Spiritual Life Center sees growth in attendance and outreach over the year
WICHITA —The Spiritual Life Center experienced renewed growth in attendance and outreach in the past year. Over 15,000 guests of various Christian faiths have visited the center for programs, retreats, and days of renewal since June of 2017.
Guests attended center-sponsored programs and programs presented by support groups. In cooperation with the diocesan Office of Marriage and Family Life, the center held many well-attended events focused on parenting, marriage, and families.
The SLC reaches people far beyond the Wichita diocese. Part of the center’s mission states it “offers the hospitality of its facility to other religious and non-profit organizations in the spirit of ecumenism and good stewardship.”
Between July 2017 and June 2018, the center hosted retreats and workshops for the General Federation of Women’s Club, the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas, International Students, Inc., Orthodox Clergy Brotherhood, Discalced Carmelite Friars in the U.S., TEC Leaders Conference and many more. In the last month, Center staff welcomed The Urban Ministries Institute of World Impact. TUMI included attendees from as far away as Senegal during their week-long workshop designed to train leaders to spread the Gospel throughout the world especially among the urban poor.
When asked about the increased participation of guests, Fr. Ken Van Haverbeke, director of the Spiritual Life Center said, “In the midst of the busyness of our world, people are hungry for time with the Lord and in creating strong relationships with one another. This is what the Spiritual Life Center provides, and people are responding to it.”
Along with more guests come the need for updates and improvements to the center building and grounds. Over the past few years, the Main Assembly Room has had a major re-design, and many of the bedrooms have been refreshed and updated with new paint, linens, and furniture. The lower level of the Center, frequently used by Diocesan youth groups has undergone a remodel creating an expanded space that can be used by adults and youth.
One of the most exciting updates at the center will occur in the next month or two. Crews are set to break ground on three hermitages that will be set near the nature trails just north of the Center. These special cabins will provide silence and solitude for long retreats and days of prayer.
According to its mission, “The center exists to serve the People of God of the Catholic Diocese of Wichita. Guided by the vision of the bishop, the center has been given the mission to develop programs for Adult Education, Spiritual Formation, and Lay Leadership.”
The Spiritual Life Center is open daily for private prayer time from 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. All of their upcoming programs and retreats are listed at www.SLCWichita.org.
Did you know?
• The center is open daily for private prayer. All are welcome.
• The Monk’s Bookstore has many Catholic books on spirituality.
• About 16,000 guests visited the center between July 2017 and June 2018.
• Guests from as close as Bel Aire to as far away as Senegal attended events at the center in the last year.
• The center hosts an outdoor rock amphitheater for groups to use, and will soon be opening private hermitages.
• The center holds programs that appeal to everyone: programs on prayer, classic literature, culture, silence, parenting, bereavement, saints, marriage, sacred art, and much more.

Course topics announced for Fall Theology Institute
The Spiritual Life Center Theology Institute begins its fall sessions Saturday, Sept. 15. Dr. David Wall, Dr. Joshua Papsdorf, Jackie Arnold, and various Immaculate Heart of Mary sisters will be teaching this semester.
Participants will learn about various topics related to our faith over three Saturday sessions. Dr. David Wall will lead a class on scripture called “Exploring the Writings of John.” The IHM Sisters will discuss various prayer methods including the Rosary of the Seven Sorrows, Lectio Divina, and the Liturgy of the Hours. Jacqueline Arnold will cover church history from the late medieval to the Reformation eras. And Joshua Papsdorf will lead a course called “The Second Tablet: Our Duties to Others According to Natural Law and Catholic Social Teaching.”
The Fall 2018 Institute meets on Saturdays, Sept. 15, Oct. 27, and Dec. 1. Each session will meet from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Registration for the entire semester is $75, which includes all three Saturday sessions, lunches, and refreshments.
Want to enroll in this year’s Fall Theology Institute?
Contact Dusty Gates at dgates@slcwichita.org or 316-744-0167. Registration and specific class topics are available at www.SLCwichita.org or by phone.

