso moderno a la fe católica más conocido cuyos libros y testimonios han resultado en un gran número de conversiones al catolicismo. Él hablará el viernes por la noche, el 3 de agosto y dos veces el sábado por la mañana.
Tim Staples, otro converso, es uno de los apologistas más poderosos de la iglesia. El ex seminarista católico es director de Apologetics and Evangelization for Catholic Answers y ofrecerá dos presentaciones para adultos, una para estudiantes de secundaria y otra para jóvenes de los grados 6 a 8 .
El Dr. Ray Guarendi, un psicólogo católico y presentador de radio y televisión, cuyo programa de radio “The Dr Is In” es llevado por más de 440 estaciones y en Sirius, hará dos presentaciones para adultos.
Otros oradores incluyen al padre William Wagner, que sirvió a la iglesia en Europa durante 43 años; El padre Dennis McManus, instructor de historia judía; Terry Beasley, un autor pro-vida; y la Dra. Jennifer Roback Morse, experta en matrimonio y familia, y sexualidad humana.
Ceili Rain, una banda irlandesa de pop-rock, entretendrá a los asistentes a la conferencia el viernes por la noche. La banda ha recibido 14 premios Unity por la United Catholic Music and Video Association.
¿Quieres asistir?
Para registrarse o descargar un itinerario de fin de semana, visite CatholicFamilyConference.org. Una variedad de opciones desde una sola noche hasta todo el fin de semana con las comidas están disponibles.

VII Congreso Familiar de Evangelización y Renovación en el Espíritu Santo
Nuestra Señora del Perpetuo Socorro te invita al VII Congreso Familiar Católico de Evangelización y Renovación en el Espíritu Santo el Sábado 11 y Domingo 12 de agosto de 2018. Con el lema: “No todo está perdido, seremos renovados por el poder de la Fe”, se tratarán muchos temas de familia, habrá Hora Santa, el rezo del Rosario, Música y la celebración de la Santa Misa. Los invitados de este año son: Héctor García, Yuan Fuei Liao, el Padre Eduardo Toraño, el Padre Yoshio Hernán, Sam Miranda, Eva Hurtado, el Padre José Machado y el Sr. Obispo Carl Kemme quien oficiará la Misa de Clausura el domingo a las 3:00 p.m.
Para más información llame a la Parroquia del Perpetuo Socorro al 316-838-8373 de Lunes a Viernes de 9 a.m. a 5 p.m.

Estudiantes culminan exitosamente otro curso de Inglés y clases de Ciudadanía
En la foto vemos algunos de los estudiantes con sus certificados de haber concluído las clases de ciudadanía e inglés junto a algunos de los maestros voluntarios que ayudan para el desarrollo de este programa

¿Soy voluntario o steward? ¿Cuál es la diferencia?
Por el Padre
Ken Van Haverbeke

