• 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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  • TOTUS TUUS 2018

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

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  • Job Opportunity

    Executive Assistant, Office of the Bishop and Vicar General - The Diocese of Salina is seeking an experienced Executive Assistant.

    Read More
  • Cause for Canonization

    Before becoming bishop of our diocese, Bishop Weisenburger was part of the team that worked on the "Cause of Canonization"

    Read More

Shedding light on discussing sexuality with children, family

The Register

Manhattan — Childhood is often synonymous with innocence.  It can be easy for parents to look at their bright-eyed child(ren) and want to shelter and protect them in every way.  Even with a religious upbringing and vigilant efforts by parents, Father Kyle Berens says society and culture is highly sexualized. What can often be an unintentional first exposure to sexual images can lead a child down a dark path, he said.  “Pornography, unfortunately, is a very common problem,” Father Berens said. “We need to address it as a common problem.  “To act like nothing is happening is a disservice to countless souls who are suffering. To those souls who think they are the only one who are struggling with pornography use or addiction.”

In order to help educate parents and families about how to discuss sexuality, the Salina Diocese is hosting an event: “Let light shine out of darkness” — Empowering FAMILIES to overcome the darkness of an over sexualized culture.  The event is from 3-5 p.m. March 11 at St. Thomas More Church in Manhattan. It will include talks by Dave DiNuzzo, founder of Truemanhood.com, and Lori and Eric Doerneman, creators of The Parenting Dare.

Lori Doerneman, the mother of 8 in Wichita, said as a parent, she was doing everything she thought she should to raise Catholic children.  “I didn’t talk to Eric about pornography because ‘Why would he look at that?’ ” she said.  The line is one she hears over and over from mothers. They know pornography is out there, but think their child would never view pornographic images.  She had the same assumption, until she walked into her son, Eric’s, bedroom during high school.  “He couldn’t get out,” she said of her son’s pornography use. “I could see it was an addiction. He could not just step out of it.”

This led to much research and discussion on the best course for her son, who is now 24, to take. He struggled through a decade of porn addiction, and now joins his mother to talk to parents and families, but also high school and college youth about the dangers of pornography.

DiNuzzo, who lives in Beloit, is the father of four young children. He began the True Manhood ministry a decade ago, after expressing frustration to his wife about a lack of resources for Catholic fathers.  “My wife said ‘Stop complaining and do something about it,’ ” he said.  His approach to discussing sexuality is to use St. John Paul II’s “Theology of the Body” as a basis.  “I will talk about human sexuality and how it looks, from the background of scripture and virtue,” he said. “I’ll be talking about the value of the human person and how God created us.”

The discussion is one appropriate for all ages, DiNuzzo said.  “I teach this stuff to kids every day,” he said. “The content will be age-appropriate.  “It’s appropriate to teach the Theology of the Body to a child or adult. There’s something age appropriate to talk about — how they value themselves. If they don’t know who they are and that distinction of male/female, they will never understand they were created for love and to love. They’ll have a skewed view of love in general.”

He said St. John Paul II said the opposite of love is not hate, but use.  “We have a culture of using each other and there is emptiness and despair,” DiNuzzo said.  An important aspect of discussion, especially with children, is the words chosen.  He and his wife, Cathrine, have four children, ranging from age five to 10 years old.  “We can teach little kids that you made a mistake or a bad decision, but that does not make you a bad person,” he said.

