This year’s Christmas Eve Mass was live-streamed from the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Wichita. (Advance photos)

Offering God our best

Just as the first Christmas story involved livestock surrounding the newborn Son of God, one of Bishop Carl A. Kemme’s most memorable Christmas stories also involves a farm animal – a chicken.
Bishop Kemme told those attending the Christmas Eve Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception that about 10 years ago he visited Haiti, which he described as “unquestionably” the poorest country in the western hemisphere.
“The poverty you experienced there is gripping, revolting, and mind-boggling. So many people live in abject poverty. That is one aspect of Haiti,” he said.
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Charities board member reflects on transitions, growth over the years

I became involved with Catholic Charities when I was asked to join the Advisory Council of the Anthony Family Shelter in 1992. The shelter program was still relatively new and provided a unique service at the time by caring for homeless families.
Because the council met at the shelter, we were able to meet many of the clients and gain a perspective of the situations that put these families in need.
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Retrouvaille helps couples rebuild their marriages

At one point in their marriage Bryan and Hedy Mendenhall were about two weeks away from finalizing their divorce.
“We went to the local church, where the priest who married us served, and shared our story. We wanted guidance before finalizing our divorce,” Bryan said.
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Kapaun’s Men Virtue Series now available online

Kapaun’s Men, a men’s fellowship and formation organization based on the life of Servant of God Emil Kapaun, is now streaming its three original video series online via Formed.org. The concept for Kapaun’s Men grew out of activities initiated at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Pittsburg and has been implemented at about 50 parishes or small groups in and outside of the Diocese of Wichita.
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‘Boomer symposium’ Saturday, Sept. 29 at Church of the Magdalen

The Baby Boomer generation, made up of those born between 1946 and 1964, has had a major impact on society for decades.
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Backpacks for hungry kids challenge donation ends on Tuesday, Sept. 14

Donors have responded generously to a challenge donation to provide extra weekend food to hungry Catholic school children.
The deadline for the challenge, made by Ron and Petrina Krimm-Morley, has been extended to Sept. 14, because the goal has nearly been reached.
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Bishop unveils his pastoral plan

Last fall and winter, as you may recall, I conducted 10 listening sessions throughout the diocese in order to reflect together on three important questions: 1. As a diocese what do we do well? 2. What should we be doing better? 3. What should our pastoral priorities be for the next three to five years?
I am happy to say that these listening sessions were always engaging, encouraging, and informative. We received hundreds, if not thousands of responses; personally, by those who attended, and by those who responded in writing. I wish to thank everyone for this important contribution to our dynamic Catholic life.
From these responses, a dedicated group of lay men and women and priests from the Bishop’s Leadership Team, along with myself, began the long process of discernment, keeping before us in our own prayerful reading, Pope Francis’ Pastoral Exhortation, “The Joy of the Gospel,” and his call for the Church to become a community of missionary disciples.
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Message from the bishop about providing a safe environment

One of the most important responsibilities of the Catholic Church is to provide a safe environment for everyone who seeks the grace of Almighty God through the various ministries offered by the church. This commitment is paramount as we continue the loving ministry of teaching, governing, and sanctifying begun by Jesus Christ over two millennia ago and now entrusted to us in our day and time.
What is a safe environment? It is a context in which every person’s dignity is protected, honored and valued.
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Bishop Kemme reflects about Abp. McCarrick, abuse scandal

The past several weeks have been extremely painful for the church as allegations have been brought forward concerning decades-long misconduct and the abuse of power perpetrated on the innocent, on seminarians, and on priests by Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, archbishop emeritus of Washington, D.C.
These allegations, coupled with the apparent unwillingness of others in episcopal leadership to report or call out such behavior as criminal and as inconsistent with the life and ministry of the bishops of the Church leave so many understandably angry, mistrusting, and scandalized. I share those same feelings.
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Scholarship in memory of John Clevenger established

A scholarship honoring the legacy and stewardship of John C. Clevenger has been established and supported by friends Clevenger met while he pursued his MBA at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
The scholarship is for a college-bound Holy Savior student who exemplifies: service to others, hard work, and dedication to those less fortunate than themselves. An annual award of $2,500 will be given to that student and will renew annually for up to four years.
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