• 2018 CCAA

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

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

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    General Information: Is your child looking for something different this summer? At Rock Springs 4-H Ranch opportunities abound. Your son

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Deacon Mike ordained

The Register

Salina — While a white dusting of snow lightly covered the exterior of Sacred Heart Cathedral April 7, inside, Mike Leiker knelt in front of the altar, amidst the white Easter lilies, and was ordained a transitional deacon.  “Do you promise respect and obedience to your ordinary?” asked Bishop Carl Kemme, from the Diocese of Wichita.  “I do,” Deacon Leiker affirmed.

Typically during an ordination, the deacon pledges “obedience and respect to me and my successors” to the bishop of the diocese. Because Salina has no bishop, the pledge Deacon Leiker made to Bishop Kemme from Wichita was one to the “ordinary” (a fancy term for a diocese’s bishop).  “(The vow to the ordinary) was something I was prepared for because at my retreat, that was one of the things I talked about with my retreat director,” Deacon Leiker said. “(The director) said ‘You’re not attached to a bishop your vow is to the whole Church.’  “So in a way, it made it a much larger scale. It doesn’t matter who my bishop is, I’ll still have that promise of obedience.”



During the homily, Diocesan Administrator Father Frank Coady told Deacon Leiker the diaconate is a ministry of word, altar and charity.  He said the early apostles acted on behalf of Christ “… to put themselves at the service of the Gospel. At the service of humanity. Then they get out of the way of Christ. They reveal Christ, not themselves.”

Father Coady said the ministry of the word is an important one.  “You’re going to preach (the Gospel), you’re going to evangelize,” he said. “You’re going to introduce people to Christ through the word. Then you’re going to get out of the way. You’re going to disappear, because it isn’t about you. It’s about Christ. It’s about  the way they’re going to experience that themselves.”


May the solemn death, resurrection of Christ bring us hope

We have just celebrated the Sacred Triduum, those three days that most solemnly commemorate the Paschal Mystery of Christ. Those liturgies give honor and glory to God but, just as important, they help us remember what God did for us in Christ and they help us to identify with his death and resurrection. The Paschal Mystery is Christ’s but it is also ours. We have been baptized into his death so that we might also have a share in his resurrection and glory. “For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ your life appears, then you too will appear with him in glory (Col 3:3-4).”

The celebration of these liturgies becomes for us an invitation to enter personally into the mystery of death and resurrection. They remind us that the two are closely related. It is precisely in the anguish and aloneness of his death that the son is glorified by the father. And the resurrection follows. The scandal of Jesus’ words, “My God, my God, why have your abandoned me?” actually gives us hope. In our darkest moments, brought on by loss, failure or pain, God is most powerfully with us. There we discover that the greatest honor we can give to God is not by our spiritual perfection but by having all our certainties stripped away from us so that there is nothing to offer but our barest selves. It is precisely then that we can commend our spirit into the hands of our loving Father. And resurrection follows.

If we are fortunate enough to have risen from one or even several of these deaths, we stand a good chance of being rid of the fear of death. We trust resurrection.

May we celebrate this trust for the 50 Days of Easter. May these days strengthen our hope.


Father Frank Coady
Diocesan Administrator

Bishop Kemme presides over annual Chrism Mass in Salina

The Register

Salina – There was an empty seat in Sacred Heart Cathedral during the annual Chrism Mass March 22.  The bishop’s cathedra remained unoccupied, because the Salina Diocese has no bishop.  Bishop Carl Kemme presided over the Mass, and sat toward the front of the sanctuary, but not in the bishop’s cathedra.  “Brothers and sisters, my name is Bishop Carl Kemme from the Diocese of Wichita and I now belong to a new program in the Church called ‘rent a bishop,’ ” Bishop Kemme quipped.

During his homily, Bishop Kemme addressed the diocese’s absence of a bishop. He said he often thinks of the Advent song “Soon and Very Soon” when he thinks of the vacancy.  “Perhaps no one is praying that more fervently than Father Frank Coady. I can hear it resonate from his heart every time I see him,” Bishop Kemme said. “Yes, let it be soon so that your diocesan community of faith can once again have an apostolic shepherd as the Lord envisioned for the Church when he sent out the apostles on the day of pentecost to proclaim the gospel to the ends of the world.”

