Grant will allow Wichita’s Catholic Charities to connect to Pittsburg office

Catholic Charities counselors in Wichita will soon be assisting clients in Pittsburg face to face – electronically.
Southeast Kansas Services at Catholic Charities received a $47,058 grant Tuesday, May 15, to establish a telecommunications center to provide Catholic Charities services to Pittsburg clients from Wichita.
The telecommunication equipment at both sites will be installed and will be operational by the beginning of July as a result of the grant from the Leon V. and Dorothy M. Skubitz Foundation.
“We are honored to be the recipients of this year’s Skubitz Family Grant in support of our work to improve the lives of those living in Crawford County,” said Wendy Glick, executive director of Catholic Charities.
“With this support we are able to bring a menu of services to those in need in the area that otherwise were not easily accessible.”
Southeast Kansas Service Program Director Casey Brown said the telecommunication equipment is HIPPA compliant.
Services provided at SEK Catholic Charities’ offices, located in the Wesley House in Pittsburg, include Cana Counseling for family and marriages; Supportive Services for Veteran Families which help keep veterans and their families housed; and a program for people who are victims of abuse called the SAFE Project which include safety planning and responsible parenting and healthy relationships. Other services include mental health counseling and financial literacy.
Mr. and Mrs. Skubitz, longtime Pittsburg residents, left their estate in trust with BMO Harris Bank to create a foundation that would award annual grants to be used exclusively for charitable purposes, with strong preference given to Crawford County, Kansas.

The Groves of Academe

Bob Voboril honored by Newman U — Retiring Superintendent of Catholic Schools Bob Voboril receives congratulations from Newman University President Noreen Carrocci Saturday, May 12, at a graduation ceremony held at Central Community Church in Wichita. Voboril was awarded a degree of Doctor of Humane Letters. An honorary degree is awarded each year by NU to notable and accomplished members of the extended Newman community whose life and work reflect exemplary dedication to one of the university’s four core values: Catholic Identity, Culture of Service, Academic Excellence and Global Perspective. (Courtesy photo)

By Bob Voboril
Around 387 B.C. Plato gathered a group of scholars in a grove of olive trees and began an academy, a place for discourse about both eternal verities and the great questions of the day. Ever since, the term Groves of Academe has symbolized the highest purpose of teaching and learning, that is, to search for truth and teach it relentlessly.
On February 26, Dr. Noreen Carrocci, President of Newman University, called and asked me to accept an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters at Spring Commencement on May 12. No one with my background could ever expect to achieve such distinction. Grandpa Voboril was blind. Grandpa Steyer, an immigrant, spent the last twenty-five years of his life in a mental institution. My father never finished high school and opposed his children attending college. I was the first in my family to graduate from college, and I worked full-time to pay for it. I ran a bindery, edited a newspaper, flipped burgers, twirled pizzas, scooped ice cream, kept parish books, and wrote newspaper columns. On my daily one dollar food budget I would eat two orders of onion rings and one Coke. In graduate school I upgraded to one Swanson chicken TV dinner and one Coke per day.
I am not sure what diocesan authorities saw in my teaching in those early 70’s. I was a (very) long-haired rebel who didn’t know the school’s rules, played touch football or went bowling with my students every Thursday, never put up bulletin boards, and left my desk a mess every night. All I had going for me was that I was idealistic, I cared about kids, and I never gave up.
Maybe because I was so difficult to handle, I was made a principal at age 25 in a school that was slated to close. I was principal, secretary, taught Grades 7 and 8, coached the basketball team, and ran around like my hair was on fire. I kept the school open five years and then decided to leave education when the school closed to provide for my new wife and daughter.
God had other plans. I agreed to interview for one job as a favor to my mother. There were 19 interviewees. I walked out of the interview half way through, and four days later I was offered the job. When I resigned ten years later, enrollment had increased from 181 to 450, I wrote a newspaper column and we had built four additions. I also had four more children.
I had never been a scholar (not smart enough) or a theologian (not interested enough), but more of a practitioner. I figure out a vision and a mission, convince others to own it, and work together to accomplish it. So in 1990 when the University of Nebraska in Omaha invited me to take one class and write a dissertation to be in their first doctoral cohort, I turned them down. With a sixth child on the way and a salary of $26,000, I thought I had spent enough of my family’s time and money. I made that decision knowing that I was kissing a doctorate away for good.
Instead, I became a principal of a small rural high school. Three years later there was a two line advertisement for a superintendent in Wichita. I doubted anyone would hire a principal of a school with 57 students to be their superintendent. When I found out who the other finalists were, I told Pam, “At least we get one free night in a motel.” All eight of us slept in one motel room just in case. The rest of my story you have read about in The Catholic Advance for the last twenty-five years.
So this honor by Newman University is very special to a kid from Wahoo, Nebraska who has always seen himself as lucky to have a job. All the while, though, that kid hoped for acceptance by the academic community, especially in Wichita with its great Catholic university and its two other excellent colleges. He hoped, too, that something of his reverence for Catholic schools, his passion for excellence, and his commitment to each principal and teacher would come through in what he said and did.
For me, then, this admission to the Groves of Academe is the capstone to a long working career in Catholic education. I am humble and am grateful.

