Sr. Elaine Osborne dies in Great Bend

Dominican Sister Elaine Osborne, 79, died Sunday, Oct. 28, in the convent infirmary in Great Bend. A funeral Mass was celebrated Wednesday, Oct. 31.
She was born Dec. 18, 1938 in Shattuck, Oklahoma, to Edward and Helen Osborne. She entered the Dominican Sisters Community in 1954 and pronounced vows in 1957.
Sister Elaine ministered as a teacher in Kansas and Oklahoma from 1958 to 1984, and worked in the congregation’s communications office from 1984 to 2018.
Memorials in honor of Sr. Elaine may be sent to Dominican Sisters of Peace, 2320 Airport Drive, Columbus, OH 43210-2098.

Obituaries, November 2, 2018

William “Bill,” 75, All Saints, Wichita, June 3.
Mary K., 95, St. Francis, St. Paul, Sept. 9.
Terence Ernest “Terry,” 86, Catholic Care Center, Wichita, Oct 8.
Julie Ann (Betzen), 66, St. Mark, St. Mark, Oct. 8.
Willie J., 70, St. Mary, Derby, Oct. 10.
Shawn Michael, 47, St. Mark, St. Mark, Oct. 10.
Gloria A. (Hernandez), 75, St. Anne, Wichita, Oct. 12.
Martin Medina, 72, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Newton, Oct. 12.
Mary Jeulane, 90, Sacred Heart, Cunningham, Oct. 12.
Sandra, 76, St. Joseph, Wichita, Oct. 13.
Lelia, 99, St. Michael, Girard, Oct. 14.
Shelley Lee, 65, Holy Cross, Hutchinson, Oct. 15.
Murray J., DVM, 70, St. Jude, Wichita, Oct. 15.
Donald Hoy, Jr., 67, St. Francis of Assisi, Wichita, Oct. 18.
David, 89, St. Patrick, Parsons, Oct. 19.
Joyce Ann, 88, St. Teresa, Hutchinson, Oct. 19.
Edward Franklin, Jr., 63, Holy Savior, Wichita, Oct. 20.
Orletta, 93, St. Catherine of Siena, Wichita, Oct. 20.
Charles Howard “Charlie,” 74, St. Mary, Derby, Oct. 20.
Micaela Avila, 91, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Newton, Oct. 21.
Aurelia Marie, 91, St. Michael, Girard, Oct. 21.
Elizabeth Anne (BA), 87, St. Thomas Aquinas, Wichita, Oct. 21.
Beverly Ann, 83, St. Vincent de Paul, Andover, Oct. 21.
Marie B., 94, Sacred Heart, Frontenac, Oct. 22.
Helen, 89, St. Francis of Assisi, Wichita, Oct. 23.

32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

I Kings 17:10-16, Hebrews 9:24-28, Mark 12:38-44
The French Catholic writer Léon Bloy once said that “there is only one tragedy in life: not to be a saint.” There is a profound difference between being a saint and not being a saint. This distinction might sound obvious. But it’s not as obvious as it seems.
If you were asked, “What is the opposite of hot?”, you would likely answer, “cold.” If asked, “What is the opposite of darkness?,” you would probably answer, “light.” So then, if you were asked, “What is the opposite of a saint?” you might answer, “a sinner”; but if so, you would be wrong.
The opposite of “a saint” is not “a sinner.” In fact, being a sinner is part of the definition of being a saint (for all the saints except Mary, at least). The definition of a saint is: a sinner who perseveres in spite of his sins. On the other hand, a soul who is in hell is: a sinner who has despaired in the face of his sins. So both saints and the damned are sinners: the difference is what choice they make in the light of their sins.
Think of the contrast in Sunday’s Gospel passage between the scribes and the poor widow. What is the difference between them? Think of Jesus’ parable of the Last Judgment. We hear of the sheep and the goats being divided. We might think that the sheep – pure and white – represent sinless saints who are escorted to Heaven. On the other hand, we might think that the goats are sinners, darkened by sin, who are dragged down to Hell. But one part of such a picture is false.
The sheep are saints, and they are escorted to Heaven. But they are not saints because they never sinned. They are saints because they persevered in spite of their sins. They are saints because, in the face of their sins, they looked up, and handed over their lives to God.
In other words: the sheep are sinners who turn towards the Shepherd, who washes them clean. The goats are sinners who turn away from the Shepherd. Instead, they turn into themselves. Both the sheep and the goats are sinners. The difference is in whom they turn towards: either outwards and upwards to God, or inwards to themselves.
If we turn inwards – into ourselves – we are not elevated: in fact we are dragged down, and become less than human. The human being is the only earthly creature who can rise above his God-given nature. But he is also the only earthly creature who can sink below his God-given nature.
In pondering all this, we might remember a saying attributed to Saint Augustine of Hippo. Whether or not this saying actually comes from him, it reflects his own experiences of deep sinfulness in his fallen self, and profound sanctity in Christ: “There is no saint without a past. There is no sinner without a future.”