A Frank le gusta el jardín. Le encanta el olor de la tierra y la sensación del suelo en sus manos. Hay momentos en que sus hijos desean que encuentre otro pasatiempo, especialmente a fines del verano. ¡Hay tantas maneras en que uno puede cocinar, hornear, freír o preparar calabacín! ¡Y lo han intentado todo!
Frank tiene un buen puesto trabajando para una compañía de aviones. Él y su esposa compran regularmente en la tienda de comestibles local, siempre pasando por el estante de calabacín, ¡sabiendo que tienen mucho en casa! Frank no necesita cultivar la tierra para producir los alimentos que su familia comerá. Es un hobby. Es agradable, pero opcional.
Susan es maestra. Desde el día en que pudo caminar y hablar, ella ya estaba enseñando. Su trabajo es trabajar en la misma compañía de aviones en la que Frank trabaja, pero aunque el trabajo de Susan no es enseñar, ella es maestra.
En sus conversaciones con los demás, ella enseña. De la manera en que ella realiza su trabajo, ella enseña sin palabras. Un maestro de acuerdo con un diccionario es una persona que ayuda a otros a adquirir conocimientos, destrezas o valores. Susan es maestra, siempre ayuda a otros a adquirir conocimientos, destrezas o valores. No es lo que ella hace. Es quien es ella.
Frank es voluntario. Susan es una administradora. Cuando Frank trabaja en su jardin es opcional. Él puede hacerlo o no, dependiendo de su salud, tiempo y deseo. Susan enseña. No es opcional, ya sea si ella está en el trabajo o en casa; ya sea con extraños o familiares, Susan enseña. Ella no puede evitarlo. Es quien es ella, no lo que ella hace.
En la Diócesis de Wichita, hemos aprendido que es importante ser voluntario, pero el voluntariado es opcional. El Stewardship no es una opción. No es algo que hacemos, somos quienes somos: somos stewards. Un steward es una persona que agradecidamente reconoce y recibe su vida como un regalo de Dios, y está dispuesta a compartir su vida con los demás.
Hemos llegado a entender que el stewardship es una expresión de discipulado que cambia la manera en que nos entendemos a nosotros mismos. No es solo una actividad; es nuestra identidad en Cristo. Administrar nuestra vida y nuestros dones no son una opción.

Después de tres años de Ministerio Francisco y Lorenza Ríos de Catedral(a la derecha) le entregan la dirección de los Encuentros Matrimoniales a José y Alma García de Santa Margarita María(a la izquierda).

¡Tú y yo: algo que merece nuestro cariño y atención!
El Siguiente Retiro del Encuentro Matrimonial es el 17 – 19 de Agosto en el Spiritual Life Center
Una gran oportunidad para enriquecer tu relación como pareja es el Encuentro Matrimonial Mundial (EMM). El EMM es un movimiento católico designado por matrimonios cuyo fin es ayudar a las parejas vivir su relación de una manera más íntima y feliz. La experiencia fundamental es un fin de semana, animado por el testimonio de dos o tres matrimonios y un sacerdote que tratan distintos aspectos de la vida conyugal y familiar.
El EMM es el movimiento más grande de todo el mundo que se enfoca en el bienestar de la pareja en orden de impartir aquellos valores que aportan una relación estable y duradera. Actualmente EMM existe en más de 100 países y casi 5 millones de parejas han hecho un fin de semana.
Un ejemplo claro del impacto que puede tener asistir a un fin de semana de EMM es palpable en el testimonio de una pareja que asistió aquí mismo en Wichita. Ellos ni si quiera habían considerado casarse y por la gracia de Dios decidieron asistir al fin de semana EMM. Desde el Encuentro, ellos reconocieron el don que el uno es para el otro.
Consideran ahora su relación de una manera completamente diferente y el grupo de parejas del Encuentro Matrimonial han llegado a ser para ellos como familia.
La pareja lo explica con sus propias palabras: “El fin de semana cambió nuestras vidas como matrimonio, como padres, como hijos y como personas. Y nos hizo vernos como parte de ustedes que son como familia para nosotros. Le doy gracias a Dios por haber vivido este fin de semana el cual nos abrió los ojos para darnos cuenta lo importante que es estar casado por la Iglesia y más que nada tener el sacramento del matrimonio.
La verdad nos sentimos muy bendecidos. Les agradecemos de todo corazón por toda su ayuda, su tiempo y su apoyo… Nos va a dar mucho gusto celebrar y compartir el día de nuestra boda con ustedes.” Todo cambió para ellos y ha sido el mejor regalo que pudieron haber recibido.
La coordinación local del Encuentro en el área de Wichita ha sido dirigida en los últimos 3 años por Lore y Francisco Ríos de Catedral. Ellos se han esforzado por hacer crecer el Encuentro y crear conocimiento que existe esta oportunidad para las parejas de nuestra Diócesis. Este pasado 5 de mayo se llevó a cabo el cambio de coordinación y una nueva pareja fue elegida como nuevos líderes.
Ellos son José y Alma García de la parroquia de Santa Margarita María. Tienen 6 años de casados y ya llevan 3 años siendo parte del Encuentro y se están preparando para ser parte del equipo presentador. El Padre Floyd McKinney, sacerdote de nuestra Diócesis es el moderador y capellán del Encuentro Matrimonial, apoya y promueve el EMM y participa con el equipo presentador de los retiros los cuales se llevan a cabo 2 veces al año.
Nosotros en la Oficina de la Pastoral para Matrimonios y Familia, repetimos las palabras de ánimo y de afecto que el Papa Francisco recientemente dirigió a la comunidad internacional del EMM: “Les agradezco todo el bien que hacen para ayudar a las familias. ¡Sigan adelante!”
La fecha del siguiente fin de semana de EMM en Wichita es: el 17 al 19 de Agosto en el Spiritual Life Center y el cupo es limitado.
¿Quieres más información?
Si quisieras más información sobre el Encuentro e inscribirte llama a José y Alma al (316) 519-4194.

