Salina — The seminarian collection is scheduled for Nov. 11 and 12 in all parishes across the diocese. Funding the education of our seminarians is key to the growth of future priests for our Diocese of Salina.
This year, the diocese has 10 men studying to become priests. The cost to educate them is more than $400,000 this year. The collection typically accounts for about 20 percent of the annual amount needed.
In a letter to parishioners in this Register, Bishop Edward Weisenburger, Diocesan Administrator for the diocese, discusses the blessing of these men along with the challenge to pay for their education. He asks for financial help.
“As we ask for your generosity, we also ask you to keep in mind the generosity demonstrated by our seminarians, who are giving God and His Church the gift of their lives,” he writes. “Again, I humbly invite you to prayerfully consider a gift to this very important collection for these fine men of the Diocese of Salina.”
“No single means of fundraising covers the annual educational costs,” said Beth Shearer, director of stewardship and development for the diocese. “The funds come through a combination of outright gifts, the Catholic Community Annual Appeal, the spring dinner, endowments, grants and the seminarian collection. The diocese is constantly looking at new sources to help fund seminarian education.”
The diocese pays for seminarian education so that no man declines the call to a priestly vocation because of his inability to pay. It can take up to eight years to complete that education.
“Having the funding available,” Shearer said, “makes it possible to continue encouraging men to consider their call to the priesthood.” With a gift to the seminarian fund, individuals are becoming partners in the effort to educate our future priests.
It is also important to pray for the current seminarians and for an increase in vocations. “These men are indeed a blessing, and we are grateful for their ‘yes’ to discernment. Yet the need for future priests is great in our diocese,” Shearer said.
In addition to the annual collection, people can support the education of seminarians in a number of ways:
As a reminder, a poster of this year’s seminarians is inserted in this issue.
Crowd gathers Oct. 29 to say thanks, farewell to bishop
Salina — To a crowded Sacred Heart Cathedral on Oct. 29, Bishop Edward Weisenburger summed up his years in the diocese simply: “Thank you, thank you, thank you.” “It is bittersweet, but truly a joy to celebrate this Mass with you,” he said as Mass began. “It’s hard to leave a happy home,” Bishop Weisenburger continued during his homily. “When I got here, I began going around our diocese that I knew somewhat from my childhood. What I saw was beautiful churches — and I love beautiful churches — what I found behind those beautiful structures that dot the countryside was equally, if not more beautiful communities of the faithful. Good women and men who continue to live that law so beautifully spelled out in our Gospel today.” The reading for the Oct. 29 Mass of Thanksgiving and Farewell was Matthew 22 where Jesus tells the scholars “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. … You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” “It sounds initially like two things: God and neighbor,” Bishop Weisenburger said. “But it’s really three: love and God and neighbor.”
Love is the root, and both God and neighbor flow from love, he said. “You have to shake the stuff out of your head you’ve gotten from Hallmark cards and schmaltzy music,” he said. “That’s not love. That’s saccharine sweet and it’s tempting, but it’s not the kind of love that Jesus is talking about. The kind of love he’s talking about is given its most beautiful expression on the cross.” Bishop Weisenburger highlighted the support of Catholic Charities of Northern Kansas, which opened a new headquarters in Salina on April 3. “I am humbled when I look at your concern for the poor,” he said. “Catholic Charities certainly comes to mind and the way the ministries their have grown and done such wonderful things to impact Christ as Christ is found in the poor.”
He also highlighted the youth programs. “I think the future here is nothing but bright,” he said, pointing out that Sister Barbara Ellen Apaceller will take more than 800 youth to the National Catholic Youth Conference Nov. 16-19. “Not only will they be revved up, but they will come home and rev up their communities,” Bishop Weisenburger said. He also praised Prayer and Action, the summer program where youth provide missionary service to a community within the diocese. “When you take young people and give them half a day digging in and doing real work for people in need and link it to theological reflection and prayer, the Gospel comes alive in our young people,” he said. “You can see how it flows into vocations … fine young women going into religious life, young men into seminary and many fine young people going out into the world.”
Hays — Around his neck, Chase Kear wears a medal of Servant of God Father Emil Kapaun. Such a devotion isn’t rare in Kansas, but Kear’s connection is deeper than a passing devotion. The senior at Fort Hays State University is one of the alleged miracles attributed to Father Kapaun. On Oct. 2, 2008, Kear was a sophomore at Hutchinson Community College and a pole-vaulting member of the community college’s track team. During practice, he said he was talking trash with his friends, and decided to try to break a pole during practice. “I was being cocky,” Kear said. “I wasn’t being safe. I was being a dumb kid.” He said everything would have been fine if the pole broke, as they all expected it to.
