The Register


August 10, 2018

         In this issue.

  • Ordination will be live on Aug. 22.
  • Fr. Loren Werth, 87, served the diocese 62 years.
  • Fourth generation baptized in St. Boniface church, Vincent. 

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Ordination will be live Aug. 22

By the Register

Salina — The Aug. 22 ordination and installation of Bishop-elect Gerald “Jerry” Vincke will be streamed live on the diocesan social media and website.

The ordination, which begins at 2 p.m. in Sacred Heart Cathedral, will be filmed by a Wichita production company, and shown on EWTN at a future, to be announced, date. The ordination will not be broadcast live on EWTN because events from the World Meeting of Families in Dublin, Ireland were already scheduled to be broadcast. 

The public is invited to Vespers (evening prayer) with Bishop-elect Jerry and the clergy of the Salina Diocese.  The evening will begin with prayer at 7 p.m., and be followed with a light reception.  All are invited to attend.  The bishop's ordination and installation Aug. 22 is, however, by invitation only and not open to the public, due to limited seating.

To view the live feed, visit the diocese’s website at http:\\

All events surrounding and including the ordination are by invitation only, due to limited seating.

What you will see:

  • The new bishop will be presented his miter — the tall, pointed ceremonial cap that bishops and the pope wear. 
  • The bishop also will be presented his crosier, the pastoral staff that he uses during formal liturgies. It is symbolic of a shepherd’s staff, indicating that he is the pastor of the entire diocese and that its priests are an extension of his ministry. The word “pastor” is Latin for “shepherd.” 

Meet the new bishop:

  • The public will have an opportunity to meet Bishop Vincke at special prayer services. That service will be at  3:00 p.m. Aug. 26 at the Basilica of St. Fidelis in Victoria.

This prayer service will be held on Sunday, but is NOT a Mass and will not fulfil a Catholic’s Sunday Mass obligation.

Father Loren Werth, 87, served diocese for 62 years

The Register

Manhattan — In an overflowing church, surrounded by family, brother priests, community members, parishioners and friends, the life of Father Loren Werth, who was a priest for the Salina Diocese for 62 years, was celebrated.

Father Werth, 87, died July 30, 2018.  The Funeral Mass was celebrated Aug. 3 at St. Thomas More Church in Manhattan — the church where he was the founding pastor.  Diocesan Administrator Father Frank Coady was the principal celebrant at the Funeral Mass, and noted the following day was the feast of St. John Vianney.  “He was a priest not particularly known for his intellectual acumen,” Father Coady said. “(St. John Vianney) struggled in the seminary with his subjects, but he was such a deeply  human man that he connected with people. People stood in line for hours to go to confession to that priest.”

Father Coady said like St. John Vianney, Father Werth was deeply human and connected with a variety of people in his parishes and communities.  “It isn’t what you know when you are ordained that matters,” he said. “It’s what you do after that.”  Father Coady said when Father Werth was a seminarian from 1946-1956, the seminaries were not accredited institutions as they are today.  “He continued to read, he was faithful to going to continuing education, to retreats and to listening to tapes,” Father Coady said. “He kept himself up on theology and the Church.” 

Father Coady said sometimes Father Werth would joke about ‘getting my GED’ so he would have a formal degree.  Yet he loved to discuss the faith.  “Most recently, I remember he was the last two times he wanted to talk, it was about the decreasing numbers in the Church,” Father Coady said. “That bothered him deeply. He wanted to talk about ‘What did we do wrong that caused this?’ And ‘What can we do now to improve the situation?’ I don’t know that we came up with answers, but we talked about it.”


Catholic Charities fundraiser celebrates collaborations

The Register

Salina — Supporters of Catholic Charities of Northern Kansas were greeted with a surprise guest when they gathered July 22 for the annual fundraiser at the Salina Country Club.  Bishop-elect Jerry Vincke mingled with the crowd prior to the event, greeting attendees.  “Having the Bishop-elect there really brought an extra element of excitement,” said Michelle Martin, Executive Director of Catholic Charities. “Everyone I spoke to was delighted to meet him.”

The 13th annual fundraiser, which had a $100,000 matching challenge, hit the match. Final numbers are still preliminary, but Martin estimates to the event raised more than $312,000.  “We helped over $300,000 in services last year for rent, utilities (and additional financial assistance),” Martin said during her address during the meal. “That doesn’t include counseling or immigration, or any of the staff’s time. This is where (the money raised) goes — to help the individuals.” 

