Bishop: Jesus did not abandon us after his ascension

Bishop Carl A. Kemme leads a Eucharistic Procession in a street north of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Wichita, Sunday afternoon, June 3, the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. The Eucharist was carried around the block before returning to the cathedral. (Advance photos)

Jesus, after his ascension, didn’t leave us like a ship on the stormy seas, Bishop Carl A. Kemme said Sunday, June 3.
Jesus knew as he was preparing to make the ultimate sacrifice, one that would perfect the bloody sacrifices of the old covenant, he said, that the church would need his presence after he returned to the Father.
“And so he left us his body and blood to nourish us, to calm our fears, and to give us the strength to continue on the pathway that leads to heaven,” Bishop Kemme said before a Eucharistic Procession around the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Wichita.
In the tabernacle or the monstrance, he said, Jesus remains with us like a loving spouse or parent. “His presence is unspeakably simple and yet profound. He does not speak but gazes upon us in our daily comings and goings, but his message is abundantly clear for those who believe: ‘I Am Here,’ with you always until the end of time.”
The church has encouraged a procession of the Blessed Sacrament for centuries, the bishop said, so that Jesus could be adored beyond the confines of the church.
“Jesus walked the pathways of Palestine and today he comes among us here in our neighborhood to sanctify our every step,” Bishop Kemme said. “Let us accompany him, as did the disciples, as he makes his way among us, now hidden, but no less present in the Sacred Host which will be my honor and privilege, as sinful as I am, to carry.”
May his presence sustain us in our trials, Bishop Kemme said, comfort us in our sorrows, calm us in our fears, embolden us in our desires, form us in our discipleship, and strengthen us for our journey.
“For one day, we shall sit with him at the banquet of the heavenly liturgy, forever singing his praises and experience the fullness of his joy, peace, and love.”

The procession traveled around the Cathedral campus on city streets.

Natural family planning helps couples respond to Humanae Vitae directives

By Dr. Jonathan Scrafford
Two common misconceptions about Humanae Vitae’s significance in the church merit clarification during this year in which we celebrate its 50th anniversary.
The first mistaken impression is that it was the first encyclical in defense of the church’s long-held prohibition of contraception. That actually came in 1930 – so fundamental was the teaching that it needed no doctrinal defense until then – with Pope Pius XI’s Casti Connubii.
The second is that it was uniquely prophetic in its accurate predictions about the social consequences of the breakdown of the family. In fact, Casti Connubii was itself written during the 50th anniversary year celebrating the 1880 encyclical Arcanum Divinae, in which Pope Leo XIII described with the same prophetic zeal the consequences of threats to the family (at that time, divorce and polygamy).
Rather, one of the truly unique features of Humanae Vitae worth celebrating during 2018 is its call to “men of science” and those in health professions to further develop and promote the natural and moral means of regulating childbirth.
At the time Humanae Vitae was written, the directive was a proverbial “Hail Mary” from the pontifical playbook. Pressure mounted tremendously for the church to reverse its teaching on the immorality of contraception. In fact, some on a Vatican commission of pope-appointed theologians and laypersons tasked with answering the question of whether contraception may be morally permissible came to the affirmative conclusion.
Meanwhile, hormonal contraception was becoming established within the medical community as a staple of reproductive healthcare, and increasingly regarded as the only effective means of regulating childbirth in the medical literature. And although we take for granted today the many well-developed systems of natural family planning whose effectiveness has since been validated in peer-reviewed research, at the time that Blessed Pope Paul VI wrote Humanae Vitae, systems of NFP were in the primitive stages of development.
Today, the response to that directive continues. Perhaps more now than ever, the development and promotion of the natural means of regulating childbirth remain an incredible opportunity amidst the persistent dissatisfaction among women with the risks and side effects of the artificial means which continue to be recommended by physicians.
In fact, the most compelling peer-reviewed research associating even contemporary forms of hormonal contraception with breast cancer, venous thromboembolism, depression, and suicide – among other things – has been published within the last 10 years or so. In addition, natural means of regulating childbirth offer an incredible opportunity to families struggling with the scourge of infertility or recurrent miscarriage. Compared to the artificial reproductive technologies, NFP offers an approach to such conditions which preserves human dignity for child and parents.
As a gynecologist, I remain particularly optimistic that as holy men and women continue to respond generously to the directives of Humanae Vitae, our understanding of and ability to serve women by the natural regulation of childbirth will continue to grow, perhaps faster than ever before.
Especially during this 50 year anniversary celebrating Humanae Vitae, let us recall the unique directives placed upon the medical community to develop and promote natural means of regulating childbirth, and let us renew a commitment to put to use the many fruits – in the forms of the modern systems of NFP – which have already been yielded in response to those directives.
Dr. Scrafford is an OB/GYN at Via Christi Health who recently completed additional training as a Medical Consultant in NaProTechnology.
He and his wife have five children and are members of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Wichita. Their sixth child is due on July 25, the anniversary of Humanae Vitae.

