IHM sisters host novena and consecration

Sister Mary Ann Kirkland, IHM, gives a presentation on the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in the Chapel of the IHM Novitiate House of Formation. (Courtesy photo)

By Sister Mary Francesca
The Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary of Wichita hosted a public novena May 31 through June 8, nine nights preceding their patronal feast. This year’s theme focused on promoting family consecration to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary.
The evening presentations for the annual novena began in the Novitiate House chapel where one of the Sisters presented a talk to help foster Marian devotion. The novena encouraged a renewed fervor in devotional living, building each other up as the Body of Christ.
Following the talk, guests were invited to the dining room for light refreshments and friendly conversation. Upon returning to the chapel, a Eucharistic Holy Hour took place and confession was available. Each holy hour began by communally reciting the novena prayer to the Immaculate Heart of Mary which accentuates the ideals of the family consecration to Jesus and Mary.
Promoting family consecration to the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts bears even greater importance today when marriage and the family are under a direct attack from Satan. Through this consecration, the family formally establishes Jesus, reigning through the Heart of Mary, as the head of the Christian home.
Along with promoting this devotion, the Sisters prepared to consecrate their own home. On June 9, the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Bishop Carl A. Kemme solemnly consecrated the motherhouse property and all it contains in order to make Mary (and therefore Jesus) better known and loved.
After celebrating Mass for the Sisters and guests, Bishop Kemme blessed the images of Jesus and Mary that were displayed in the sanctuary; he then prayed the solemn consecration prayer which included the following: “This property is given, dedicated, consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary who teaches us to be docile to God’s holy will, to receive all that he gives, to give all that He asks, to be available to Him at all times and in all ways, to desire to do all that He asks.”
With Mary’s special guidance and protection, the Sisters hope to “proclaim her triumph, to further her triumph, and to bring about the reign of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the hearts of all.”

Campers looking forward to next year

Lily Anderson a camper from St. Mary Parish in Moline is assisted by Lakin Shelton, right, and a life guard at the bottom of a slide in the pool at Camp Hiawatha in Wichita during the annual Holy Family Camp last month. Shelton is a member of St. Francis of Assisi Parish. (Advance photo)

This year’s Holy Family Camp may be over but many of the campers are already counting the days until the second week of June next year.
“Just as soon as the camp is over they start planning what they will do next year,” said Myra Jacobs, director of the diocesan Ministry with Persons with Disabilities. “Camp is their vacation, but it’s also a week of respite for their parents and caregivers.”
Jacobs said 97 campers and 135 volunteers went away happy Friday, June 15, after a rain-free but hot workweek of fun, food, friends – and prayer.
“They (the volunteers) all say that it’s a deeply spiritual experience. They (the campers) teach us what’s important in life, that we help each other. Relationships are important and we all get along with the help of our friends.”
The Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary had a key role in this year’s camp whose theme was “Mary, Our Mother.”
“The lesson was that Mary said yes and that we all should also say yes,” Jacobs said.
Two people who couldn’t help but say yes, she said, were Andy and Kim Herrman, directors of Camp Hiawatha, the Salvation Army facility located in north Wichita. “They were extremely helpful. If we needed anything at all, they were right there to help us.”
Jacobs said the ministry is planning to work with the Herrmans to purchase a lift to hoist campers with disabilities atop the 32-foot-high tower used for the zip line. Those unable to climb the tower are currently hoisted manually using block and tackle.
Although the zip line can be frightening, she said, the activity is liberating. “They are usually bound to a wheelchair and on a zip line they are no longer bound, they are flying through the air! Those who are watching share in that feeling of joy. It goes both ways.”
In addition to Mass, confession, and prayer, other activities included swimming, dancing, a petting zoo, a talent show, and a snow cone truck.
Knights of Columbus and other organizations assist the volunteers and the camp buddies assigned to individual campers. Knights from Hutchinson, Derby, Colwich, Wichita council 3114 and councils from St. Francis of Assisi, St. Jude, Magdalen, and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton fed campers and volunteers. Also feeding and assisting were the St. Jude Altar Society, St. Francis of Assisi’s St. Therese Little Flowers, Blessed Sacrament’s Society of St. Vincent de Paul, the Reichenberger and Dugan families, Outback Steakhouse, and Axiom Healthcare.

