Bishop Carl A. Kemme

Writings from Bishop Kemme

A collection of writings regarding church news, reflections, messages, & more.

Bishop Kemme's Ad Limina Apostolorum visit Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, As you may already know, I recently returned from my first visit “ad limina Apostolorum,”meaning “to the threshold of the Apostles,” an official visit to the Holy See in Rome, that bishops are required to[...]
Sunday of the Word of God   Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Pope Francis recently proclaimed the Third Sunday of Ordinary Time as “Sunday of the Word of God.” This year, we will observe the “Sunday of the Word of God” on the weekend of January 25/26th. The Holy Father[...]
Respect Life Month 2019
Dear Brother and Sisters in Christ, October is dedicated to the theme of RESPECT LIFE. Life, which begins at conception and lasts until natural death, is God’s first gift to each person, whom he has created in his own image and likeness. This gift is ours to enjoy as faithful stewards, by[...]
Letter from Bishop in Regards to Clergy Disclosures Dear Friends, After much prayer and discernment, I am publishing today the names of nine priests of the Diocese of Wichita, who have substantiated allegations of sexual abuse of a minor. An additional six priests are also named,[...]
Letter on Immigration Problems and Compassion
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, In recent months, we have witnessed the substantial increase of men, women and children, making a long and perilous journey, mostly from Central and South America, often fleeing intolerable and violent conditions in their homelands in order to seek refuge and[...]
In Response to Kansas Supreme Court Ruling
Today, the Kansas Supreme Court dealt a huge blow to all pro-life efforts undertaken over the past 40 years. The ruling now guarantees a constitutional right to an abortion and overturns the law of our State banning the gruesome and cruel dismemberment of unborn children. It’s ironic that other[...]
Easter Blessings
Dear Friends, After our long Lenten penance, the Church now enters into the glorious season of Easter. We once again sing the “alleluia,” which expresses our conviction that Jesus who once was dead now lives forever.  The somber purple of Lenten penance has now been replaced with the white[...]
Change in Confirmation Protocol for the Diocese of Wichita
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, One of the important responsibilities I have as a bishop is to administer the Sacrament of Confirmation for the baptized. In paragraph 1285, the Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “Baptism, the Eucharist and the sacrament of Confirmation together[...]
A Letter on Recent Abortion Legislations
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, It is abundantly clear that both New York and Virginia have governors with extreme views on the issue of abortion. Recently, as you no doubt know, the State of New York passed one of the most extreme pro-abortion laws of the nation which among other things[...]
Bishop Kemme reflects on the vision of pastoral plan
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Recently, I promulgated a new Pastoral Vision, Mission and three overarching Priorities for the Diocese of Wichita, which will represent our common approach in living the Catholic faith more deeply in the next several years. I hope you have taken an[...]
Bishop Kemme elaborates on his Pastoral Plan and mission
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, In an effort to further promote and explain our new diocesan Pastoral Plan, which was made public some weeks ago in the Catholic Advance and which you can find on our diocesan website. I would like to share a few thoughts with you regarding the second part of[...]
Bishop Unveils his Pastoral Plan
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, 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[...]

About Bishop Kemme


Bishop Kemme is the son of Donald and Marita (Kortte) Kemme. He has four brothers and one sister and grew up on a small family farm in rural Shumway, Illinois. His family attended and his parents are still members of the Church of the Annunciation Parish there.


He was a student at Shumway Elementary School and Beecher City High School and then attended St. Henry’s Preparatory Seminary in Belleville where he received his high school diploma. He entered the diocesan seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield in 1978, and then graduated from Cardinal Glennon College and Kenrick Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri, where he earned a bachelor of arts and a master of divinity degree.


Carl A. Kemme was ordained to the priesthood on May 10, 1986, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield, Illinois. 

After his ordination, he served as parochial vicar at St. Patrick, Decatur; Ss. Peter and Paul, Collinsville; and Blessed Sacrament, Springfield. He served as pastor of St. Mary, Brussels, St. Joseph, Meppen, and St. Barbara, Batchtown (1992-1996); Holy Family, Decatur (1996-2002); St. Peter, Petersburg (2002-2005); and St. John Vianney, Sherman (2005-2012).

In 2002, he was appointed vicar general and moderator of the curia by then-Bishop George J. Lucas. Additionally, he served as diocesan chancellor from January to June 2005. When Bishop Lucas was named head of the Archdiocese of Omaha, in June 2009, Msgr. Kemme served as diocesan administrator until June 2010, when Bishop Thomas Paprocki was installed for the Springfield diocese. Msgr. Kemme continued to serve as vicar general and moderator of the curia for Bishop Paprocki.

On Aug. 23, 2002, he was named a Prelate of Honor with the title Monsignor by Blessed John Paul II. Msgr. Kemme is a fourth Degree Knight of Columbus and a Knight of the Holy Sepulcher. He is chaplain for the Courage Apostolate in the diocese.


His Holiness, Pope Francis appointed Msgr. Kemme to be the 11th bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Wichita, Kansas. The appointment was announced Feb. 20 in Washington, D.C., by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Bishop Kemme was ordained to the fullness of the priesthood on Thursday, May 1, 2014 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Wichita.


Coat of Arms

From the observer’s point of view, the left side of the shield represents the coat of arms of the Diocese of Wichita; the right side represents the personal coat of arms of Bishop Carl Alan Kemme.

The right side of the shield is in red, the color of love and of blood. It is the symbol of the infinite love of the Father who sent the Son to shed His blood for us in his supreme act of love. The chevron is a heraldic device best described as an inverted “V” and is one of the most ancient figures in heraldry. Frequently in Roman Catholic Church heraldry, it signifies the rafter which holds the roof of the church, symbolic of protection. In addition, the golden chevron appears on the Kemme family’s coat of arms.

The sheaf of wheat principally symbolizes the Eucharist, the presence of the Lord in the Eucharistic Bread which feeds our souls. It also recalls the farming character of the Midwest, the area in which Bishop Kemme was raised. It is in gold, a precious metal, symbol of the first virtue, faith. Indeed, it is by faith that we believe in the Eucharistic mystery.

The seven pointed star is a symbol of Our Blessed Mother. It is silver, a sign of transparency and of purity, the purity of the Virgin Mary to whom Bishop Kemme entrusts his pastoral service as Bishop of Wichita. For his episcopal motto, Bishop Kemme chose the Latin word “HUMILITAS” (HUMILITY) which appears on the coat of arms of Saint Charles Borromeo, Cardinal Archbishop of Milan from 1566 to 1584, Bishop Kemme’s namesake.

Diocesan Crest


Impaled Arms. Azure, a pine tree on a terras accosted in base by two arrowheads, or, in dexter chief a crescent over all a fess argent.


This coat of arms is based on the coat of arms of Pope Leo XIII, who established the diocese in 1877. The tree rising from the terras in the Papal coat has been changed from green to gold. The comet in the heavens (“Lumen in Coelo, as this Pope was known) has been transmuted to a silver crescent, the symbol of the Immaculate Conception, under which title Our Lady is patroness of the Diocese of Wichita and of the United States of America and titular of the Cathedral. The two fleurs-de-lis have been changed to arrowheads to commemorate the Wichita Indians.

Scheduling Request

The Office of the Bishop receives many requests for the bishop. In an effort to give each inquiry proper consideration, all requests for liturgies/events/meetings with the bishop must be submitted using this contact form. Please provide as much information/detail as possible. Once your request has been reviewed, you will be notified of the decision via the contact information you provided.

Office of the Bishop

Catholic Diocese of Wichita
424 N. Broadway
Wichita, KS 67202
Phone: (316) 269-3900