• 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/Michael Brown, Catholic OutlookBy Michael BrownNOGALES, Mexico (CNS) -- Dominican Sister Donna Markham, president and CEO of Catholic Charities USA, grew emotional talking about the harrowing stories she heard from immigrants about the life they left behind to seek refuge in the United States. "The suffering they are going through is unimaginable," she said after listening to stories from families waiting to apply for asylum at the international border at Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora. Sister Markham, who recently completed a tour of a detention facility for children in McAllen, Texas, said she wanted to visit Nogales to get the whole story behind the current public debate over immigration. "Their stories," she said, pausing to compose herself. "They are running for their lives. Literally, they left at gunpoint." She was joined July 11 at the Nogales Port of Entry by Jesuit Father Sean Carroll, executive director of the Kino Border Initiative, an organization that assists mostly families who have been sent back to Mexico following deportation proceedings. With the large influx of refugees seeking to enter the U.S., Father Carroll, along with other religious-based and nonprofit agencies in Nogales, Arizona, have set up temporary shelters and a check-in system for families seeking to enter the U.S. and to apply for asylum. Were it not for those shelters, families would have to wait in line at the port of entry in the humidity and heat of 100-plus degrees for about two weeks, Father Carroll told Catholic Outlook, newspaper of the Diocese of Tucson, Arizona. The first family Sister Markham met included 11 members, four of whom were young children. They left the Mexican state of Guerrero, one of the poorest and least safe areas in the country. Father Carroll interpreted their story, explaining how their lives had been threatened by a local political party during the recent presidential election. At the border, their biggest fear is that the father and uncle would be detained, the children taken from them, and the women deported. Knowing that risk, they waited anyway because "they were threatened with death" in their hometown, Sister Markham said. While such conditions might easily fall into the classic example of political asylum, Peg Harmon, who is executive director of Catholic Community Services in the Diocese of Tucson and has been a Catholic Charities USA board member, acknowledged that under the current vetting system, there were no guarantees. Another family -- two women and two young children -- also spoke to Sister Markham. One woman held a young girl close to her who appeared to be no older than 9 and was crying inconsolably. The mother, also from Guerrero, spoke of her husband being taken and her daughter's life being threatened. She was with another woman, with a son about same age. They had tried to cross into the U.S. in January but were stopped and deported in February. Under current U.S. policy, they would not be eligible to enter the country because of the previous attempt, but have no other place to go. Sister Maria Engracia Robles Robles, a Missionary Sister of the Eucharist, works at a "comedor" -- a combined soup kitchen and food pantry -- run by Kino Border Initiative in Nogales, Sonora. As she listened to the families' stories, she used her cellphone to put their names on the list of applicants waiting to file for asylum. Several people passing the families as they entered the U.S. from Mexico offered them candy and money. Local charities also supplied blankets and water bottles, kept in large coolers, at the border station. Following her meeting with the families, Sister Markham said there were two things she hoped to accomplish when she returns to her organization's national headquarters outside Washington. "We need to call all believers to prayer, and we have to educate people who don't have the opportunity to come here," she said. Sister Markham said that visiting Nogales was a completely different experience from her trip to visit the juveniles held in Texas. In McAllen, "they are already going through the process; there the process is very slow." "Here, it is very painful to hear the stories, to know how people have suffered to get this far, especially the children," she said. "It's emotionally overwhelming. It's more painful than I imagined." The next day in Tucson, Sister Markham was joined by Bishop Edward J. Weisenburger of Tucson at Casa Alitas, a family shelter run by Catholic Community Services. Casa Alitas receives families in transition from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, after being processed from the border and immigration court. Early July 12, two families were preparing to leave Casa Alitas and another four were being placed there. When the bishop and Sister Markham arrived, Olga, a Honduran refugee, was preparing to leave with her two children to board a bus for a three-day trip to stay with family in Baltimore. A few hours later, Valentia, a Mexican native, was leaving with her two children for her own cross-country trip to a community in New Jersey. Soon the Casa Alitas staff welcomed new families -- three from Brazil and one from Mexico -- brought to the facility by ICE. Sister Markham visited the home the night before and had a chance to spend some time with the departing families. During her morning visit, she gave hugs and smiles to the familiar faces, and later, interviews with local media who arrived to document the visit. "Our goal is to do everything we can to see that these families are treated with dignity," she told one reporter. A glance around the now-crowded living area revealed weary women and children, some of whom looked ready for a nap. Some needed clothing, which was available from a supply room. The smell of a hot breakfast began to waft out of the kitchen where signs and wipe boards and children's drawings created a homey atmosphere. Bishop Weisenburger noted that "20 percent of the Gospels is about taking care of the poor and needy." Taking care of immigrants and refugees is important for those who want "to really live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to call ourselves Christian." As she began to describe her experience from the day before, Sister Markham again paused to fight back tears after talking about "the babies sitting at the border in the heat." "I have a big heart," she explained, smiling again. Before leaving to catch her flight back east, Sister Markham showered praise upon the more than half dozen workers and volunteers gathered at Casa Alitas as new families arrived.  "I am just amazed at the staff and the level of attention they give to the families here." - - - Brown is managing editor of Catholic Outlook, newspaper of the Diocese of Tucson.- - -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 WoodenVATICAN CITY (CNS) -- World War I and its aftermath changed the map of Europe, but also dismantled the notion of the "state church" in a way that forced the Catholic Church to discover again the authentic meaning of mission, said Cardinal Pietro Parolin. After the war, Pope Benedict XV "was prompt in indicating how the missionary world must change paths, abandoning the colonial ideology in which it had been lulled and promoting autonomy, independence and ecclesial self-governance in all the areas outside Europe," said the Vatican secretary of state. Speaking at a conference July 12 anticipating the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, Cardinal Parolin looked at the wide-ranging impact of the war and its aftermath on the political map of Europe, and how that affected the fates of peoples in the Middle East and in the countries of what would become the Soviet Union. But he also spoke about Pope Benedict's 1919 apostolic letter "Maximum Illud" on the church's missionary activity. In conjunction with document's centenary, Pope Francis has asked all Catholics to celebrate a special "missionary month" in October 2019. Announcing the special commemoration, Pope Francis had said, "In 1919, in the wake of a tragic global conflict that he himself called a 'useless slaughter,' the pope recognized the need for a more evangelical approach to missionary work in the world, so that it would be purified of any colonial overtones and kept far away from the nationalistic and expansionistic aims that had proved so disastrous." "May the approaching centenary of that letter serve as an incentive to combat the recurring temptation lurking beneath every form of ecclesial introversion, self-referential retreat into comfort zones, pastoral pessimism and sterile nostalgia for the past," Pope Francis said. "Instead, may we be open to the joyful newness of the Gospel." World War I marked the end of the "state church," which was particularly strong in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Cardinal Parolin said in his lecture in the northern Italian city of Aquileia. The government had power in the appointment of bishops and controlled the seminaries and a variety of religious institutions, all of which fed into a mentality that emphasized national belonging over the universality of the Catholic faith, the cardinal said. "Maximum Illud," he said, was "the manifesto of a missionary and political revolution whose importance still has not been recognized as it deserves." "In the encyclical," the cardinal said, "the pope ordered European missionaries to free themselves of nationalism, of the idea of European superiority over the peoples then seen as subordinate, to promote local languages rather than the language of the conquerors, (and) to train and to value indigenous clergy so that 'one day they will be able to take up the spiritual leadership of their people.'" Pope Benedict knew it would take some time to change mentalities and ensure the proper training of local clergy in view of their leadership of their communities, Cardinal Parolin said. But he also knew that the church had to act both out of respect for the God-given dignity of all peoples and cultures as well as because "the Catholic Church also would have been shaken by the imminent end of colonial structures." Pope Pius XI continued the path dictated by Pope Benedict, he said, and in the 1930s nominated the first local Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese and African bishops.- - -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/Carlos Barria, ReutersBy Rhina GuidosWASHINGTON (CNS) -- Some of migrant children under age 5 separated from their families by the government were reunited with loved ones July 9 with help from Catholic organizations. About two dozen families in all were brought back together on that date with help from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Migration and Refugee Services, Catholic Charities USA and a network of other agencies from around the country. In all, the Catholic agencies will help reunite 55 families by mid-July and provide short-term care, such as food and shelter, said Bill Canny, executive director of MRS. "What we're trying to do is give people who have had a dose of bad, we're trying to give them a dose of good," said Canny in a July 12 interview with Catholic News Service. "Protection of families is a foundational element of Catholic social teaching and this moment calls on all people of goodwill to lend a hand to reunite these children with their parents," said a joint statement issued the same day by MRS and Catholic Charities USA. The children and families were earlier separated by a policy implemented by the Trump administration at the U.S.-Mexico border, seeking to deter illegal border crossings. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in May that people risking improper entry would be subject to having their children taken away, if caught. The Catholic Church, along with much of the country, condemned the policy and has been advocating for the families' reunification. After much public outcry and widespread condemnation of the family separation policy, President Donald Trump signed an executive order June 20 saying families would no longer be separated but may be detained together during the process of prosecution and deportation at the border. The U.S. bishops have expressed concerns with that possibility, asking for alternatives to detention but seemed intent on lessening the damage already done. Trump administration officials said that 2,342 children had been separated from 2,206 parents at the U.S.