Carta de solidaridad del Sr. Obispo Carl Kemme
Queridos hermanos y hermanas en Cristo,
Quiero unirme a los obispos de los Estados Unidos en el apoyo de la declaración hecha por el Cardenal Daniel DiNardo, presidente de la Conferencia Católica de los Obispos de los Estados Unidos en condenar la póliza de “Zero Tolerance” de la administración la cual llama a la separación de padres de sus hijos cuando cruzan la frontera ilegalmente de México a E.E. U.U.
Así como lo indicó el Cardenal DiNardo, “Nuestro Gobierno tiene la prudencia de nuestras leyes para garantizar que los niños pequeños no sean separados de sus padres y expuestos a daños y traumas irreparables. Las familias son el elemento fundamental de nuestra sociedad y deben poder permanecer juntas. Aunque proteger nuestras fronteras es importante, podemos y debemos hacer algo mejor como gobierno y como sociedad, para encontrar otras formas de garantizar esa seguridad. Separar a los bebés de sus madres no es la respuesta y es inmoral.”
Por favor, únanse a mí para proclamar esta verdad a todos los que tienen poder y autoridad en nuestra sociedad civil para que el cambio en esta política se lleve a cabo lo antes posible. Lo que está sucediendo en la frontera de Estados Unidos / México es incorrecto, inmoral e incluso cruel.
Oremos por una resolución rápida a los muchos desafíos que se presentan en nuestras leyes y políticas actuales de inmigración. Aunque proporcionar fronteras seguras es importante, nuestro país, sin embargo, se fundó en el principio de acoger al extranjero y ofrecer una vida mejor a quienes la buscan. Usar a los niños como elemento de disuasión y separar incluso a niños pequeños y bebés de sus padres, causando traumas innegables e innecesarios, no es de lo que se trata nuestro país.
Dios les bendiga y Dios bendiga a las familias que están sufriendo de esta manera.
+ Sr. Obispo Carl A. Kemme, Obispo de Wichita

La intención del Papa para julio
Por la Evangelización: Los sacerdotes en su misión pastoral. Para que los sacerdotes que viven con fatiga y en la soledad el trabajo pastoral se sientan confortados con la ayuda de la amistad con el Señor y con los hermanos.