Pornography is a relevant topic for families. DiNuzzo said priests tell him the majority of confessions deal with lust relating to pornography.  “I believe pornography is the devil’s No. 1 tool,” he said. “We are so desensitized as a culture to pornography. It’s everywhere.”  As the mother of eight children, Lori Doerneman said it’s essential to have an open line of communication.   “We talk about pornography all the time,” she said. “Every week, I have an alarm set to sit own and talk with each child and ask them ‘Have you seen anything that makes you uncomfortable?’ ”


Priest’s perspective: Do not lose hope

The Register

About a year ago, Father Kyle Berens was at a conference with college students. One of the speakers, Father Sean Kilcawley, who works with Integrity Restored, urged the clergy in attendance to shed light on a topic often heard in the confessional, but rarely spoken about from the pulpit: pornography.  “Pornography is a physical and spiritual battle,” said Father Berens, the pastor of St. Francis Xavier Parish in Junction City. “You can’t fight one with out the other or you will never win.”  For those struggling with pornography use or addiction, he said a good first step is to go to the sacrament of Reconciliation.  “Hopefully the priest can get them in contact with more help,” Father Berens said.

One spiritual aid in the battle against pornography is making some small sacrifice of food or other activities a person enjoys.  “You give up something to train your body and your will,” Father Berens said. “You learn to say no to something. You learn that you do not have to have what you want the moment you want it.”  Frequent confession is also helpful.  “I tell people it doesn’t matter if for a period of time you need to come in daily or weekly,” he said when dealing with a pornography addiction. “Sin is like cancer. The longer it sits on your soul, the weaker you become.”

The next step is to seek help. For some, this involves professional counseling. For others, it involves finding an accountability partner.  “Is there someone you trust that you can talk to about this outside of the confessional? That’s a good source of stopping pornography use,” Father Berens said. “With minors, I ask if they can talk to their parents. This is often the best thing for them to do.”

A common concern he hears from children is ‘Dad’s going to hate me’ or ‘Mom’s going to kill me.’ Fear of rejection or being shunned or shamed by family is common.  “I ask them ‘Will they really do that, or do you think they’ll be sad because you’re hurting?’ ” he said. “I offer to be present as part of the conversation because I am committed to their recovery and their healing.”  Another aspect of moving forward is to seek appropriate filters or software for electronic devices. 

With sexual images so prevalent in culture, it is difficult to avoid them. Father Berens said some parents are hesitant to talk about sex with children and teens.  “As Catholics, we’ve become so prudish and don’t want to talk about sex,” he said. “Kids are talking about sex and show each other things. If we act like nothing is happening, we’re feeding the naivete.”

Approaching a sexuality discussion should be done with prudence, and age appropriately, he quickly added. He often recommends the book “Good Pictures Bad Pictures: Porn-Proofing Today’s Young Kids” by Kristen A Jenson, MA, and Gail Poyner to help parents introduce the topic of pornography to grade school aged children.

Father Berens cautions parents that YouTube is a large source of first exposure to pornography for children.  “If they have electronics that are not monitored, there is no secret that the pornography industry is seeking out children,”  he said.  Often, innocent games or videos that look like popular children’s shows will begin innocently, but introduce nudity or inappropriate content. Likewise, some pornography sites have names similar to those children would type in the Internet, or search for. 


Man journeyed through pornography use, back to relationship with his wife and faith

The Register

When James* married his wife nearly three decades ago, he knew he would never seek a physical relationship with another woman.  Four years into the marriage, however, several circumstance collided and he found himself turning to pornography for gratification.  “I don’t put any blame on my wife,” he said. “I didn’t look at my wife’s situation in our early marriage affectionately. We had young children and my wife stayed at home.”  With young children, James said his wife was exhausted and the physical aspect of their relationship began to slip “so I looked for other places to satisfy myself.”

The rejection of marital affection cut deeply.  “When the rejection came, I took it personally,” he said. “I didn’t once think about looking outside my marriage with another woman,” but magazines and videos seemed like an easy solution … at the time.  And with a “boys will be boys” culture, it was easy to justify to himself.  “I heard the whispers saying ‘You deserve this,’ ” he said. “I wanted to feel good about it and would say ‘This is not cheating on my wife.’ ” 

Yet even as he was ensnared in the visual trap of pornography, he was still outwardly living his Catholic faith.  “The real part I had a problem with was going to Mass on Sunday and receiving Holy Communion,” he said. “I felt like such a traitor.  “I would not even think about going to Confession and confessing it at that time,” he added.

