• 2018 CCAA

    The 2018 Catholic Community Annual Appeal has begun. This year’s themes are “We, though many, are one body in Christ”

    Read More
  • 2018 Men's Conference

    The 7th Annual Diocesan Men’s Conference, “Men of God” will be held on Saturday, August 11, 2018 at Immaculate Heart

    Read More
  • TOTUS TUUS 2018

    Parish registration for the Totus Tuus program is now open. Totus Tuus (Latin for Totally Yours) named after St. John

    Read More

Bishop-elect Vincke to be ordained Aug. 22 at Sacred Heart Cathedral

By The Register

Salina — Plans are underway for the ordination and installation of Bishop-elect Gerald “Jerry” Vincke. The Aug. 22 event will be by invitation only, due to limited seating at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Salina. Bishop-elect Vincke celebrated a farewell Mass June 24 at his parish, Church of the Holy Family, in Grand Blanc, Mich.

There are many aspects in preparing to become the episcopal leader of a diocese, including selecting a motto. The phrase Dives in misericordia — “Rich in Mercy” — from Ephesians 2:4 will shape his episcopacy. Choosing a motto that included mercy seemed fitting, especially because in 2016, he was one of the “Missionaries of Mercy” commissioned by Pope Francis during the Year of Mercy. 

“For the Year of Mercy, we started hearing confessions every day,” Bishop-elect Vincke said. “We also had two ‘24 hours with the Lord’ in which we offered confessions for 24 hours straight with Eucharistic Adoration.” He added that the consecutive hours of confession were rotated with his associate pastor. “It was amazing to see so many people come back to the confessional after being away from this Sacrament for some time,” he said.

Because seating will be limited at the ordination and installation, a live broadcast is being planned. Details will be released as they become available. Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, Kan., as head of the province that includes the Salina Diocese, will ordain the new bishop.

In order for the faithful across the diocese to meet the newly-ordained bishop, two prayer service and receptions are planned. The first is at 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 26 at the Basilica of St. Fidelis in Victoria. The second is at  3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 2 at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Salina. All are invited.

New degree assists in determining medical ethics

For The Register

Junction City — In a world propelled by scientific and medical advancements, there is a growing need for the advocacy of ethics. Father Kyle Berens of St. Francis Xavier Parish in Junction City not only sees the important role that ethics plays in medicine, but has the desire — and now the authority — to fulfill it. He recently earned a Master’s of Science in Bioethics from the University of Mary of Bismarck, N.D. “I am most amazed how necessary this field is to the Catholic Church,” Father Berens said. “The truth doesn’t always reach everyone. But now, with more voices speaking the truth, this truth can set people free to make their own decisions.”

The biomedical ethics degree was two-fold for Father Berens. In the first year, the degree was initiated with the National Catholic Bioethics Center (NCBC) Certification Program, where he laid the groundwork for his degree. The second year, Father Berens finished his degree online with the University of Mary. During his schooling, he studied medical laws and health policies, the principles and practices of the medical field and the rapidly-growing medical industry — all with the aim to defend human dignity throughout the healthcare fields. Classmates included doctors, lawyers and people from all walks of life.  

From family planning to end of life, medical choices often become complex, especially in areas of morality. Those with bioethics degrees can help mentor those who are faced with those tough decisions. Retired Medical Moralist for the diocese and former member of the St. John’s Hospital Board, Msgr. James Hake,  explained the relevance. “Many people feel they have the freedom over their own body to cut tubes or pull plugs,” Msgr. Hake said. 

He explained that those in Father Berens’ position are regularly referenced for issues on abortion, tubal ligation, contraception, euthanasia and other end of life issues. Patients and doctors alike consult these priests because, as Msgr. Hake noted, practical or popular medical procedures often have moral consequences that can be forgotten or overlooked. While it can be hard to watch a loved one suffer in their last hours, Msgr. Hake illuminated the need for consultation. “We are not the lord of life or death — there is already a Lord,” he said. “Most people don’t understand the value of suffering. It’s easy to end a life, but it is not always permissible. There’s a difference between allowing someone to die naturally and causing the death medically. That is what [medical moralists] are referenced for.”

Because of the rapidly advancing medical field, the position of Medical Moralist needed an added level of authority. Father Berens was originally charged to pursue this degree within the first year of his ordination by Salina’s previous bishop, Bishop Edward Weisenburger. Bishop Weisenburger’s aim was for Father Berens to guide the hospital in Manhattan, Mercy Regional Health Center, in its transition from Regional Health to Via Christi. 