31st Sunday in Ordinary Time

Nov. 4: Deuteronomy 6:2-6, Hebrews 7:23-28, Mark 12:28-34
During the last Sundays of the church year, which lead up to the feast of Christ the King, conflict comes to forefront. With each of these Sundays, the conflict becomes more pronounced. Finally, Christ the King presents both the Second Coming of Jesus at the end of time and his last judgment of mankind.
While you may not face Jesus’ Second Coming while on earth, you will face divine judgment at the end of your earthly life. God will take stock of your life, and judge you by the manner in which your life corresponds to His life. So consider today’s readings.
There’s a strong parallel between the first reading and the Gospel reading. Jesus directly quotes from the first reading and its command to love God. By contrast, the Second Reading – from the Letter to the Hebrews – seems very different.
On the one hand, the command in the First Reading to “love the Lord your God with all your heart … soul … mind, and … strength” seems very calm and peaceful. On the other hand, the Second Reading describes the sacrifice required by God for atonement for sin. It’s easy to see that the Letter to the Hebrews is dealing with conflict. But the first reading and the Gospel reading seem extremely different from the second. Is there any way to bring all three into harmony?
The key might be the refrain from the responsorial psalm. “I love you, Lord, my strength” [Psalm 18:2]. This verse echoes the words Jesus quotes from the Book of Deuteronomy. When the scribe challenges Jesus to identify the prime commandment of God, Jesus quotes the prayer known as the Shema. This prayer, which is important to Jews as the “Our Father” is to Christians, commands you when you pray it to “love the Lord your God with all your heart…soul…mind, and…strength.” Strength: there’s the echo of Psalm 18:2. “I love you, Lord, my strength.”
But there’s a significant difference between the two. It’s not that they’re opposed to each other. It’s that one is much bolder and demanding. In the Shema, the believer is commanded this way: “love the Lord your God with…all your strength.” It’s all your strength, without any description of that strength. But the psalmist is more explicit, which makes all the difference in the world (and in the next). The psalmist claims: “I love you, Lord, my strength.” The psalmist declares that his strength is the Lord.
Maybe that seems like splitting hairs. But it’s not. The difference shows up in the lives of Christians all the time: that is, the difference between a Christian who wants to love the Lord only with his own human strength, and the one who wants the Lord to be his strength. This is the difference between merely human strength, and human strength that’s fortified, if you will: shot through with the divine strength of God’s grace.
Even before someone tries to be loving in a specific circumstance, this difference becomes apparent in that same Christian’s petitions to God. Have you ever had the experience of praying to God for the strength – or the wisdom or perseverance – to accomplish some specific goal, only to hear silence from God in response?
“Where is God?” you ask. “Why isn’t God here for me?” If you ever feel like God’s not here for you, and that he’s standing remote and silent over there, at a distance, you might reflect on that distance between here and there. Ask yourself, and then ask God, if maybe he’s wanting you to move from here to there. Maybe where you are, isn’t where God wants you to be. Maybe where you want to be isn’t where God needs you to be in order to extend his love where it’s needed most.