For nine years he struggled through the use of pornography. There weren’t many highs, but he can remember the lows vividly, including a time when his wife was out of town with their children. James remained home due to work commitments.  “I would go to the video store and rent DVDs,” he said and explained he would sometimes dub the movies.  On that particular weekend, he became sidetracked by other projects and inadvertently left the DVD in the family’s living room player.  “The TV was off and my son was three or four. He came downstairs and I was in a room and I hear ‘Dad, there’s something really gross on TV,’ ” James said. “I dropped what I was doing, I ran over and shut the TV off right away.  “It makes me shake when I think about it. My son was so young, he doesn’t remember it, thank God, but still. It was a horrible, horrible thing. As a father, I let that evil come into my home.”

The use of pornography was something that continued until he began leading weekend retreats for men. On one of those weekends, a fellow retreat staff member stood in front of the group of more than 60 men and gave a personal testimony about his pornography addiction.  “When I heard that, I thought to myself  ‘I gotta do this. I cannot ride the fence on this,’ ” James said. “We got into our small groups. I started talking about it and the tears flowed. It was a moment of reckoning. I promised my Lord I would work on this.”  Yet acknowledging the problem was only the first step of a slow process. He began with the sacrament of Reconciliation.  “That was one of the first steps,” James said. “It took me awhile to be able to talk to my wife about what I was doing. Then I went to my wife and told her everything.”  As he worked to free himself from the chains of pornography, however, the temptation became more intense.


CCAA in pew solicitation begins

By The Register

Would you use the gifts you received from the Lord to serve one another? Do you realize you are united with others across the diocese into one body in Christ?  The 2018 Catholic Community Annual Appeal (CCAA) is an opportunity to do just that. The gifts given through the 2018 CCAA fund the ministries and programs that serve parishes and individuals across the Salina Diocese. These include youth and adult education and formation as well as seminarian and clergy education and support. 

The Salina Diocese serves more than 44,000 Catholics across 26,685 miles. The diocese spreads east to west from Manhattan to the Colorado border, and north to south from the Nebraska border to just south of I-70. It includes small rural parishes and larger urban parishes. It serves young Catholics to more mature Catholics, leading all to a closer connection with Christ. Everyone in the Diocese is a part of the body of Christ, needing each other and sharing in the generosity of God. Everyone is called to be generous. 

On the weekend of March 3-4 there will be an in-pew solicitation for the CCAA to give people who have not had an opportunity to make a gift the chance to do so. Pledge cards and envelopes will be available in all parishes for those who need them. 

All registered parishioners should have received a packet with a letter in early February from diocesan administrator Father Frank Coady asking for their prayerful consideration and support of this important appeal. Those who did not receive a packet and would like one can call the Office of Development at (785) 827-8746, x 42. Gifts can be given online at https://salinadio.solutiosoftware.com/development/online-giving

At the beginning of the appeal, Father Coady shared an audio message at all Masses. The message in English and Spanish is available on the diocesan website, http://salinadiocese.org.  Everyone across the diocese is encouraged to make a gift. Catholic teachings suggest tithing 10 percent of a family’s income – 5 percent to the parish, 4 percent to other charities, and 1 percent to the diocese. The annual appeal provides an opportunity for all to evaluate their charitable giving and to share their financial gifts with the Salina Diocese.

The pledge card gives the option to give once, quarterly or monthly over 10 months, starting in March and ending in December. Pledging over time allows the donor to spread their gift over multiple months, making a larger gift more comfortable. It is asked that all pledges be paid by the end of the year. 

Last year 20 percent of households in the Salina Diocese gave to the annual appeal. Although this is an acceptable average, it is hoped that this year even more people will make a gift to “serve one another” through the 2018 CCAA.  Charitable giving is a reflection of God’s gifts to us. Giving back to God should reflect God’s generosity to us. Some are blessed more and can give more; some can give less. Whatever the gift amount it is appreciated and needed.