Students, teachers learn during Totus Tuus summer program

The Register

Ellis — On a humid day in mid-June, ten first and second-graders hunched quietly over their work in a classroom at St. Mary Grade School in Ellis. They colored the first page of their Rosary workbook, as seminarian Paul Flesher discussed the first Luminous Mystery. Down the hall, third and fourth-graders received an impromptu Latin lesson during Emily Andreozzi’s explanation of the Apostle’s Creed. Next door, Payton Bergkamp pitched questions to fifth and sixth-graders during a game of Catholic trivia baseball. In the school’s cafeteria, seminarian Aaron Dlabal stacked missalettes in preparation for the students to practice the songs to be sung at the day’s Mass.



For Andreozzi, Bergkamp, Dlabal and Flesher, these activities were part of the kickoff to the week-long Totus Tuus program in Ellis, one of the 21 locations across the Salina Diocese served by the program during June and early July.  The four individuals, all first-year Totus Tuus team members, were in the middle of their summer of work leading young participants through the program, and all of them agreed that the experience was eye-opening and rewarding.  “This has been a journey growing in selflessness,” said Bergkamp, an incoming Freshman at Benedictine College. “I’ve learned how to push through those times that are more difficult, and I’ve learned you can still give even when you’re tired or frustrated.”

For Andreozzi, an education major at Benedictine College, Totus Tuus offered a glimpse into what her life as a future teacher might be like.  “I knew I was called to teach so it’s been fun to get into the classrooms to teach these kids about things I love and am passionate about,” she said. “It’s also interesting to see how much more you can teach some kids versus others; you can teach the younger kids [the basics of] words in a different language, but with the older kids you can go into more depth with things.”


Salina native to be a FOCUS missionary in Alabama

The Register

Salina — When approached by friends or fellow students about becoming a missionary following her college graduation, Tracie Thibault’s answer was simple. Her plan was to continue her academic studies optometry school. “I spent all last summer studying for admissions test for optometry school and did far better than I expected,” she said. “By September, I was accepted to the school I dreamed about going to.”  Her plans seemed firm, until Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) approached her about applying to become a FOCUS missionary in October. “I told them I already committed to optometry school,” said Thibault, a Salina native. “They said ‘Why don’t you come to the interview weekend? It’s a good time to discern.’ ”

As she spent time in prayer, she said she “I felt God radically calling me.” Yet, she had plans. And those plans included optometry school. They didn’t include taking two years off to serve as a missionary on a college campus. “I remember being in prayer and very clearly hearing God call me ‘You can help people to see, but first help people see me,’ ” she said. 

Conflicted, and home from Kansas State University over Christmas break, she was prepared to decline the opportunity to serve as a FOCUS missionary. She asked her school in October if they would be willing to defer her seat and scholarships for two years, but heard no response. “A couple hours after I got home, I opened my email and [received an email from the college saying] ‘We would love to offer you a two year deferment, and would welcome you in two years,’ ” Thibault said. “My jaw dropped. Jesus answered my prayer. “I learned, that Jesus wants us to give him everything. He doesn’t necessarily take everything away from us. I’m really thankful that both doors are still open. I’m able to be a missionary and pursue my dream of being an optometrist.”

This summer has been spent five weeks preparing with more than 660 other FOCUS missionaries at Ave Maria University in Ave Maria, Fla. Each week focused on a different aspect of formation: human formation, spirituality, intellect and apostolic formation. 

As a FOCUS missionary, she and her five teammates will assist at the Catholic student center at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ala. They will assist students in forming a relationship with Christ. They will focus on activities, but also the personal relationship with God. “It’s not just a mentorship, it’s accompanying people in this walk of faith,” Thibault said. “I know that it’s a long-term investment. I’m giving people a great foundation as they go into their careers, to live the Catholic identity. My hope is that we will be launching the next doctors, teachers, people in public office, parish leaders, the next generation of the Church.”

She completed training June 30, and will be in the Salina Diocese, visiting family, and working on mission partner development. As a missionary, she will fundraise her salary for the  year. “I’m looking for support financially, but also for prayers,” she said. “I’m hoping to meet up with people who will support me by praying for my students on a daily basis.”

Thibault said she will be available to talk with church or parish groups about faith and her journey between now and mid-August, when she will depart for Alabama. She said she experienced an “aha” moment during week three of training.  “The last talk was ‘How to win souls, not arguments,’ ” Thibault said. “We learned it’s not by the mind we’ll win souls. It’s by loving them and being a window to Christ.”

Our new shepherd - Msgr. Jerry Vincke appointed 12th bishop of Salina

The Register

Salina — One day following the 19th anniversary of his ordination as a priest, Msgr. Gerald “Jerry” Vincke was introduced as the newly appointed bishop of the Salina Diocese.  “I want to thank the Holy Father for his confidence in me,” Bishop-elect Vincke, 53, said during the June 13 press conference. 

Born outside of Saginaw, Mich., Bishop-elect Vincke was the ninth of the 10 children of Fidelis and the late Henry Vincke.  “My dad worked for General Motors, Buick and was also a small time farmer,” Bishop-elect Vincke said. “I used to get up and milk the cows early in the morning. We owned about 130 acres, but we farmed about 500, which is really small.”