Canon law requires each diocese to hold a Chrism Mass annually to bless and dispense new oil for sacramental use throughout the upcoming year.  “(Jesus) left us the  mission, the charge to heal the sick, to comfort the  broken hearted, to set captives free and to announce a year of favor from the Lord,” Bishop Kemme said. “The oils that will soon be blessed and consecrated will soon be used in this very ministry entrusted to us by Jesus.”

The three oils blessed during the Chrism Mass are: Oil of the Sick, Oil of the Catechumens and Sacred Chrism. The Oil of the Sick is used in the sacrament of Anointing of the sick. The Oil of the Catechumens is used in preparation for Baptism. Sacred Chrism is used for Confirmation, is used to anoint a priest’s hands during his ordination, is used to anoint a bishop’s head at his ordination, and also is used to anoint the altar and walls of a new Church.


More than 200 youth gather at annual convention to pray, learn

The Register

Salina — Dressed as the proprietor of The Upper Room, Doug Brummel took the stage April 7 at the annual CYO Convention to enjoin the youth that they were made for more.  A lone violin played as he began his monologue. Brummel narrated the events of Holy Thursday as the manager of the Upper Room, where Jesus dined with his disciples, might have seen it.  “Jesus spoke to them as friends. It’s like Jesus knew each of those apostles were made for more than just being a fisherman or a tax collector or other occupations,” he said, referring to the weekend’s theme “Made for More.” “Somehow, Jesus knew more about them than they knew of themselves.”

He addressed more than 225 youth at the annual convention, which was April 7-8 at Sacred Heart Jr./Sr. High School and St. Mary Grade School in Salina.  The narration continued, highlighting the revelation that one of the disciples would betray Christ.  “Jesus gave this man the gift of free will,” Brummel said. “This man was made for more, but would he choose more money or more of God?”  He continued with Jesus’ words: “I remember that night. He said ‘If you want to be a leader, if you want to lead, you must serve.’  “I saw him do something I’ve never seen anyone do before. He got down and washed their feet.”

Brummel, in turn, invited 12 adults to join him on stage, and invited youth to have their feet washed by the adult sponsors.  “To live out your life as a disciple of Jesus, the first step is you must be like Jesus and humble yourself to wash the feet of another,” he said. “To pour water on their feet. You kneel before them and you take new invention called paper towels and you wipe their feet and you pray for that person, that wherever they walk, they will be like Jesus.”

Julien Illo, a senior from St. Agnes Parish in Grainfield, is a member of the Diocesan CYO Council. He said he enjoyed the variety of Brummel’s characters, and how relatable the messages were.  “I thought (the washing of the feet) was a really impactful moment,” Illo said. “He did a good job of showing how Jesus became humble to serve his disciples to show them how to serve others.”


Home Mission Appeal

The Register

Salina — As one of 90 mission diocese in the United States, the Salina Diocese benefits from the annual Catholic Home Missions Appeal, which is April 28-29 in parishes throughout the diocese.  In 2017, the diocese received $50,000 to assist with seminarian education, hispanic ministry; a pontifical S.T.L. degree and a Canon Law School for clergy members.

The Catholic Home Missions Appeal was established in 1998 by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to support missions in America. There are 90 mission dioceses in the U.S.  “The Diocese of Salina must continue to plan for the future by insuring we have a pool of priests ready to assume leadership roles in key ministries,” said Beth Shearer, Director of Stewardship and Development for the diocese. “Because of this need, the diocese asked Catholic Home Missions to support the education of two younger priests.”

Shearer said the median age for a priest in the diocese is 63. Some of the priests who are in leadership roles could potentially retire, and in order for a smooth transition to occur, new clergy needed to be educated and trained prior to any retirements.  The advanced education for Father Peter O’Donnell and Father Nick Parker was partially paid for via a grant from Catholic Home Missions.

As a canon lawyer, Father O’Donnell assists with the marriage tribunal, which deals almost exclusively with the validity of marriages.  “I’m one of the judges for the marriage tribunal,” he said. “This education has allowed me to be part of the team for the tribunal, to examine and process and decide nullity (CQ) cases.”  Before Father O’Donnell completed his degree, the Salina Diocese had two tribunal judges, Shearer said.  “To follow best practices we need three judges,” she said. “Ideally, that priest should be younger to insure continuity for the tribunal ministries.”