Dr. Hilgers to speak at HV dinner June 24
Thomas W. Hilgers, M.D., as one of the world’s leading proponents of implementing Humanae Vitae through FertilityCare and NaProTechnology, will speak at the St. Gianna Dinner Sunday, June 24, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Wichita.
The dinner, sponsored by the Diocese of Wichita, commemorates the 50th anniversary of the encyclical Humanae Vitae. The talk and dinner will be after a 3:30 p.m. Mass celebrated by Bishop Carl A. Kemme.
To register, visit

Ugandan priest seeking help for his parish church

The foundation of St. Kizito Church was dug and poured by hand. (Courtesy photos)

Father Vincent Kajoba has traveled over 8,200 miles – a third of the way around the world – to share the story of his parish church building project.
He has flown to the Diocese of Wichita for several summers to talk about St. Kizito Church in Madudu, Uganda, and to serve as a substitute priest for vacationing diocesan priests.
His summer holiday is spent educating the faithful of the diocese about the strong faith of the Catholics in Uganda, located west of Kenya in central East Africa – and looking for financial aid for his poor parish.
“We are constructing a church,” Father Kajoba said from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, which hosts him when he’s in the diocese. “We are looking for additional funding to complete the church.”
The foundation for the 800-seat church is complete for the $500,000 project. And a friend, Bob Powers, a member of Church of the Blessed Sacrament in Wichita, has helped Fr. Kajoba raise $41,000 of a $100,000 commitment he made to the Ugandan priest.
But the financial assistance has slowed dramatically, Powers said. He hopes a pledge by a generous donor to match donations to the project will help Father Kajoba’s efforts.
“I have lived in Wichita, Kansas, since 1963 and I’ve been a member of Blessed Sacrament Parish all my life except for two years,” he said. “And I have never been exposed to a hands-on opportunity…to get a realistic idea of what the Catholic Church is dealing with in the remote parts of the world.”
He said most of the faithful of the diocese have no idea how poor the Ugandan people are and how basic their lives are.
“My hope is to have the people in our parish and in our diocese learn what the church is dealing with,” Powers said. “We have no clue, we have no feel for it. We’re technologically-bound people here. My idea is to break through that a little bit.”
St. Kizito Parish has four priests who shepherd 20,000 parishioners at 43 mission churches. Each of the priests celebrate four Masses each weekend in service of the parish.

Father Kajoba dumps a load of concrete for the church foundation.

Fr. Kajoba to speak June 24 at the SLC
Father Kajoba will celebrate a Mass at 3 p.m. Sunday, June 24, at the Spiritual Life Center in Wichita. After the Mass he will talk about Catholic life in Uganda, the parish building project, and how donations will be matched.
Photos and video are available at Father Kajoba’s website is His email address is

St. Pius X Catholic Student Center in Pittsburg launches capital campaign

St. Pius X campaign co-chairs, from left, Fr. David Voss and Joe Hart, St. Pius X Advisory Council Chair Nancy Evans, and Campaign Coordinator Larry Kramer.