Georgeanna Fry, a member of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Pittsburg, stays cool, although slightly frustrated, during a game of bingo during the Holy Family Camp last month in Wichita. (Advance photo)

Diocesan reps tout Totus Tuus on EWTN

On the set of EWTN’s Life on the Rock are, from left, Father Mark Mary, Father Jacob Carlin, Veronica Hill and Rachel Schwindt,. (Courtesy photo)

Totus Tuus was in the spotlight recently on EWTN.
Three Totus Tuus representatives from the Diocese of Wichita were interviewed Thursday, June 14, in EWTN’s television studios in Irondale, Alabama.
Veronica Hill, diocesan coordinator for Totus Tuus, Father Jacob Carlin, parochial vicar at St. Patrick Parish in Wichita, and Rachel Schwindt, a former Totus Tuus missionary, were interviewed by Father John Paul Mary about the Catholic youth summer program dedicated to sharing the Gospel and promoting the Catholic faith through catechesis, evangelization, Christian witness, and Eucharistic worship.
“They were genuinely interested in the program and asked lots of great questions,” Hill said. “It was just so neat to be on their set and see what all goes into a production like that. All I had watched on EWTN was news events or live streams of ordinations, so it was cool to see one of their programming pieces.”
The EWTN videotaping session gave the trio time to reflect on Totus Tuus, Hill said, “especially for Rachel and Father Jacob, who attended Totus Tuus and taught Totus Tuus; how that impacted their vocations, their faith, how it sustained, inspired, encouraged their faith, and that they both are very big proponents of it now.”
Schwindt takes time off her work as a certified nursing assistant to help with the summer program and Father Carlin hosts Totus Tuus at St. Patrick Parish and helped with the high school program this year.
“They’re both very big champions for us even now,” Hill said.
The broadcast will likely mean more work for her, though.
“Since I came into the coordinator role two years ago, I really worked to unify the national network. So now I know that we are in 45 dioceses across North America – as far north as Toronto, Canada; Burlington, Vermont; and into Texas and Arizona,” she said.
Because dioceses inquire about Totus Tuus several times a year, Hill said, the diocesan Office of Faith Formation has focused on what resources they can provide other dioceses.
“I how that our time on EWTN is a launching point for people who are interested, people who have heard about it, not sure what it’s about – to really have a place to find some more information, understand what it is, what the impact is, and how it could be fruitful in their own diocese.”

Pro-life bicyclists will take a breather in Marion on their way to St. Louis

Bicycling pro-lifers will be riding through Marion Tuesday, July 10, in an effort to increase awareness of and provide support for pro-life crisis pregnancy centers.
The cyclists are taking part in the Biking for Babies 2018 National Ride July 8-15. Holy Family Parish in Marion will host a potluck for the rolling missionaries at 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 10, in the Church Activity Center, 415 N. Cedar. The faithful are invited.
Biking for Babies was founded in 2009 when two young men, Mike Schaefer and Jimmy Becker, followed their passion to make supporting the pro-life movement more accessible to young people.
This year over 30 college students and young adults plan to cycle a combined 2,200 miles for the babies. Groups will leave from Green Bay, Wisconsin; Columbus, Ohio; Tylertown, Texas, and Holly, Colorado, and converge in St. Louis, Missouri, on July 14.
The organization’s president, Sarah Wiese, said she is inspired by the cyclists. “We exist to bring light into the darkness of our culture; we exist to invite others into a life of action, to spread hope by our physical witness on the roads.”
Kevin Biese, a participant and a father of three, said the event is another way he tries to live out a life that supports the culture of family and life. “My [eight] years with Biking for Babies has allowed me to meet a ton of awesome people from across the country who are willing to dedicate their lives to helping women, children and families in need.”

Want to help the bicyclists pedaling for life?
Information about Biking for Babies and how to support it is available at BikingForBabies.com.