As Father Coady said in his letter, “Everyone has received from the generosity of God and these opportunities to give back make us who we are: the body of Christ joined together as one.”

2018 Catholic Community Annual Appeal

The 2018 Catholic Community Annual Appeal has begun. This year’s themes are “We, though many, are one body in Christ” and “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another.”

Father Frank Coady, Diocesan Administrator, sent a letter to every registered parishioner asking them to prayerfully consider a gift to support the ministries and programs that impact parishes across the Salina Diocese. As Father Coady said in the letter “To follow Christ is to have more concern for others than for ourselves. In this, we experience the joy and deep satisfaction that comes from being a servant. To give is to receive.”

He further explains, “the CCAA is your yearly opportunity to put this giving attitude into practice, to experience salvation by serving the ministries, parishes and individuals throughout the diocese…We have all received from the generosity of God and these opportunities to give back make us who we are: the body of Christ joined together as one.”

The Salina Diocese serves more than 44,000 Catholics across 26,685 miles. The diocese spreads east to west from Manhattan to Atwood, and north to south from the Nebraska border to just south of I-70. It includes small rural parishes and larger urban parishes. It serves young Catholics to more mature Catholics, leading all to a closer connection with Christ. The themes this year reflect the diversity of the diocese and calls each of us to be generous.

Click here for the message in English.

Right click here to download

Click here for the message in Spanish.

Right click here to download

CCAA gifts provide the funding for ministries and programs across the diocese that respond to a broad range of needs and interests, and consequently, bind us together as a community of faith. The $1.1 million goal will support four primary categories of ministries and programs in the diocese: Seminarian and clergy education; education and formation for youth and adults; diocesan administration; and national church collections.

Seminarian and clergy education will receive 44 percent of the gifts. These funds provide health care for our clergy, priests’ retirement, and continuing education for active as well as retired priests. In addition, these gifts support the education of seminarians. The diocese has 53 active priests and 20 retired priests, along with 10 seminarians. Priests bring God’s presence into each parish. Seminarians represent the future of our diocese. This is an important need within the Salina Diocese.