Calendario Hispano
Planificación Familiar Natural en Español: Para más información e inscripción en cualquiera de las siguientes clases favor de comunicarse con Marisa Hernández en la Oficina del Ministerio Hispano al 316-269-3919.
• Sábado 28 de julio, 5 p.m. Santa Margarita María, Centro Parroquial.
• Lunes 6 de agosto, 7 p.m. San Patricio, Salón Madre Teresa.
• Miércoles 15 de agosto, 8 p.m. Perpetuo Socorro, Centro Parroquial.
• Domingo 19 de agosto, 2 p.m., Catedral, Salón Pio X.
Cursillo de Cristiandad - Escuela de Dirigentes – Wichita: primer y tercer viernes del mes, 7 p.m. en el salón Madre Teresa de la Iglesia de San Patricio. Coordinadora: Patricia Benavides, tlf. 316-210-0004.
• Arkansas City: Tercer domingo de cada mes, después de la Misa de 11 a.m. en el Salón Parroquial de la Iglesia Sagrado Corazón. Coordinadores: Isabel Rodriguez y Lauro Lopez, 620-660-5180 y 316-559-3776.
• Hutchinson: segundo viernes de cada mes, 7 p.m. en el Salon Parroquial de la Iglesia Ntra. Sra. de Guadalupe. Coordinadores: Norma Urueta y Patty Benavides, 620-474-5238 y 316-210-0004
Cursillo de Cristiandad - Ultreyas – Wichita: último viernes del mes, 7 p.m. en la cafetería de la Escuela de San Patricio. Coordinadores: Efren y Laura Martinez asistidos por Laura Martinez. Arkansas City: tercer domingo del mes 1 p.m. Salón Parroquial de la Iglesia Sagrado Corazón. Coordinadora: Isabel Rodriguez. Hutchinson: cuarto domingo del mes, 1:30 p.m. en el Gimnasio de la Iglesia Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe. Coordinadora: Norma Hurueta (620)474-5238.
Seminario de Preparación Matrimonial: Centro Pastoral Hispano, 11 de agosto y 1ro de diciembre. Para más información e inscripción, favor comunicarse con Jake Samour al (316) 202-0645.
Taller “A Nuestro Alcance”: Centro Pastoral Hispano, 6 de octubre. Para más información e inscripción, favor comunicarse con Jake Samour al (316) 202-0645.

Holy Savior Parish begins construction of church, school

Bishop Carl A. Kemme blesses the cornerstone of a new Holy Savior Church Sunday, June 24, in Wichita. At right is Father Pat Malone, longtime pastor. (Advance photos)

$10 million project to take 16 months
Bishop Carl A. Kemme blessed the cornerstone of a new Holy Savior Church after the 10 a.m. Mass Sunday, June 24.
The prayers of parishioners and visitors were answered when a predicted rainstorm became a gentle sprinkle, much like the holy water Bishop Kemme used to bless the land at 13th and Chautauqua in Wichita.
The school, for children in grades pre-kindergarten through eight, will cover about 28,000 square feet. Construction for the project is expected to take about 16 months and is projected to be finished sometime toward the end of 2019.
The parish hopes to be able to have the school ready by August, in time for the 2019-2020 school year. The school will continue to operate at its existing site, 4640 E. 15th St. N., until the project is complete.
In the transition, the church and church offices will relocate to the historic St. Peter Claver campus at 1209 N. Indiana.
The ground breaking comes nearly three years after Holy Savior started its capital campaign, A New Hope, A New Home: Built of Living Stones. The project includes a church with seating for more than 500 people, a gathering area, and a community room – in total about 19,500 square feet. The estimated construction cost for the project is $10 million.
“After more than 20 years of hoping, planning, and prayer, Holy Savior Parish is about to begin construction on our Built of Living Stones project,” said Father James J. Billinger, pastor of Holy Savior.
“We have arrived at this point because of the love, prayers and support of so many, including our courageous parishioners, thoughtful benefactors, the Catholic Diocese of Wichita and the City of Wichita.”
The architect for the project is Schaefer Johnson Cox Frey. Simpson Construction is the contractor.