With Msgr. Barry Brinkman on sabbatical, Father O’Donnell said he has extra responsibility in keeping the cases moving through the annulment process.  Yet the canon law degree, which he completed in June 2017, deals with more than marriage. It gives him the knowledge and background to give insight relating to specifics of Baptism. He’s also received practical questions from clergy members regarding endowments for parishes or schools.  “Canon law helps to navigate what can be a potentially tricky situation, trying to understand the role of the bishop and pastor in a parish endowment,” he said.

Based at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Herington, Father O’Donnell also serves St. Philip in Hope and St. Columba in Elmo, in addition to his weekly duties at the marriage tribunal office in the chancery.  As someone who deals with the end of marriages, Father O’Donnell said his background in canon law assists with marriage formation.  “I’m trying to strengthen my approach on marriage preparation — teaching in terms of the canon law perspective of what marriage is,” he said.

The Rector of Sacred Heart Cathedral in Salina, Father Parker completed his Sacred Theology Licentiate in May 2016. He is currently completing his dissertation for the doctorate in sacred theology.  “The things I hopefully will participate in is permanent diaconate formation as well as continuing education for catechists and other religious education formation,” he said.  There is currently not a class of permanent deacons in formation, but the plan is that Father Parker will assist Father Frank Coady in the education of the next group.

“The permanent diaconate is very much a call. It is a call to holy orders. It is an ordination,” Father Parker said. “Therefore, we need permanent deacons who are very well educated themselves, and very well formed in the life of the Church. If we are going to have a permanent diaconate program, there needs to be good formation and resources put into it so we can properly form those who are called to that ministry.”  Shearer said Father Parker will also assist with other formation programs throughout the diocese, including assisting formation of those who teach within the parish.

“Now, our average person is much more literate and educated. People have become more advanced, as the world advances, so to does the priest need to advance, in order to help the average person keep growing in their faith,” Father Parker said. “That’s why further education is so important, so we can continue to provide furthering of faith to a much more advanced society.”  Money from the Catholic Home Missions Appeal also assists seminarian education, which runs the diocese about $400,000 per year, said Father Kevin Weber, Co-Vocations Director for the diocese. It also helps to fund Hispanic Ministry programs throughout the diocese.