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Catholic News Headlines

  • IMAGE: CNS photo/Robert DuncanBy Junno Arocho EstevesVATICAN CITY (CNS) -- If the Catholic Church at every level -- and governments, too -- would listen to young people and give them a voice in decision-making, they could unleash great potential, said two African young adults. Vincent Paul Nneji of Nigeria and Tinyiko Joan Ndaba from South Africa were among the 305 young adults participating in a weeklong meeting designed to allow young people -- involved Catholics and others -- to provide input for Pope Francis and the world's bishops, who will meet in a synod in October to discuss "young people, faith and vocational discernment." Nneji told Catholic News Service March 20 that the preparatory meeting offers a chance for young Catholics in his country who are considered "a minority voice" to speak out on important issues. "When the pope sent a letter on this meeting, we said, 'Finally, the church in Rome has decided to give us a platform; they decided to give us a listening ear,'" Nneji said. While struggles with "social injustice, bad leadership, poverty and financial insecurity" are just some of the difficulties facing young Nigerian men and women today, Nneji said, "the major challenge is trying to be a Catholic youth and a light for other people, even in the midst of the conflicts we face in Nigeria." African youths today, Nneji added, have "so many things in our hearts we want to express and want to say," yet they often feel disregarded. Too many, he said, then resort to violence in the hopes of provoking change. "Sometimes when you're not allowed to say these things, it's like a volcano and when it gets so big," it blows up, he said. Nneji told CNS he hopes that, through the pre-synod meeting, the whole world "may see a reason for allowing youths to be heard, for allowing (young people) to be part of decision-making, even in society." "If we were allowed to express ourselves, we would have less violence, we would have more peace in our society and in our world," he said. "And of course, in various parts of the world where youths are being exploited and used for various forms of violence, those things will reduce, those things will stop because this time around they will say, 'We have a platform where we can talk, so we don't need to carry guns, we don't need to carry machetes. We just have to go and dialogue,'" Nneji said. Ndaba told CNS, "I hope that young people can be given a chance to change society because I think we have so much potential." "But we can't do it on our own," she said. "We need support from the people who have been there before and who can give us direction where to go." Ndaba was chosen to attend the meeting by Talitha Kum, the anti-human trafficking organization where she works. The organization is an international network of consecrated men and women in 75 countries promoting initiatives against human trafficking. While the Catholic Church in South Africa is doing its best to prevent future cases of human trafficking, she said, the church also must warn young people of the harm inflicted by those who exploit women, especially when "the demand is coming from Catholics." During the opening session of the pre-synod meeting March 19, Blessing Okodion, a young Nigerian rescued from forced prostitution in Italy, asked Pope Francis what could be done to increase awareness of human trafficking. Pope Francis noted that since the vast majority of Italians are Catholic, the majority of men who use prostitutes in Italy also must be. "One who goes to a prostitute is a criminal, a criminal," Pope Francis told the young people. "This is not making love. This is torturing a woman. Let's not confuse the terms. This is criminal." As one of many men and women working a to prevent human trafficking in Africa, Ndaba told CNS she was happy to hear the pope speaking frankly about a "hidden crime" that is "not talked about so much." Human trafficking is an important topic for a youth gathering, she said, "because most victims of human trafficking are young people who are trying to find better jobs, a better life so they migrate and traffickers take advantage of that, most especially with young people. - - - 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/Paul HaringBy Cindy WoodenVATICAN CITY (CNS) -- After a very public controversy involving the use of a letter by retired Pope Benedict XVI, Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Msgr. Dario Vigano as prefect of the Vatican Secretariat for Communication. Announcing the move March 21, the Vatican published Msgr. Vigano's letter to Pope Francis asking to resign and Pope Francis' reply accepting it. However, Pope Francis asked Msgr. Vigano, 55, to remain at the secretariat as "assessor" to "make your human and professional contribution" in assisting whoever is named the new prefect as the Vatican continues its long and complicated work of unifying its communications efforts and various media outlets. The controversy began March 12 at the presentation of a 11-volume series of books, "The Theology of Pope Francis." Msgr. Vigano had asked the retired pope for a theological reflection on the series. At the book presentation, Msgr. Vigano read selected sentences from Pope Benedict's letter declining to write the reflection. The Secretariat for Communications also published a photograph showing the first page of the letter, with several lines purposefully blurred, and the second page, except for the signature, covered by a book. An uproar ensued over the intentional blurring of the photograph and questions were raised in the media about what exactly the