Bishop Carl A. Kemme lifts high the spade with other dignitaries during a ground breaking ceremony Sunday, June 24, at Holy Savior Parish in Wichita.
An image of the new church is carried with a processional cross to the blessing site after a morning Mass.
An artist rendering of the exterior of the new Holy Savior church and complex. (Courtesy Schaefer Johnson Cox Frey Architecture)
A rendering of the interior of the new Holy Savior church and complex. (Courtesy Schaefer Johnson Cox Frey Architecture)

St. Joseph Church, Andale, struck by lightning; parish starts repair work

St. Joseph Parish in Andale was planning to renovate the church in a few months but a lightning strike Sunday, June 24, resulted in a change of plans.
Father Daryl Befort said the parish was planning to begin a renovation in January but, instead, had begun a repair and restoration project.
“The fire was contained in the attic space and on the pitch of the roof,” Father Befort said last week. “There was no fire damage to the interior of the church, it was contained in the attic. We have a great deal of water damage in the ceiling, the walls, and the floor, from the amount of water that was used to put out the fire.”
The church pews and statues have been removed and will be restored, he said. “All of the altars are intact. No damage to any of those.”
Insurance adjustors have inspected the damage and construction companies are being contacted for estimates, Father Befort said, adding that, for now, he isn’t able to estimate when the repairs and restoration will begin and when the project will be complete.
Firefighters did a good job in containing the blaze to the attic space, he said.
Because the fire began during a thunderstorm, the firefighters suspected the fire started from a lightning strike. That was verified by video from a surveillance camera located at nearby Andale High School.
Two firefighters injured while fighting the blaze were hospitalized but were dismissed soon afterward.
Masses will be celebrated in the parish hall until repairs are completed. The parish is made up of about 370 families.

Parishioners help remove pews Monday morning, June 25, after lightning ignited a fire early Sunday at St. Joseph Church in Andale. (Photo by Fred Solis/The Clarion)

Midwest Catholic Conference Aug. 3-5 to feature popular Catholic speakers

Scott Hahn, Tim Staples, and Dr. Ray Guarendi will again catechize and entertain those attending the annual Midwest Catholic Family Conference Aug. 3-5 at Century II in Wichita.
Hahn, the author of Rome Sweet Home, is perhaps the most widely known modern convert to the faith whose books and testimonials have resulted in a great number of conversions to Catholicism. He will speak Friday night, Aug. 3, and twice Saturday morning.
Tim Staples, another convert, is one of the church’s most powerful apologists. The former Catholic seminarian is director of Apologetics and Evangelization for Catholic Answers, and will deliver two presentations for adults, one talk for high schoolers, and one for middle school youth.
Dr. Ray Guarendi, a Catholic psychologist and radio and television host, whose radio program, “The Dr. Is In” is carried by over 440 stations and on Sirius, will make two presentations for adults.
Other speakers include Father William Wagner, who served the church in Europe for 43 years; Father Dennis McManus, an instructor of Jewish history; Terry Beasley, a pro-life author; and Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, an expert on marriage and family, and human sexuality.
Ceili Rain, an Irish pop-rock band, will entertain conference-goers Friday night. The band has received 14 Unity Awards by the United Catholic Music and Video Association.

Want to attend?
To register or to download a weekend itinerary, visit CatholicFamilyConference.org. A variety of options from a single evening to the entire weekend with meals are available.

Beta fish helps educate and entertain children at St. Anthony Family Shelter

Galaxy the fish

By Jamie Aumiller
I was gifted a beautiful Beta fish for my 40th birthday, but there were two problems: where to put him and what to name him.
I realized that my pets at home wouldn’t take too kindly to an addition to the family, and the only way to come up with a name was to let the children in the shelter name him. The children agreed that when watching him swim around his home with his bright colors, the only fitting name was Galaxy.
Galaxy quickly settled into his home with a view of everything in the office. One of his favorite activities is having the children read to him. Galaxy’s other past time is supervising the child architects as they engineer their Lego creations. The only thing he doesn’t seem to like are the dinosaur toys.
Whether it is natural or something Galaxy grew into, he has become a social fixture, receiving visitors from our agency through the week. When parents need to focus on interaction with myself, Galaxy keeps the children company, entertains them and encourages good behavior.
Clients, staff and volunteers alike have realized Mr. Galaxy’s knack as a keen listener. Not everywhere can you find someone who is not judgmental, gives you time to speak your mind and never interrupts what you are saying.
Some say he just makes them feel good because his is always willing to lend a gill, whether it be for fashion advice, what to do for dinner or if you have had a rough day and need to let off steam.
One of the bonuses is that he presents an opportunity for a reward. Feeding Galaxy is a coveted event. Adults, though, can be a bit sneaky, sometimes dropping an extra pinch of food here and there. But, I haven’t heard Galaxy complain.
Aumiller is a case manager at St. Anthony Family Shelter, a ministry of Catholic Charities.

