Monsignor Robert Hemberger was elected as the diocesan administrator for the Diocese of Wichita at a meeting Thursday, June 6, in the Chancery in Wichita.
Msgr. Hemberger was elected by the College of Consultors – a group of diocesan priests – because the diocese is without a bishop. The diocese has been a vacant see since May 30, when Bishop Michael O. Jackels was installed as the archbishop of the Archdiocese of Dubuque, Iowa.
“I am reminded of the fear and wonderment that the prophets and Mary felt when asked to do something new for God. But God was with them, “Msgr. Hemberger said. “I sincerely ask the people of the diocese for prayer regularly and patience occasionally.”
He added that he was reassured that “the Diocese of Wichita is in such good condition – faith-filled people, loving stewards, zealous priests, striving parishes, and institutions. Those who have gone before in leadership leave a fine family of faith.”
The job is not new to Msgr. Hemberger. He led the diocese as the administrator from December 2003 to April 2005 – between the departure of Bishop Thomas Olmsted to the Diocese of Phoenix and the ordination of Bishop Jackels on April 4, 2005, as the tenth bishop of the Diocese of Wichita.
Immediately following his acceptance, Msgr. Hemberger – a priest of the diocese for 43 years – took an Oath of Fidelity in the presence of the College of Consultors. Bishop Carlo Maria Vigano, the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, has been contacted to inform him of Msgr. Hemberger’s election.
Please pray for Msgr. Hemberger in this interim period as the diocese awaits the arrival of a new bishop.