letter said. In the end, the Vatican released the full text March 17. It showed that not only had Pope Benedict said he was unable to read the full series, but that he objected to one of the authors chosen to write one of the volumes. In his letter of resignation, Msgr. Vigano told Pope Francis that although it was not intentional, his actions had "destabilized the complex and great work of reform" with which the pope had entrusted him. "I think that for me stepping aside would be a fruitful occasion for renewal," the monsignor wrote.Pope Francis had named Msgr. Vigano prefect of the secretariat when it was created in June 2015. The monsignor had been director of the Vatican Television Center. The new secretariat was charged with unifying into one the offices and tasks previously handled by nine entities: the Pontifical Council for Social Communications; the Vatican press office; the Vatican internet office; Vatican Radio; the Vatican television production studio, CTV; the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano; the Vatican printing press; the Vatican photograph service; and the Vatican publishing house, Libreria Editrice Vaticana.- - -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/Jonathan Ernst, ReutersBy Carol ZimmermannWASHINGTON (CNS) -- In oral arguments before the Supreme Court March 20, justices seemed skeptical about a California law that requires pro-life pregnancy centers in the state to visibly display information about abortions to their clients that the centers say violates their right to free speech. A few of the justices asked about the state's motivation to put the law in place, wondering if it was more about educating women about state-provided services or if it was meant to specifically target centers offering pregnancy-related services that clients might assume are medical facilities. Justice Elena Kagan said it would be a problem and a First Amendment issue if the law was "gerrymandered" to only apply to certain types of service providers. The law's requirement that licensed and unlicensed centers disclose their status in advertisements in large type and in many languages was seen as an "undue burden" by Justice Anthony Kennedy, who asked if this would apply -- and was told it would -- to an unlicensed facility that wanted to have a "choose life" or "pro-life" billboard. Justice Sonia Sotomayor agreed that aspect of the law, in some cases, was "burdensome and wrong." The case is the first abortion-related one to be heard by the court with President Donald Trump's appointee, Neil Gorsuch, on the bench. The oral arguments drew people from both sides outside the court in the freezing rain on the first day of spring. Some signs, held aloft in between umbrellas, said "Patients want care not coercion" and "Give free speech life." After the hourlong argument, Thomas Glessner, president of the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates, the group representing the pregnancy centers, told the crowd outside that he felt "very optimistic" about the outcome of this case. California's attorney general, Xavier Becerra, tweeted right after the arguments: "Information is power and all women should know the full range of their #healthcare options! A great morning with my team at #SCOTUS." In a March 20 statement, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York said he prayed the court would "do the right thing and uphold our fundamental right to free speech when it decides this case." "Pro-life pregnancy care centers embody everything that is right and good in our nation: generosity, compassion and love that is offered to support both mother and child," said Cardinal Dolan, chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities. He noted that some government officials, instead of "applauding and encouraging the selfless and life-affirming work of these centers" want to "force them to provide free advertising for the violent act of abortion in direct violation of their pro-life convictions and the First Amendment." The case, National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) v. Becerra, is about the constitutionality of the Reproductive FACT Act, a state law which says pregnancy centers must post notices in their facilities about available low-cost abortion services and also must disclose if they have medical personnel on staff. The Christian-base centers provide counseling and often offer supplies of diapers, formula, clothes and baby items. Centers that failed to comply with the law have been subject to fines of $500 for a first offense and $1,000 for subsequent offenses. Three pregnancy centers challenged the law in court saying it infringed on their First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and free exercise of religion. The law was upheld last October by a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit that said the state could regulate professional speech because of its interest in safeguarding public health and to ensure that "citizens have access to and adequate information about constitutionally protected medical services like abortion." Last October, a California Superior Court judge granted a permanent injunction against the state attorney general preventing him from enforcing the FACT law. Justice Stephen Breyer said during the oral arguments that if abortion providers must tell pregnant women about other options, then pregnancy centers should similarly tell their clients about outside services. "In law, as you well know, what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander," which he explained as coming down to this: "If a pro-life state can tell a doctor you have to tell people about adoption, why can't a pro-choice state tell a doctor, a facility, whatever it is, you have to tell people about abortion?" The USCCB and several other groups including the California Catholic Conference, the Catholic Health Association of the United States, in friend-of-the-court briefs with the Supreme Court supporting the pro-life pregnancy centers, stressed that the government can't force people to say things they don't believe. - - - Follow Zimmermann on Twitter: @carolmaczim.