He compared his family’s farm to that of Father Kevin Weber’s family’s operation.  “He was talking about his family farming 4,800 acres. It’s mind-boggling to me how big the scale is here for farmers,” he said, but added, “I’m looking forward to getting on one of these big combine one of these days.”

The most substantial difference between the dioceses is geography. The Diocese of Lansing, Mich, has about 6,200 square miles, compared to the Salina Diocese’s 26,685 square miles.  “There’s a big, big difference,” Bishop-elect Vincke said. “It’s going to be a lot of miles they say, but I’m looking forward to it.”

Ordained June 12, 1999, at at St. Mary Cathedral in Lansing, Mich. by Bishop Carl F. Mengeling, Bishop-elect Vincke was pastor at  St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Ann Arbor, Mich., from 1999-2001, before being asked by his bishop to start a retreat house for youth.  “It was very hard in many ways,” he said of beginning Bethany House. “When you go to a parish you love — to rely on the Lord and the Lord’s will for my life.”

Yet the core of his life and philosophy is simple.  “I love to pray and I love to work,” he said. “I’m ready to get going, to get started here as soon as possible.”  He paused.  “Work and pray. It sounds like I should be a Benedictine instead,” he quipped, “but the Lord called me to the diocesan priesthood.”

Following Bethany House retreat center from 2001-04, Bishop-elect Vincke became the Director of Seminarians and Vocation Director in 2003 for the diocese of Lansing, Mich. He then became the Spiritual Director at the Pontifical North American College in Rome from 2010 to 2015. It was during those years in Rome that he completed his License in Sacred Theology (S.T.L.).

The focus of his studies included St. John Vianney and Evangelii Guadium by Pope Francis.  “The No. 1 thing for him was his pastoral charity,” Bishop-elect Vincke said of St. John Vianney. “His whole desire to give his life for his people. I think that was really beautiful reading about him. He used to go visit farms and get to know the families. He made himself available to the people. I think that’s a beautiful lesson. He gave everything he had for the people.”

He reflected on three main lessons during his priesthood.  “Prayer has to be the number one priority for priests,” he said. “That’s the No. 1 pastoral priority. The second is to listen — listen to the people always. The third thing I think to focus on right now is evangelization, really why does the Church exist? The Church exists to be a missionary Church. To be disciples to make disciples of the people. That’s what I have a heart for — to make disciples of the people.”


Annual Catholic Charities fundraiser is July 22 in Salina

Salina — For the Catholic Charities 13th Annual Fundraiser, the goal is not only to hit the $100,000 donation match, but to welcome new faces to the event.  “We’ve set a new goal: to get 20 new individuals or couples there who haven’t been to the event in a long time or at all,” said Eric Frank, Director of Development for Catholic Charities.  The annual fundraiser is from 5 to 7:30 p.m. July 22 at the Salina Country Club, 2101 E. Country Club Rd., Salina. 

This is the third year for the venue, which has been a popular one, Frank said.  This is also the second year for the hefty $100,000 match.  “It was a lot of work to get to the 100,000 match,” Frank said. “You think $100,000 is a lot of money, and it is, but it doesn’t go too far when you’re doing this kind of work.  “Thank God we have people that care enough, because this fundraiser is such an important part of our overall picture to get things in place financially for next year.”

The result of Catholic Charities’ 2017 move to Ninth Street in Salina resulted in additional visibility and room for clients and volunteers alike, which yielded additional clients who need assistance, said Executive Director Michelle Martin.  “We have so many more volunteers, other classes going on, partnering with other agencies,” Martin said. “It’s a much more active place.”

“We have grown so fast, so quickly in the new location,” Frank added. “We have so much exposure. We’re trying to keep up.  “We’re moving forward with our programing in ways we couldn’t while we were working on the new building. There are many new opportunities coming up.”

As exciting as the new partnerships are, Martin said she has what could seem like a silly goal: To be able to give moms a full box of diapers when they come in need of assistance.  “A child goes through about two boxes of diapers per month,” she said. “Right now, we count out 10 or 12 diapers from a box and give that to clients who are in need, because that’s all we have to give. My vision is to be able to give a full box of diapers.”

Catholic Charities offers assistance throughout the Salina Diocese to those in need, regardless of religious background.  “It’s amazing about the difficulties people face in their lives,” Frank said. “That’s what we’re there for — to help them sort it out. To give them  bearing and to give them hope while they’re here, so when they walk out of the door they have some kind of reassurance that we are in it with them. To give them hope to find ways to alleviate some of their problems. We can’t do it all, but we’re doing what we can, when we can.”