‘To the Heights: A Second Century Campaign’ goal is $3.2 million
By Elizabeth Hayes
The St. Pius X Catholic Student Center at Pittsburg State University, newly established as an individual mission of Catholic College ministry, has recently announced a fundraising campaign aimed at creating a more beautiful and welcoming environment in which students can encounter Christ.
The St. Pius X Catholic Student Center has already undergone big changes in the recent year. With the assignment of Fr. David Voss as full time chaplain, SPX is able to move towards being a fully developed and supported ministry in the Diocese of Wichita.
“The student center, which has been an outreach of Our Lady of Lourdes, is incredibly grateful for all of the support of the parish,” he said. “With the shift comes more independence and larger strides towards specifically enhancing spirituality in the lives of college students.”

The diocese contributes
Bishop Carl A. Kemme recognizes the current importance and future potential of the St. Pius X Center. This past April, on behalf of the diocese, he pledged $500,000 to the St. Pius X Center’s capital campaign. Bishop Kemme, noting the importance of campus ministry and beauty in liturgical spaces, said he hopes others will follow the example of the diocese by contributing to the campaign.
The goal of the campaign is $3.2 million. Fulfilling the goal would not only provide the resources for creating a beautiful place of worship, said Father Voss, but will also be used to create new opportunities for current students, draw in new students, and help the faith community on campus reach new heights. “Ultimately, this is all about enriching the spiritual lives of students, and helping them become the men and women that God has called them to be. If we can do that, while reaching out to those in need of a deeper relationship with Christ, then we have done our job.”
The facility need
Founded in 1913, the Newman Club has long been a part of Pittsburg State University. However, St. Pius X Center’s current building was constructed in 1968 and has never undergone a major renovation. With a roof, infrastructure, and heating system that are over 50 years old, Fr. David is having to spend more saving the building, when he could be saving more souls. As the locus of Catholic faith and culture on campus—where students worship, receive sacraments, engage in fellowship, and learn about their faith—the vitality of the St. Pius X Center is a high priority to Fr. Voss.

The spiritual need
Fr. Voss, the first full-time campus chaplain in more than 30 years, is excited about the center’s potential. “We want to build a chapel that reflects the hospitality, faith, and passion of the students,” he explains. “The chapel has always been the heart of our Catholic community, and the students have long asked for a functional and beautiful place to worship.”
Students at the St. Pius the X Catholic Student Center have mentioned that they long for “a chapel that makes us fall on our knees in prayer.”
To the heights
The fundraising campaign, “To the Heights: A Second Century Campaign,” draws its inspiration from both the St. Pius X Center’s century-long presence on campus, and from the motto of Blessed Pierre Giorgio Frassati. Like many who worship at St. Pius X, B. Pierre Giorgio Frassati was a college student with a passion for greatness.
He died a young man while treating victims of polio, but his motto “To the Heights”—which represents his love of mountains and the ascent of prayer—continues to inspire people to this day. This phrase is now the motto for the St. Pius X Center’s campaign.
When asked how people can help make the St. Pius X Center’s vision a reality, Fr. Voss replied, “We can use prayers from everyone. But if you feel called to help financially, or to provide any other kind of help, give us a call or shoot us an email. We would appreciate anything that could help enrich the spiritual lives of our students.”
Hayes is a member of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish.

Want to help build the St. Pius X center?
For more information or to donate, contact Fr. Voss at

