Annual Catholic Charities event raises key funds

Salina — Staff members were busy counting the donations Monday morning, but Catholic Charities executive director Michelle Martin was hopeful that the annual fundraiser met or exceeded last year’s record.

“We are praying really hard today,” she said. “We were pretty close to being on track to where we were last year.”

The annual fundraiser, which included dinner and entertainment Sunday at the Ambassador Hotel in Salina, supports 14 programs provided by Catholic Charities of Northern Kansas.

Last year’s fundraiser netted more than $204,000.

Another important part of the agency’s revenue comes from the annual collection, which is Aug. 9 and 10 in the diocese’s parishes.

This year, anonymous donors agreed to match up to $60,000 in personal contributions and any new corporate sponsorships.

Eric Frank, director of development for Catholic Charities, said it was too early to tell if that goal was met.

“My overall feeling is that I think everything went really well,” he said Monday morning.

Key sponsors were Rocking M Radio Inc. of Manhattan with a $15,000 donation and 24/7 Travel Stores of Salina with $10,000.

Other major donors included Citywide Self-Storage of Salina, $5,000; Father John Wolesky of Solomon, $5,000; and the Robert E. and Patricia A. Schmidt Foundation of Hays, $5,000.

Bishop asks for support of Catholic Charities’ annual collection Aug. 9-10

Dear Friends,

On the weekend of Aug. 2-3, you will hear a tape-recorded message from me about Catholic Charities. That recorded message will be played at all the Masses of all our parishes throughout the Diocese of Salina on that weekend.

I am writing now to inform you of the upcoming annual Catholic Charities Collection, which will be the weekend of Aug. 9-10. Catholic Charities will be mailing a letter and a self-addressed return envelope directly to parish households, which should arrive around Aug. 2, the weekend before the actual collection. Please use the envelopes by returning them in the collection baskets during Mass the weekend of Aug. 9-10 or mailing them directly to the Salina Catholic Charities office.

Individuals and families throughout our diocese continue to struggle with poverty and fall between the cracks of our social services’ system. Catholic Charities is one of the safety nets for those individuals. The staff of Catholic Charities assists with the Church’s ministry of serving the poor and vulnerable members of our society by providing emergency assistance, adoption services, counseling, food and diapers, family strengthening workshops, financial literacy classes, pregnancy maintenance initiatives, immigration services, financial assistance with rent and utilities, and help in escaping from the trap of predatory lending (known as payday loans).

There is still much work to be done in this ministry and so I urge you to support the Catholic Charities Annual Collection. By partnering with Catholic Charities, we can reach more of our brothers and sisters in crisis throughout our diocese. For all who are able, it is truly a privilege to respond generously to Christ who is found most wonderfully in the poor. Please join with me in this effort so that together we can carry out the mission Jesus has given our Church.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Most Rev. Edward J. Weisenburger
Bishop of Salina

Couple take over reins as coordinators

Salina — Eric and Jaclyn Brown have hit the ground running as the new Respect Life coordinators for the Diocese of Salina.

The Hays couple are taking over for Gil and Carol Otter of Norton, who have served since early 2009.

The Browns already have organized a conference, “Special Families, Special Blessings,” on Sept. 13 in Salina.

As coordinators, they will be working with Father Henry Baxa, moderator of the Office of Respect Life, and a commission that includes JoAnne Balthazor of Clyde, Jim Fenton of Greenleaf, Joan Gienger of St. Francis, Norbert and Marlene Hermes of Salina, Bill and Albie Kuhlman of Grinnell, Kathy Martin of Clay Center, Lester and Donetta Robben of Hays, Mary Selensky of Hays, Wallace Severson of Gem, Liz Sites of Chapman and Peggy Waldschmidt of Ellis.

“I am pleased that they have accepted this ministry,” said Bishop Edward Weisenburger.

The Browns have been involved in pro-life activities for a number of years. Jaclyn served on the board of directors and was president of the Mary Elizabeth Maternity Home in Hays. Eric said he has been involved in pro-life work since he was a teenager.

Jaclyn and Eric have participated three times in the March for Life that takes place each January in Washington, D.C.

Each had attended as college students, then as a couple they twice have chaperoned a group from Thomas More Prep-Marian Junior-Senior High School in Hays.

Past participants urge attendance at Catholic Men’s Conference

Russell — Participants at previous men’s conferences hosted by the Diocese of Salina speak of the importance of fathers and sons learning more about their faith.

The third annual Catholic Men’s Conference, “Shepherd Me O God,” is Saturday, Aug. 9 at St. Mary, Queen of Angels Parish in Russell. Registration is now being accepted online at, or registration forms are available at each parish.

“As a father and coach, I understand the importance of helping parents instill character within their sons while teaching them the Catholic faith,” said Pat Martin, a parishioner at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Salina.

“This conference is a good way of gaining more knowledge, while increasing our faith, values and morality as Christian men in our society,” he added.

This year’s speakers are Matt Fradd and Deacon Ralph Poyo.


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