The evening includes a social with cash bar, dinner and live auction. The evening is free, but RSVPs are required; seating space is limited.  “We want our donors to help us move it forward next year and the next,” Frank said. “We need your help. We can’t do this by ourself.”

To RSVP, please go online to CCNKS.org or call (785) 825-0208 x 215.  

Men of God: annual conference is Aug. 11 in Hays

The Register

Hays — Some familiar faces will be present at the Seventh Annual Diocesan Men’s Conference on Aug. 11 in Hays.  Archbishop Charles Chaput, O.F.M., Cap., who hails from Concordia and attended St. Francis Seminary High School in Victoria, will be one of the two speakers at the conference, which is themed “Men of God.” He will be joined by nationally known radio host John Martignoni, who hosts “EWTN Open Line” on EWTN Radio.

Archbishop Chaput said he is delighted to be returning to his home diocese for the conference.  “Kansas has its own special beauty, and a lot of that beauty comes from the people who live here,” he said. “You can take the boy out of Kansas, but not Kansas out of the boy.”

The annual men’s conference is hosted by the Salina Diocese office of Family Life. The event will feature the speakers, as well as Mass, Eucharistic Adoration, Reconciliation and lunch.

The conference theme is one both speakers laud.  “To be men of God means making a daily effort to be holy; to consciously develop the virtues of courage, honesty, justice, prudence, self-discipline and patience,” Archbishop Chaput said. 

Martignoni, who has spoken previously in the diocese, said he thinks the man’s role in the spiritual formation of a family has been de-emphasized. Studies have shown that children whose fathers regularly attend church are 85 to 90 percent likely to attend church themselves as adults. If only their mother attends church, the chance is about 25 percent.

“The impact of the father on the spiritual formation of the children is so great that adult men need proper formation right now,” he said. “In this environment we’re living in, it’s so much more important to get to the male right now.”  He said the female’s role in the Church is equally important, but “the male has been neglected and overlooked, we have some catching up to do.”

Archbishop Chaput said today’s culture focuses on “toxic masculinity.”  “There’s also an undercurrent of real contempt for male dignity and leadership that’s very unhealthy for society and demoralizing for young men,” he said  Archbishop Chaput said he plans to discuss how young men “become real men in a Christian sense, despite all the conflicting pressures.”  It’s essential for men to gather in fraternity.  “In my experience, men are much less naturally social than women,” Archbishop Chaput said. “They have a tendency to be loners, but they also have a deep need for fraternity and mutual support. That need is particularly urgent now.”


Annual SDCCW conference is Aug. 18 in Junction City

Junction City — Women from across the diocese are invited to gather, learn and pray together at the biennial Salina Diocesan Council of Catholic Women’s Conference Aug. 18.  The theme of the conference is “Be Not Afraid” and will feature best selling author and Catholic radio host Hallie Lord.  Mass begins at 8 a.m. at St. Francis Xavier Church in Junction City. Following Mass, the conference registration will begin at the Courtyard by Marriott, 310 Hammons Dr, Junction City. 

The convention is held every other year, said Alice Fox.  “Hallie is going to have a keynote talk in the morning and also talk in the afternoon,” Fox said.  Lord is the author of “On the Other Side of Fear: How I Found Peace.” She is also the co-founder of the Edel Gathering and host of Hallie Weekly on SiriusXM’s The Catholic Channel.  She lives in South Carolina with her husband, Dan, and their eight children. 

In addition to lunch, the day will include a short business meeting for the SDCCW, as well as an election of officers and a silent auction.  This year is also the 60th anniversary for the group, which started in 1958.  “We have one charter member still living — she’s 94 years old and she’s planning to be there,” Fox said.

Registration for the conference is $25.   Click here for online registration.  Registration by August 1, 2018 is requested, so that the necessary arrangements may be made. Late registrations will be accepted, however lunch can not be guaranteed.   pdf A printed registration form can be found here. (154 KB)  For more information, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Featured Events