But it didn’t. “It reacted funny, it way over flexed,” he said. “Because the pole reacted funny, I was 12 or 14 feet in the air, flying outwards, not upwards. I saw the back edge of the pit coming and had a split second to decide if I should turn to land on my back or my butt.” He turned, angling to land on his backside, but he bounced, flipped and “hit my head, a couple inches above my right eye,” he said, arching his pointer finger across his forehead, from one temple to the other. “It broke across my hair line.” His survival seems impressive, but that’s not the potential miracle Kear said the Vatican is examining. “It was highly unlikely that I would live, but still possible,” he said. “This … the recovery …. the fact that we’re talking … the extent and speed of the recovery is what the Vatican is investigating.” Kear said surgeons removed 25 percent of his right frontal lobe during the course of surgery. “I had to re-learn how to eat and walk. I had to re-learn everything. I did it from deathbed to front door in one month and 19 days.”
Fifty-one days. From the accident on Oct. 2, 2008 to his homecoming on Nov. 21, 2008. For the first two weeks, Kear was in a coma. “It was maybe 17 or 18 days before I realized it wasn’t a dream,” he said. “You can hear when you’re in a coma. It’s scary. I was hearing all these voices telling me goodbye, to stay strong, fight, what people tell you when they think you’re going to die.” But he didn’t. His younger brothers, Cole and Clay took his cause to social media, creating a prayer page, with the request to pray to Father Kapaun for healing. “It blew up because my brothers put the prayer on Facebook,” Kear said. “There are people in other countries that were praying this prayer.”
Father Kapaun was a priest from the Diocese of Wichita. Pilsen, his hometown, is a few miles from the southern border of the Salina Diocese. He was ordained a priest on June 9, 1940. After a few years of service in the Diocese, he answered the call for chaplains during World War II and entered the U.S. Army Chaplain Corps in 1944. Captured while serving troops in North Korea, Father Kapaun put into a prison camp, where he continued to minister to prisoners of all denominations until he died on May 23, 1951. In 1993, the Archdiocese of the Military received approval from the Vatican to begin exploring the cause for Sainthood for Father Kapaun. After many years of the project being on hold with the military archdiocese, the Diocese of Wichita took over the cause, and on June 29, 2008, the Diocese of Wichita opened the cause for canonization in Pilsen.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
“Behind and before every vocation to the priesthood or to the consecrated life there is always the strong and intense prayer of someone: a grandmother, a grandfather, a mother, a father, a community. This is why Jesus said: ‘Pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest’ (Mt 9:38). This is echoed beautifully by Pope Francis who reminds us “vocations are born in prayer and from prayer; and only through prayer can they persevere and bear fruit.”
As I now prepare to leave the Diocese of Salina, I realize that of the many wonderful people I leave behind, our beloved seminarians are high on my list. The fact that we have ten good men currently discerning a possible call to priesthood after the ordination in June of three other good men we now call father, gives me great hope for our diocese. Their generous response to the Lord’s call is humbling. One of the questions I have been asked as I leave for Arizona is how have I been able to find such good men willing to enter the seminary. They are indeed good men and I have truly been proud to be their Bishop. In the end, I would say that it has been the prayers and support of those within our diocese that have provided us with such a blessing. It cannot be denied that along with the blessing, however, is the challenge of paying for their education. It is a wonderful challenge to have, but a challenge nonetheless.
The annual seminarian collection will take place in all our parishes on the weekend of Nov. 11-12. This special collection assists us with current seminarian expenses. The current annual cost for seminary education begins at $40,000 for each seminarian! The total cost to the Diocese runs around $400,000 this year. While endowed funds generate approximately $100,000 each year for seminary education, your support is also necessary, and I now ask for your help.
In today’s issue of The Register is your personal copy of this year’s seminarian poster. I ask that you place it in your home where you will see it daily to help remind you to remember these men in your prayers. I would also share with you that we continue to have men make inquires about priesthood. We are blessed to have Father Kevin Weber and Father Gale Hammerschmidt as our co-vocation directors and they do excellent work with recruitment as well as guiding vocations.