Several events planned for diocese during Religious Freedom Week June 22-29

By Bonnie Toombs
The faithful of the Diocese of Wichita are invited later this month to join Catholics from across the United States to pray and act in support of religious liberty at home and abroad.
Serving Others in God’s Love: Religious Freedom Week 2018 begins Friday, June 22 on the Feast of Sts. Thomas More and John Fisher, and ends Friday, June 29, on the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul.
This year’s theme is “Serving Others in God’s Love.” Religious freedom is necessary if we are to continue to serve in areas like education, adoption and foster care, healthcare, and migration and refugee services.
As part of the commemoration, a rosary will be led by Bishop Carl A. Kemme at 8:30 a.m. Friday, June 22, on the southeast corner of the U.S. Courthouse, 401 N. Market, in Wichita. At 5:30 p.m. that day, St Catherine of Siena Parish will host a Mass and Eucharistic Procession for Religious Liberty. Afterward, all are invited to join in watching the movie Paul: Apostle of Christ at the parish.
Prayer for religious freedom continues on Tuesday, June 26, when the Stations of the Cross will be prayed at 5:30 p.m. at the Spiritual Life Center. On Friday, June 29, the diocese is hosting a day of service with opportunities to join together for work projects from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Please call the office at 316-269-3935 to sign up for the day of service.
All parishes are invited to host activities in support of Religious Freedom during the week. It is a special time for us to reflect on the importance of religious freedom so that the church will continue to have the ability to carry out her mission of service and mercy.
The chairman of the USCCB’s Committee for Religious Liberty, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, said: “Religious freedom allows the space for people of faith to serve others in God’s love in ministries like education, adoption and foster care, healthcare, and migration and refugee services. We encourage people of faith to reflect on the importance of religious freedom so that we might have the space to carry out our mission of service and mercy, and we invite everyone to pray for our brothers and sisters who face intense persecution in other parts of the world.”
The USCCB said Religious Freedom Week has replaced the Fortnight for Freedom to center the event around the feast days of saints who bore particular witness to religious liberty and for other reasons. Resources for Religious Freedom Week and other religious liberty resources can be found at and
Toombs is director of the diocesan office of Respect Life and Social Justice Office.

Want to participate in the day of service?
Those who wish to take part in the day of service on Friday, June 29, may call 316-269-3935 or email

Bishop Kemme to lead rosary June 22
Bishop Carl A. Kemme will lead a rosary to kick off the week at 8:30 a.m. Friday, June 22, on the southeast corner of the U.S. Courthouse, 401 N. Market, in Wichita.

Couple’s stewardship focuses on Drexel fund

Frank and Sharon LaForge, members of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Wichita, used their time and talent for the St. Katharine Drexel Catholic School Fund. (Advance photo)

Frank and Sharon LaForge have been retired for years, but they haven’t retired from an avocation that has evolved into stewardship that benefits Catholic education.
The LaForges began videotaping soon after the amateur cameras were made available for popular use – using videotape.
“Father (Thomas) McGread started us back in the video ‘revolution.’ He wanted us to do First Communions. He could see people showing up at Mass with 100 video recorders!”
Monsignor McGread was pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Wichita from 1968 to 1999. He died in 2013.
Over the years the LaForges recorded many ordinations in the Diocese of Wichita, about 20 graduation ceremonies for Bishop Carroll Catholic High School, and many First Communions at about 15 parishes.
When they became members of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in 1992 they began taping First Communions there for the families of the communicants.
“There was a time when, when we charged for it, but after I retired, for some reason I didn’t need the money anymore,” Frank said. For the last few Bishop Carroll graduations, the couple asked for donations that benefitted the school.
As compensation for the SEAS First Communion videotapes, the LaForges request donations to the St. Katharine Drexel Catholic School Fund. The fund provides financial support to parishes that struggle financially to carry out the mission of Catholic education in a parish school.
The LaForges now focus primarily on First Communions for SEAS parishioners.
It may take a couple of hours to videotape a First Communion Mass but it takes much longer to edit and produce DVDs, Frank said.
“It’s a monster to edit,” he said. “We start it off with a little video from around the church. And the kids come into the church from two sides and we’re filming both sides…and then we try to balance between showing the kids and showing the priests. We put a microphone on Father so that the kids hear the actual words of consecration.”
Frank said production might take about 10 times the two hours it takes the couple to videotape. After hours of editing, he must print an image on a DVD, burn the DVDs in real time, and package the final product attractively.
“There’s a lot of time involved in it,” he said, “but we certainly believe in the time, talent, and treasure thing.”

Diocesan news, June 15, 2018

Theology weekend — Fred Morrison, a member of St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Wichita, peruses tables of books provided by Eighth Day Books in Wichita during the Catholic Culture Conference June 1-3 at the Spiritual Life Center in Wichita.
One of the speakers was Joseph Pearce, an English-born writer who attributes his conversion in part to reading G. K. Chesterton. (Advance photos)

Bishop Kemme’s calendar
Here is Bishop Carl A. Kemme’s calendar for the next several weeks.
June 23: Jubilee Mass at 10:30 a.m. with the Sisters of St. Joseph
June 24: Holy Savior Mass followed by groundbreaking at 10 a.m.; Humanae Vitae 50th Anniversary Mass at Cathedral at 3:30 p.m.
June 25-30: Senior Adult Ministry Bus Trip to EWTN
Bishop Kemme has limited meetings and public appearances during the month of July.

