A chapel (at right) will be added to the Hennessy House as part of the expansion of the St. Joseph House of Formation. The Hennessy House is one of two residences for the local diocesan seminarians. It and the Borromeo House are located on the campus of St. Joseph Parish in Wichita. (Artist rendering)

St. Joseph House of Formation to expand

The Diocese of Wichita’s St. Joseph House of Formation is extending its seminarian formation program from two to four years and is working with Newman University to develop a School of Catholic Studies for seminarians in and outside the diocese.
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Diocesan bishops’ residences varied until recent years

Throughout 131 years in the history of the Catholic Diocese of Wichita, six of our 10 bishops (not counting our first Bishop Rev. James O’Reilly, who never made it to Wichita due to his untimely death in 1887 before a letter of his appointment from Rome reached him) lived in several places before a permanent residence could be erected on the campus of our Catholic Life Center in northeast Wichita, next to the Priest Retirement Center.
Before Bishop John J. Hennessy came to Wichita in 1888, three rooms in the old St. Aloysius Pro Cathedral rectory were set aside for him, but he never took up residence there. Instead, he rented a suite of rooms in the newly built Carey Hotel in downtown Wichita for a short period of time. The hotel was later renamed Eaton Hotel and is still standing. The famous Carry Nation destroyed a bar in the building in 1900.
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Diocese remembers, prays for Msgr. Hemberger

Father Kent Hemberger thanked everyone attending his brother’s funeral for the “ways you blessed his life over the years” and summed up Msgr. Robert Hemberger’s life in two words: “servant leader.”
His service was never about himself, Father Kent said at the Mass Friday, Nov. 16, in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Wichita.
“He never sought the spotlight. He tried to turn down the title monsignor. He never tried to autocratically impose his will. Instead, he felt his job was to make the bishops he served look good. His job was to help the people that worked with him successful in their ministries. That’s what servant leadership is about.”
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Pilgrims visit Bl. Rother’s hometown parish

The Saint Thomas Aquinas Parish Over 60 ministry hosted a pilgrimage to the hometown of Blessed Stanley Rother Nov. 13. Father Derek Thome, parochial vicar of the Wichita parish, lead the group to Okarche, Oklahoma, where pilgrims attended Mass at Blessed Rother’s boyhood parish.
The pilgrimage might not have happened except for a snowstorm during Fr. Thome’s diaconate year at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland.
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Bishop Carroll students collect 24,500 cans in sculpture contest

Bishop Carroll Catholic High School students collected over 24,500 cans of food for Catholic Charities’ Our Daily Bread Food Pantry during their annual canned food sculpture contest. The school has been hosting the drive since the mid 1990s.
This year’s theme was movies.
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Student works with Guadalupe Clinic to provide flu vaccinations

Vasuma Chaparala was happy to be a pain in the arm – in her quest to protect many of the poor and homeless of Wichita from the flu.
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Adult Day Services soups up their annual drive

Catholic Charities Adult Day Services hosted its annual soup drive Nov. 1-16.
This is the first year the drive was also a competition between rooms at Adult Day Services, which provides day care for adults with disabilities and seniors.
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Fr. Hoisington publishes first volume of a series about Mass readings

Father Thomas Hoisington has published a book that will assist his brother priests and provide insight to the laity about Mass readings.
He has just published the first volume of Reflections on the Sacred Liturgy, which is now available at Amazon.com. “It’s directed to anyone, clergy or laity, who wants to have a resource for preparing for Holy Mass,” he said.
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Statement by Cardinal DiNardo on the closing of the USCCB’s 2018 plenary

Brothers, I opened the meeting expressing some disappointment. I end it with hope.
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Sister Veronice Born dies Nov. 30 in Wichita

Sister Veronice Born, 87, died Friday, Nov. 30, in Marian Hall at Mt. St. Mary’s Convent, Wichita.
Sister Veronice began the first special education class in Wichita in one classroom at St. Anthony’s School for two years, ultimately expanding space and staff to the Cathedral School. Eventually the program outgrew that space so the program was moved to the former Christian Academy and renamed Holy Family Center.
The program also developed into helping parishes make their buildings and services accessible to all, the elderly as well as those with special needs.
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