-Mexico border between May 5 and June 9 as part of the previous policy. The administration was given until July 10 to reunite children under 5 with their families, but administration officials had said July 9 that they would not be able to meet that deadline. The administration has until July 26 to reunite all of the more than 2,000 children who have been separated from parents.Canny said the organizations are trying to raise funds for the effort and anyone wanting to help can donate to Catholic Charities USA, www.catholiccharitiesusa.org. The families of children under 5 that the Catholic organizations helped were reunited at government facilities and then transferred into the care of Catholic Charities organizations around the country, as well as the Annunciation House in the El Paso, Texas/Juarez, Mexico, border region. They will be assisted with follow-up care for two months as many will leave the facilities and head toward a destination with family or a sponsor somewhere in the U.S. Canny said the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as well as the Office of Refugee Resettlement reached out to the Catholic organizations, as well as the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service in early July to help with the reunifications. "They know we are able to tap into a vast Catholic network across the country, which proves valuable for humanitarian and disaster response," he said. - - -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/Tyler OrsburnBy Mark PattisonWASHINGTON (CNS) -- Newspapers of every type, Catholic papers included, are seeking relief from the U.S. government after six months of increased costs due to tariffs on imported Canadian newsprint. The Catholic Press Association, which includes English-speaking Canada, is a member of the STOPP Coalition, which has pressed the Commerce Department for relief. STOPP is an acronym for Stop Tariffs on Printers and Publishers. Price increases due to the tariffs have socked the Pittsburgh Catholic three times already this year, according to Carmella Weismantle, advertising director and business manager. "And we've been told more are coming," she said. The newsprint tariff is different from the tariffs imposed by the Trump administration on goods produced elsewhere, most notably China. In the newsprint situation, a U.S. company, NORPAC, which owns a mill in Washington state, had complained that Canada was unfairly subsidizing its newsprint production. The U.S. Department of Commerce agreed, and tariffs were first slapped onto newsprint imports in January. Tim Walter, CPA executive director, said the CPA board had agreed to join STOPP after CPA president Joe Towalski, editor of The Visitor, newspaper of the Diocese of St. Cloud, Minnesota, had recommended it. Walter added that Towalski noted the CPA had joined the alliance during this year's Catholic Media Convention in June, although no questions were raised about the issue afterward. "There was no financial commitment involved" in joining STOPP, Walter told Catholic News Service in a July 12 telephone interview. "They didn't ask us to participate in meetings at this point in time. They just asked us to join the alliance." Other members of STOPP include a number of regional press organizations as well as national groups like the News Media Alliance, the American Society of News Editors, the Association of Alternative Newsmedia and the Association of American Publishers. Printers, paper makers and even the National Grocers Association, whose members' ads appear in newspapers nationwide, are in the coalition. Walter noted that the CPA's monthly newspaper, The Catholic Journalist, has been affected by the tariff. "It's traditional we would have a printer do our work pro bono, but because of the increase in print costs and newsprint costs, they're asking us to pay the costs of newsprint for the first time in many years," he said. "We were warned" about future increases, Weismantle said. "We knew that this was coming down the pike. And our printer told us, 'We have no alternative but to pass it on to our customers.' I mean, what are they supposed to do?" Mark Cohen, president of the Pennsylvania News Media Association, was part of a group lobbying six Pennsylvania members of Congress in June. "They made it sound like they'd heard of it, but they didn't realize the calamity it would cause newspapers," Cohen told CNS July 11. "We said, 'Look, you believe in jobs, obviously. ' You believe in First Amendment rights. You believe in real news vs. fake news. You want good local reporters on the street. If you do, you need to be on our side. You can't have it both ways. ... You have to be with us.'" Cohen said, "I think we have momentum. We were way behind the starting line on this and we were all caught off guard. Now that we're mobilized, we're getting the message out. We're getting attention. Of course, we can't predict how this goes." One potential remedy is a hearing before the International Trade Commission to lift the tariff, which is supposed to last for five years with annual review. The commission conducted a hearing July 7 on the tariff and is slated to vote on it Aug. 28, although its rationale, yea or nay, wouldn't be known until September, according to Paul Boyle, senior vice president of public policy for the news Media Alliance. "Many newspapers have taken steps to cut the number of pages that they produce. Some have laid off workers, which is not a good situation," Boyle said. Cohen added some newspapers have reduced the number of days they print; the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette will now publish in print just five days a week. Another remedy being pushed is the PRINT Act, introduced by Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Angus King, I-Maine. It has 24 Senate co-sponsors and 28 House co-sponsors. PRINT is an acronym for Protecting Rational Incentives in Newsprint Trade. The bill would suspend the tariff on Canadian newsprint and require the Commerce Department to review the economic health of the printing and publishing industries.