Adult spelling bee fundraiser June 21
Spectators are invited to the ICT Bee Adult Spelling Bee Thursday, June 21, in the Dugan-Gorges Conference Center at Newman University in Wichita.
Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. Team spelling bee competition begins at 6 p.m. Seven teams of four have signed up to compete in the fun, fundraising event for the Sisters of St. Joseph Dear Neighbor Ministries.
The cost is $25 and includes hors-d’oeuvres, beer, and wine. For ticket information, visit, or contact Brenda Wasinger at 316-684-5120.

Bike camp for disabled children set for July
A bike camp will be offered this summer to help persons with disabilities learn how to ride a bicycle.
The iCan Bike Camp, for persons eight years and older, will be hosted July 16-18 in Wichita by the Independent Living Resources Center.
To register for the camp or for more information, visit, call Cindi at 316-942-6300, ext. 222, or email her at

Volunteer choir for Aug. 3-5 Catholic conference begins practice June 28
A volunteer choir and orchestra is being formed for the 18th annual Midwest Catholic Family Conference at Century II Convention Hall, Aug. 3-5.
The choir will sing for the 11 a.m. Masses on Saturday, Aug. 4, and Sunday, Aug. 5. Those available for only one of the Masses are still welcome to sing.
Rehearsals will be on Thursday evenings, from 7:30 to 9:30 starting Thursday, June 28. The final rehearsal for both the choir and the orchestra will be at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 2 at Century II. Other than Aug. 2, all rehearsal dates are tentative.
The orchestra will accompany the choir only for the Sunday Mass. Orchestra members who also sing are encouraged to sing in the choir for the Mass on Saturday. The orchestra will have two rehearsals prior to the August 2 final rehearsal, to be determined later.
To volunteer or to get more information, please contact Mike Lawless at 683-0123, 641-5730, or Those interested in volunteering for the conference in other ways, may call 618-9787 or email to
All conference volunteers (including musicians) will receive discounted registration for the conference.

The pope’s intention
Here is Pope Francis’ prayer intention for this month:
Universal – Social Networks: That social networks may work towards that inclusiveness which respects others for their differences.

No excuse to miss Mass Sunday; several ‘last chance’ Masses now available
There are now several late Sunday Masses in Wichita, including two in Spanish, for those who hit the snooze button one too many times:
5 p.m.: Holy Savior
5:15 p.m.: Blessed Sacrament
6 p.m.: St. Elizabeth Ann Seton; St. Anne, en español
6:30 p.m.: Our Lady of Perpetual Help, en español
7 p.m.: St. Paul, WSU; St. Patrick, en español
9 p.m.: St. Paul, WSU
Sunday and daily Mass times for all parishes in the diocese may be found by parish at

Please remember our priests in your prayers
The Diocese of Wichita has a necrology, a listing of our deceased priests of the diocese online.
The necrology is arranged by months and includes the names of priests who died that month.
The faithful are invited to visit the page at and clicking on “Find A Parish.” The “Necrology” link is on the right side of the parish listing home page.

Code of Ethical Standards are online
The Diocese of Wichita is continuously working to maintain and improve safe environment education for children and adults involved in parish and diocesan activities.
As part of that effort, the diocese has a Code of Ethical Standards for Church Personnel available at its website at To find it, hover over “Links & Resources” and click on “Protection of Youth.”
The code discusses the general principals of the ethical standards and highlights the standards that should be maintained in professional relationships. It discusses topics such as conflicts of interest, harassment, sexual conduct, conduct with minors, and confidentiality, among others.
Every employee and volunteer of the diocese receives a copy of the Code at the beginning of their working relationship with the diocese. Employees and volunteers all read it and sign off regarding their intention to comply with these high standards before beginning their duties with the diocese.

