Diocesan news, July 6, 2018

Reflecting on fun — Annel Morales watches the children in front of her during a game June 13 at a Tutus Tuus event in Good Shepherd Hall at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Wichita. She is the daughter of Sonia and Erazmo Morales. (Advance photo)

Bishop Kemme’s calendar
Here is Bishop Carl A. Kemme’s calendar for the next several weeks.
July 29: Candidacy Mass at the Cathedral at 5 p.m.
July 31: Camp Totus Tuus
Aug. 3-4: Marian Days in Carthage, Missouri
Aug. 5: Midwest Catholic Family Conference Mass at 11 a.m.
Bishop Kemme has limited meetings and public appearances during the month of July.

Our Daily Bread Pantry seeking fresh produce
Our Daily Bread Food Pantry at Catholic Charities is in need of fresh produce for families in need.
To donate, please contact (316) 264-8344 extension 1504 or deliver to 2825 S. Hillside in Wichita on Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to noon.

Charities gets a hand from youth on their way to Houston
Two Evangelical Lutheran Churches in America youth groups assisted Catholic Charities in Wichita Monday, June 25, while on their way to Houston for a triennial youth conference.
A group of about 20 from Camp of the Cross Ministries from Garrison, North Dakota, worked at Our Daily Bread Food Pantry where they unloaded food from the Kansas Food Bank, organized the shelves, and cleaned. Another group of 15 from Lord of Life Church in Maple Grove, Minnesota, did yard work at Harbor House.
Members of the entire group, about 125 youth and their adult sponsors, also worked at several other locations in the Wichita area including O.J. Watson Park, Exploration Place, the U.W. warehouse, the Salvation Army, and Metropolitan Area Building and Construction.
They left Monday evening to travel to Dallas before making their way to Houston for the conference held from June 27 to July 1.

Catholic and Orthodox ecumenical Florovsky Week July 10-14
Newman University’s Gerber Institute is teaming up with the St. George Orthodox Christian Cathedral to host the Eighth Day Institute’s inaugural Florovsky Week July 10-14.
The event, “The Reformation: An Ecumenical Retrospective,” will be a week of prayer, academic papers, discussion, workshops on iconography and Gregorian chant, and a banquet. The event will be held at Newman University and at St. George Orthodox Christian Cathedral.
Father Georges V. Florovsky (1893-1979) was a Russian Orthodox priest, theologian, historian, and ecumenist.
To register, visit EighthDayInstitute.org or call 316-573-8413.

A goodbye hug — A Chancery employee gives a big hug to Bob Voboril Wednesday, June 20, in the gathering space of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Wichita. Voboril was honored at the reception for his 25 years of service as superintendent of Catholic Schools. His successor, Janet Eaton, took over his duties today, July 6. (Advance photo)
Bishop celebrates televised EWTN Mass — Bishop Carl A. Kemme celebrated a televised Mass Friday, June 29, from the EWTN Chapel in Irondale, Alabama. He was part of a bus tour through the South sponsored by the diocesan Senior Adult Ministries office. The group also stopped in St. Louis, Nashville, Memphis, and Little Rock. The video is available at YouTube.com/EWTN. (Screen captured image.)
Clinic game a home run — The annual Wichita Wingnuts baseball game Sunday, June 10, raised $30,000 for the Guadalupe Clinic, a diocesan health care ministry. Holding the check, from left, are clinic Executive Director David Gear; Tyler Harrison, Wingnuts ticket manager; and Dr. Jim Loeffler, who was honored at the game. His family accompanied him for the photo. (Courtesy photo)
Congregation of St. Joseph jubilarians honored — Twelve Sisters of the Congregation of St. Joseph celebrated their 2018 jubilees Saturday, June 23. Six were available for a photo at the Wichita Center. In the front are Sister Agnes Joseph and Sister Jane Louise Arbour (seated); in back, from left, are Sisters Mary Ellen Loch, Irene Regan, Joan Burger, and Ann Meyer. Celebrating this year are: 75 years – Sisters Agnes Joseph Wachter and Jane Louise Arbour; 60 years – Sisters Ann Meyer, Mary Ellen Loch, Mary Alice Girrens, Joan Burger, Irene Regan, Joseph Marie Loh and Hostia Horike; 40 years – Sister Genevieve Nakamuta and 15 years – Sisters Susanne Daniels and Maria Francisca Izawa. Collectively, the jubilarians have served the church for 640 years. After a group photo, a Mass with their fellow sisters was celebrated in Resurrection Chapel with the Most Rev. Carl Kemme as the main celebrant. Fr. Joseph Gile, the sisters’ chaplain, concelebrated. All then took part in a dinner. (Courtesy photo)
New van blessing — Father Derek Thome blessed the new Adult Day Services bus Thursday, June 14, at the Adult Day Services office, located at 5920 W. Central in Wichita. The bus is the largest of the service’s fleet and will be used to transport clients to and from the facilities. (Courtesy photo)