- - -Follow Pattison on Twitter: @MeMarkPattison- - -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 filesBy Cindy WoodenVATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Documents in the Vatican Secret Archives and the archives of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith prove it was a "myth" that Blessed Paul VI largely set out on his own in writing "Humanae Vitae," the 1968 encyclical on married love and the regulation of births. In anticipation of the encyclical's 50th anniversary, Pope Francis gave special access to the archives to Msgr. Gilfredo Marengo, a professor at Rome's Pontifical John Paul II Theological Institute for Marriage and Family Sciences. The results of his research were published in Italian in early July in the book, "The Birth of an Encyclical: 'Humanae Vitae' in the Light of the Vatican Archives." In a note to reporters, Msgr. Marengo said his research revealed four little-known facts: Pope Paul approved an encyclical, "De Nascendae Prolis" ("On a Child's Birth"), in early May 1968, but was convinced by translators in the Vatican Secretariat of State that it still needed work; a new draft was corrected by hand by Pope Paul; on several occasions the future St. John Paul II sent suggestions, including an extensive treatment of the theme, but there is no evidence that they were used heavily in the final document; and Pope Paul asked the 199 bishops at the 1967 world Synod of Bishops to send him reflections on the theme of the regulation of births. Msgr. Marengo said the request to the synod members was a surprise. It is not included in any report about the synod itself. "The news about the desire of the pope to consult all the members of the synodal assembly is very important," he said, "because one of the accusations repeated most often after the publication of 'Humanae Vitae' was that the pope decided to act alone, in a manner that was not collegial." The pope received only 25 responses in the period between Oct. 9, 1967, and May 31, 1968, Msgr. Marengo said. And, perhaps more surprising, of those, only seven bishops asked Pope Paul to repeat the Catholic Church's teaching against the use of contraceptives. The other responses -- including a joint U.S. response from Cardinal Lawrence Shehan of Baltimore, Cardinal John Krol of Philadelphia, Archbishop John Dearden of Detroit and Bishop John Wright of Pittsburgh -- exhibited an openness to the use of artificial birth control in some circumstances, however "none of them would say that using the pill is a good thing," Msgr. Marengo told Catholic News Service. Bishop Fulton J. Sheen of Rochester, New York, and Cardinal Karol Wojtyla of Krakow, Poland -- the future Pope John Paul II -- were among the seven bishops urging a reaffirmation of church teaching that using contraceptives was wrong. "The pope never thought of proceeding alone, putting the collegial profile of the Petrine ministry in parentheses," Msgr. Marengo wrote. But consultation is not the same thing as taking a vote. And bishops were not the only ones asked for their input. Long before the synod, and before Pope Paul was elected to lead the church, St. John XXIII had appointed a small committee to study the issue of the regulation of birth. Pope Paul expanded the commission, which included several married couples. The commission's work ended in 1966 with the leaking of a report by the majority of members asserting artificial contraception was not intrinsically evil; minority reports, insisting contraception was morally wrong, were leaked in response. After reading the commission reports and the bishops' input, Msgr. Marengo wrote, Pope Paul "found himself in a situation that was not easy. His judgment had matured, and he felt obliged in conscience to express it in virtue of his apostolic ministry, knowing well that going in that direction would place him at a predictable and painful distance from sectors of the church community that were not marginal." In fact, less than a week after the encyclical was published, Pope Paul held a general audience and spoke about just how weighty the decision was. "Never before have we felt so heavily, as in this situation, the burden of our office," he said July 31, 1968. "We studied, read and discussed as much as we could; and we also prayed very much about it." For Msgr. Marengo, the process of drafting "Humanae Vitae" cannot be understood without recognizing the changes in the church unleased by the Second Vatican Council, including on the theme of marriage and parenthood. "Since the council in 'Gaudium et Spes' recognized 'responsible parenthood' as a value -- changing in a fundamental way the vision of marriage -- the idea of many was that it required a change in the church's sexual morality as well," he told CNS. "The difficulty for Pope Paul VI was in how to explain that the use of contraceptives was not licit, but to do so in the light of an affirmation of responsible parenthood," he said. The encyclical's emphasis on the "inseparable connection" between the "unitive and the procreative" qualities of married love, he said, marked a significant change in church teaching from before Vatican II; previously, the church taught that the primary purpose of marriage was for procreation. Blessed Paul's personal work in rewriting the encyclical's "pastoral directives" also reflects the teaching of Vatican II, he said. Previously, "the magisterial task was to explain, and the pastoral task was to tell people to accept." "'You must obey' was the classic pastoral approach," Msgr. Marengo said. But, he said, "Pope Paul broke this schema, saying, 'I will explain the teaching and if you try to understand it, you will see that it is true and is what is best for you.'" - - - Follow Wooden on Twitter: @Cindy_Wooden- - -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.