Protection of youth information online
The Diocese of Wichita is committed to protecting children and young people. For information about how the diocese is working to create a safe environment for children and young people, or to report sexual abuse of minors by a church employee, go to, pull down the Resources link and click on “Protection of Youth.”
La Diócesis de Wichita está comprometida a proteger a niños y jóvenes. Para obtener información sobre cómo la diócesis está trabajando para crear un ambiente seguro para los niños y jóvenes, o para reportar un abuso sexual de menores por un empleado de la iglesia, puede ir a, vaya al botón de Recursos (Resources) y presione “Protección de la Juventud” (Protection of Youth).
Địa phận Wichita cam kết bảo vệ an toàn cho trẻ em và tuổi trẻ. Muốn biết chi tiết thế nào để tạo bầu không khí an toàn cho tuổi trẻ, hoặc cách thức khiếu nại về trường hợp nhân viên hoạt động cho Địa phận đã lạm dụng tình dục với trẻ em và tuổi trẻ, xin xem hoặc gửi qua internet theo địa chỉ, tìm xuống bảng liên kết và nhấn vào mục “Protection of the Youth”.

Pro-life ministry offering ‘pill kills’ DVD free
Physicians prescribe the pill to many young women to regulate monthly cycles, lessen cramping, or to control acne.
But the life and health threatening side effects from taking the pill are not worth it, according to the West Sedgwick County Chapter of Right to Life of Kansas. The pill not only causes abortions but has dangerous side-effects.
The chapter is offering a free DVD, “The Pill Kills Symposium,” that explains the problems associated with the pill.
For free copy of the DVD, send an email with your name and address, or call Carolyn at 316-531-2227. For more information or to watch the DVD online, visit and click on “2012 National Symposium” box on the left of the home page.

Parish news, June 15, 2018

GriefShare meeting at SEAS June 26
A GriefShare meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 26, in the Adult Library at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Wichita.
The topic will be “Stuck In Grief.” For more information, contact Candi Spacil at 721-1686 ext. 237.
GriefShare provides a guide to emotional, physical, and spiritual healing for anyone who has lost a loved one.

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.

Spiritual Life Center news, June 15, 2018

Enjoy two days of silence at the Spiritual Life Center on July 6-8
The faithful of the Diocese of Wichita are invited July 6-8 to experience God as they might never have before – in two days of silence, solitude in community, and prayer.
The Spiritual Life Center is again offering a silent retreat “The Carthusian Experience,” designed to be a time of deep renewal for participants. It begins at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, July 6, and ends Sunday, July 8, with Mass.
Participants will follow the manner of life of the Carthusians, an order founded by Saint Bruno in 1084 and is currently composed of about 450 monks and nuns who live a solitary life at the heart of the church.
Participants will consecrate their days entirely to prayer and to seeking God in the secret of their hearts. They will also intercede for the church and for the salvation of the whole world. The time in retreat will balance between silence and solitude found in one’s room or in chapel, prayer in common and in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, and common celebration of the Mass in a more contemplative manner.
The weekend is a silent retreat allowing space for God to speak to us individually. Individual spiritual direction, as well as opportunity for the Sacrament of Confession, the Mass, and Eucharistic Adoration, will be provided.
Registration is limited and early registration is encouraged. More information and pre-registration is available by visiting and clicking on Calendar of Events, or by calling the center at (316) 744-0167.

Marriage getaway June 16 at the SLC
Married couples are invited to a Marriage Enrichment Day Saturday, June 16, at the Spiritual Life Center in Wichita.
This day is designed to draw couples closer to God and closer to each other so that their marriages thrive. Couples will spend the day looking at ways in which they can be more united in love by uniting their marriage to Christ.
Check-in begins at 8:30 a.m. The event begins at 9 and ends with Mass at 5 p.m.
The cost is $60 per couple and includes materials, lunch, breakfast items, snacks, coffee, and water. Register by visiting

Retreat for healing and reconciliation at the SLC
The Return of the Prodigal Son retreat 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 the weekend, but there is an option to 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 Saturday, July 14, called “Jesus, Saint Luke, Rembrandt, 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 can be made on line at or by calling (316) 744-0167. Please register in advance to ensure space and food quantities.

