Making a pilgrimage to thank the orders serving in the diocese
Bishop Carl A. Kemme will be visiting India Jan. 7-21 to thank the orders of priests and nuns serving in the Diocese of Wichita and to strengthen the ties between the diocese and the three orders.
“Since coming to Wichita and meeting the Carmelite Sisters of St. Teresa, who serve at the Catholic Care Center, and the Medical Sisters of St. Joseph, who serve at Ascension Via Christi, and the Missionary Priests of St. Francis de Sales, I have felt a deep desire to visit their homeland, India,” he said.
So, Bishop Kemme said he is making the trip to take “the gratitude of the many people these missionaries serve here in our diocese.”
He also wants to experience firsthand the life and culture of India and to visit some very important Catholic places: the Shrine of St. Thomas the Apostle and the tomb of St. Teresa of Calcutta.
“Ordaining seven new transitional deacons will be an honor and a way I can be of service while there,” Bishop Kemme said. “The travel is long and arduous, so I humbly ask everyone to keep all of us supported in prayer. I hope to post many interesting pictures on social media as we make our pilgrimage.”
Fathers Dominic Potnuru and Babu Pinninti, Missionaries of St. Francis de Sales from India serving in the diocese, are planning to be Bishop Kemme’s tour guides. Father Potnuru is a chaplain for Ascension Via Christi and Father Pinninti is pastor at St. Joan of Arc Parish, Harper County.
“The bishop would like to visit the two sisters communities and thank them for all the good services that they have provided for the diocese for so many years,” Father Potnuru said last week – with some anxiety – because at that time he and his brother priest were still waiting for their passports to arrive.
The entourage, which will include two lay couples from the diocese, will also visit the families of the two priests and other typical tourist destinations.
“The bishop is a really very excited and we’re excited that we are taking the bishop to India,” he said. “We are trying to give him the best tour in just 15 days – with a hectic schedule.”