Diocesan news, June 1, 2018

Bishop Kemme’s calendar
Here is Bishop Carl A. Kemme’s calendar for the next several weeks.
June 1: Totus Tuus Team blessing and lunch after noon Mass at Cathedral; Evening with Seminarians at 6 p.m. at Pittsburg State University
June 2: Diocese of Salina ordination to the priesthood, 10 a.m. at Salina cathedral; Confirmation Mass at 5:30 p.m. followed by blessing of new parish hall for St. Anthony, Strong City, and St. Rose of Lima in Council Grove
June 3: Fr. Kapaun Day Mass at 11 a.m. at St. John Nepomucene in Pilsen; Corpus Christi at 3 p.m. at the Cathedral
June 7: Presbyteral Council; Confirmation Mass for St. Mary, Moline; and St. Robert, Sedan, at 6:30 p.m. at St. Mary in Moline
June 8: Confirmation Mass at 6:30 p.m. at Sacred Heart in Colwich
June 9: Feast Day Mass at 9 a.m. at Immaculate Heart of Mary Convent; 100th Anniversary Mass of the Dedication of Sacred Heart Church in Colwich at 5:30 p.m.
June 10: 25th Anniversary Mass of the Dedication of the new Sacred Heart Church in Fredonia at 10:30 a.m.
June 12-14: USCCB General Assembly in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
June 23: Jubilee Mass at 10:30 a.m. with the Sisters of St. Joseph
June 24: Holy Savior Mass followed by ground breaking 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.

Dear Neighbor awarded mini-grant
Dear Neighbor Ministries of Wichita received a $500 Seed Grant from Volunteer Kansas.
The ministry received the grant May 21 to restore a handicap-accessible raised garden bed at the ministry’s office.
The mini-grants help support service projects that will help foster volunteerism.
Dear Neighbor Ministries provides emergency and outreach support for the Hilltop Neighborhood in Wichita.

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

Clinic Wingnuts baseball fundraiser June 10
The Guadalupe Clinic, a diocesan health care ministry, will host its 30th Annual Wingnuts Baseball Game fundraiser Sunday, June 10.
The Wichita Wingnuts will play the Kansas City T-Bones at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium in Wichita. The first pitch will be at 1:05 p.m.
Tickets are $5. They will be sold after Masses at some parishes and may be purchased by contacting Alley Miller at the Guadalupe Clinic at 316-264-8974 ext. 213 or email

Parish news, June 1, 2018

Listening for Peace third prayer service at SFA Thursday, June 7
A third prayer service involving Catholics, Lutherans, and Episcopalians, will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, June 7, at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Wichita.
The faithful are invited to the ecumenical service to engage in prayer and conversation to discuss matters of unity, rather than of division.
Father David Lies, vicar general for the Diocese of Wichita, said, “Since the first Listening for Peace prayer service was held at the Cathedral in November of last year, and since a subsequent prayer gathering at Reformation Lutheran church in January, a following of ecumenically-minded Christians has formed to support this initiative to seek unity.”
He said some of the participants have expressed gratitude for the opportunity to gather and pray with family members or friends of different faiths at a common service.
“Additionally, Listening for Peace has inspired at least one collaborative effort among Christian churches to coordinate the support of congregation members who have intellectual or physical disabilities,” he said.
“I see these examples as welcome affirmation of the fruitfulness of continuing to simply take time to pray together and allow the Holy Spirit to guide and inspire all God’s children to achieve greater unity.”