- - -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/Christina Lee Knauss, The Catholic MiscellanyBy Christina Lee KnaussWEST COLUMBIA, S.C. (CNS) -- Mary Burkett never had formal art lessons. Drawing was something she resolved to try as a hobby in January 2017. She decided to sketch the face of a little boy she saw in a black and white photo on the internet. To her surprise, Burkett was able to produce his image on the paper with amazing ease. "It was like he was already there waiting for me, like he just peeked out at me," she told The Catholic Miscellany, newspaper of the Diocese of Charleston. "I was entirely amazed. I didn't feel like I had drawn him. I felt like he was hidden in the page." The image is of a boy with a wide-open gaze, fair hair spilling from under a vintage-style cap cocked back on his head. He looks bemused, as if he was forced to pause for a portrait on his way out the door to play. It wasn't until later that she discovered the photo was of a Romanian Jewish boy named Hersch Goldberg. He died at Auschwitz in 1944, one of millions of children who were victims of the Holocaust. Burkett had a visceral and emotional reaction to the innocent yet haunting face of Hersch. The fact that his life had been cruelly ended before it ever really began led her to search out images of other children with similar fates. She felt as if she knew Hersch after drawing him and she wanted to learn the stories of other children like him. Eventually, she decided she wanted other people to learn their stories too. A year later, that first drawing of the photo of Hersch Goldberg has blossomed into a collection Burkett calls "Beloved: Children of the Holocaust." It features Burkett's sketch portraits of 25 other children killed in the Holocaust, as well as one of Janusz Korczak, a Polish pediatrician who ran an orphanage for Jewish children in the Warsaw ghetto and was eventually killed at the Treblinka concentration camp. "I wanted to give these children a chance to speak to the world," Burkett said. "I wanted to honor their precious little lives." That first sketch launched a journey she never dreamed of when she first put pencil to paper. She has displayed the collection at churches and synagogues, colleges and universities. Several schools have asked her to speak to classes that are studying the Holocaust and she has traveled halfway across the country to share her work with others. Burkett, who attends St. Peter Church in downtown Columbia, lived in Belgium for several years as a child, where she learned firsthand of the suffering and death that European Jews and other groups suffered at the hands of the Nazis. That perspective, and a lifelong love of children built through motherhood and a 40-year career as a pediatric nurse, likely are part of the reason her portraits of the children are so riveting. To look at them is to briefly feel as if you have touched a tiny soul. Their eyes, especially, reach out with a spark of life. Five-month-old Alida Baruch, who died at Auschwitz in 1942, looks like a Gerber baby. Fani Silberman, with dimples and tiny hoop earrings, has the twinkling innocence of a child movie star. Abraham Henselein, although he died at 6, already had an intense gaze. Perhaps he would have been a future scholar or national leader. Burkett said their expressions convey so much because they were captured in an era when photos were more rare than today. "Children weren't used to posing all the time back then, so we get to see more of who they really were," she said. Burkett said her skill can only come from God. As she is quick to explain, she had no formal training prior to that January day when she first started to work. Her artist's tools are spare and simple. What she calls her toolbox is a Ziploc bag with a few simple items. She uses a pencil in a shade of reddish-brown called sanguine, and smooths edges and lines with cotton balls and swabs. Burkett does most of her sketch work at a large table on the second floor of her West Columbia home, before a window where sunlight spills in on nice days and she can look out at a span of green hills and trees. Just as she did not expect the "Beloved" collection would exist a year ago, Burkett says she does not know what the future will bring. All she knows is that the children who reached out to her from photos have been given a new life through her pencil. "I just try to be faithful to what God is telling me and what he is doing in my life," she said. "I feel like through this work the children are being honored and God is being honored. My job now is to shepherd them on the journey. They have a path in front of them. I think part of that path is to show people the sanctity of all life and the true love of God." - - - Editor's Note: To view the Beloved collection and learn more about Burkett's work, visit www.belovedchildrenoftheholocaust.com. - - - Knauss is a reporter at The Catholic Miscellany, newspaper of the Diocese of Charleston.