Catholic News Headlines

  • IMAGE: CNS photo/Jerry MennengaBy Joanne FoxWEST BEND, Iowa (CNS) -- With apologies to Fats Domino, Father Lawrence Carney is "walkin' and talkin' about you and me," and hoping that listeners will come back to -- not "me" -- but God. Known as the "walking priest," Father Carney brought his message of street evangelization to Sts. Peter and Paul Church in the north central Iowa town of West Bend in early July. The event was sponsored by the Shrine of the Grotto of the Redemption in collaboration with the Office of Discipleship and Evangelization for the Diocese of Sioux City.Ordained for the Diocese of Wichita, Kansas, Father Carney is on loan to the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri, where he serves as chaplain to the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles, in Gower. He visits the nuns daily to celebrate the Tridentine Mass, offers the sacrament of reconciliation and provides spiritual direction. Once his duties are complete, Father Carney, 42, takes to the streets of St. Joseph. Armed with a rosary in one hand and a large crucifix in the other, the tall priest in a black cassock and wide-brimmed clerical hat known as a "saturno" shares the Gospel with anyone who approaches. The oldest of three boys in his family, Father Carney recalled his first inkling of a vocation surfaced in kindergarten. "A Redemptorist priest visited and held up a card of Our Lady of Perpetual Help and it seemed like the eyes of Our Lady would follow me," he said. "I thought, 'If a priest can do that with a holy card, then I want to be a priest,'" he said, smiling. Father Carney confessed he "fought" the idea of the priesthood in high school. "I was convinced I was to marry a beautiful young woman and have 12 children," he said. "God ultimately won that battle." Following his 2007 ordination, Father Carney served as a parish priest in the Wichita Diocese. His life changed when he chose to walk the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route in Spain -- opting to wear a cassock -- talking to about 1,000 people during his 32 days on the trail. The experience led to his decision to walk the streets. Father Carney's ministry led him to pen "Walking the Road to God," published in 2017 by Caritas Press. The book is subtitled, "Why I left everything behind and took to the streets to save souls." "I'm a horrible author," the priest said. "Isn't is something how God chooses the worst people to do his will?" But save souls, he has, in his travels in Missouri and elsewhere. "Three years ago, I was approached by a non-Catholic family who insisted their home was possessed by demons; the children were saying they saw red eyes in the house," he said. "They asked me to pray for them and I did." When he later saw the family, Father Carney asked about the house. "'Oh, Father, after you prayed and left, the devils left,' the mother reported," he said. "After one year of instruction, they were received into the church and one of the sons is discerning a vocation to the priesthood." The story was one of several the priest shared with the 125 people who attended his talk. In his book, Father Carney expressed his dream of a new order of priests, clerics and brothers, who walk and pray in cities around the U.S. to reach out to lukewarm and fallen-away Catholics and non-Catholics. The Vatican approved his request for the new order Dec. 8 -- to accept men into the Canons Regular of St. Martin of Tours. The new community will be based in St. Joseph. About a dozen men have indicated an interest in joining, Father Carney said. "I am in the process of discernment myself for this new community," he said. "God willing, I will profess my first vows on Nov. 11, 2019." Meanwhile, Father Carney "walks the walk and talks the talk" to about 10 people a day, about 2,000 to 5,000 folks in the last four years. "The best part of the walking is I get to contemplate God," he said. "I pray the rosary, get some exercise, look at nature and someone might talk to me and then, I share my contemplation with them." After his presentation, Father Carney took questions, with one person asking if he walked the 245 miles from St. Joseph to West Bend. With a grin, Father Carney shook his head in response. However, he did admit to being somewhat of an expert on shoes. "I have discovered 'shandals' work well," he said, referring to a part-shoe, part-sandal, which he had on his feet. Father Carney reported the Canons Regular are looking into creating the hybrid and marketing them. "We will be calling them, Father Martens," he said, chuckling repeatedly at the reference to the popular Doc Martens footwear. - - - Fox is managing editor of The Catholic Globe, newspaper of the Diocese of Sioux City.- - -Copyright © 2018 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