12-Step Journey begins anew at SLC Sept. 27
‘Adult Children’ from dysfunctional families encouraged to attend
A nationally-recognized program designed to help heal and renew adults who grew up in emotionally repressive or dysfunctional families—sometimes known as “Adult Children” – is being offered starting Sept. 27 at the Spiritual Life Center in Wichita.
The Twelve Steps—A Spiritual Journey, is a seven-month program in which participants meet for two hours each week with a team of trained facilitators. The ultimate goal of this Christ-centered, Scripture-based program is to restore the fruits of the Holy Spirit in one’s life, including joy, peace, gentleness, goodness and faith.
“As someone who has been both a participant and a facilitator in the Twelve Step Program, I want to extend an invitation for interested people to join us,” says Mary Mertes who is one of the facilitators for the program. “The Twelve Steps have been widely praised for its effectiveness and is based on the lessons of Scripture while emphasizing self-understanding and the unchanging love that God has for each of us.”
The opening Twelve Step session is set for Thursday, Sept. 27 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Spiritual Life Center, 7100 E. 45th St. N., in Wichita. A total of 30 evening sessions will be offered over the next seven months. Morning sessions of the program will also be offered from 10 to 11:30 a.m. beginning on Wednesday, Oct. 10.
Program facilitator Steve Batt says the first three sessions typically involve participants getting to know the process and each other. The program is closed to new members after the first three meetings. “Everything we discuss is held in the strictest confidence,” says Batt. “As time goes on, a unique bond of trust develops in the group.”
The Twelve Steps is open to anyone who has experienced an incident or situation during his or her formative years resulting in emotional wounds that are not yet healed. This could include growing up in a household where there was physical or emotional abuse, alcoholism, drug abuse or some other dysfunction.
Characteristics of so-called “Adult Children” of a dysfunctional family include: feelings of low self-esteem that cause harsh self-judgment, a tendency to isolate one’s self and a feeling of uneasiness around other people—especially authority figures. Other characteristics include living life as a victim and being attracted to other victims in love and friendship, a tendency to be impulsive where action is taken before considering alternative behaviors or possible consequences and unresolved anger and resentment toward authority of all kinds.
People who have gone through the program say that while it is sometimes painful to confront unresolved issues, the end result is a rekindling of hope that things can and will get better in life and in the relationships they have today with other people. There is also a growth and trust in their relationship with God. One foundation of the program is the sharing of personal stories, but also the knowledge that all information is held confidential within the confines of those participating.
Anyone interested in learning more about the Twelve Steps-A Spiritual Journey can call the Spiritual Life Center at 316-744-0167 and ask for a brochure or talk with someone about the program.
There is no cost for the program, but a freewill offering is taken and a helpful workbook sells for $20. Participants may register for the program by simply attending one of the opening sessions.

Mobility workshop Sept. 18 at the SLC
A workshop about overcoming challenges related to mobility will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 18, in the Main Assembly Room of the Spiritual Life Center in Wichita.
“Maturing Gracefully: A Workshop on Mobility Concerns” is an ecumenical event designed for those who may be facing mobility difficulties and for those who provide care for them.
Experts in the field will make presentations, personal testimonials will be given, and a panel discussion will be held.
For more information and to make a reservation, contact Myra at 316-269-3900 or at jacobsm@CatholicDioceseOfWichita.org.

Parenting class for divorced, step-, and blended families, Sept. 18 at the SLC
The Spiritual Life Center will host a Parent University course Tuesday, Sept. 18, for parents in a divorced, step, or blended family situation. Parent Place counselor and St. Catherine of Siena parishioner Mika Gross will offer tips on how having a strong sense of direction can make a big difference on how both parents and children adjust.
Studies indicate that parents who are educated before or during these life transitions have children who fare better in the end. This course entitled, “Parent U: Divorced and Blended Family Parenting” is part of the Spiritual Life Center’s “Parent University” Series.
Want to sign up?
Learn more about this topic and tactics towards better parenting on Tuesday, Sept. 18, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Spiritual Life Center in Wichita. Registration may be found at www.SLCWichita.org. The cost is $10 which includes the program and refreshments.

Monthly Mass with Children at the SLC on Thursday, Sept. 20
Caregivers and their children are invited to the monthly “KidsPrayToo!: Mass with Children” at 11:15 a.m. At the Spiritual Life Center Thursday, Sept. 20.
Fr. Ken Van Haverbeke will speak especially to the littlest among us. This program gives parents and caregivers an opportunity to teach their children without worrying about disturbing other Mass goers around them.

New Emotions Anonymous session begins Oct. 10
A new session of Emotions Anonymous will be offered from noon to 1 p.m. beginning Wednesday, Oct. 10, in the library of the Spiritual Life Center in Wichita.
Those who feel overwhelmed by anxiety, anger, resent, fear, or panic are invited to participate. The 12-step group is designed to give participants support and serenity to live without fear and to deal with problems.
No registration is necessary. For more information, call the center at 316-744-0167.