Parish news, July 6, 2018

More fun for the kids — Parishioners of the Church of Resurrection in Wichita worked Friday and Saturday, June 22-23, to complete the final phase of adding new equipment to the parish’s playground. They installed four new pieces that work together to make an obstacle course. (Courtesy photo)

Sacred Heart, Eureka, undamaged by tornado on June 26
Sacred Heart Church in Eureka was undamaged after a tornado struck the city June 26.
Father Stephen Gronert, pastor, said Wednesday that he checked the church and didn’t see any apparent damage from the storm. He added that it was the second time the church was spared from a strong storm in two years.
Emergency Management officials say the town, located 60 miles east of Wichita, Tuesday, took a direct hit. Eight people were injured, one critically.

Guest chaplain Father Dan Spexarth offers the opening prayer for the U.S. House June 26. (C-Span screen capture)

Father Dan Spexarth offers prayer as the guest chaplain for the U.S. House
Father Dan Spexarth offered the opening prayer for the U.S. House of Representatives Tuesday, June 26, in Washington, D.C.
Father Spexarth, the pastor of St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Wichita, was introduced by Speaker of the House Rep. Paul Ryan. Fr. Spexarth’s visit was sponsored by Rep. Ron Estes of Kansas’ fourth congressional district.
After petitioning for blessings on those gathered, Fr. Spexarth asked God to give the representatives clear minds and to fill them with courage, resolve, and deep humility.
“Help them to listen attentively to one another and to work diligently with one another to find solutions to the challenges we face as a nation,” he prayed. “Let them not be dismayed or disheartened.”
Father Spexarth closed by asking God for protection of U.S. armed forces and their families, and by thanking God for his blessings on our country “especially our most precious gifts of life and liberty.”

Evangelization retreat this fall at SFA
St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Wichita is planning a 24-hour retreat to train the faithful about how to evangelize family and friends who no longer practice their Catholic faith.
The event, “Wildfire: Spreading the Fire of your Faith,” will be held in the fall to help Catholics be missionaries in their families and in their neighborhoods.
Details will be announced as soon as they are finalized.

A little blessing — Father Todd Shepherd gives a blessing to a young girl after a noon Spanish Mass Sunday, June 17, at St. Andrew Church in Independence. He was visiting the parish pastored by Father Marco De Lorea. Father Shepherd began duties June 19 as parochial vicar of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in South Hutchinson and chaplain of Trinity Catholic Jr./Sr. High School in Hutchinson. (Advance photo)
Divine Mercy sign installed in Pittsburg — A Divine Mercy image has been erected in the Catholic section of Highland Park Cemetery in Pittsburg. The Knights of Columbus and Messengers of Mercy, a prayer group, installed the sign near a Monument of the Unborn Child. (Courtesy photo)

Spiritual Life Center news, July 6, 2018

Retreat for healing and reconciliation July 13-15
The Return of the Prodigal Son retreat Friday through Saturday, July 13-15, at the Spiritual Life Center will reassure and challenge participants in the fatherhood of our God and in being his son or daughter. The retreat is set for a full weekend but there is an option attend Saturday’s portion only.
“[The retreat] is a combination of art, scripture, Catholic theology, and self-reflection,” Father Ken Van Haverbeke said. “Henri Nouwen’s book ‘The Return of the Prodigal Son’ is a personal favorite of mine and what this retreat is based on.”
The retreat will include reflections on how we are all called to be in the role of spiritual fatherhood for others. Ultimately the weekend is about healing: healing of memories, healing of emotions, healing of lives.
Fr. Van Haverbeke said, “The retreat is designed to help a person to respond to a merciful Father: a Father who waits for us, and runs to meet us where we are at, not where we are ‘supposed’ to be.”
Participants who cannot make the entire weekend retreat are invited to attend a day long workshop on Saturday, July 14, called “Jesus, Saint Luke, Rembrant, Henri Nouwen, and a Painting.” The workshop participants will join in with the weekend retreatants for Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Want to participate?
Regular retreat pricing applies for the weekend. Register and pay by July 2 to receive an early bird discount. All registrations include a $50 non-refundable deposit. The Saturday only program cost is $20 and includes lunch.
Reservations may be made at www.slcwichita.org or by calling (316) 744-0167. Please register in advance to ensure space and food quantities.