Racial Justice weekend June 8-10 at Holy Savior Parish, Wichita
A discussion about racial justice continues Friday through Sunday, June 8-10, at Holy Savior Parish in Wichita.
The parish is hosting the “Alabaster Box Experience - You Don’t Know the Cost Weekend” next weekend in the gymnasium.
On Friday, June 8, participants will celebrate Women’s Day from 6 to 9 p.m. From 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, all are invited to attend a workshop featuring Sister Patty Chappell and Sister Anne-Louise from Pax Christi who will lead a discussion about racial justice.
On Sunday, all are invited to attend the 11 a.m. Mass. There is no cost to attend the event.

Youth and school news, June 1, 2018

Children pilgrims — Students of St. Joseph School in Ost learn about St. Mary Church in Aleppo from Amanda Casper, a parishioner. It was one of three churches they visited the week of May 14 as part of an all-school pilgrimage. The students, who come from seven Ost-area parishes, also visited St. Joseph Church in Andale and St. Anthony of Padua Church in Garden Plain. (Courtesy photo)

Diocesan Catholic high schools graduate 552

The four Catholic high schools of the Diocese of Wichita graduated 552 students in ceremonies last month in Pittsburg, Hutchinson, and Wichita.

St. Mary’s Colgan Catholic High School, Pittsburg
St. Mary’s Colgan High School in Pittsburg graduated 32 students May 16.
Trevor Graham, the son of Troy and Laurie Graham, was named valedictorian.
Kamree Pace, the daughter of Mike and Renee Pace, was named salutatorian.
Both families are members of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Pittsburg.

Trinity Catholic High School, Hutchinson
Trinity Catholic Jr/Sr High School in Hutchinson graduated 43 students Sunday, May 13.
Valedictorians were Emily Hammeke, the daughter of Joe and Stacy Hammeke; Kyndal Brening, the daughter of Kevin and Pat Brening; and Erika Frisbie, the daughter of Antonia Frisbie and Charles Frisbie.
Tessa Yackley, the daughter of Dr. Mark and Laura Yackley, was named salutatorian. They are all residents of Hutchinson.
The Hammekes and Frisbees are members of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish. The Brenings and the Yackleys are members of Church of the Holy Cross.

Kapaun Mt. Carmel Catholic High School, Wichita
Kapaun Mt. Carmel Catholic School graduated 206 seniors May 20.
Joseph Hathaway, the son of Therese and Jay Hathaway, members of St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, was named valedictorian. He also was named a Msgr. Barth Award winner.
Thanh Pham, the daughter of Sang Pham and Nga Le, was named salutatorian and a recipient of a Msgr. Barth Award. They are members of St. Margaret Mary Parish.
Four other students were named Msgr. Barth Award winners: Kaitlyn Bauer, the daughter of Vincent and Tamara Bauer, members of Blessed Sacrament Parish; Emma Conover, daughter of Chad and Kelli Conover, members of Church of the Magdalen; Maria Collins, daughter of Wade and Tina Collins, members of Church of the Magdalen; and Kelly House, daughter of Chris and Theresa House, members of St. Thomas Aquinas Parish.

