The Catholic Diocese of Salina is currently recruiting for the position of:
Director of Stewardship and Development
Salina — For almost half of his priesthood, Father John Wolesky has spent time as a chaplain in the hospital.
“There are always people that are in need,” he said. “It’s like the old story of there being no atheists in foxholes. When people are facing dire things, they are ready to ask for help. To me, it has ben a very good ministry.”
In the summer of 1993, Father Wolesky was hired by St. John’s Regional Health Center in Salina. He weathered the merger of St. John with the Asbury-Salina Regional Medical Center in 1995.
“I can remember some nights I’d hear the kids crying in pediatric,” he said. “Sometimes I would go and bounce a kid on my knees for a half hour or an hour and the nurses were happy for the help.”
He spent 20 years doing the “early shift” with patients before morning surgery four days a week.
“I’ve seen a lot of things never expected to see in my life — both in keeping people alive and in people dying,” he said. “I just have felt very, very privileged to be a part of people’s lives when it’s very needed.”
Originally from Minnesota, Father Wolesky was accepted into the Diocese of Salina by Bishop Frederick Freking and ordained March 12, 1967 by Bishop George Speltz, the bishop of the Diocese of St. Cloud, Minn.
While his initial work with the hospital was full-time, he now spends 20 hours per week there, and the rest of the time in his parishes, Immaculate Conception in Solomon and St. Michael in Chapman.
The combination of parish and hospital work is a good fit, Father Wolesky said.
“I’ve also been glad I’ve been able to work in the parish,” he said, adding that he has been in the Solomon parish for 17 years.
Father Wolesky said he enjoys staying busy.
“I was a substitute teacher in the public high schools with my Roman collar on,” he said, adding he taught in Clyde, Clifton and Clay Center. “But times were different.”
One hobby Father Wolesky began after ordination was aviation.
Salina - Youth from across the diocese will gather April 8 and 9 at the annual CYO Convention. This year’s board selected “Expose the Truth” as the conference theme.
“Do young people really know the truth of their faith?” said Sister Barbara Ellen Apaceller, diocesan director of youth ministries. “If they don’t, they need to ask questions so they can understand the truths of the Catholic Church.”
Presenting will be Father Chester Smith, a priest from the Society of Divine Word order, who is known for his work with the Bowman Francis Ministry in Indianapolis. Sister Barbara Ellen said Father Smith spoke at convention almost a decade ago.
“He’s a powerful speaker. When he talks about Christ — he has such a passion,” she said.
In addition to Father Smith, college students will address the group.
The weekend will again be at St. Mary Grade School and Sacred Heart Junior-Senior High School at 234 and 304 E. Cloud in Salina due to ongoing construction at Salina South High School. It will include the speakers, sacraments, election of the new board, a dance Saturday night and closing Mass with Bishop Edward Weisenburger Sunday afternoon.
“One of the highlights I hear from the kids is Eucharistic Adoration time,” Sister Barbara Ellen said. “We usually have about 15 priests who come and hear confession. They have their own schedule and Mass, but they come and provide that for our young people and we’re grateful.”
Sister Barbara Ellen said she expects about 400 to attend the event, and registration is being accepted until March 10.
“Convention gives them the chance to know they’re not alone in their parish, that there are other youth in their diocese that have the same questions and concerns about their faith,” Sister Barbara Ellen said. “It gives them the chance to get to know kids throughout the diocese.”
Salina — A veteran teacher from St. Mary Grade School was given the Distinguished Teacher Award from the Kansas Association of Independent and Religious Schools Feb. 13 in Topeka.
Cindy Curran, who taught at St. Mary for nearly three decades received the award, which honors distinguished teachers serving in private or parochial schools from across Kansas.
“Cindy has been one of the most energetic, fun-loving, and creative teachers that I have ever worked with in my own career,” said Dr. Nick Compagnone, superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Salina. “The impact she has had on her students, as well as her colleagues and school, makes her most deserving of this award.”
A 1985 graduate of Marymount College in Salina, she began working as a second grade teacher at St. Mary Grade School in 1987. She taught there for 27 years in a variety of classrooms.
When Dr. Compagnone suggested altering the way science was taught for fifth and sixth grade, Curran embraced the opportunity. She organized her classroom into a lab setting with the aid of grants.