Obituaries, October 19, 2018

Alvin “Shorty,” St. Margaret Mary, Wichita, Sept. 18.
Bill, 79, St. Anthony-St. Rose, Wellington, Sept. 26.
Duane Joseph, 69, St. Teresa, Hutchinson, Sept. 29.
Anthony John, Jr., “Tony,” 89, Holy Cross, Hutchinson, Sept. 29.
Patricia M. “Patt,” 84, Church of the Resurrection, Wichita, Sept. 30.
Silas A., 73, St. Anthony, Garden Plain, Sept. 30.
Osbaldo, Sr., “Walito,” 59, St. Patrick, Wichita, Sept. 30.
Robert P. “Butch,” 63, Sacred Heart, Colwich, Sept. 30.
Mary Ann (Weber), 92, Sacred Heart, Colwich, Oct. 1.
Nancy J., 82, St. Joseph, Andale, Oct. 2.
John E., 73, Church of the Magdalen, Wichita, Oct. 2.
Donald J., 73, St. Francis of Assisi, Wichita, Oct. 2.
Nancy E., 75, St. Francis of Assisi, Wichita, Oct. 2.
Craig Raymond, 58, Church of the Resurrection, Wichita, Oct. 3.
Patricia Ann, 75, St. Francis of Assisi, Wichita, Oct. 3.
Lance, 30, St. Joseph, Andale, Oct. 3.
Nick, Jr., 93, Holy Cross, Hutchinson, Oct. 4.
Louis, 84, Sacred Heart, Colwich, Oct. 5.
Tommie Joyce, 88, St. Peter Claver, Wichita, Oct. 5.
Mary Agnes, 61, St. Joseph, McPherson, Oct. 6.
Kristin Leigh, 33, St. Mary, Derby, Oct. 6.
Esther M. (Gorges), 99, St. Mark, St. Mark, Oct. 6.
Donald L. “Don,” 72, St. Patrick, Parsons, Oct. 7.
Charles R. “Chuck,” 69, Holy Cross, Hutchinson, Oct. 9.
Anne Marie, 67, Our Lady of Lourdes, Pittsburg, Oct. 9.
Mildred Odell, 95, Catholic Care Center, Wichita, Oct. 9.

30th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Oct. 28: Jeremiah 31:7-9, Hebrews 5:1-6, Mark 10:46-52
Reflect on how the greatest gift – the strongest virtue – that Jesus offers is the virtue of caritas (sometimes simply called “charity”, or “love”). The Joyful, Luminous and Sorrowful Mysteries of the rosary lead to the Glorious Mysteries in the way that the chapters of a novel lead to its climax. So too, the virtues of the Christian life lead to its goal: the divine virtue of caritas; divine charity; divine love: the life of the Trinity who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
When Jesus releases Bartimaeus by saying, “Go / your / way,” Bartimaeus follows Jesus on Jesus’ way. In other words, for the person with vision – for the one with insight – the Way of Jesus becomes that person’s own way. There is no other way for us to walk if we want true and lasting happiness. Every other path results in a dead-end, or an endless circle going nowhere.
So how do we travel this Way of Jesus? By a wheel. Picture a wheel, and use this image to sum up how the Christian virtues work in concert inside the healthy Christian soul.
The first virtue is humility, which is like the center of the wheel. Humility is the mother of the other virtues, which radiate out from humility.
Then the virtue of prudence is like the wheel’s axle. In other words, prudence is the “inner ear” of the soul, that helps us to keep our balance and to steer us.
Most of the other virtues are like the wheel’s spokes. Consider courage. Courage flows from humility. By contrast, false courage seeks to dominate and make my ego ever larger. But in Christian humility, I do not worry about my ego. However, this courage still has to be steered and given balance by prudence.
After all, even the martyr has to choose the best time to be courageous: he doesn’t want to be foolhardy, or give up his life for a cause that could be defended more simply.
But what is the goal of this virtue of courage? If the spokes radiate out from humility, and are steered by prudence, where do they radiate out towards? The goal of every virtue is the divine virtue of caritas. Humility leads us to caritas. Prudence leads us to caritas. Courage leads us to caritas.
So in humility, we give up our own self, so that we can be transformed into the likeness of Jesus. Jesus is the divine caritas who became flesh and dwelt among us, for us and our salvation. This is what Bartimaeus learns in Sunday’s Gospel.
This is what happens in the life of every blind person, as he gives up his own way through the world, and instead follows Jesus on the Way: the Way that leads to Calvary, and through Calvary into the eternal life of God.
In other words, this divine virtue of caritas is the wheel’s tire. This “final virtue” is where – so to speak – the rubber hits the road, and your Catholic faith is actually lived out in your daily life, manifesting love for both God and neighbor.