As we ask for your generosity, we also ask you to keep in mind the generosity demonstrated by our seminarians, who are giving God and his Church the gift of their lives. Again, I humbly invite you to prayerfully consider a gift to this very important collection for these fine men of the Diocese of Salina.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Rev. Edward J. Weisenburger
Administrator, Diocese of Salina
I’m so excited to present this anniversary edition of The Register for you!
Every day, I walk into my office and am greeted by a framed copy of the very first issue of The Register from 1937. Sometimes, I will re-read the stories, thinking about where our diocese was 80 years ago and where it is today. These thoughts snowballed into the newspaper that is now in your hands. It is a bit of a retrospective.
History isn’t a subject that often captures my attention, but looking back at where we’ve been as a diocese has been fascinating. I hope you enjoy reading the stories from our first paper, and seeing the follow-up.
We’ve come so far in 80 years. The diocesan seat moved from Concordia to Salina in 1945. We’ve had eight bishops since our first paper published. We’re under the guidance of our eighth pope since 1937. Much has changed.
While change is inevitable, the bedrock of our faith remains the same. The strength and dedication of Catholics in Northwest Kansas is constant. People love their Church and take pride in raising their children in the faith. This was evident as I made several road trips around the diocese this summer, meeting parishioners and hearing of their faith journeys.
It is such a joy to capture these stories and share them with you, the readers of the diocese. It is an honor. It is a slice of time, and a capsule of history.
While history isn’t my forte, I do enjoy forging through my folders and looking at the historical pictures (once a photographer, always a photographer! I’m a sucker for those historic black and white photos). It’s even better if I can convince one of our retired priests to sit with me while I do so, and tell me stories about the photos.
As I look into the future, it’s my dream to begin to scan the photos and form a digital archive. We’ll see where God takes us and how he provides to make this happen.
Even as I paused to look back, I also look to the future.
The most obvious future I look at is our new bishop, who is yet to be appointed. He will be the 12th bishop of the Salina Diocese. I know he will also look forward to the history that we all will collectively write as we move forward together.
Salina — In its 80 year history, The Register’s most noteworthy editor remains Msgr. Raymond Menard. A priest for 67 years for the Diocese of Salina, he was the editor for six decades, serving from 1944 until 2006 when he retired. He had a brief break from duties at the newspaper from 1971 to 1975. “It was his passion,” said Doug Weller, who took the helm of The Register upon Msgr. Menard’s retirement. “Virtually his entire time in the diocese was producing The Register on top of being hospital chaplain (at St. John’s Hospital in Salina) for most of that time. It’s pretty amazing when you think about it.” An ever-present presence at diocesan events, Msgr. Menard was known for having a camera in his hand. “So many people would say ‘You’d know monsignor was there because you would see two arms sticking up in the crowd with a camera,’ ” Weller said, and added that Msgr. Menard was about 5 feet, 4 inches tall, so it was necessary to hoist his camera into the air to capture photographs of an event.
The Northwest Kansas Register published its first edition on Nov. 21, 1937 in the Diocese of Salina. It was one of many Register newspapers established by Msgr. Matthew Smith in Denver. The “Register” newspapers contained several pages of local content, provided by a diocesan editor and diocesan contributors. It was delivered every Sunday, and an annual subscription cost $1.
The Jan. 18, 1941 newspaper reads: “In the summer of 1936, Father Brown was connected with the Chancery and was sent by the Bishop in the fall of that year to the Register school of journalism, where he later received the degree of bachelor of journalism. “Bishop Tief recalled Father Brown to Concordia in October of 1937 and appointed him as editor and business manager of the Northwestern Kansas Register, which started publication Nov. 21, 1937. Father Brown has served in this capacity since that time and has effected a steady development of the diocesan organ. It now reaches every Catholic household in the diocese, which numbers approximately 43,000 Catholics.” In 1941, Father Brown — who later became Msgr. Brown — was appointed chaplain of Catholic Boy Scout troops of the Diocese of Concordia, and Father Bernard Jaster became the editor from 1941-44.
Over the years, diocesan newspapers transitioned from the national platform of The Register to a local one, where an editor was responsible for all of the content in the newspaper, not just the local news. Msgr. Menard was appointed to The Register in 1944. In 1945, the seat of the diocese moved from Concordia to Salina, and with it, Msgr. Menard.