In addition to experiments, Curran organized cooperative learning projects in Junk Box Wars.
“Everybody has the same supplies and they have a set number of days to complete the project,” Curran said. “They would have to build something and we would see whose project accomplishes the goal the best.”
She also worked with students on Science Olympiad Competition, Can Rolls, sending a camera in a hot air balloon and organizing the school’s science fair.
Russell — The director of Catholic Rural Life will visit the Diocese of Salina to discuss the organization’s new document, “Vocation of the Agricultural Leader” Feb. 25.
“We are one of the most rural diocese in the country. Agriculture is our bread and butter,” said Father Richard Daise, the moderator of Rural Life Commission for the Salina Diocese. “Kansas lives and breathes agriculture.”
Jim Ennis, the Executive Director of Catholic Rural Life, which is based in Minnesota, will present the document.
“The purpose of the document and these workshops are to affirm and to remind the idea of vocation in agriculture and how important it is,” Ennis said.
The conference, which is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 25 at St. Mary Queen of Angels Parish in Russell, is the first diocesan event in the country to discuss the document. It took about three years to compose the first edition, which Ennis presented it to Pope Francis on Dec. 10 in Rome.
“Often agriculture is looked at as a business rather than a way of life,” Father Daise said.
With strong crop and livestock production, northwest Kansas is a natural location for this workshop.
“In the Salina Diocese, whether you’re a farmer or not, agriculture touches everybody one way or another,” said Tom Murphy, president of the diocese’s Rural Life Commission.
Women’s retreat is April 1 in Concordia
Concordia — In the “You’re Worth It! Day Retreat for Women,” award-winning author Danielle Bean invites women to find out their worth by seeking a deeper relationship with Jesus.
The retreat is from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 1 at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Concordia.
Using themes from her book, You’re Worth It!, Bean introduces women to the life-changing idea that they were made for an intimate relationship with a God who knows them and loves them inside and out.
Inside of this day retreat, women walk alongside the women of the Gospels and explore what it means to be fully loved by Jesus who longs to bless them, heal them, help them, fulfill them and give them a voice. The day includes Gospel readings, reflections written and led by Bean, inspirational music, personal prayer, group prayer, take-home journal, discussion questions, multi-media presentations, group dynamics, Mass, Rosary, Adoration, and Confession.
The $35 admission includes retreat, continental breakfast and lunch. Childcare available for a $15/family donation to the parish youth group.
Sacred Heart school dinner, auction is April 16 in Salina
Salina — The 34th Annual Sacred Heart Junior-Senior High School dinner and auction will feature the theme, “Madagascar, a Knight on the Island,” on April 22 at the school.
Roger and Katrina Kaiser are this year’s chairpersons.
Donations from more than 450 local and area businesses and individuals make the event possible. Proceeds support the general operating fund.
Tickets are on sale at the school’s business office at 234 E. Cloud for $50 per person or $500 for a table of 10. Company sponsorship for a table of 10 is $600 and includes advertising at the table. The ticket includes a catered gourmet buffet meal, open beverage counter, reserved seat and bid ticket.
There will be cash drawings, a live auction featuring more than 60 items and more than 500 silent auction items, including gift baskets, fine art, quilts and homemade crafts.
Annual Spaghetti Dinner is March 12 in Concordia
Concordia — Tickets are now available for the 2017 Sisters of St. Joseph Spaghetti Dinner, the biggest event of the year at the Nazareth Motherhouse.
Dinner tickets at the door will be $10 for adults and $6 for children. (Children 4 and younger eat free.)
The theme of this year’s spring fundraiser is “A Tour of Italy,” and it features activities for the whole family and performances by local musicians. There will be drawings for prizes of up to $500 cash, a silent auction and the popular “grab bag,” with gifts for $1, $2 and $3. Homemade baked goods and Easter baskets will also be available for sale.
Throughout the event, the Nazareth Gift Shop will be open.
Ticket holders in the drawing decide which prize to try for. This year there are cash prizes of $500, $350 and $250, plus a five-burner CharBroil gas grill, a Keurig coffee maker, a $100 American Express gift card and a quilt handmade by Sister Betty Suther.
Winners will be drawn about 1:30 p.m., but you need not be present to win. Bidding in the silent auction will close at the same time.