29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Oct. 21: Isaiah 53:10-11, Hebrews 4:14-16, Mark 10:35-45
The New Testament letter to the Hebrews, from which Sunday’s second reading is taken, offers a profound meditation on the meaning that suffering gains through Christ’s Sacrifice on the cross. Here one of the best-known definitions of “courage” is illustrated: “not the absence of fear, but fear that has been prayed over.”
In other words, courage means being willing to bring God into a decision about whether to fight or flee from conflict. Once God shows you whether a conflict demands your involvement, the stakes are raised. Because to abandon a conflict in which God has staked a claim is to abandon God himself.
Three years ago, in a ruling about marriage that will continue to worsen our nation for many years to come, the U.S. Supreme Court doubled down on the principle of moral relativism that it had defined in a 1992 ruling supporting the legality of abortion, claiming that at “the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.”
In the face of this sort of claim and the suffering it inevitably causes, you as a Christian have four paths to consider taking. Two are against conflict. The first of these is the path of resignation. Many Christians walk this path saying, “It’s not for me to impose my morality on others.”
A second path leads away from conflict, but into a bunker. Those who choose this path say, “Culture today is going to ‘you know where’ in a hand basket.” They close above them the door to their bunker, and inside they live the faith without passing it on to anyone except perhaps their children, who like them are isolated from others.
In the opposite direction, there are two paths that engage conflict. Each demands its own type of courage. The first is the path of aggression. Its operating theory is that life is a “zero-sum game” that says, “I can’t win unless you lose.” This path requires the courage of the child’s game “King of the Hill.”
The second path that accepts conflict demands the Christian virtue of courage. This is the courage of Christ the King, who did not dominate as king on the hill of Calvary, but sacrificed his life there. The offering of His life was so others could join Him there: not just “us”, but all mankind. That is to say, we fight in defense of objective Truth not to defeat others, but so that they would join in adoring the One who called himself “the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”
Jesus promises James and John in Sunday’s Gospel passage, “‘The cup that I drink, you will drink’.” Little do the brothers know at this point how much and what sort of courage they will have to bear for these words to be fulfilled. James was martyred for the Truth, while John lived a long life preaching the Truth in word and work, ending his life in exile on the island of Patmos.
No matter how the Lord calls you to spend your days on this earth, courage from the heart of Christ our King will be needed. Simply ask him for this gift then, trusting that in Jesus “we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens.”