Father Maximilian Biltz to lead series on Father Kapaun at SLC
Fr. Maximilian Biltz will lead “Kapaun in Context” from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursdays, July 19 and 26.
He will explore the historical context surrounding Father Kapaun’s life and will discuss the Korean War, its origin, the world leaders at the time, and how Father Kapaun’s life story fits into history.
Want to attend?
Registration cost is $20. Visit www.SLCWichita.org or call (316) 744-0167 to register. Pre-registration is requested but walk-ins are welcome.

Monthly Mass with kids July 19 at the Spiritual Life Center
Caregivers and their children are invited to the monthly “KidsPrayToo!: Mass with Children” at the Spiritual Life Center at 11:15 a.m. Thursday, July 19.
Fr. Ken Van Haverbeke will speak especially to the littlest among us. The program gives parents and caregivers an opportunity to teach their children without worrying about disturbing other Mass goers around them.
All families are invited to pack a lunch to enjoy in the dining room or courtyard afterwards. No registration is necessary.

Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius retreat Aug. 10-12 at the SLC
Kansas native Father Brian Dinkel, of the Institute of the Incarnate Word, will lead a retreat on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola Aug. 10-12 at the Spiritual Life Center in Wichita.
Saint Ignatius composed the Spiritual Exercises over a period of 19 years, from 1522 to 1541, and has ever since been one of the most powerful means of sanctifying members of the Church, whether lay or religious.
Throughout the weekend retreat, participants will be given the tools which will help them to discern the Will of God in their own lives. The goal of the Spiritual Exercises is to refocus our lives on what is most important, first by correcting our sinful inclinations, and then by pointing us toward the ultimate goal of our lives, which is the glory and praise and service of God, our Creator and Redeemer.
Retreat Master Fr. Dinkel was born in Hays and later moved to Mulvane, where his parents still live. He went on to graduate from Kansas State University and Wichita State University. Immediately upon graduating from WSU in 2005, he entered the missionary order, Institute of the Incarnate Word and began his studies for the priesthood in Washington, D.C. He was ordained in 2013 and is currently serving as pastor at Our Lady of Peace Church and Shrine in Santa Clara, California.
Need some spiritual exercising?
Early bird registration rates end July 30. More information or to pre-register, visit www.slcwichita.org, and click on Calendar of Events.

National and world news, July 6, 2018

Pope Francis accepts resignation of Boston Auxiliary Bishop
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Auxiliary Bishop John A. Dooher of Boston, who is 75, the age at which canon law requires bishops to turn in their resignation.
His retirement was announced in Washington June 30 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.
Named an auxiliary for Boston by Pope Benedict XVI in 2006, Bishop Dooher has been vicar general and regional bishop for the archdiocese’s south region. He attended St. John’s Seminary and was ordained to the priesthood May 21, 1969.

Another year ends for Supreme Court with all eyes on next term
WASHINGTON (CNS) — “That’s a wrap” could have been said late morning June 27 at the U.S. Supreme Court after the court issued its last two decisions of the term.
Except that it was not a wrap by a long shot.
Just a few hours after the court released its final decisions, longtime Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement, which immediately got wheels of speculation spinning about his potential replacement and what that would mean for the future balance of the court.
Almost immediately, President Donald Trump said he would move quickly to fill the spot, saying he already has a list of candidates in hand.
And the day after this announcement, the court released another handful of cases on the docket for its next term that begins Oct. 1.
But before all attention shifts to the next session, there is still plenty to review from the court’s term that just ended — a busy nine months with more than 75 cases argued, and decided on, by the court.
Big cases this year involved the president’s travel ban, a same-sex wedding cake, gerrymandering, sports betting, cellphone tracking, union dues and pro-life pregnancy centers.
Catholic Church leaders weighed in on many of these cases, submitting friend-of-the-court briefs and issuing statements after the decisions were announced.