Christendom Academy begins June 9 at Spiritual Life Center
Dusty Gates, Howard Clark, and Matthew Umbarger will team teach “The Christendom Academy” on Tuesdays from June 19 through Aug. 7 at the Spiritual Life Center. The academy will meet for eight weeks, focusing on one cultural epoch each week.
The program highlights the unique contributions Western Civilization has made to our understanding of philosophy, theology, spirituality, morality, and citizenship. Students will be invited to learn new ways to answer perennial questions such as: Who am I? Where have I come from and where am I going? What contribution am I called to make for my own salvation, for the good of my family, and the good of the world?
Course content will be drawn from a handful of writings essential to the development of Christian culture. The modules, in succession, will be: The Greeks, The Romans, The Hebrews, The Evangelists, The Fathers, The Early Medievals, The Late Medievals, and The Moderns.
The class will meet from 9 a.m. to noon each Tuesday, and will include lunch. Tuition is $165, which does not include the optional textbooks. To register, or more information, visit

Evening series about reading the Bible begins on July 5
Fr. Ken Van Haverbeke will lead a course “How to Read the Bible” on three Thursdays in July at the Spiritual Life Center.
The course meets from 7 to 8:30 p.m. July 5, 12, and 19. During the three-evening series participants will learn how God speaks to us through scripture and why the text is so important to our spiritual lives today.
The cost is $25 per person. Advance registration is requested. Visit the Spiritual Life Center’s webpage at to register or call (316) 744-0167.

Monthly Mass with children at the SLC Thursday, June 28
Caregivers and their children are invited to the monthly “KidsPrayToo!: Mass with Children” at the Spiritual Life Center on Thursday, June 28.
The Mass begins at 11:15 a.m. Fr. Van Haverbeke will speak especially to the littlest among us at the Mass. This 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.

Father Sherman Orr class on defending the faith June 21 at SLC
An apologetics course, “Theology vs. Apologetics,” will be offered at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 21, at the Spiritual Life Center in Wichita. The “apologia” sessions take tough topics within the church and teach the faithful how to defend our faith.
This month Rev. Sherman Orr, pastor of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Wichita, will talk about the difference between theology and apologetics, and where the Catechism of the Catholic Church fits in. His talk will have a special emphasis on the “Four Last Things,” and will discuss some ideas that theology offers about the subjects that might not be found in the catechism.
Each session of Apologia addresses a different topic pertinent to 21st century Catholics to aid in their obligation to defend and explain the faith.
The program features a one-hour presentation, followed by 15 to 30 minutes of Q and A, and discussion of the month’s topic or any topic pertaining to apologetics.
The cost is $10 per person. Advance registration appreciated but walk-ins are welcome. Visit the Spiritual Life Center’s web page at to register or call (316) 744-0167.

National and world news, June 15, 2018

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un shakes hands with U.S. President Donald Trump at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore June 12.

U.S.-North Korea summit brings hope for peace
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Talks between the leaders of the United States and North Korea are “truly historic” and bring hope for the start of a new era of peace, said Pope Francis’ ambassador to Korea.
A “very important” new page has been turned, Archbishop Alfred Xuereb, apostolic nuncio to South Korea and Mongolia, told Vatican News June 12.
“It marks the beginning of a still long and arduous journey, but we are hopeful because the start has been very positive, very good,” he said.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump met on Singapore’s Sentosa Island for the historic summit June 12. It was the first meeting between a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean leader.
Afterward, Trump said Kim would work to end North Korea’s nuclear program. Trump promised to end joint military exercises with South Korea.
After the summit, Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung of Seoul, South Korea, and apostolic administrator of Pyeongyang, North Korea, celebrated Mass in Myeongdong Cathedral to pray for prompt execution of the summit agreement.
“When I heard the news that there was a meaningful agreement between the two summits in their first meeting, I deeply thanked God to remember our prayers for reconciliation and union of the Korean people,” Cardinal Yeom said in his homily. “I sincerely wish that the agreement can be promptly executed to achieve the common good not only for Korean people but for all people on the globe.”
He also added prayers for the believers in North Korea to have the freedom of religion and be able to lead humane lives as soon as possible.
Archbishop Xuereb told Vatican News the rhetoric has gone from unleashing “fire and fury” against North Korea to more moderate language “that speaks of peace, of relations based on understanding, therefore, we are truly full of hope and confidence.”
“You can imagine how anxiously the Korean people and the church here in Korea are experiencing this truly historic moment,” the papal nuncio said.
“The Holy See wants to support whatever possible initiative that promotes dialogue and reconciliation” while also taking advantage of being able to take the Gospel message to everyone, he said.
Pope Francis led thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square in prayer June 10, expressing hopes the summit would lead to lasting peace.