Cathedral to celebrate First Saturday devotions to Jesus’ Sacred Heart

Mass will follow First Friday devotion to Mary
By Father Drew Hoffman
For almost a decade, the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception celebrated the First Saturday devotions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Currently, on first Fridays, large numbers of the faithful come to pray at the diocese’s mother church to console our Lord’s Sacred Heart and make reparations for harm done to it. It has been a tremendous blessing to the Cathedral parish and the diocesan community to take up this pious practice.
Beginning Saturday, July 7, the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception will join its First Friday devotion to the Sacred Heart with a First Saturday devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
All are welcome to the Cathedral as we begin this tremendous practice Saturday, July 7, with an 8:30 a.m. rosary and a 9 a.m. Mass for our Blessed Mother. Please join us as we console the Immaculate Heart of our Blessed Mother and pray for peace in our world.
In her appearances to the three young visionaries at Fatima and in a private apparition to St. Lucia eight years after the Fatima apparitions, the Blessed Virgin Mary requested that the practice of five consecutive first Saturday devotions be taken up in order to make reparation for offenses against her Immaculate Heart and for world peace.
The First Saturday devotion has four parts, all done with the intention of consoling our Mother’s Immaculate Heart:
• Confession within 8 days of the First Saturday
• Reception of Holy Communion on the First Saturday
• Recitation of five decades of the Rosary
• Meditation for 15 minutes on the mysteries of the Holy Rosary
Father Hoffman is parochial vicar at the Cathedral.

Dr. Hilgers speaks at Humanae Vitae anniversary celebration

Dr. Thomas W. Hilgers began researching natural fertility regulation after reading Pope Paul VI’s encyclical Humane Vitae. He spoke Sunday, June 24, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. (Advance photos)

By Christopher M. Riggs
The use by the medical profession of in vitro fertilization as a treatment for infertile couples is a tragedy according to Dr. Thomas W. Hilgers, the founder and director of the Pope Paul VI Institute for the Study of Human Reproduction in Omaha, Nebraska.
“The tragedy is a woman goes to an IVF doctor and has a 25 and 30 percent chance of getting pregnant but loses a number of embryos in the process and does not get her endometriosis treated, does not get her hormones treated, does not get her ovulation defects treated – all the things that are causing her to be infertile to begin with are both left undiagnosed and untreated.”
Dr. Hilgers spoke Sunday, June 24, at a dinner held after the Humane Vitae 50th Anniversary Celebration Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Wichita. Humanae Vitae is a papal encyclical written in 1968 by Blessed Pope Paul VI that teaches about God’s plan for married love and the transmission of life.
He opened his talk by recalling the outright rejection of the encyclical by some Catholic theologians – who had never read Humanae Vitae – and by many of the faithful who called the church cold-hearted by adhering to ancient church teaching.
“I had developed a sort of negative view of the media at that point, “ he said. “I wasn’t sure they were giving us the whole story.”
Because it was decades before the internet, Dr. Hilgers said he had to write for a copy of Humanae Vitae.
“I got to about the 11th paragraph and I knew why they (the church) had to have this position,” he said. “It was things we were told and taught in other ways. I recognized them and I believed in them.”
The document isn’t long, Dr. Hilgers said, and takes about 30 minutes at the most to read.
“So, I got through those first few paragraphs. I realized that there was something here that I wasn’t hearing in the media,” he said. “Pope Paul VI also predicted that there would be long-term repercussions of the widespread use of contraception.”
Humanae Vitae has been and continues to be the target of a culture that has rejected an openness to life, Dr. Hilgers said.
He also talked about his medical education and how he became interested in reproductive health, in infertility and its treatment, and the founding of the Pope Paul VI Institute for the Study of Human Reproduction, which uses Natural Procreative Technology.
The institute is moving from a 17,000 square foot facility to a 58,000 square foot facility and how that new complex will be able to help infertile couples conceive in a manner that adheres to church teaching.

John and Mary Anne Schibi were the gift bearers at the Humanae Vitae 50th Anniversary Celebration Mass Sunday, June 24, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Wichita.