The importance of play for children


By Samantha Smith
School is out, summer is upon us, and that means our children are free to play. Regardless of the activities they choose, just because our children are playing does not mean they are not still learning. A lot of important learning can occur during the summer months – learning done through play.
Mr. Rogers once said, “Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning, but for children, play is serious learning.” Research has shown that what Mr. Rogers knew instinctively about play is true: play is an important part of a child’s physical, emotional, mental, and social development.
Data from a recent report by the American Academy of Pediatrics shows that when children are allowed the time to play, they experience many benefits, such as learning emotional regulation, enhancing their balance and dexterity, practicing conflict resolution, and gaining self-confidence. The fact that they get to have fun while they develop necessary life skills is an added bonus.
The summer can be a good time to slow down and re-evaluate your family’s schedule to create some time for free play and family activities that foster creativity and connection in your home. While there is no right or wrong way to play with your children, there are specific things you can do to encourage playfulness in your home so that your children can experience the benefits of play. Here are some suggestions for encouraging free play with children of various ages:
• Give your children “true” toys, such as blocks or dolls, which are non-specific and invite imagination and creativity.
• Encourage your children to engage in active play (sports, playing tag, dancing) in lieu of solely passive entertainment (video games, television, tablets).
• Give your children ample, unscheduled time to be creative, to reflect, and to decompress, and avoid overscheduling them with extracurriculars.
• Allow your kids to get “bored” before you step in to offer an idea for what they could do.
• Encourage your kids to spend time outside.
Whatever you and your children choose to do this summer, be it playing outside, creating saint peg dolls, or making a fort in the living room, I hope that you will be able to set aside some time to be creative and play together. If you can, it will benefit your children’s development, strengthen your relationships … and you just might find yourself having fun too!
Samantha Smith is a licensed master social worker at Cana Counseling. She formerly worked as a school-based therapist in the diocese and is now a full time therapist at Cana Counseling. She incorporates play in her approach to therapy and enjoys working with children of all ages, from kindergarten to high school. For more ideas about how to help your child develop their play skills, or if you have more specific questions, you can contact her at (316) 263-6941.

Probate can ruin a lifetime of plans

By Travis Pearson
While we would never attend a Broadway musical without a ticket or take a trip without luggage, most Americans have not taken the time to plan for their future.
When we fail to plan, our dreams, wishes and hopes may never be fully realized. Unfortunately, this also means our family and beneficiaries experience the expense and frustration of estate administration. Many simply never get around to doing it.
As author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry said: “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” The result is disappointing. A few months of probate can destroy what it took a lifetime to create. Don’t let this happen to you or your family.
The good news is that planning is easy and rewarding. In less time than it takes to choose and arrange a summer vacation, you can complete a plan that outlines your goals and lets your family and friends know the values you hold dearly. Take the time to plan your legacy. You will be glad you did, and every day thereafter, you can expect the peace and comfort of knowing the life you live today will matter tomorrow.
While there are plenty of perils for not having a will or estate plan, there are great rewards for those who do have one. For those who plan, there is a comfort and satisfaction in knowing that love for family and friends will continue for years to come. And property enjoyed today will be preserved and appreciated tomorrow.
There is another benefit, too. Many individuals who have a will also include a provision in their plan for their parish or a diocesan ministry.
Including your parish or diocesan ministry in your will has many benefits. Perhaps most importantly, it demonstrates and affirms the stewardship you have shown during your life will be transformed into a lasting legacy living beyond your time here.
When you include a gift to your parish or other diocesan ministry in your will, you are telling yourself, your family and the world what is important to you. Your family will see that the works and loves of your life will be lasting. Of course another benefit is your estate will receive an estate tax charitable deduction as well.
Your life matters, and your wishes count. But without a plan, they are only wishes.
Pearson is Planned Giving coordinator for the Diocese of Wichita.

Saline diocese meets their bishop-elect

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.”

Weber named executive director of the Kansas Catholic Conference

Chuck Weber, a Kansas legislator, will be spending time in Topeka next year – not representing District 85, though, he’ll be representing Kansas’ Catholics.
Weber, a member of Church of the Resurrection in Wichita, has been named executive director of the Kansas Catholic Conference effective July 15. He will also resign from the Kansas House on July 15, a post he has held since January 2016.
Archbishop Naumann of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas, said the bishops of Kansas are excited about the skills Weber brings to the position.
“His background in public policy and communications will be a great asset to the organization. Most important, however, is that fact that Chuck is a deeply committed Catholic. He has our full confidence.”
Weber said he looks forward to working with policy makers and others in the public square to make life better for all Kansans. “Many of the solutions to our cultural and political challenges can be found in the wisdom of the Catholic Church’s beliefs and teaching,” he wrote in an email.
The recent debate and passage of the Adoption Protection Act in Kansas is a prime example of the growing threat to religious liberty faced by Catholics in Kansas and around the country, he said.
“The average Catholic in the pew would be both astonished and deeply offended to hear what was said about them and the faith they hold dear. Apathy and indifference to what’s happening in our state and country is no longer an option if we wish to preserve our freedoms and way of life.”
Weber will succeed Michael Schuttloffel, who is leaving the KCC after 10 years as executive director. “We are profoundly grateful for Michael’s hard and successful work on behalf of the church over the last decade,” Abp. Naumann said.
Rep. Weber played an important role in the recent passage of the Kansas Adoption Protection Act. He has a wide variety of professional experiences as a short film producer and writer and has a number of Catholic communications projects to his credit. He and his wife, Cindy, have been married 33 years and have five children.
The Kansas Catholic Conference is the public policy office of the Catholic Church in Kansas and represents Kansas’ four Catholic bishops at the state capitol in Topeka.
Schuttloffel on July 1 will become the executive director of the Council for American Private Education, a coalition of 22 national organizations serving private elementary and secondary schools, based in Germantown, Maryland. The National Catholic Education Association is a member of CAPE.