Study finds Catholic school correlates with student’s self-control
Catholic elementary school students, regardless of race, sex, or socioeconomic status, have more self-control and self-discipline than their peers enrolled in either public schools or non-Catholic private schools, a recent study by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute found.
The study examined two surveys of the behavior of thousands of elementary school students enrolled in public, Catholic, and non-Catholic private schools.
According to the teachers in the surveys, students at Catholic schools engaged in fewer “externalizing behaviors,” meaning they did not fight, get angry, act impulsively, or disturb ongoing activities as frequently as students at other schools.
What’s more, Catholic school students are “more likely to control their temper, respect others’ property, accept their fellow students ideas, and to handle peer pressure.” This is true across demographic lines.
Acording to its website, the Fordham Institute promotes educational excellence for every child in America via quality research, analysis, and commentary. It is often described as a conservative think-tank.
While the study is encouraging, CATO Institute expert Corey A. DeAngelis warns that it is not causal, (as there was no real way to create a control group), and there could be other factors for a child’s good behavior than the type of school he or she attends.
Still, DeAngelis says there are reasons to believe that Catholic schools in particular could provide an environment to develop a sense of self-discipline.
“Religious schools may have a competitive advantage at shaping character skills because students are not just held accountable to teachers – they are also held accountable to God,” DeAnglis told CNA.

Court rules Abp. Sheen’s remains may be moved to Peoria
PEORIA, Ill. (CNS) — The Diocese of Peoria has reacted with “great joy” to a decision by a New York court in favor of Joan Sheen Cunningham’s petition to have the remains of her uncle, Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, moved from New York City to Peoria.
“It is the hope that this process will begin immediately,” said a diocesan news release, issued June 8 following the ruling by Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arlene Bluth that again clears the way for the remains of the famed orator and media pioneer to be removed from St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York and transferred to St. Mary’s Cathedral in Peoria, the archbishop’s home diocese.
Peoria Bishop Daniel R. Jenky said he hoped the Archdiocese of New York — which appealed Bluth’s original ruling in favor of Cunningham in late 2016 — will now “cease its legal resistance.” He asked all to pray “for a renewed spirit of cooperation” to move Archbishop Sheen’s sainthood cause forward.
Officials in the Archdiocese of New York said June 11 they “will review this decision carefully with our attorneys and determine what next steps might be taken.” The statement also said trustees of St. Patrick’s Cathedral “have an obligation to respect the wishes of Archbishop Sheen, as clearly stated in his will and earlier insisted upon by his niece, that he be buried in New York.”
But in 2016, Cunningham, who is Archbishop Sheen’s oldest living relative, filed a petition with the courts in New York asking that his body be moved to the Peoria cathedral. She said her uncle would not have objected to his remains being transferred to his home diocese from the crypt at St. Patrick’s Cathedral where he was entombed following his death in 1979 at age 84.
The Peoria Diocese noted “this is the second time that the Superior Court of New York has ruled in favor of Joan Sheen Cunningham’s petition. … Earlier, the Appellate Court of New York remanded the case to the Superior Court for an evidentiary hearing and issuance of a new ruling.”
Returning the prelate’s remains to Peoria “will be the next step toward bringing ‘Venerable’ Archbishop Sheen’s beatification to completion including a beatification ceremony in Peoria, Illinois,” said the diocese’s news release.