Obituaries, October 5, 2018

Mary, 94, St. Margaret Mary, Wichita, Aug. 23.
Joseph, 65, St. Anthony, Wichita, Sept. 8.
Virginia L., 80, Our Lady of Lourdes, Pittsburg, Sept. 10.
Robert E., 83, St. Joseph, Andale, Sept. 11.
Ronda Jo Marie, 52, Chanute, Sept. 11.
Claire Marie, 90, St. Michael, Girard, Sept. 11.
Dorothy N., 85, Immaculate Coneption, Danville, Sept. 12.
Eileen (Freund), 87, St. Joseph, Conway Springs, Sept. 13.
Betty, 88, Adorers of the Blood of Christ Convent, Wichita, Sept. 13.
Lavon, 89, St. Mary, Derby, Sept. 14.
Patrick H., 86, Sacred Heart, Halstead, Sept. 14.
Phyllis A., 80, St. Francis of Assisi, Wichita, Sept. 16.
Francis W., 73, St. Thomas Aquinas, Wichita, Sept. 16.
William Francis Lloyd, 74, St. Bridget, Scammon, Sept. 17.
Norma Jean Kerschen “Nana,” St. Thomas Aquinas, Wichita, Sept. 17.
Dean W., 89, St. Patrick, Kingman, Sept. 17.
Isaac H., 77, Our Lady of Lourdes, Pittsburg, Sept. 18.
Mary Kathleen, 100, St. John, El Dorado, Sept. 18.
Helen F., 84, St. Peter, Willowdale, Sept. 18.
Gerald Alfred “Jerry,” 83, St. John, El Dorado, Sept. 18.
Jerome J., 76, St. Mary, Newton, Sept. 18.
Alice Marie, 90, Holy Cross, Hutchinson, Sept. 18.
Barbara, 79, St. Andrew, Independence, Sept. 20.
Peter J., 65, St. Vincent de Paul, Andover, Sept. 21.
Robert Edward, 85, St. Francis of Assisi, Wichita, Sept. 23.
William R. “Bill,” 85, St. Patrick, Wichita, Sept. 23.
Donald Frederick, 78, St. Mary, Derby, Sept. 24.
Vita M., 82, St. Patrick, Kingman, Sept. 24.
Virginia L. “Lala,” 94, Our Lady of Lourdes, Pittsburg, Sept. 24.
Curtis E., 83, St. Mary, Newton, Sept. 26.

28th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Wisdom 7:7-11, Hebrews 4:12-13, Mark 10:17-30
By Fr. Tom Hoisington
At the beginning of Sunday’s first reading, the virtue of prudence is invoked. The Old Testament scribe proclaims: “I prayed, and prudence was given me; I pleaded, and the spirit of wisdom came to me.” Now honestly, to many persons, prudence does not seem the most interesting of the Christian virtues. After all, it’s not as simple as the virtue of humility, or as bold as the virtue of courage, or as sublime as the virtue of charity. To be honest, as virtues go, prudence seems sort of like oatmeal.
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, prudence enables a person to do two things. First, prudence helps one to see one’s “true good” in any given circumstances: it helps one recognize which good to aim for. Second, prudence helps one to choose the means to reach this “true good”.
But what is this “true good”? The true good is the best good, out of many good choices.
When we are little, our parents teach us to make moral decisions by recognizing right from wrong; good from bad; what is holy from what is evil. This is the first stage of moral wisdom. This is the foundation of making moral choices. We build on that by hearing God call us deeper than only choosing what is good. God wants us to choose what is best over and above what is merely good. Only “the best” is good enough for God, and for you.
Take the example of spending money. One hundred years ago, it was easy for the average Christian to make good moral choices about spending money, because the choices were between good and bad: survival, or destitution.
Contrast that way of life with life today, when a much smaller percentage of a family’s income is spent on necessities. People today face far more difficult choices in regard to spending: difficult because they have so many choices. Modern people drown in the number of good choices that they have. Nonetheless, God calls modern people to choose not just any good thing, but the best good thing in any situation, and that takes more time, energy and prayer. This is why, in general, poor people are happier than rich people. This is one reason why it’s “harder for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God.”
Of all the struggles that parents face – and they face many, given that their children are surrounded by a corrupt culture – one of the harder struggles is to instill the virtue of prudence into their children. Humility, on the other hand, is far easier for children to acquire, because life itself has a way of teaching you humility.
After humility, prudence is the second-most foundational virtue. Where humility is the mother of all the other virtues, the Catechism uses a striking image to describe prudence: it calls prudence the “charioteer” of all the other virtues.
In other words, you can think of prudence as being the “inner ear” of the Body of Christ. As your inner ear controls your body’s sense of balance, so prudence controls the balance of your soul.
You could be the strongest football player, or the most graceful ballerina, or the most agile sprinter in the world, but if that one little part of your inner ear didn’t work, you would fall flat on your face. Other virtues may be more powerful, and even more important, but without prudence, they won’t help you reach the greatest good: each day in this world, or eternally in Heaven.

