By The Register
Salina — A priest designated a “Missionary of Mercy” by Pope Francis will give the homily at the Year of Mercy Mass at 4 p.m. Aug. 21 at Sacred Heart Cathedral.
Father Chuck Tobin from Missouri will give the homily at the Mass. Prior to the Mass, confessions will be offered at 3 p.m. and a rosary will begin at 3:30 p.m.
“By being designated, he’s been identified as a resource preacher and teacher about the Year of Mercy,” said Father Steve Heina, director of the Office of New Evangelization. “The whole Year of Mercy and everything about these celebrations is all about hope — to communicate and to celebrate the great hope that comes to us in Jesus crucified and risen from the dead.”
Father Tobin, a retired priest from the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Mo., is one of more than 1,140 religious deacons and priests that were appointed as a Missionary of Mercy.
“I have a sense of being a witness,” Father Tobin said in an interview after his appointment. “And you know, the priests I was there with, the ‘old battered priests,’ are really good confessors, because they have lived it. Actually, all of us are called to that kind of life: to be caring, compassionate and understanding. This commission, this mandate, is really a call to all our priests to be shepherds in the confessional.”
In addition to preaching at the special Year of Mercy Mass, Father Tobin will preside at the 12:30 p.m. Spanish Mass on Aug. 21 at Sacred Heart Cathedral.
Pittsburg — While a Spanish language immersion program might conjure pictures of Mexico or South America, the reality of the Spanish language immersion experience seminarian Andy Hammeke and Deacon Leo Blasi are on is a different story.
The seminarians spent the summer in Pittsburg, a town of about 20,000 in southeast Kansas at Pittsburg State University, immersing themselves in the Spanish language.
From when they wake in the morning until 7 p.m. they were only allowed to communicate en Español. The strict “no English” rule is essential; they are completing two semesters of Spanish in eight weeks.
“It’s like drinking from a fire hose,” Deacon Blasi said of the experience.
The men have about five hours of class per day, then spend the afternoon and evening hours studying and preparing for the next day.
“It seems like you’re moving through things quickly and by the time you start figuring it out, you have moved onto something else,” Hammeke said. “One good thing about the program is it provides us plenty of time in the afternoon and evening to study. The fast pace forces you to keep up with studying.”
Bishop Edward Weisenburger said the diocese began sending seminarians to the program about three years ago. The program, which was developed by the Diocese of Wichita about a half a dozen years ago, also provides ongoing spiritual formation for the men.
In all, the immersion program includes eight seminarians — the two from the Salina Diocese, three from the Wichita Diocese, two from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau Missouri and one from the Diocese of Springfield, Ill.
Attending college for the first time often involves moving away from home and experiencing many new freedoms.
While broadening a student’s world view is valuable, three college upperclassmen encourage college freshman to commit to living their Catholic faith, even while away at college.
|Courtney Farmer||Hunter Kee||Tracie Thibault|
Courtney Farmer is a senior majoring in psychology and minoring in theology at Benedictine College in Atchison. She is from Russell and spent the summer working at Catholic Charities of Northern Kansas in Salina.
Hunter Kee is a senior majoring in nursing at Washburn University in Topeka. He is from Beloit and spent the summer working as a CNA in the Mitcell County Hospital in Beloit.
Tracie Thibault is a junior majoring in biology at K-State in Manhattan. She is from Salina, and spent the summer leading Prayer and Action in Hays and Junction City.
Father Fred Gatschet is the campus minister of the Comeau Catholic Campus Center at Fort Hays State University in Hays, a post he has held for 16 years.
“Parents are just scared to death. They are afraid their kids will go off to college and go off the road to debauchery,” Father Gatschet said. “They want to know how to keep their kids Catholic and alive.”
Salina — Two recent college graduates from the Salina Diocese will become FOCUS missionaries on college campus, aiding students in their spiritual journey.
Sarah Stratman of Bennington and Becca Kohl of Hays will begin their first year with Fellowship of Catholic University Students as missionaries.
FOCUS was established in 1998 as a pilot program at Benedictine College in Atchison with two staff members and 24 students. FOCUS is now on more than 125 campuses with more than 550 missionaries nationwide.
Stratman, who graduated in May from K-State with a degree in nutrition and health, will be a missionary at the University of Kansas in Lawrence. The assignment at KU is full circle. A friend of hers mentioned FOCUS had a presence at KU and was impressed with the joy of the missionaries.
“She asked me if I’d ever thought about being a FOCUS missionary; that planted the seed,” Stratman said.
During her junior year of college, she attended SEEK, the FOCUS national convention. The idea was further nourished while serving as a staff member of Prayer and Action in 2015.
“(Prayer and action) really changed my life and made me see that we are all made to be saints and made for greatness,” Stratman said. “It inspired me not to live mediocrity anymore.”
During her senior year, she explored several post-graduate options but none seemed like the right fit.
“Then I went to the FOCUS interview weekend. I had never felt so much peace about anything before,” Stratman said. “I knew if they called I would without a doubt say yes.”
Kohl, who graduated in May from Fort Hays State University with a degree tourism and hospitality management, will serve as a missionary at Mt. St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Md.
During her freshman year of college, Kohl said she was involved in leadership with a protestant group on the FHSU campus.
“They asked me about the Catholic faith and I realized I better find out the answers,” she said.
She became involved in the Comeau Catholic Campus Center at FHSU, which led her to attend the SEEK conference.
“My freshman year, I had a protestant mentor who walked with me in my faith,” Kohl said. “I thought ‘There should be a Catholic version of this!’ FOCUS is that, but so much more.”