  • IMAGE: CNS photo/Saadia AzimBy Saadia AzimRANCHI, India (CNS) -- Theodore Kiro held 13-month-old Navya on her return to his family after they were separated for a week. The crying baby happily clung to Kiro, whom she knows as her grandfather. Navya is one of the four babies whose fate became entangled in the recent child trafficking scandal broke at Rachi's Nirmal Hriday (Tender Heart) home, run by the Missionaries of Charity. A five-member district child welfare committee decided it was not fair for the foster mother and the child to be separated for long and ruled they should be united conditionally. The welfare committee asked the foster parents to take the child before the committee every week and keep it informed of the child's schedule. "The child and the mother were in trauma after separation, so the committee members decided compassionately to unite them. But this status has been fixed for the next two months only," said Kiro, a local political leader using his clout to prepare legal papers for adoption of the toddler. Navya was brought to their home in Ranchi just after her birth and was reclaimed by the child welfare committee as one of the babies who allegedly was sold illegally by an employee of the Missionaries of Charity home. Though the parents confess that there was no exchange of money yet, the officers are investigating the process of adoption without proper paperwork. This makes Anuka Tigga, another adoptive mother of a 4-year-old, jittery. She is scared for her child after the central government announced July 17 that all records and child care homes run by the Missionaries of Charity will be inspected and adoption processes scrutinized. "It is not that I have committed any wrong. Rather, these happenings will adversely affect the well-being of my child," said Tigga. The Indian Ministry for Women and Child Development has directed the state governments that all child care institutions should be registered and linked to the Central Adoption Resource Authority within a month. Many mothers such as Tigga question the fate of children already living with adoptive parents, for fear the government will say the process was not followed and their children will be taken away. In 2015, the Missionaries of Charity stopped offering adoption of children because the Indian government introduced new rules making it easier for single women and men to adopt. The government rules said prospective adoptive parents must pay a fixed amount of 40,000 rupees ($580). Police said Jharkhand state's Child Welfare Committee came to suspect the Ranchi home was involved in the illegal trading of children after a couple complained they were not given a child, despite paying 120,000 rupees (US$1,850) as an adoption fee. Sister Mary Prema Pierick, superior general of the Missionaries of Charity, said in a July 17 statement from Kolkata that the order was cooperating with authorities, and that when a lay employee, Anima Indwar, admitted to the welfare committee in early July that the baby had not been given to the couple, Indwar was handed over to police. During recent raids at Nirmal Hriday and Shishu Bhawan (Children's Home) in Ranchi, 11 unwed pregnant women were shifted to government homes and 22 children, including one child as young as a month old, were sent to the Karuna Center, a government-run home. Navya's family complained that, after the separation, they found their child to be in a miserable condition in the government facility. Those children who remain in many of homes run by Missionaries of Charity are destitute, orphans and unwanted children who are nursed and cared for and prepared for adoption through the Central Adoption Resource Authority system. The police are investigating now as to why the nuns continued to keep children in their facility when they were no longer a registered body for adoption. The norm has been that though the unwed mothers are provided with nursing and support by the nuns, it is the responsibility of the guardians and families who want to adopt to register with the child welfare committees. The nuns and the Missionaries of Charity staff facilitate the process. The Missionaries of Charity and other Christian bodies are questioning the intention of the government in the recent actions against the order. They say that, after the arrests of Indwar and Sister Concelia, the nun in charge of accompanying mothers and babies to the welfare committee, the Missionaries of Charity were not given a chance to be heard and were not warned about the raids. The Christian community and some politicians are also questioning the role of the media, which widely published a video of Indwar's confession leaked by police. Police have seized record books from the Missionaries of Charity homes in Jharkhand state. Christian leaders say this is deliberate antagonism by the state's extremist Bharatiya Janata Party government, which has accused the Missionaries of Charity of religious conversion in the pretext of social service. Sister Concelia was sent to two weeks of judicial custody. After the incident, Mamata Banerjee, chief minister of West Bengal state, where the religious order is based, called the actions against the Missionaries of Charity a move to undermine the work of St. Teresa of Kolkata, who founded the order. Abraham Mathai, former vice chairman of the Indian Minorities Commission, has asked for independent judicial inquiry if need be to stop what he calls persecution of the Missionaries of Charity, saying it is bringing disrepute to the whole organization. - - -Copyright © 2018 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