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Catholic News Headlines

  • IMAGE: CNS photo/Carlo Allegri, ReutersBy TORONTO (CNS) -- Toronto Cardinal Thomas Collins called for special prayers after a van jumped a curb and killed at least 10 people on a busy Toronto street. Although officials said the April 23 incident did not appear to be terrorism, they said it did appear to be deliberate. Cabinet members from leading industrialized nations were meeting in Toronto in preparation for a G-7 summit in Quebec in June. "I invite the Catholic community across the Archdiocese of Toronto to join me in offering our prayers for all those who were killed and injured in the violent incident earlier today," the cardinal said in a statement. "I will be asking all 225 Catholic churches in the Archdiocese of Toronto to offer special prayer intentions this week for all those who have suffered. Let us all unite in our efforts to bring comfort and care to those who are hurting today." Authorities identified the driver as Alek Minassian, who was charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder. The Associated Press reported witnesses said he appeared to intentionally jump a curb in the North York neighborhood as people filled the sidewalks on a warm afternoon. He continued for more than a mile, knocking out a fire hydrant and leaving bodies strewn in his wake. Basilian Father Thomas Rosica, CEO of the Toronto-based Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation, tweeted: "Death toll of today's horrific accident is now at 10 with many more in critical condition. Tonight we celebrated Mass for all who have died. Such senseless, horrible killing of many innocent people who were outside enjoying our first taste of spring. God bless Toronto tonight."- - -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/Paul HaringBy Cindy WoodenROME (CNS) -- Cones raised in the air, the crowd gathered for dinner at the Sant'Egidio Community's soup kitchen toasted Pope Francis on his name day, the feast of St. George. The gelato was offered by the pope, born Jorge Mario Bergoglio, as part of his name day celebration April 23. He provided 3,000 servings of ice cream -- mostly vanilla cones with chocolate and nuts on top, but also a few pistachio cones and a couple strawberry ones -- to soup kitchens and homeless shelters around Rome. "It's not like gelato is the only thing he gives away," said Ruggiero, who passed on the cones because, he said, at his age -- 70-something -- "I'm watching my physique." "Everything this pope does he does for the poor," Ruggiero told Catholic News Service. "And then there's his smile." Alberto, roughly the same age, was seated next to Ruggiero for the dinner, which began with a course of gnocchi, then moved on to the main course of veal and potatoes and would normally have finished with fruit. Oranges were the day's offering. "It's a very charming gesture," said Alberto as he unwrapped his cone at the kitchen in Rome's Trastevere neighborhood. The two men, along with five other friends, had begun their evening in the tiny Church of San Calisto, where they join in singing evening prayer and prayers for peace twice a month. Then they walk to the soup kitchen nearby for dinner. One of the seven gentlemen wrote their names in big letters on the paper place mats to save their seats. But there is always room for one more. And they take turns filling each other's water glasses, passing out the food and collecting the dirty plates before the next course. Across the room, Antonino Siragusa was eating, but also helping to serve. He said he has met the pope "six times. He's a good person, very lively. He smiles and will meet anyone." Before the meal began, he admitted he had not known it was the pope's name day, but he was glad to hear it. "I love sweets," he said. "This is great!"- - -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/Vatican MediaBy Cindy WoodenVATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Italian government granted citizenship to Alfie Evans, a seriously ill British toddler, in a last-minute effort to prevent doctors in England from withdrawing life-support. The Italian foreign ministry, in a brief note April 23, said Angelino Alfano, the foreign minister, and Marco Minniti, the interior minister, "granted Italian citizenship to little Alfie." "The Italian government hopes that being an Italian citizen would allow the immediate transfer of the baby to Italy," the foreign ministry said. The baby's parents, Tom Evans and Kate James, lost their latest legal battle April 23 to prevent doctors from removing Alfie's life-support when the European Court of Human Rights refused to intervene. Doctors in the U.K. have not been able to make a definitive diagnosis of the 23-month-old child's degenerative neurological condition, but they have said keeping him on life-support would be "futile." A high court judge backed a lower court's ruling that the hospital can go against the wishes of the family and withdraw life-support. Tom Evans flew to Rome and met Pope Francis April 18, begging the pope to help get his son "asylum" in Italy. The Vatican-owned Bambino Gesu hospital in Rome has offered to care for Alfie. Three specialists from Bambino Gesu had flown to Liverpool and examined Alfie. According to the president of Bambino Gesu, "a positive outcome would be difficult, but the baby's suffering can be alleviated."