Bishop Carroll Catholic High School, Wichita
Bishop Carroll Catholic High School graduated 271 seniors May 20.
Lindsay M. Smith, the daughter of David and Amy Smith, was named valedictorian. They are members of St. Catherine of Siena Parish. She also was named a Msgr. Barth Award winner.
Kyle S. Weed, the son of Josh and Libby Weed, was named salutatorian. They are members of St. Jude Parish.
The school had four other Msgr. Barth winners:
Lauren A. Beugelsdyk, the daughter of Dan and Tina Beugelsdyk, members of St. Francis of Assisi Parish; Allison E. Gregg, a daughter of Randall and Heather Gregg, members of St. Francis of Assisi Parish; Jaci L. Reichenberger, the daughter of Dr. Ron and Joni Reichenberger, members of St. Catherine of Siena Parish; and Maguire A. Sullivan, the daughter of Justin and Tamara Sullivan, members of St. Mark Parish.

The 2018 Barth, McNeill winners

The Catholic School Office has announced the recipients of the 2018 Msgr. Barth Scholar Award and the Msgr. Leon McNeill Scholar award.

Msgr. Arthur Barth Scholar Award
The following students are 2018 Msgr. Arthur Barth Scholar Award recipients:
Lauren Beugelsdyk, Allison Gregg, Jaci Reichenberger, Lindsay Smith and Maguire Sullivan of Bishop Carroll Catholic High School, Wichita; Kaitlyn Bauer, Maria Collins, Emma Conover, Joseph Hathaway, Kelly House and Thanh Pham of Kapaun Mt. Carmel Catholic High School, Wichita.

Msgr. Leon McNeill Scholar Award
The following students are 2018 Msgr. Leon McNeill Scholar Award recipients:
Hayley Stewart, St. Mary Parish School, Derby; Cohen Ayres, Holy Spirit Catholic School, Goddard; Alexandra Schreiner, Colby Schreiner, Lauren Theis, and Kara Thimesch, St. Patrick Catholic School, Kingman; Maria Mick, St. Mary Catholic School, Newton; Aiden Flemming, Will Glover, Emily Imhof, Allison Marietta, and Ashley Marietta, St. Mary’s Junior High, Pittsburg; Patrick Olson, Blessed Sacrament Catholic School; Justin Moritz, Hoang Nguyen, Jack Scherer, and Gianna Watts, Christ the King Catholic School; Tirah Daniels, Holy Savior Catholic Academy; MaKenzie Orr, Magdalen Catholic School; Max Ercolani and Trevor Sweat, Resurrection Catholic School; Melissa Nhi Hoang and Oscar Sanchez, St. Anne Catholic School; Johathan Kha and Sebastian Ruiz, St. Margaret Mary Catholic School; Hannah Allmond, St. Peter Catholic School; and Samuel Calderon, Jackson Reusser, and Andrew Schreck of St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic School, Wichita.

About the Msgr. Barth Awards
The Msgr. Arthur Barth High School Scholar Award recognizes high school seniors who have all As, with the possible exception of one B+ in an honors class. These students have taken at least eight hours of honors courses, scored Exemplary on their two most recent Diocesan Religion assessments, have a minimum ACT score of 30 (or an SAT score of 1340), and an exemplary discipline record. In addition, they are active in parish stewardship, have the recommendation of their Pastor and the chaplain of their high school, been involved in at least two school activities, and demonstrated effective leadership in at least one organization.

About the Msgr. McNeill Awards
The Msgr. Leon McNeill Eighth Grade Scholar Award recognizes eighth grade students who are A students, ranked 4 (Exemplary) on the most recent Diocesan Religion assessment and the most recent State Mathematics and Reading assessments, have an exemplary conduct record, and received a rating of at least 15 on the Grade School Recommendation. These students have been approved by their Pastor as being active parish members.

St. James Catholic School Principal Richard Guy, Keteri Mosier, and Father Michael Schemm. (Courtesy photo)

St. James Catholic School promotes first eighth grade student since 1972
AUGUSTA – Kateri Mosier is the first St. James Catholic School student to graduate from the eighth grade since 1972 – 46 years.
Kateri, the daughter of Dennis and Penny Mosier of Augusta, was honored at a Promotion Mass Tuesday, May 22, at St. James Church in Augusta. She has been a student at St. James since preschool.
Principal Richard Guy said Kateri has been a model student and a role model for schoolmates following her.
“She has a strong faith in Jesus Christ,” he said. “St. James Catholic School is very proud of her.”
The school has been adding grades in recent years culminating with the eighth grade.