A July 28, 2006 story about Msgr. Menard says: As Register editor, Monsignor traveled frequently. In the early days, that often was with the bishop, and he developed close relationships with them. He laughed at one recollection. “Bishop (Daniel) Kucera would say, ‘My God, don’t quote everything I say. I’m running out of material.’ ”
Salina — In 1937, Marymount College was home to 150 women. Now, 80 years later, it is a home of a different sort. After the college closed in 1989, Don and Mona Marrs purchased the former administration building. “My family moved into the building in 1992,” said Dahx Marrs. “My parents renovated space for their family. (Dad) moved his architecture practice here and we started leasing commercial office space at the same time.” Now grown, Dahx, his wife Colleen and their four boys live in Marymount, along with Don and Mona Marrs and about 20 other families.
The upper five floors were converted into condominiums, in addition to other upgrades. “We’ve added an underground parking garage and returned the sunken garden on top of it,” Dahx Marrs said. “In the interior, we’ve tried to maintain the look and feel of the historic architecture. The chapel has not changed, and it’s our intent that the chapel is preserved.” The building acts as host to prom for Sacred Heart Jr./Sr. High School every spring. “They also have local concerts in the chapel,” Dahx Marrs said of the Catholic high school.
Sister Bernadine Pachta, archivist for the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia, said the religious order opened Marymount College in 1922. “The first graduating class of Marymount was 1926,” she said. “There were seven women in that graduating class.” The college was a liberal arts college that began as a women’s college, but became co-ed in 1967. In 1977, it had its largest enrollment of 877 students. Over the course of its 67 years, the college educated nearly 7,000 students.
In 1983, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia transferred ownership of the college to the Diocese of Salina. The final class of 62 women and 30 men graduated, and the college was closed on June 30, 1989. For more information regarding the renovation, please visit www.marymountproperties.com.
Salina — The Catholic Community Foundation is currently accepting grant applications for the 2018 Bishop’s Fund.
Any Catholic entity with innovative ideas or projects within the Diocese of Salina is welcome to apply. The maximum amount of funding for each grant is $5,000. The Bishop and the board of the Catholic Community Foundation will review and determine grant awards at their December meeting. Funding will be available for the 2018 calendar year.
The application process is completely online at the diocesan website, salinadiocese.org. Click here to go to the "Grants" page. All applications are due Dec. 1, 2017.
“This is a helpful way for parishes, schools and ministries to access funding for a project that could not be funded in their annual budget,” said Beth Shearer, executive director of the foundation. “The board is delighted to make these innovative and new projects possible. This follows the original intent of the Bishop’s Fund. We are proud partners with our grantees in fulfilling their missions across our diocese. Together we are strengthening our Catholic community of faith.”
Last year, the Bishop’s Fund awarded $33,272 for various projects. Donors wanting to help the Bishop underwrite important projects established the Bishop’s Fund in 2008. Each year the diocese continues to receive donations to the Bishop’s Fund.
Applications are open to all parishes, Catholic schools and Catholic ministries within the diocese. The following are examples of grants that will be considered.
The Foundation will NOT consider grants to the following:
Inquiries CAN be directed to Shearer at (785) 827-8746, ext. 42, or beth.shearer@ salinadiocese.org.
“JAMESTOWN — Extensive improvements on the interior of St. Mary’s church were completed this week. The cost of the improvements represents an expenditure of about $1,100.”
~ The Register, Nov. 21, 1937
With 30 families in the small-town parish about 12 miles west of Concordia, the renovation was a big one. An arch was added between the sanctuary and nave, as well as improvements of the ceiling of the church. Additionally, oak floors were placed in the sanctuary, and steps were added in front of the communion rail, according to a historic Register article. Additionally, the Altar Society contributed “gothic style light fixtures, an organ, furnishings for the sanctuary and paid to have the statues refinished.”
Father James Grennan’s family moved four miles west of Jamestown when he was nine years old. His father, William, assisted with re-shingling the church during the 1937 improvements. The enthusiasm was short-lived for the parish, when in December 1948, the “the church burned “to the walls.” A six-inch coat of plaster saved the walls though some of the bell tower stone was cracked and had to be removed. This made the tower seven feet shorter in the reconstructed building.”
The loss was $40,000 to the parish, and Mass was celebrated in the basement of the rectory while the church was rebuilt. Father Grennan and Bob Vering were in the St. Louis Preparatory Seminary when the fire struck the church in 1948.