Pizza delivered to Hilltop Diner patrons

Seminarian Andy Beugelsdijk delivers an armload of pizza to a Lord’s Diner truck Wednesday, June 20, at the Diner’s Hilltop location. Beugelsdijk is a member of Holy Cross Parish in Hutchinson. (Advance photo)

Two Wichita seminarians may have set a record for pizza delivery last month.
Hayden Charles, Andy Beugelsdijk, and other volunteers delivered 250 pizzas in less than two hours. It helped, though, that they only had to walk about 50 feet.
Little Caesars Love Kitchen, a mobile pizza preparation and baking facility, set up Wednesday, June 20, at The Lord’s Diner’s Hilltop location, about a block northeast of Via Christi Hospital St. Joseph in Wichita.
Diner Executive Director Jan Haberly said 2,000 slices of cheese and pepperoni pizza, a side salad and dessert was served to about 1,000 patrons that afternoon.
Two Little Caesars store owners and two managers prepared and baked the pizzas in the mobile pizza truck. They also donated the ingredients for the pies.
After the visit, the truck continued winding its way to cities west of the Mississippi River for charitable work. It last stopped at The Lord’s Diner about two years ago.

Dioceses in the U.S. see ‘Humanae Vitae’ as insight into the beauty of the family

In this 2013 file photo, a family is seen on their family farm in St. Leo, Kan. (CNS photo)

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The church’s teaching on artificial contraception and the role of procreation in marriage isn’t about difficult-to-follow rules in the eyes of Alice Heinzen, a veteran of marriage and family ministry in the Diocese of La Crosse, Wisconsin.
Heinzen told Catholic News Service, the long-held teaching found in Blessed Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical, “Humanae Vitae” (“Of Human Life”), is about understanding the beauty of family as created by God.
Heinzen, director of the diocese’s Office for Marriage and Family, said the document forms the foundation for St. John Paul II’s “theology of the body” and is a cornerstone of Pope Francis’ call to accompany people in their faith journey as they experience the mystery of God.
In La Crosse, the diocese has made natural family planning classes a mandatory part of its marriage preparation program. Heinzen called it a natural development that flowed from the encyclical and St. John Paul’s teaching.
Theology of the body is based on a series of 129 talks the pope gave during the first five years of his pontificate. The talks shed light on the human body and the sexual relationship and, supporters say, open up people to Christ’s invitation to life-giving love.
Natural family planning involves the monitoring by a married couple of the various biological signs indicating a woman’s time of fertility and infertility. It can be used both to avoid pregnancy or to aid in becoming pregnant.
Blessed Paul in “Humane Vitae” said that the only licit means of regulating birth is natural family planning. In the document he asked scientists to improve natural family planning methods “providing a sufficiently secure basis for a regulation of birth founded on the observance of natural rhythms.” In the past 50 years there has been an explosion of research into methods of natural family planning.
The La Crosse program focuses on why the church teaches what it teaches when it comes to artificial contraception rather than focusing on strict instructions on what the church requires, Heinzen explained.
Responding in follow-up questionnaires, couples, she said, have come to see the value of the teaching even if they delay or decide never to incorporate natural family planning practices into their lives.
“It’s the accompaniment we are providing. Even if they say this (NFP) is ridiculous in an age of technology, we realize it’s a person that has yet to open their eyes to the beauty of the teaching. We pose questions for them to consider. We gently, charitably challenge,” said Heinzen, who with her husband Jeff, were auditors for the extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family in 2014.
For years though, diocesan and parish marriage and family ministry programs have been stressing that Blessed Paul’s message upholding the church’s long-standing prohibition on artificial birth control can be meaningful for couples and help them become closer to God.
The challenge facing the church is that the encyclical itself is rarely addressed by priests and as a result is little known, especially among young adults.
While NFP classes are mandatory in only a dozen dioceses, it is taught just about everywhere.
Dominic Lombardi, executive director of the Secretariat of Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, knows it’s difficult to share a message that few have heard, especially one that diverges from the values of mainstream culture.
That makes the encyclical an important document for the life of the church even if it gets scant attention from the pulpit, he said.
Marriage preparation programs offer a good place to “sow a seed” with young engaged couples, he said, adding that married couples living the teaching can be the inspiration for others.
“Then the church should accompany couples and this witness for married life. You could say these couples who have lived out the freedom of ‘Humanae Vitae,’ they really are missionary couples,” Lombardi said.