Host families sought
Host families are being sought for high school exchange students for the 2018-2019 academic year.
The students will arrive in mid-August and will attend local high schools. The students speak English, are covered by medical insurance, and have spending money for their personal expenses.
Approved families can view online student applications and select the student that best matches their own family. For more information, call Wilma Fast at 316-681-1236.

Spiritual Life Center news, June 1, 2018

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. For more information contact Jake Samour at 316-685-5240. Register by visiting

Mini-retreat for dads June 15 at the SLC
The Spiritual Life Center will host its annual mini-retreat for dads from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, June 15. The evening will consist of social time and drinks, dinner with the guys, and a talk. Dinner will be a German feast of brats, potato salad, and sauerkraut, along with beer and dessert.
This year the center welcomes Jim Rundell to share his testimony of how ministering with those who are incarcerated has changed his relationship with the Lord. Rundell is a former administrator at the Spiritual Life Center and has spent years serving with the St. Dismas Ministry to the Incarcerated.
Participants are encouraged to reserve a bedroom on Friday evening if they wish to extend their retreat time. The cost for the program is $15 per person. Register by visiting the Spiritual Life Center’s web page at or by calling (316) 744-0167.

Reading group meeting at the SLC
The Spiritual Life Center will hold its first Good Books meeting of the summer Thursday, June 7, about Nathaniel Hawthorne’s, The Scarlet Letter. The course meets monthly throughout the summer to learn more about the novel and how it relates to Christians.
Kapaun Mt. Carmel teacher Angie Etheredge leads the summer sessions which will take place on June 7, July 12, and Aug. 2. The study meets from 7 to 8:30 p.m. each of these evenings. The cost for the summer course is $30 and the book will be available in the Center’s bookstore.
Please go to or call (316) 744-0167 to register. Pre-registration is requested but walk-ins are welcome.

Christendom Academy June 9 at the SLC
Dusty Gates, Howard Clark, and Matthew Umbarger will team teach a new program at the Spiritual Life Center this summer called “The Christendom Academy.” The academy will meet once a week for eight weeks from June 19 through Aug. 7, 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 like 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 are 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. For more information or to register visit

Annulment Workshop June 12 at Spiritual Life Center, Wichita
Fr. Brian Nelson will present a program about annulments from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 12, at the Spiritual Life Center in Wichita.
The workshop will explain the annulment process, talk about who needs an annulment and why, look at some of the common myths and fears, and address costs and length of time associated with annulments.
Father Brian Nelson is the diocesan judicial vicar and director of the marriage tribunal.
There is no charge but advance registration is recommended. Registration is available online at or by calling (316) 744-0167.

Miles Christi group to host retreats in June, August at the SLC
The Miles Christi religious order will host two retreats on the Spiritual Exercises in Wichita this summer at the Spiritual Life Center. The retreat for women takes place June 22-24 and the men’s retreat is scheduled for Aug. 24-26.
The Spiritual Exercises are a silent retreat that includes talks and times for silent meditation. The priests of the Miles Christi order will be in Wichita to preach during the retreat using the method and principles of St. Ignatius of Loyola. In general the retreats begin at 4 p.m. on Friday and conclude Sunday at 5 p.m.
According to the Miles Christi website, the Spiritual Exercises have proven to be an excellent means of conversion and sanctification throughout the centuries. In addition, the Magisterium of the Church has commended them numerous times.
The Miles Christi religious order are priests and brothers devoted to the pursuit of sanctity for the greater glory of God. The mission of the order is the sanctification of the laity.
To register, visit or email

Father Sherman Orr to lead evening class on defending the faith on June 21 at SLC
“Theology vs. Apologetics,” part of a monthly apologetics course, will be presented 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 Church in Wichita, will talk about the difference between theology and apologetics, and where the Catechism fits in. His talk will have a special emphasis on the “four last things,” and will discuss some ideas that theology offers us on the subjects that might not be found in the Catechism.
The program features a one-hour presentation, followed by 15 to 30 minutes of Q and A time 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.