“Less than three weeks later we were home for Christmas vacation,” Father Grennan wrote in a recent letter. “Seeing the church we had known and loved nothing but a pile of ashes surrounded by the bare limestone walls was a shock indeed, but the good news was that after the fire cooled, Father Poell found the tabernacle in the basement all unharmed with the Blessed Sacrament also unharmed. Even the Mass Chalice was singed, but unharmed. “Father Poell offered (Christmas Eve) Midnight Mass with 120 parishioners crowded into the Rectory.”
The May 1, 1949 issue of The Register recounts: “Volunteer work figures highly in the reconstruction work of the St. Mary Church, so thoroughly gutted by fire. … On Easter Monday, 18 volunteer workers mixed and poured more than 225 sacks of concrete around the walls of the St. Mary Church. The walls were the only part of the building left after the fire and are of native stone.” The church was complete and blessed by Aug. 8, 1949.
“Two days after our ordination (in 1951), in the old Cathedral in Salina, Father Vering and myself offered our First Mass in the St. Mary Church.” The two priests were the last vocations from the parish. The church celebrated its final Mass Aug. 28, 1994. The building was sold in 1997 to the Methodist Church in Jamestown.
For The Register
In her 20s, Maria* is preparing for a career in medicine, hoping to serve the rural population of Kansas with her skills. Amid the typical struggles of college life, Maria has one added struggle: the Sept. 5 discontinuation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. At age four, she moved to the United States with her family. “Growing up as a little kid I didn’t know I wasn’t legal here,” she said. “As a little kid, I thought, ‘Oh, I can go to school. I can go to college.’ “When I grew up, my mom explained I couldn’t go to school or get a job because I didn’t have a social security number or work permit. This DACA program was going to help us.” Or it would have helped, until Sept. 5 when President Donald Trump ended the program and called on Congress to develop and pass a replacement program that could be implemented in time to continue protections or begin a new phase of immigration reform.
DACA was established by executive order in June 2012 by former President Barack Obama. The program offered temporary relief for certain individuals who came to the United States as children. While the program did not guarantee that these men and women, dubbed “Dreamers,” would obtain citizenship, it did provide them a pathway toward a more secure future by offering them the opportunity to legally hold a job or attend college. With the Trump administration’s decision, DACA discontinued its acceptance of new applications as of Sept. 5, 2017. Dreamers whose card expires before March 5, 2018, had until Oct. 5 to submit their renewal paperwork. While no alternative plan has been announced, those, like Maria, who are currently in the program will see their deferred action start to expire in the coming months. “We’re trying to not let it affect us,” says Maria during a break between her college classes. “We’re doing everything as though nothing has happened.”
Bishop Edward Weisenburger, now Bishop-elect of the Diocese of Tucson, Ariz. believes the program not only helped the participants in it, but helped the United States as a whole. He addressed the issue during a press conference introducing him to the members of his new diocese Oct. 5 in Tucson. “Most [beneficiaries] are very productive members of our society, getting a good education or holding down great jobs,” he said. “Those are the people we need today in our country.” He expressed concern about limiting the number of immigrants. “I think we need a better comprehensive legislation position on immigration in general,” he said. He also addressed Dreamers and their place in the country. “I very much want America for them, but I also really want them for America, because their gifts, their talents, their dedication reveals to us the very best of what it means to be an American,” Bishop Weisenburger said.
Para El Registro
En sus 20 años, María* se está preparando para una carrera en medicina, con la esperanza de servir a la población rural de Kansas con sus habilidades. En medio de las luchas típicas de la vida universitaria, María tiene una lucha adicional: la discontinuación del 5 de Septiembre del programa de Acción Diferida para Los Llegados en la Infancia. A los cuatro años, se mudó a los Estados Unidos con su familia. “Cuando era pequeña y mientras crecía yo no sabía que no era legal aquí”, dijo. “Cuando era un niño, pensé, ‘Oh, puedo ir a la escuela. Puedo ir a la universidad.” “Cuando crecí, mi mamá me explicó que no podía ir a la escuela o conseguir un trabajo porque no tenía un número de seguro social o permiso de trabajo. Este programa de DACA nos iba a ayudar.” O hubiera ayudado, hasta el 5 de Septiembre cuando el Presidente Donald Trump finalizó el programa y pidió al Congreso que desarrolle y apruebe un programa de reemplazo que podría implementarse a tiempo para continuar las protecciones o comenzar una nueva fase de la reforma migratoria.