Catholic Charities serves the poor across the diocese’s 31 counties in northwest Kansas. Yet Kevin Carrico, who emceed the event, reminded the crowd of one important thing.  “This event is not about setting records,” he said, adding the morning’s homily from his home parish flowed nicely into the fundraiser. “(The homily) was about prayer and action. We all pray, but tonight is an example of action. I’m thrilled you’re all here to act.”

Martin said the 17 types of services provided at Catholic Charities focus on stabilizing two areas: families and finances.  “Financial problems are often the No. 1 concern of families,” she said. “That goes hand in hand with family strengthening.”  Last year, 6,500 services were provided to individuals across northwest Kansas.  “We minister to everyone that comes into our doors that is qualified for services,” Martin said. “We don’t just help Catholics.”

She explained those living in poverty often work at minimum wage jobs. If they add one dependent, they are considered below the poverty line.  “Most of the people we serve are one paycheck away or one incident away or one new family member away from becoming underneath the poverty statistics,” Martin said. 


Fourth generation baptized in St. Boniface Church, Vincent

The Register

Vincent — Quietly standing guard over the rolling hills of eastern Ellis County, St. Boniface Church in Vincent has been the site of numerous celebrations in its 111-year history. One of the most recent milestones to be witnessed by the parishioners in the simple country church was the baptism of Wyatt Merle Bliss in early July. 

While every baptism is a joyous occasion, Wyatt’s family had an additional reason to celebrate as his July 8 reception of the sacrament marked the fourth generation of the Huser family to be welcomed into the Catholic Church in the St. Boniface parish. The son of Taylor and Kasandra (Huser) Bliss, Wyatt joins his mother, his maternal grandfather Kevin Huser, and his maternal great-grandfather Leon Huser, in the list of the many family members who have been baptized in the parish with Kasandra.

“We honestly didn’t even realize it until that day when we were taking the picture of the four generations,” said Kasandra. “My dad said, ‘Hey! Do you realize the four of us were all baptized here?’ ”  Leon was baptized at St. Boniface in 1943. Kevin’s reception of the sacrament followed 23 years later in 1966, and Kasandra was welcomed into the Church in 1991.

The Bliss family now lives in western Ellis County, near Ellis, but Kasandra’s heritage as a parishioner of St. Boniface led the couple to decide to have Wyatt baptized in Vincent.  “This little church has been so successful over the years despite being small, so having four generations of our family baptized here was pretty special,” she said. 

Considering the mobile nature of today’s society, particularly the migration of people away from rural areas, having four generations of a family celebrate a sacrament in the same parish might seem unusual. However, in many of the towns in western Kansas, familial legacies in the Catholic parishes are common. 

Father John Schmeidler, OFM Cap., Pastor of St. Boniface Catholic Church and the Basilica of St. Fidelis in Victoria, performed Wyatt’s baptism and agreed that there is something exceptional in the small rural parishes in the western part of the Salina Diocese as well as the role the sacraments play in the lives of the faithful in this area.  “There is a uniqueness here that has helped these parishes form communities,” he said. “They take pride in those communities.  “There is a sense that these people will stand with each other and support each other. Baptism is the entry into that community.”

New generations of western Kansas families, like the Husers, Blisses and many others, continue to carry those communities forward. Wyatt and all the newly baptized can rely on the rich Catholic heritage of those families and the broader communities to strengthen them along their journey of faith in the years to come.

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.”


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 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. 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. .

‘Register’ your support Donations needed to send newspaper to every household

By The Register

Salina — The Register, the newspaper of the Diocese of Salina, is delivered to all registered parishioners.

To be able to continue to do that, however, requires some help on their part.

Today’s issue includes a donation envelope. Every household is asked each year to donate $25, roughly the cost of printing and mailing the newspaper.

Until three years ago, The Register was mailed only to those who subscribed. In January 2014, the publication model changed, and the newspaper was sent to every household registered with a parish in the diocese.

To accommodate the increased printing and mailing costs — from 5,500 to about 17,500 copies — the decision was made to reduce publication from weekly to twice monthly — on the second and fourth Fridays.

Instead of selling subscriptions, The Register would seek a $25 donation from each family to underwrite the additional costs.

In addition to each household receiving the newspaper, each Register edition also is available online at