27th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Oct. 7: Genesis 2:18-24, Hebrews 2:9-11, Mark 10:2-16
By Fr. Tom Hoisington
The foundation of marriage is Christ’s love: that is, the love of his Sacred Heart, which is the love that seals the spouses’ lives together. This is the only thing strong enough to save marriage. This is true not only of marriage in general. It’s also true of each particular marriage: when it’s at its worst, each marriage can only be saved by Christ’s love.
So when is a marriage at its worst? A marriage is at its worst not when life throws poverty, or sickness, or any other serious blow against a couple, but when the blow comes from within: when a marriage is torn by infidelity. When the unity that God brings into being on the wedding day is violated, the husband and wife are in a sense alone again, as the man was “in the beginning”.
“Fidelity” – “faithfulness” – is one of the four essential qualities of a sacramental marriage. A marriage which mirrors Christ’s love for his Church is a love that has those four qualities that we see in Jesus on the Cross: a love that is free, full, faithful and fruitful. Of these four, it’s trying to live out faithfulness – fidelity – that is the greatest struggle for many couples.
However, there are many different types of infidelity. There is a whole spectrum of types of infidelity: from thought, to word, to action. Of course, some actions are worse than others. But there is no marriage that is not affected by one form of infidelity or another. Even when infidelity occurs only in a spouse’s thoughts, and even if those thoughts are kept to oneself, the married love of that couple is truly weakened, which makes daily self-sacrifice – the bread and butter of marriage – more difficult.
But at its worst, infidelity tears married love completely inside out. It’s then that a spouse has to answer again the question that the priest asked at the beginning of the wedding ritual, on the day they got married: “have you come here to enter into Marriage without coercion, freely and wholeheartedly?” That word “wholeheartedly” gets at the heart of the church’s clear statement – founded on the words of Jesus in today’s Gospel – that a marriage in which love is not given “wholeheartedly” is not a Christian marriage at all.
When a priest prepares a couple for marriage, he asks each of them the question, “Do you intend to accept the obligation to be faithful to your spouse?” How many young engaged persons understand that this “obligation to be faithful” includes the obligation to offer forgiveness to the spouse who has been unfaithful?
In other words, a spouse who says, “If you’re ever unfaithful to me, I’m out the door,” is saying that there are limits to his or her married love. But Christ on the cross says that that’s a lie, because that sort of “limited love” doesn’t mirror the wholehearted love of Christ that poured forth from his Sacred Heart on Calvary. If Jesus said to you, “I’ll continue to love you, as long as you’re faithful to me,” you would have no hope whatsoever of ever getting to Heaven.
Take this statement, and imagine one spouse saying it to the other: “I will love you, as long as you do not... (blank).” Fill in the blank. If there’s anything that a spouse can fill in that blank with, to make that statement true, then that spouse needs to look upon Jesus on the Cross.
At a wedding, when the priest asks, “Have you come here to enter into marriage without coercion, freely and wholeheartedly?” If the man or the woman says “yes” out loud, but in his heart, or in her mind, finishes that sentence by saying, “Yes… as long as my spouse is faithful to me first,” then no marriage comes into existence in God’s eyes. But as difficult as it is to give one’s whole heart to another sinful human being, through God’s grace, the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony not only comes into existence, but can endure in the face of human infidelity. Upon the Cross, Christ shows us that with God, all forgiveness is possible.