Editor’s Note: Due to the intensely private nature of sterilization, we have changed the couple’s names to respect their privacy because they live, work and have family in the Salina Diocese.
Three years and two children into their marriage, Sarah and Thomas felt the easiest way to avoid another pregnancy was for Thomas to undergo a vasectomy.
“We were pregnant five months into our marriage,” Thomas said.
Their second child was born four moths after their two-year wedding anniversary.
To say life happened all at once would be an understatement. A young couple, they married when Sarah was 19. Thomas was 24. She was working to finish college and he was working to provide for the young family.
“Our hands were really really full really really fast,” Sarah said.
While Sarah was raised Catholic and Thomas converted upon their marriage, the couple was only vaguely familiar with Natural Family Planning (NFP). According to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, NFP is defined as “The general title for the scientific, natural and moral methods of family planning that can help married couples either achieve or postpone pregnancies. NFP methods are based on the observation of the naturally occurring signs and symptoms of the fertile and infertile phases of a woman’s menstrual cycle. No drugs, devices, or surgical procedures are used to avoid pregnancy.
“Since the methods of NFP respect the love-giving (unitive) and life-giving (procreative) nature of the conjugal act, they support God's design for married love.”
“We used NFP for a short time but after (our oldest) was born, but life was so overwhelming,” Sarah said.
She was also a full-time college student, in addition to being a wife and new mother.
Nuestro Santo Padre designó 2016 como Año Jubilar de la Merced. Desde los tiempos bíblicos, una de las características de un Año Jubilar ha sido la cancelación de las deudas que estaban más allá de la capacidad de los pobres para pagar. Liberación de la psicológica y material “prisión” de la deuda es la metáfora perfecta de la misericordia de Dios.
En consonancia con el espíritu de la misericordia, me gustaría invitar a todos los ciudadanos de Kansas a tomar las palabras del Papa Francisco 'a pecho para que, juntos, confrontemos y tocemos a una forma particular de pobreza injusta que afecta a decenas de miles de nuestros hermanos y hermanas: préstamo de día de pago endeudamiento. Para hacer frente a esta situación, en palabras del Papa Francisco, significa que debemos comenzar con datos concretos acerca de la industria. Tocar esta pobreza, construyendo sobre la quota del Santo Padre, significa resistir la tentación de voltiar los ojos lejos del sufrimiento de nuestros vecinos; encogiéndose de apagado como el resultado de la irresponsabilidad financiera o la ignorancia que no tiene nada que ver conmigo.
Comenzando con hechos concretos, debemos tomar nota que abusar de los pobres al prestar dinero a las personas en crisis en asombrosamente altas tasas de interés es una práctica que fue condenado o restringido por todas las civilizaciones. Este comportamiento abusivo fue reconocido como destructivo y corrosivo para las comunidades y la sociedad. Sin embargo, con la moderna industria de préstamo de día de pago, lo que estaba correctamente etiquetada reprobable y depredador ahora se presenta como amigable, seguro y legítimo; De hecho, se presenta como un servicio financiero altruista. El hecho es que nada podría estar más lejos de la verdad. Entonces, ¿qué es la verdad?
“In Imitation of Our Master, we Christians are asked to confront the poverty of our brothers and sisters, to touch it, to make it our own and to take practical steps to alleviate it.” (Pope Francis)
Our Holy Father designated 2016 as a Jubilee Year of Mercy. Since biblical times, one of the hallmarks of a Jubilee Year has been the cancellation of debts that were beyond the ability of the poor to pay. Liberation from the psychological and material “prison” of indebtedness is the perfect metaphor for God’s mercy.
In keeping with this spirit of mercy, I would like to invite all Kansans to take Pope Francis’ words to heart so we may, together, confront and touch a particular form of unjust poverty afflicting tens of thousands of our brothers and sisters: payday loan indebtedness. To confront this situation, in the words of Pope Francis, means we must begin with hard facts about the industry. Touching this poverty, building on the Holy Father’s quote, means resisting the temptation to turn our eyes away from the suffering of our neighbors; shrugging it off as the result of financial irresponsibility or ignorance that has nothing to do with me.
Beginning with hard facts, we must note that abusing the poor by lending money to those in crisis at astonishingly high interest rates is a practice that was condemned or restricted by every civilization. This abusive behavior was rightly recognized as destructive and corrosive for communities and society. However, with the modern payday loan industry, what was correctly labeled reprehensible and predatory is now presented as friendly, safe and legitimate; indeed, it is presented as an altruistic financial service. The fact is nothing could be further from the truth. So what is the truth?
By The Register
Colby — The biennial convention of the Salina Diocesan Council of Catholic Women will be Saturday, Aug. 20 at Sacred Heart Church in Colby.
The convention, themed “Growing in Faith,” includes Mass celebrated by Bishop Edward Weisenburger at 11 a.m.
The trilogy of conference speakers includes Tony Brandt and Chris Stewart, founders of Casting Nets Ministries, and musician Noelle Garcia.
Brandt and Stewart will address how women can evangelize within their homes and families.
“I look at how much good my wife does in evangelization and what good she does with other ladies in the parish,” Brandt said. “(Women) have a unique role at home but also with other women in their parishes for evangelization.”
Brandt and Stewart are husbands and fathers who speak about the seven pillars of evangelization. Their topic is: “Growing your Faith by Sharing Your Faith.”
“Evangelization isn’t just Protestant/Catholic stuff,” Brandt said. “It’s evangelizing people in the pew, our family at home, our children and our spouses. This is what the church is. The church don’t have a mission, the church is a mission.”