  • IMAGE: CNS photo/Dennis SadwoskiBy Dennis SadowskiWASHINGTON (CNS) -- Denise Ssettimba just began her brief presentation to an aide to Sen. John Kennedy, R-Louisiana, on the need to maintain U.S. funding for global anti-hunger efforts when two congressional dining staffers with food carts in tow asked to squeeze by in a busy hallway in the Dirksen Senate Office Building. The 18-year-old Xavier University of Louisiana student stepped a little closer into the tight circle around the aide, Kaitlyn Dwyer, staying on message. "We want to share that there are a lot of ways that this aid helps people avoid migration," Ssetimba said.Fellow Xavier University students Ja'Che Malone and Sarah Bertrand and Madeleine Woolverton, a student at Tulane University, picked up the call as Ssetimba finished. "The issues of global hunger and migration are intimately linked because hunger is one of the causes of migration," Woolverton said. "When we can provide funding for programs that can provide sustainable solutions ... not creating dependency but creating systemic change in farming communities, we can prevent some of these problems." The four students asked Dwyer to be sure to share with Kennedy their concern that no funding be cut from international poverty-reducing programs. Preserving current spending levels for disaster relief, health care, nutrition, anti-human trafficking efforts, migration and refugee assistance is a major priority of Catholic Relief Services and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.The students from New Orleans, part of the CRS Student Ambassador Leaders Together initiative, were helping carry that message to Congress July 18. In a second meeting, they were able to share their concerns directly with Sen. Bill Cassidy after talking for 15 minutes with Maria Sierra, a policy adviser to the Louisiana Republican. They joined more than 150 students from 58 Catholic and non-Catholic colleges and universities who participated in the four-day Student Ambassador Leadership Summit July 15-18 organized by CRS. The students spent their last day of the summit visiting members of Congress, sharing the same message that Archbishop Paul D. Etienne of Anchorage, Alaska, and Cardinal Orlando Quevedo of Cotabato, Philippines, brought to Capitol Hill a day earlier. The programs they addressed were targeted for an overall 36 percent cut in federal spending in the White House Office of Management and Budget's proposed fiscal year 2019 spending outline. The OMB plan seeks to reduce funding to $15.1 billion from nearly $23.8 billion authorized for the current fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30. Such spending comprises about 0.5 percent of the federal budget. Having so many young people bringing a consistent message to Congress was sure to have an impact, Kathleen Kahlau, senior adviser at CRS, told the students before they fanned out across Capitol Hill. "You're bringing some good news. Not the Gospel in the religious sense, but good news in the sense that you're sharing with these staffers the fact that what America does through its aid is effective, is efficient, does really save lives," Kahlau said. Three days preparing for the congressional visits served to create broader awareness of the work of CRS and deeper understanding of the importance of U.S. aid for that work, students said. Several students who are CRS campus ambassadors told Catholic News Service they were willing to step away from jobs, summer internships and research projects to advocate for people without a voice. "Coming here has shown me how everything is so connected," said Emily Baca, a student at St. Martin's University in Lacey, Washington. "I think that this program can really help by bringing together different people who are passionate in different ways." Manhattan College student Kaiyun Chen explained that although she doesn't practice any faith, she was motivated to become involved as a campus ambassador because of the nature of the agency's work. "When I was introduced to the organization and asked to be a student ambassador I was thinking about what the organization stands for and what they believe in and what they do for other people and it makes me feel more passionate toward what I can do," Chen said. Students also said they planned to return to their campuses this fall ready to share what they learned about the global work of CRS and encourage others to join them in promoting the agency. "We want to bring more attention to global issues," said Carla Aguirre Puerto, a student at the University of San Diego, following a meeting with an aide to Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California. "We need to be more aware of and advocating for the services provided across the ocean." It's that role as an advocate that motivated Kaitlyn Toth, a political science major at Ohio State University student, to become a campus ambassador two years ago and make the trip to Washington this year. She earlier worked with the Diocese of Cleveland's Catholic Charities Migration and Refugee Services and saw the challenges facing migrants around the world. "I really believe there's power in each individual's voice," she said. "Spending time and showing up and showing people that you do care enough to speak for others holds a lot of weight." - - - Follow Sadowski on Twitter: @DennisSadowski- - -Copyright © 2018 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