Enjoy two days of silence at the SLC 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.

A retreat for healing and reconciliation July 13-15 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.
“It’s 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! Nouwen is very accessible to everyone. We can relate to what he experienced and wrote.”
Nouwen tells of his encounter with the painting in 1986 and then continuing to reflect on the painting throughout his life: how he was the younger (prodigal) son, the elder son, and finally the father in the Gospel story.
What struck him “like a thunderbolt,” though, was a friend’s admonition, ‘Whether you are the younger son or the elder son, you are called to be the father!’ That healing experience for Nouwen changed his life and many others through his writings.
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 added, “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.
New this year is a Saturday-only option. Participants who cannot make the entire weekend 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 can be made on line at or by calling (316) 744-0167. Register in advance to ensure space and food quantities.

Wichita’s Center of Hope receives a $10,000 matching gift donation

By George Dinkel
The Center of Hope has been notified anonymously that a donor will match donations made to the Center of Hope up to a total of $10,000. The donations need to be received by the end of this year.
This is a great opportunity for your donation to have a double benefit. If you donate $100 it really becomes $200 by this matching gift program. During the summer months our donations typically slow down and the demand for our homeless prevention service continues to increase as utility bills rise during the hot summer months. By the end of summer, we are usually very low on funds and struggle to meet the needs of all those coming to us for help.
This matching gift program can make a great impact on us being able to serve those in need throughout the summer months.
The Center of Hope is a homeless prevention program started by the Sisters of Adorers of the Blood of Christ to help those in danger of being homeless to stay in their homes. The Center of Hope is unique as 100 percent of the donations received are used directly for rent, utility, and other emergency assistance paid directly to the landlord or the utility companies. No donated money is used to pay administrative, salary or operating costs.
We are very appreciative of the anonymous donor that is willing to make this matching contribution and for your most kind generosity by participating in this program.
Dinkel is executive director of the Center of Hope.

Want to help?
To make a donation that will be matched, write a check to Center of Hope, Inc., and write “matching donation” on the description line at the bottom of the check. Payments may be mailed to Center of Hope, Inc., 400 N. Emporia, Wichita KS 67202. Or, call 316-267-3999 to make a credit card payment.

We are called to serve the church to the very end of our lives

The following article is reprinted with permission of The Word Among Us.
“When you grow old, you will stretch out your hands.” (John 21:18)
These were Jesus’ words to Peter to show by what death he was to glorify God. (John 21:19) But there’s a message here for each one of us also – especially as we ourselves grow old or care for aging loved ones. Peter didn’t just stretch out his hand on the upside down cross. He stretched them out every day as he served the church, until the very end of his life.
No doubt, aging isn’t a walk in the park. You’re not as strong or agile as when you were younger. You may find it harder to recall a name or to follow a line of reasoning. Maybe you need help with chores you once handled easily on your own. You may have to give up some of your independence, along with some dreams that are no longer realistic.
But take heart! The psalmist assures you that you can “bear fruit even in old age” (Psalm 92:15). How? By trying to be open to the unique forms of grace available in this season of your life. Maybe you aren’t able to do the things you used to do – not for yourself, your family, or your church. But don’t let that burden you. God isn’t done with you. He has other opportunities in store for you.
For instance, if you’re finding everything seems to take longer and you can’t crowd as many activities into your day, maybe God is asking you to simplify your life. Try to focus on what matters most: loving and being loved. If you aren’t able to do as much for your family or friends, you can develop a new appreciation for just being with them or lifting them up in prayer.
Even your need to depend on family or friends more can help you learn more about how we all need one another as members of the body of Christ. In fact, by letting people serve you, you are giving them a chance to grow!
Just like Peter, you can stretch out your hands to the people around you as you grow older. God still has plenty for you to do.
For more information about aging, contact Sharon Witzell, program coordinator for Senior Adult Ministries, a at at (316) 685-5240.