Learning to think in Spanish

Dillon Cott, a Wichita seminarian who will be in his second year of theology this fall, is one of the dozen students immersed in Spanish for a couple of months. (Advance photos)

Seminarians immersed en español
Seminarians from four regional dioceses have joined seminarians from the Diocese of Wichita in an intensive Spanish course offered this summer through Newman University.
The 12 men from the dioceses of Wichita, Salina, Tulsa, Colorado Springs, and Springfield-Cape Giradeau cracked open their “libros” Monday, June 4, and will continue their immersion in Spanish until the end of July.
Sonja Bontrager, assistant professor of Spanish at Newman, said the university was asked by the diocese to design an intensive program that would allow certain seminarians to develop their language skills.
The students have been divided into four levels of Spanish that will merge into three levels as the students progress, she said. Bishop Carl A. Kemme and Father David Lies, vicar general for the diocese, are auditing the course as time allows.
The immersion begins at 8 a.m. and ends at 1:30 p.m., with traditional classes in the morning. At noon, all students gather for an umbrella course called Spanish in Community for 90 minutes. “That course involves lunch, but we also bring in ‘acompañantes,’ (companions), or conversation assistants, from the community, Bontrager said.
“Two are bilingual staff members at Newman University and are able to lead conversation at tables and small groups. When they finish lunch, they’re able to leave the dining area and use the grounds to practice conversation.”
Bontrager said Newman was honored to be invited to help the seminarians.
“It’s wonderful that they’re responding to the need of the community this way. We’re very happy to welcome the seminarians and I can’t express how grateful I am to the ASCs (the Adorers of the Blood of Christ) for opening up their center for us. We’re enjoying outstanding hospitality and support.”
The classes are taught in rooms near the chapel of the motherhouse of the Adorers, just south of Newman University.
“Being here allows us to have the academic program completely contained and makes it easier for faculty and acompañantes to work as a team. It also allows us easy access to the grounds and dining facilities, which are important parts of our Spanish in Community conversation course. We’re able to have a mid-morning break with refreshments, and the dining services go all summer, making the integrated conversation course go more smoothly.”
Their immersion doesn’t end after class, though. In the evening the seminarian Spanish students minister – and hone their language skills – at Hispanic parishes in Wichita. They eat with a Spanish-speaking family weekly and on Fridays a guest speaker talks about aspects of Hispanic ministry.
Father Chad Arnold, director of Vocations, said the course is as close to an immersion in Spanish as they can get in Wichita.
“It has been very edifying to see how the men have taken to their studies as well as how much they have enjoyed engaging with the Hispanic culture.”

Listening to Spanish instructor W. Michael Barton, are, from left, Wichita seminarians Jon Tolberd, Andrew Meng, and Dillon Cott; and Nick Zummo of the Diocese Springfield-Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

Michigan priest named bishop of Salina diocese

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Pope Francis has named Msgr. Gerald L. Vincke, who is pastor of Holy Family Parish in Grand Blanc, Michigan, to be bishop of the Diocese of Salina, Kansas.
Bishop-designate Vincke, 53, is a priest of the Diocese of Lansing, Michigan. In 2016, the pope named him a “missionary of mercy.” He was one of more than 1,000 religious-order and diocesan priests who received a special papal mandate to preach and teach about God’s mercy during the 2015-16 Holy Year of Mercy.
The appointment was announced June 13 in Washington by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the Vatican nuncio to the United States.
Monsignor Vincke was born July 9, 1964 in Saginaw, Michigan, ninth of ten children. He holds an associate degree in Journalism (1985) from Ferris State College in Big Rapids, Michigan.
Monsignor Vincke also studied Philosophy at Thomas More College in Crestview, Kentucky, 1986, and Theology at Athenaeum Seminary in Cincinnati, Ohio.