DACA fue establecido por orden ejecutiva en Junio de 2012 por el ex Presidente Barack Obama. El programa ofreció alivio temporal para ciertas personas que vinieron en los Estados Unidos cuando eran niños. Si bien el programa no garantizaba que estos hombres y mujeres, llamados “Dreamers,” obtuvieran la ciudadanía, sí les proporcionó un camino hacia un futuro más seguro al ofrecerles la oportunidad de tener un empleo o asistir a la universidad legalmente. Con la decisión de la administración Trump, DACA suspendió su aceptación de nuevas solicitudes a partir del 5 de Septiembre de 2017. Los soñadores cuya tarjeta expira antes del 5 de Marzo de 2018 tenían hasta el 5 de Octubre para enviar su documentación de renovación. Mientars tanto, no avido ningun anuncio de un plan alternativo, aquellos, como María, que están actualmente en el programa verán que su acción diferida comenzarán a vencer en los próximos meses. “Estamos tratando de no dejar que nos afecte”, dice María durante un descanso entre sus clases de la universidad. “Estamos haciendo todo como si nada hubiera pasado.”
El Obispo Edward Weisenburger, ahora Obispo electo de la Diócesis de Tucson, Ariz., cree que el programa no solo ayudó a los participantes sino que ayudó a los Estados Unidos en su conjunto. Hablo de el tema durante una conferencia de prensa presentándole a los miembros de su nueva diócesis el 5 de Octubre en Tucson. “La mayoría [de los beneficiarios] son miembros muy productivos de nuestra sociedad, obtienen una buena educación o mantienen grandes trabajos,” dijo. “Esas son las personas que necesitamos hoy en nuestro país.” Expresó su preocupación por limitar el número de inmigrantes. “Creo que necesitamos una mejor posición legislativa integral sobre la inmigración en general,” dijo. También se dirigió a Dreamers y su lugar en el país. “Realmente quiero América para ellos, pero también los quiero para Estados Unidos, porque sus dones, sus talentos, su dedicación nos revelan lo mejor de lo que significa ser estadounidense,” dijo el obispo Weisenburger.
Salina — Once again, Sister Barbara Ellen Apaceller is preparing to take more than 800 youth to the National Catholic Youth Conference in Indianapolis Nov. 16-19. Since the conference began in 1995, Sister Barbara Ellen has not missed a single of the 12 conferences in two dozen years. “They see a bigger Church,” she said of the conference, whose theme is “Called.”
The conference includes keynote speakers, workshops, Eucharistic adoration, Reconciliation and a large exhibit area. “It’s a time where they connect and realize they’re not by themselves in their journey in the relationship with God,” said Sister Barbara Ellen, who is the diocesan director of youth ministry. “It’s good for our young people to realize the Church is huge — bigger than the Salina Diocese. It is a life-changing experience for a lot of them.” The featured speakers include Chris Stefanick, Sister Miriam Heidland, Roy Petitfils, Brian Greenfield, Father Joseph A. Espaillat II and Emily Wilson.
With more than 800 attendees from the diocese, Sister Barbara Ellen said the diocese is taking 14 full busses to the conference. Busses will start in Goodland, filling with youth groups, and work their way east across the diocese. In addition to the students, many parent volunteers come along, and this year will include a record-setting seven priests who will join the youth for the trip. In order to afford the $585 per person cost, many parishes fundraise over the course of two years, Sister Barbara Ellen said. “We have a lot of new kids, freshman and sophomores who this will be the first time,” she said. “We use the older kids who have been there before share what to expect — to make sure they take the risk to go to different workshops, what they’re interested in.”
The conference can be admittedly overwhelming, with about 27,000 high school students in attendance. In addition to the local clergy, Sister Barbara Ellen said Bishop Edward Weisenburger will join the group Nov. 16 for a special Mass. It will be his last public event prior to departing for Tucson, Ariz., where he will be installed as Bishop of Tucson Nov. 29. “The Bishop hasn’t missed an NCYC since he’s been here,” Sister Barbara Ellen said. “He’s always been there. The kids appreciate that; I appreciate that.”
In addition to youth from the Salina Diocese, Sister Barbara Ellen invited the 16 conference attendees from Tucson to join the Salina group for Mass with the bishop.
Racism and bigotry are among the great evils of our age, and the resurgence of neo-Nazi and white-supremacist movements is profoundly troubling. The follower of Jesus Christ can see something of God’s image in every human being. For this reason, people of faith must unite and speak truth to this evil in our midst. Let us renew our firm commitment to truth, equality, and universal human dignity.
– Bishop Edward J. Weisenburger