Seven Wichita Adorers celebrate jubilees

Adorers celebrate jubilees — Seven Sisters Adorers of the Blood of Christ recently celebrated their 2018 jubilees at the Wichita motherhouse. Front row, from left, are Sisters Florentia Riebel, who is celebrating her 84th year in the order, and Leona Riebel, 83 years; back row from left are Sisters Rita Robl, Rosina Mies, and Tarcisia Roths, 70 years; and Helen Lindsey, 65 years.

Seven Adorers of the Blood of Christ in Wichita are celebrating their jubilees this year. A Mass and dinner to mark their anniversaries were celebrated a few weeks ago by Father Tom Welk.
The jubilarians include siblings and Sisters Florentia Riebel (84 years) and Leona Riebel (83 years); Carmelita Blick (80 years); Rita Robl, Rosina Mies and Tarcisia Roths (each 70 years); and Helen Lindsey (65 years). Each of them lives in Wichita

Sisters Florentia and Leona, from Schoenchen, Kansas, took different ministry paths. Sister Florentia, certified in nursing and physical therapy, was a nurse supervisor at St. Mary’s Hospital in Enid, Oklahoma, and Artesia Memorial Hospital in Artesia, New Mexico. She was a physical therapist in St. Francis Hospital in Carlsbad, New Mexico, and in the Enid public schools. She later returned to St. Mary’s in Enid as a physical therapist, also serving there in public relations, as a home health physical therapist, emergency room nurse and a volunteer to shut-ins.

Her sibling, Sister Leona Riebel, has degrees in education, and was primary school teacher for a total of 40 years in David City, Nebraska; Carlsbad, New Mexico; Okarche, Canute and Stillwater, Oklahoma; in the Kansas towns of Aleppo, St. Marks, Ashland, Spearville and Emporia and at Christ the King, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Anne and St. Margaret Mary, all in Wichita, Kansas. She later was a library conservation assistant at Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. In retirement, she knits stocking caps for the poor at Christmas.

Sister Carmelita Blick, 80 years.

Sister Carmelita Blick, from Hutchinson, Kansas, has a degree in mathematics and taught for 50 years, including at Holy Family in Canute, Oklahoma; and at the Kansas schools of Sacred Heart in Ness City, St. Anthony in Bushton, St. Mary in Marienthal, St. Mary in Offerly, St. Nicholas in Kinsley, and St. Anne in Wichita. She taught high school math at Sacred Heart Academy, Madonna High School, Bishop Carrol High School, all in Wichita, Kansas, and at Aquinas High School in David City, Nebraska. She taught math at the college level at Newman University in Wichita.

Sister Tarcisia Roths, from Ransom, Kansas, has a bachelor’s degree in education, a doctorate in European history and an honorary doctor of law degree. Sister Tarcisia also received the Wing Walker Award from the Wichita Forum for Executive Women in 1996, the Bene Merenti Medal from Pope John Paul II at her 50th jubilee in 1998, and the Cardinal Newman Medal from Newman University in 2000.

She taught at Newman University from 1959 to 2005, and also was its registrar, academic dean and president. From 1979 to 1980, she was a Visiting Teacher at Taiwan Province Kaohsiung Teacher’s College in Taiwan.
She was provincial of the former Province of Wichita from 1982 to 1990, chaired the Kansas Region of Leadership Council of Women Religious and was on the LCWR national board.

Sister Rosina Mies, from Mount Hope, Kansas, spent 50 years in health care as a nurse at St. Francis Hospital in Washington, Missouri; a surgery supervisor at St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma; and as a nurse supervisor/manager and medical/surgical manager at St. Mary’s Hospital in Enid, Oklahoma. She also was assistant to the Director of Community Life and Mission at the Wichita Center.