Humanae Vitae and Theology of the Body have strong connections

By Jake Samour
(Another in a series of articles to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Blessed Pope Paul VI's encyclical Humanae Vitae (Of Human Life)).
Most people who have heard about Humanae Vitae are familiar with the controversy it caused. Even now the encyclical continues to be a stumbling block for many, including Catholics.
A more famous and more treasured work, which followed Humanae Vitae, is St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body. Ironically, John Paul II insisted on many occasions that the whole of his Wednesday catechesis constituted “an extensive commentary on the doctrine contained precisely in Humanae Vitae.” He explained that questions spring from Humanae Vitae “that run in some way through the whole of [the Theology of the Body] reflections.”
Indeed, one of the most important projects of John Paul II’s pontificate was to provide a comprehensive and extensive answer to the controversy raised in Humanae Vitae. It took John Paul II over five years and 129 Wednesday Audiences to deliver his reflections.
It is important to note that Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, who was from Poland, had written about the Theology of the Body before he became Pope John Paul II. Indeed, he was carrying a manuscript of the Theology of the Body when he participated in the first of two conclaves that took place in 1978 – the one that elected his predecessor, John Paul I. As we know, John Paul I’s pontificate was sadly short-lived – a total of 33 days. Cardinal Wojtyla was elected his successor in October 1978. It was as if the Holy Spirit determined it was time for the work of the unknown Polish prelate to be known by the whole world.
Perhaps an even more compelling indicator of the importance of Theology of the Body is the tragic incident that took place 37 years ago this May when a Turkish gunman fired four shots at Pope John Paul II as he passed through St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City in an open car.
Two of the bullets struck the Pope: one hit his hand, while the other hit his abdomen and narrowly missed vital organs and came within a fraction of an inch from a major artery. This event almost kept Pope John Paul II from delivering the Wednesday Catechesis. More importantly, it almost ended his life and his pontificate.
The assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II took place while he was delivering the Theology of the Body catechesis on Wednesday, May 13, 1981. On that same day, he had planned to announce the founding of a new Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family. The shooting prevented the May 13 announcement. But because Pope John Paul II miraculously survived, the Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family was eventually created.
John Paul II was convinced that his life was spared and that Mary redirected the bullets. Death had appeared all but certain to bystanders who watched the four bullets fired. In discussing the bullet that pierced his abdomen and almost killed him, John Paul II said, “It was a mother's hand that guided the bullet's path” and permitted that “the dying Pope stopped on the threshold of death.”
The assassination attempt had taken place on the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, and the Pope was certain that his survival was due to the intervention of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Significantly, before becoming pope, Cardinal Wojtyla was consecrated to our Blessed Mother. His apostolic motto when elected pope was: Totus Tuus, “totally thine,” which expressed his personal consecration to Mary.
Being consecrated to our Lady protected him and helped him remain pontiff for almost 27 years, the third longest pontificate in church history. In gratitude to our Lady, the pope gave the bullet that almost took his life to the bishop in charge of the shrine at Fatima, Portugal. To this day, that bullet remains in the crown of the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary housed at that shrine.
Although he underwent five hours of surgery, John Paul II recovered and went on to finish delivering his Theology of the Body. Further, he established the Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family on October 7, 1982, the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. On that occasion, John Paul II entrusted the Institute in a special way to the care of the most Blessed Virgin Mary under her title of Our Lady of Fatima.
The Institute today has 11 sessions in countries which cover all the continents in the world—one of the sessions is in the United States, in Washington D.C. Each session has men and women focusing their studies on marriage and family.
Let us give thanks to God for the gift of Blessed Paul VI and Humanae Vitae. Let us give thanks to God for St. John Paul II and the Theology of the Body. Let us give thanks to Our Lady for protecting and interceding for these two great men of our time. Let us commend ourselves to work tirelessly to this work of proclaiming the truths revealed in Humanae Vitae and Theology of the Body. And let us ask our Lady to keep us safe under her protective mantle. Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us! Amen.
Samour is the director of the Office of Marriage and Family Life.