Hays men’s conference Aug. 11

By Karen Bonar, The Salina Register
HAYS — Some familiar faces will be present at the Seventh Annual Diocesan Men’s Conference on Aug. 11 in Hays.
Archbishop Charles Chaput, O.F.M., Cap., who hails from Concordia and attended St. Francis Seminary High School in Victoria, will be one of the two speakers at the conference, which is themed “Men of God.” He will be joined by nationally known radio host John Martignoni, who hosts “EWTN Open Line” on EWTN Radio.
Archbishop Chaput said he is delighted to be returning to his home diocese for the conference.
“Kansas has its own special beauty, and a lot of that beauty comes from the people who live here,” he said. “You can take the boy out of Kansas, but not Kansas out of the boy.”
The annual men’s conference is hosted by the Salina Diocese office of Family Life. The event will feature the speakers, as well as Mass, Eucharistic Adoration, Reconciliation and lunch.
The conference theme is one both speakers laud.
“To be men of God means making a daily effort to be holy; to consciously develop the virtues of courage, honesty, justice, prudence, self-discipline and patience,” Archbishop Chaput said.
Martignoni, who has spoken previously in the diocese, said he thinks the man’s role in the spiritual formation of a family has been de-emphasized. Studies have shown that children whose fathers regularly attend church are 85 to 90 percent likely to attend church themselves as adults. If only their mother attends church, the chance is about 25 percent.
“The impact of the father on the spiritual formation of the children is so great that adult men need proper formation right now,” he said. “In this environment we’re living in, it’s so much more important to get to the male right now.”
He said the female’s role in the Church is equally important, but “the male has been neglected and overlooked, we have some catching up to do.”
Archbishop Chaput said today’s culture focuses on “toxic masculinity.”
“There’s also an undercurrent of real contempt for male dignity and leadership that’s very unhealthy for society and demoralizing for young men,” he said
Archbishop Chaput said he plans to discuss how young men “become real men in a Christian sense, despite all the conflicting pressures.”

Parish leadership day of formation July 28

One problem is a blessing for Father Ken Van Haverbeke.
“Every year I receive the same comment,” he said. “Every year in the evaluation of the annual Parish Leadership Institute, someone writes how the day was so great; they learned so much, that it was too short of a day!”
“What a great problem to have!” the director of the center said.
Pastors are often reluctant to ask parishioners to participate in parish leadership positions because they realize the busy lives parishioners lead. Parishioners, however, 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 Spiritual Life Center, the Diocese of Wichita is offering a day of formation for all parish leaders from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 28. The intent is to provide formation for parish leaders who participate in pastoral councils, finance councils, stewardship councils, parish and school staffs, and other parish organizations.
The Parish Leadership Institute consists of general leadership sessions and specific council sessions. This year Joe Dellasega, a parishioner of Our Lady of Lourdes in Pittsburg, will be presenting on the importance of a parish having an articulated mission. In this way, parishes can become missionary disciples, rather than maintaining the status quo.
Father Van Haverbeke, vicar of Stewardship and Parish Life, will present the history of the Diocese of Wichita, the organization and structure of the diocese, and how a parish pastoral council can stop reading the bulletin to one another and begin to move the parish to holiness.
In addition, Father John Jirak, pastor of Church of the Magdalen will present on how to integrate the four pillars of stewardship into the life and mission of the parish.
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; and 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, and more. 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.

Want to attend?
To register go on-line at www.slcwichita.org, or call (316) 744-0167, or contact your pastor and say, “I really would like to go to this!” Mass and lunch are included in the day.