Sister Rita Robl, from Ellinwood, Kansas, has undergraduate and graduate degrees in education, and is certified as a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Instructor, a Reiki master, and practitioner of therapeutic touch. She also is certified in pastoral counseling.

She was a teacher for 15 years and principal for 19 years, working at All Saints School in Wichita, St. Nicholas in Kinsley, St. Patrick in Plains, St. Ann in Olmitz, Sacred Heart in Emporia, all in Kansas; and St. Eugene in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

She directed the Spirituality Center in Carlsbad, New Mexico, and was assistant to the academic dean at Newman University. In 1984, Sister Rita started the Acuto Center and was its director for eight years. She started the Great Plains Earth Institute in Wichita in 1997, serving as its director for more than 20 years.

Sister Helen Lindsey, from Guthrie, Oklahoma, has a bachelor’s degree in education, a certificate in art therapy and a Master of Fine Arts.

Sister Helen taught middle grades for a few years before serving in the Newman University art department as assistant professor of art for 25 years. She studied language and cultural studies at the University of Florence in 1969, and Carl Jung’s work at the Instituto de Storia Dell’Arte in Florence in 1970.

She spent several years caring for her mother, and later coordinated the Forever Learning Institute’s Harvest House Program, a service of Catholic Charities in Wichita, for 15 years.

Salina’s new bishop-elect Jerry Vincke to be ordained on Wednesday Aug. 22

Salina’s new bishop-elect Jerry Vincke to be ordained on Wednesday Aug. 22

By Karen Bonar, The Salina Register
SALINA — One day following the 19th anniversary of his ordination as a priest, Msgr. Gerald “Jerry” Vincke was introduced as the newly appointed bishop of the Salina Diocese.
“I want to thank the Holy Father for his confidence in me,” Bishop-elect Vincke, 53, said during the June 13 press conference.
Born outside of Saginaw, Mich., Bishop-elect Vincke was the ninth of the 10 children of Fidelis and the late Henry Vincke.
“My dad worked for General Motors, Buick and was also a small time farmer,” Bishop-elect Vincke said. “I used to get up and milk the cows early in the morning. We owned about 130 acres, but we farmed about 500, which is really small.”
He compared his family’s farm to that of Father Kevin Weber’s family’s operation.
“He was talking about his family farming 4,800 acres. It’s mind-boggling to me how big the scale is here for farmers,” he said, but added, “I’m looking forward to getting on one of these big combine one of these days.”
The most substantial difference between the dioceses is geography. The Diocese of Lansing, Mich, has about 6,200 square miles, compared to the Salina Diocese’s 26,685 square miles.
“There’s a big, big difference,” Bishop-elect Vincke said. “It’s going to be a lot of miles they say, but I’m looking forward to it.”

Ordained June 12, 1999, at at St. Mary Cathedral in Lansing, Mich. by Bishop Carl F. Mengeling, Bishop-elect Vincke was pastor at St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Ann Arbor, Mich., from 1999-2001, before being asked by his bishop to start a retreat house for youth.
“It was very hard in many ways,” he said of beginning Bethany House. “When you go to a parish you love — to rely on the Lord and the Lord’s will for my life.”
Yet the core of his life and philosophy is simple.
“I love to pray and I love to work,” he said. “I’m ready to get going, to get started here as soon as possible.”
He paused.
“Work and pray. It sounds like I should be a Benedictine instead,” he quipped, “but the Lord called me to the diocesan priesthood.”
Following Bethany House retreat center from 2001-04, Bishop-elect Vincke became the Director of Seminarians and Vocation Director in 2003 for the diocese of Lansing, Mich. He then became the Spiritual Director at the Pontifical North American College in Rome from 2010 to 2015. It was during those years in Rome that he completed his License in Sacred Theology (S.T.L.).
The focus of his studies included St. John Vianney and Evangelii Guadium by Pope Francis.
“The No. 1 thing for him was his pastoral charity,” Bishop-elect Vincke said of St. John Vianney. “His whole desire to give his life for his people. I think that was really beautiful reading about him. He used to go visit farms and get to know the families. He made himself available to the people. I think that’s a beautiful lesson. He gave everything he had for the people.”

