Bishop Kemme dedicates altar in Kapaun’s new chapel

Bishop Kemme pours Holy Chrism during the dedication of the new altar Thursday, Jan. 25, at Kapaun Mt. Carmel High School in Wichita. (Photo courtesy Ben Riley)

The dedication of the altar in Kapaun Mt. Carmel’s new chapel would have been an epic waste of time, money, and energy Bishop Carl A. Kemme said, if the school were like any other secular high school.

“But we know that Kapaun is much more than that. It is a ministry of the Catholic Church that helps to form young people to become disciples of Jesus in today’s world – forming the whole person, mind, heart, soul, and body – to form a new generation to take their place in the church and to accept the call or vocation that God has chosen for them,” Bishop Kemme said.

“This is and must always be the mission of our Catholic high schools. That is why what we do here tonight and what takes place in this chapel day by day is so vital for Kapaun to fulfill its mandate and mission.”

Dedication was Jan. 25

The bishop anointed the new altar and dedicated the chapel at a Mass Thursday evening Jan. 25.

Like every generation before and after us, the bishop said, we build churches and chapels with altars and tabernacles and dedicate spaces for sacred worship, for devotion, for prayer and reflection, for the offering – no longer of bloody animal sacrifices – but the perfect sacrifice, Christ in the Mass.

“We do all of this because this is what truly forms us as the Lord’s disciples,” he said. “What takes place here in the Mass and in adoration, in confession, in quiet prayer is how the Lord – the great teacher of us all – works in the mystery of his life and grace, elevating our minds and purifying our hearts, imparting to us grace – both sanctifying and actual – that supports us on this journey of which the high school years are ever so critical.”

For the glory of God

The bishop said he would anoint the altar and dedicate the chapel to the glory of God and the sanctification of God’s people.

“I pray that this chapel will truly be the center, the heart of our school, far exceeding even the relevance of classrooms, gymnasiums, auditoriums, athletic fields, and anywhere else education and formation take place.

“I pray that this place, the chapel, where Christ the teacher will be present day after day, where Christ the priest will offer himself again and again for the salvation of his brothers and sisters, where Christ the merciful will shower sinners with his compassion and reconciliation – here in this place.

“That this will be the spiritual nerve center of all that happens at Kapaun Mt. Carmel Catholic High School so that whoever dares to walk through the doors will find here a place of right an authentic worship, a place of prayer and recollection, a refuge for sinners, a place where our spiritual lives are nourished and enriched. Let this truly be called then a house of God, a gate of heaven here on earth.”

Bishop thanks donors, community

Bishop Kemme opened his homily by thanking the donors and the KMC community, priests, and those in the Catholic School Office for their roles in the founding of a new chapel.

“I pray that God will reward each of you for the part you have played in bringing this about. Congratulations and well done.”

The bishop closed his homily asking for the intercession of Servant of God Fr. Emil Kapaun whose chalice he used at the Mass.

“Grant us the strength of his prayers so that administrators, teachers, coaches, students, staff, and parents will find in this place the same spiritual source that gave him the desire, the courage, and the inspiration with which he lived his faith and served the church. Servant of God, Father Kapaun, pray for us.”