  • IMAGE: CNS photo/Gina Christian, catholicphilly.comBy Gina ChristianAUDUBON, Pa. (CNS) -- When he arrived at St. Gabriel's Hall in Audubon nine years ago, Quamiir Trice was in handcuffs. Arrested for dealing crack, the 15-year-old had been sent to a residential treatment program for at-risk youth offered by St. Gabriel's, part of the Philadelphia Archdiocese's Catholic Social Services. On June 27, Trice returned to St. Gabriel's -- this time, as a Pennsylvania state certified educator, fresh from his fourth-grade classroom and ready to teach mathematics at summer school. "They took the handcuffs off as soon as my feet hit the ground here," Trice said, recalling his first moments at St. Gabriel's as a troubled teenager. "Everything here was so green and beautiful and peaceful. It definitely made me feel like I was in a good place." During his time at the Middle States accredited school, Trice earned his GED while displaying a gift for mathematics. Through intensive counseling sessions, he learned to manage his emotions and to make more constructive life choices. And he discovered that the variables in his life added up to something new: hope through faith in God. "I became spiritually grounded when I came to St. Gabe's," Trice told CatholicPhilly.com, Philadelphia's archdiocesan news outlet. "That was vital." "We can't preach or proselytize a specific faith because we're publicly funded," said John Mulroney, principal of St. Gabriel's. "But we're allowed to let the students explore their own faith traditions, and we seize every opportunity to help them do just that." Mulroney said that Trice, who had been raised as a Christian, embraced the 12-step program directive to "let go and let God" often heard in the school's drug and alcohol rehabilitation unit, where he recovered from addiction. In doing so, Trice had to confront his pent-up rage, frustration and grief -- the legacy of life on the street, where drugs and guns claim a disproportionate number of minority youth. "I actually remember my best friend getting killed while I was here," he said. "My social worker called me to his office that day; we had a great relationship and he knew that something was off about me. And of course there was. My best friend was dead." Trice said that having a safe space in which to process his harrowing experiences -- which included an unstable home life, substance abuse, truancy, drug dealing and lost relationships -- was "pivotal." Mulroney cites the school's trauma-informed care treatment as the key to reaching its students. By addressing the core reasons why youth engage in at-risk behavior, staff can foster communication skills, emotional intelligence, nonviolence and a sense of social responsibility among students. "These kids are wounded human beings, not damaged goods," said Mulroney. "There's a difference, and our first step is making these young men feel safe and cared for in this environment," he said. Once students are assured of their protection, they can work through their anger and sorrow, often through what Mulroney describes as "cleansing tears" that unclench both fists and hearts. During the grieving process, students participate in multiple therapy groups, meeting even on weekends to share their stories and to support each other's growth. As they come to terms with their losses, students can then begin to focus on the future, developing the talents and skills buried under their scars. Mulroney noted that Trice's mathematical aptitude, masked by a straight-F report card at his former high school, emerged at St. Gabriel's. "He was our top GED math student when he was here," Mulroney said, adding that Trice quickly rose to the head of his class, graduating as salutatorian in 2011 and then enrolling in Community College of Philadelphia. After obtaining his associate's degree, Trice completed his undergraduate studies at Howard University in Washington, majoring in elementary education. His leadership roles in several education initiatives have led Mulroney to tease Trice for "hobnobbing with presidents." "He's met President (Barack) Obama several times, along with the president of the MacArthur Foundation," said Mulroney. "Actually, in one photograph, it looked like he had Obama's ear, rather than the other way around." Because of his academic credentials and a need for greater diversity in educational staffing, Trice was heavily recruited by several school districts and graduate schools throughout the country. He chose to return to his hometown, accepting a position as a fourth-grade instructor at Bethune Elementary School in North Philadelphia. As he was wrapping up the school year, Trice approached Mulroney about returning to teach at St. Gabriel's during the summer. "We have a quote all through St. Gabe's that says, 'Enter to learn, leave to serve,'" Trice said. "Coming back here is a dream come true." In a sense, Trice had never completely left St. Gabriel's, which reintegrates its graduates through an after-care program. A counselor with Catholic Social Services, assigned by the city's family court, follows up regularly with former students for approximately six months after they leave St. Gabriel's to ensure their progress. Trice needed that safety net when he hit a rough spot after his St. Gabriel's graduation and got kicked out of his grandparent's house. Distraught, he called a former dean at the school for guidance. "I knew my goal was to still stay on track and stay focused, but I needed help," Trice said. "He listened and encouraged me, and he said, 'You have our support.' And just knowing that really made me feel a lot more confident moving forward." As a new teacher, Trice continued to consult his mentors at St. Gabriel's for advice on classroom management and teaching strategies. Trice is passionate about cultivating math skills in his students, especially since urban youth are underrepresented in scientific disciplines. He relishes the clarity of mathematics, which hones students' analytical skills while building confidence, and he weaves life lessons into his lectures. "I tell my students that whenever you have a variable in an equation that you're solving for, that is your goal," Trice explained. "You focus on that goal, and all of the other numbers, all those distractions, don't really matter." For Trice, who plans to attend law school and to develop educational policy, faith in God is the ultimate variable. "I came to the conclusion that I don't teach for my students any more -- I teach for God," said. "I don't feel like I'm doing any of this on my own. It feels like a movie script, and God is writing this story to give himself the glory." - - - Christian is senior content producer at CatholicPhilly.com, the news outlet of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.- - -Copyright © 2018 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

  • IMAGE: CNS photo/Vatican MediaBy VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis added an Italian teenager to the list of people he will formally recognize as saints Oct. 14 during the monthlong meeting of the world Synod of Bishops on young people. During an "ordinary public consistory" July 19, Pope Francis announced he would declare Blessed Nunzio Sulprizio a saint the same day he will canonize Blesseds Oscar Romero, Paul VI and four others. An ordinary public consistory is a meeting of the pope, cardinals and promoters of sainthood causes that formally ends the sainthood process. Sulprizio was born April 13, 1817, in the Abruzzo region near Pescara. Both of his parents died when he was an infant and his maternal grandmother, who raised him, died when he was nine. An uncle took him under his guardianship and had the young boy work for him in his blacksmith shop. However, the work was too strenuous for a boy his age and he developed a problem in his leg, which became gangrenous. A military colonel took care of Sulprizio, who was eventually hospitalized in Naples. The young teen faced tremendous pain with patience and serenity and offered up his sufferings to God.    He died in Naples in 1836 at the age of 19. He was declared blessed in 1963 by Blessed Paul VI, who will be canonized together with the teen. During the ceremony, Blessed Paul had said, "Nunzio Sulprizio will tell you that the period of youth should not be considered the age of free passions, of inevitable falls, of invincible crises, of decadent pessimism, of harmful selfishness. Rather, he will rather tell you how being young is a grace." Together with Blesseds Paul and Romero, Sulprizio will be canonized along with: Father Francesco Spinelli of Italy, founder of the Sisters Adorers of the Blessed Sacrament; Father Vincenzo Romano, who worked with the poor of Naples, Italy, until his death in 1831; Mother Catherine Kasper, the German founder of the religious congregation, the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ; and Nazaria Ignacia March Mesa, the Spanish founder of the Congregation of the Missionary Crusaders of the Church. The Oct. 14 date for the canonizations had already been announced during an ordinary public consistory in mid-May.- - -Copyright © 2018 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.