He reflected on three main lessons during his priesthood.
“Prayer has to be the number one priority for priests,” he said. “That’s the No. 1 pastoral priority. The second is to listen — listen to the people always. The third thing I think to focus on right now is evangelization, really why does the Church exist? The Church exists to be a missionary Church. To be disciples to make disciples of the people. That’s what I have a heart for — to make disciples of the people.”
He referenced a multi-million dollar expansion project at his current parish, Holy Family Parish in Grand Blanc, Mich., a suburb of Flint.
“That’s exciting,” Bishop-elect Vincke said of the project. “But to me, when people come to the faith, that excites me. That’s why we do what we do.”

Another aspect of the Salina Diocese that excited Bishop-elect Vincke is the youth, both the Catholic schools and the vibrant youth ministry.
“I’m anxious to go there and play basketball with the kids, go to Friday night games,” he said of the 11 Elementary Schools and five high schools.
The Salina Diocese sends one of the largest contingents to the National Catholic Youth Conference. Bishop-elect Vincke said he hopes to attend, as well as be involved with the youth on an ongoing basis.
“I hope can get together with them for questions and answers,” he said. “The youth always seem to enjoy a sit-down. They have lots of questions.”

Bishop Weisenburger, the 11th bishop of the Salina Diocese, said he is “overjoyed” to learn of the new appointment.
“Bishop-elect Vincke will soon discover that he has been led to a vibrant diocese with a strong and healthy presbyterate and a Catholic lay faithful strong in their commitment to Christ and his Church,” Weisenburger said. “My prayers are with him today, along with prayerful gratitude to God for sending the good people of Salina a loving and faithful new shepherd.”
Bishop Weisenburger was installed on Nov. 29 as the bishop of the Diocese of Tucson, Ariz.

Bishop-elect Vincke was born July 9, 1964. His family includes six brothers and three sisters­.
He attended New Lothrop High School and Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Mich., where he obtained a degree in public relations and marketing. He considers himself a “later” vocation because he was ordained after he turned 30 years old. While someone suggested he explore the seminary during high school, it was not a priority at the time.
“The first time somebody mentioned the priesthood to me, I was a senior in high school and I was walking out of Church with my girlfriend,” Bishop-elect Vincke said. “A priest said ‘Have you ever thought of being a priest?’ and I said ‘No.’ ”
The second time he was nudged about a priestly vocation was when he was the editor-in-chief of his college newspaper.
“I ended up interviewing the parish priest at the college campus,” Bishop-elect Vincke said. “I asked him a question and he looked at me and said ‘Have you ever thought about being a priest?’ ”
Because of his sports enthusiasm, he interned for the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team in their front office. Even though he was following his passion, there was a slight interior nudge.
“It felt like there was something more God wanted me to do,” he said. “I liked sports, but I felt God was calling me to something different.”
He completed his Philosophy studies at St. Thomas More College in Crestview, Ky., and his Theology studies at Athenaeum Seminary in Cincinnati, Ohio and Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit, Mich.

As he looks to the future, Bishop-elect Vincke said he is excited to get to know the presbyterate.
“I know the western part [of Kansas], I’m looking forward to going out there and meeting all the priests,” he said. “Many have more than one parish. To me, making the time to be present to them … that’s what I hope to do.”
Bishop Earl Boyea, Bishop of Diocese of Lansing, Mich., said his diocese is honored one of their priests was selected to be a bishop.
“The priests of our diocese as well as myself will deeply miss our brother priest as he moves into this new ministry,” he said. “The Holy Father, Pope Francis, has honored not only Msgr. Vincke but our diocese with this appointment.
“We offer to Pope Francis our love and gratitude. Certainly, the good people of Holy Family Parish in Grand Blanc, Michigan, will also miss their pastor since they recognize in him the very gifts which the Holy See finds will provide loving leadership to the Diocese of Salina. He is a fine priest, a man of deep faith in Jesus Christ, and a gentle soul. Our loss is most sincerely their gain.”