- - -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/Paul HaringBy Carol GlatzVATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Publicly apologizing on behalf of the whole archdiocese for the "grave harm" caused by former Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron of Agana, Archbishop Michael J. Byrnes said a new chapter of humility, repentance and healing has opened for the Catholic Church in Guam following a Vatican verdict against his predecessor. "I called and still call upon all Catholics on Guam to intensify their prayers and with great humility, offer sacrifice for the grave harm and sins which we have experienced or have enabled in our church," Archbishop Byrnes said during a news conference in Guam March 18. "We hang our heads in shame for the grave evil one member inflicted upon others, in this case the most vulnerable," he said in remarks, which were later released in a written statement. "Our prayers for the victims of child abuse by Bishop Apuron and all victims of abuse here and worldwide continue; so shall our efforts to bring healing and restoration to all victims of clergy sexual abuse and to ensure this never happens again," he said. Archbishop Byrnes, who has been leading the archdiocese since 2016, made his comments after a Vatican tribunal announced March 16 it found Archbishop Agana guilty of some of the accusations made against him, including the sexual abuse of minors. After a canonical trial conducted by the apostolic tribunal of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Vatican judges imposed the following sanctions on the 72-year-old archbishop: the removal from office and a prohibition from residing in Guam. The archbishop can and will appeal. During the news conference, Archbishop Byrnes said he did not know on what charges the former archbishop had been found guilty and which ones had been dismissed. In fact, he told local reporters, he had received no communication about the trial's findings other than "I got a phone call saying to go to this site" to read the Vatican's public announcement. He said there had been no follow-up from the Vatican either as of March 17 and he assumed the former archbishop was now to be called Bishop Apuron, since losing the office of archbishop meant also losing the title associated with it. "We'll see with the appeal" what the final situation will be, he added. Archbishop Apuron released a statement March 17 through his lawyer, Jacqueline Taitano Terlaje: "While I am relieved that the tribunal dismissed the majority of the accusations against me, I have appealed the verdict. ... God is my witness; I am innocent and I look forward to proving my innocence in the appeals process." Supporters of the archbishop, conversing anonymously with journalists, claimed the archbishop was found guilty on only two of six charges and that the sentence implies those charges were not the most serious ones. Generally, clerics found guilty of sexually abusing minors face either removal from the priesthood or are sentenced to a life of prayer and penance and banned from any public ministry. Archbishop Byrnes said while there is much work and consultation to do in regard to local legal issues, he felt "a sense of relief" when the Vatican verdict had been announced. He said his reaction upon hearing the news was, "OK, good. Something's happened and they're not just stringing us along." The announcement of the verdict from the Vatican investigation, which began in February 2017, had been expected last year, the archbishop had said. Archbishop Apuron is among the highest-ranking church leaders to have been tried by the Vatican for sexual offenses. In a statement released March 16, the Vatican tribunal said, "The canonical trial in the matter of accusations, including accusations of sexual abuse of minors, brought against the Most Reverend Anthony Sablan Apuron, O.F.M.Cap., Archbishop of Agana, Guam, has been concluded." "The apostolic tribunal of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, composed of five judges, has issued its sentence of first instance, finding the accused guilty of certain of the accusations and imposing upon the accused the penalties of privation of office and prohibition of residence in the Archdiocese of Guam." U.S. Cardinal Raymond L. Burke, a noted canon lawyer, was the presiding judge in the canonical investigation of Archbishop Apuron. The statement did not specify the number of charges the archbishop faced, how many of them he was found guilty of or even the nature of the offenses for which he was convicted. "The sentence remains subject to possible appeal," the Vatican statement said. "In the absence of an appeal, the sentence becomes final and effective. In the case of an appeal, the imposed penalties are suspended until final resolution." Archbishop Apuron had been accused of sexually abusing several boys in the 1970s, and, in early January, one of the archbishop's nephews publicly claimed the archbishop had sexually abused him in 1990. Archbishop Apuron continually has denied the abuse allegations. Pope Francis placed Archbishop Apuron on leave in June 2016 after the accusations were made public. The pope named an apostolic administrator to run the archdiocese for several months and then named Coadjutor Archbishop Michael J. Byrnes, a former auxiliary bishop of Detroit, to take over. Until the Vatican court handed down its sentence, Archbishop Apuron had continued to hold the title of archbishop of Agana, but did not hold the faculties, rights or obligations pertaining to the office, because they had been granted to Archbishop Byrnes. The former archbishop greeted Pope Francis at the end of a general audience February 7 in Rome. The Italian website, Vatican Insider, claimed former Archbishop Apuron told the pope, "Holy Father, I wanted to see you before I die."- - -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.