Dr. Hilgers to speak at HV dinner June 24
Thomas W. Hilgers, M.D., is 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

A change in assignment: Welcoming a new priest

The View from the Rectory Window
By Fr. Ken Van Haverbeke
Last is a series of four.
So you have a new pastor? Today with social media, the deep intake of air by the congregation when the pastor announces his move at Mass is less dramatic, but social media doesn’t negate the loss.
Perhaps you liked your pastor. Perhaps you struggled in accepting his style of shepherding. That’s okay. We priests understand that we are going to bond with some, while never find a connection with others.
I remember one priest who had a rather difficult time of it in a parish said, “I announced that I was leaving at the early Sunday morning Mass, and by the time I got to the rectory between the Masses, a U-Haul had already been delivered by parishioners!”
That is a rare case, because whether you fully appreciated the pastor’s humor or personality, you saw him bringing you Jesus Christ. He was there to forgive your sins, baptize your children, offer Mass, and reverently bury your loved ones. So, it can be difficult to let go of one pastor and accept another.
Now that you have a new pastor, what do you do? A number of years ago, I offered 10 practical hints in welcoming your new pastor or priest. Here they are, and I’ve also added some other thoughts.
Ten-plus one practical hints in welcoming your new pastor or priest:
• Be patient with him. The stress of moving, the grief of leaving a familiar parish and the newness of it all is difficult on him. Be patient. Be patient with yourself, too. You, too, have the stress of losing one pastor and now having the challenge of getting to know another one. Ask the Lord, “Okay Lord, what do you want to teach me through this new pastor?”
• Don’t beat a path to his door. Give him some time to unpack, get settled, to find all the bathrooms and to get names straight. This might take a month or two.
Do find his door if you are going out to eat, going to the kid’s ball game, and going to see a sick parishioner you think he might need to meet. Those first nights in a strange rectory, in a strange town, can be quite lonely. Invite, although he might not be quite ready to accept and that’s okay too!
• Tell him your name and what you are involved with. Don’t do this just once or twice, but a number of times. Don’t be offended if in six months or a year later he doesn’t remember your name. He wants to – really! So don’t embarrass him, tell him again!
Don’t expect him to connect you with all of your relatives, but do tell him who your parents or children are. Sometimes that helps him to remember names.
• Make sure he has help moving in if he wants it. The parish secretary can help to know if he needs assistance. Some priests would welcome help, others desire privacy. We are all different. A nice welcome basket from the Altar Society or Knights of Columbus is always thoughtful. Don’t presume the refrigerator is stocked or the cupboards are full.
• Let him change his mind! Sometimes a decision when he first arrives is rushed or made without fully understanding the situation. It might be necessary for him to change his mind. Give him some wiggle room.
• Try not to compare him to your former pastor. This will not be fully possible of course, and he will struggle in comparing his previous parish to the present. Comparisons will only impede a relationship.
• Tell him your story, the story of the parish, the traditions, and the important values of the parish. Every parish and tradition in a parish has a story behind it. These stories are important for him to know.
• When he asks how something is done in the past or what the protocol is, refrain from telling him “Whatever you would like Father!” We generally want to keep things the way they are and not fix something that is not broken, so don’t be afraid to tell him how things operate in the parish. Sometimes a new pastor makes changes without even knowing they have changed anything because no one told him.
• Let him get to know you and the parish. Be sure to invite him to different parish events. Yes, he sees the bulletin and should know when something is happening but he might not know if he is really wanted.
If Father is coming from a different town or from rural to urban or urban to rural, take him on a car tour of the town or parish boundaries. And don’t make fun of Father if he gets lost trying to find your farm, or cul de sac in the city! GPS has it limits!
• Pray for him and let him know you are praying for him! Have a Mass celebrated for his intentions; have the children give him a spiritual bouquet.
• Don’t believe what others tell you about your new pastor. The “enemy” lies, and many a good and faithful priest has been slandered by rumors and falsehoods before they even arrive at their parish. That and the fact that a priest can change! Some of the dumb things I did in my first years as a pastor, I would never do now in the afternoon of my priesthood. Make your own judgement and opinion of your new pastor, couched in prayer.