- - -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/Jorge Cabrera, ReutersBy Junno Arocho EstevesVATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis called for an end to violence in Nicaragua after several days of protests against proposed social security legislation led to the deaths of more than two dozen people. "I express my closeness in prayer to that country and I am united with the bishops in asking that every form of violence end, that a pointless shedding of blood be avoided and that open issues be resolved peacefully and with a sense of responsibility," the pope said April 22 after praying the "Regina Coeli" prayer with pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square. The pope said he was "very worried about what is happening these days in Nicaragua," where citizens took to the streets beginning April 18 after the government announced changes to the nation's social security system. The proposed overhaul, which would have increased pension contributions while reducing benefits by 5 percent, was scrapped by Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega April 22. Ortega has been heavily criticized for his handling of the crisis, which led to the deaths of 25 people. But despite criticism of the overhaul coming from business leaders, university students and elderly pensioners, the president publicly blamed right-wing groups for the inciting violence. Outrage spread after a local journalist, Angel Gahona, was shot and killed while broadcasting the protest on Facebook Live. A police officer was also shot in the head during deadly clashes in the Nicaraguan capital, Managua. Nicaragua's Catholic bishops called for peaceful demonstrations and sheltered protesters in the cathedral of Managua. Auxiliary Bishop Silvio Jose Baez of Managua has been outspoken in his support of student protesters who have been targeted. In an April 22 tweet, he urged the president to engage in constructive dialogue. "President Daniel Ortega, abandon your arrogant attitude, listen to the people, embrace dialogue with sincerity, feel the pain of so many families and contribute to peace in the country," he tweeted. Bishop Baez also tweeted that he was calling on military and police forces to end the repression against protesters and "to listen to God's voice in their hearts: 'Thou shall not kill!" - - - Follow Arocho on Twitter: @arochoju.- - -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/DC ComicsBy Mark JudgeNEW YORK (CNS) -- Look! Up in the sky! It's Superman! And he's 80! The year 2018 marks eight decades since the first appearance of Superman in Action Comics No. 1. It also sees the arrival of issue 1,000 of the "Action" series. DC Comics is celebrating these milestones with a special expanded edition of Action Comics as well as a book, "80 Years of Superman: The Deluxe Edition." Action Comics No. 1,000 costs $7.99, while the book is priced at $30. Both are suitable for readers of all ages. Action Comics No. 1,000 is a series of short comics stories by popular DC writers such as Scott Snyder, Geoff Johns, Tom King and Peter J. Tomasi. The art is provided by Olivier Coipel, Rafael Albuquerque, Clay Mann, Patrick Gleason and superstar Jim Lee, among others. The stories in both volumes celebrate Superman and his commitment to fighting evil, telling the truth and being a good friend and husband (he and Lois Lane were married in 1996). Not for nothing is he called "the big blue boy scout," although in the modern world of dodgy politicians and celebrities, Superman seems deeply countercultural. His basic history is well known: Superman was created in 1933 by writer Jerry Siegel (1914-1996) and artist Joe Shuster (1914-1992). The two had become friends while attending high school together in Cleveland. Jerry Siegel's daughter, Laura Siegel Larson, penned the forward to "80 Years of Superman." She notes that her father and Shuster sold the character to DC Comics for a mere $130 -- a fact that eventually led some of Superman's fans to charge the publisher with taking advantage of the young duo. In 1976, DC gave Siegel and Shuster a pension and a "created by" credit for all time. Based on his non-Earthly origin and propensity both for saving people and urging them to repent and think of others, Superman has often been considered a Christ figure. One of the best stories in Action No. 1,000 reflects this similarity. It's the 1930s, and Superman stops a crook in his car, then hangs him from a telephone pole before letting him go. Visiting the man later, Superman offers not only judgment, but mercy. "You've had your fair share of knocks," Superman says. "And you can keep knocking the world back like you've done. Or you can make a decision today. Be that person who wasn't there for you for someone else." Touchingly, the man does just that. "80 Years of Superman: The Deluxe Edition" offers short essays about the Man of Tomorrow by writers and journalists as well as reprints of classic stories. Editor Paul Levitz includes tales ranging from 1938's Action Comics No. 1 and the first appearance of Supergirl (No. 252) to Clark Kent revealing to Lois that he is also Superman (No. 662). In No. 309, Superman gets to meet President John Kennedy. "80 Years" also features a never-published story, "Too Many Heroes," written by fan favorite Marv Wolfman. Journalist Larry Tye observes that, over the years, "Superman has evolved more than the fruit fly." In the 1930s, the Man of Steel was a crime fighter. In the '40s, he was a patriot combating Nazi aggression. In the '50s, he took on communist spies. And at the end of the Cold War, he tried to eliminate nuclear stockpiles. Today, Superman might be focusing on his day job as a journalist. That's been hinted at by Brian Michael Bendis, the star comic book writer who decamped from Marvel this year to take over the Superman franchise at DC. Along the same lines, in "80 Years of Superman," David Hajdu, author of the comic book history "The Ten-Cent Plague," smartly considers how Superman and his alter ego, Daily Planet reporter Kent, complement each other. "In his role as a godly endowed hero among humans, Superman has always been much more concerned with the dispensing of justice than the revealing of truth," Hajdu writes. "He hunts and catches villains, crooks and evildoers of all kinds -- earthy, alien, extra-dimensional or inexplicable -- and enforces a resolutely held super code of right and wrong." However, Clark Kent's mission as a reporter is "to serve the truth." Superman's creators "made clear that they saw both sides of their cleverly dualistic character as companionably heroic," Hajdu notes. Moreover, "Clark's work as a journalist often drove the narratives." - - - Judge reviews comic books and video games for Catholic News Service.- - -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.