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May 22, 2015

In this issue

Two to be ordained as priests May 30
School rallies around Nepal student after quake
Mass honors consecrated women and men
Manhattan hospital becomes Via Christi

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Two to be ordained as priests May 30

Salina — Deacon Kyle Berens and Deacon Andrew Rockers will become the Diocese of Salina’s newest priests when they are ordained by Bishop Edward Weisenburger on May 30 at Sacred Heart Cathedral.

The ordination Mass begins at 10 a.m. A reception and luncheon follows at the Sacred Heart Junior-Senior High School gym at 304 E. Cloud. Both are open to all.

The men recently completed their theological studies at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis.

Deacon Berens, 29, is the son of Bernie and Carolyn Berens of Salina. He graduated from Sacred Heart Junior-Senior High School, then earned a bachelor’s degree from Creighton University in Omaha, Neb. He attended one year of medical school at the University of Kansas before deciding to enter the seminary.

Deacon Rockers, 29, is the son of Glenn and Barbara Rockers of Hays. He graduated from Hays High School and Fort Hays State University, then discerned with the Capuchin Franciscans before applying to the seminary on behalf of the Salina Diocese.

The two have been active in the diocese during their summers away from school. They have been part of the Totus Tuus summer catechism program and the Prayer and Action summer mission project and have interned in local parishes.

Their assignments as new priests will be announced following their ordinations.

The new Father Berens will celebrate his first Mass at 8 a.m. Sunday, May 31, at St. Mary, Queen of Angels Parish in Salina.

The new Father Rockers will celebrate his first Mass at noon Sunday, May 31, at St. Joseph Church in Hays.

School rallies around Nepal student after earthquake

Hays — After Garima Shiwakoti told her classmates at Thomas More Prep-Marian Junior-Senior High School about the devastating earthquake in her native Nepal, they responded by collecting $850 for relief efforts.

“I was really happy,” she said of the response following an all-school Mass.

The sadness she feels for the devastation in her country is tempered by the news that her parents are safe, as are her friends.

The initial magnitude-7.8 earthquake on April 25 was centered about 50 miles northwest of the capital city of Kathmandu, Garima’s home. It killed at least 9,000 people, injured nearly 20,000 and leveled entire villages.

A second magnitude-7.3 earthquake on May 12 was centered about 50 miles east of Kathmandu. Although several times weaker than the original quake, it killed more than 125 and injured nearly 3,000.

The first earthquake happened about noon on Saturday in Nepal. Kansas time is nearly 11 hours earlier.

Garima, a resident student at the Hays Catholic school, said she heard the news from a sister, who called her at about 3 a.m. local time.

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Seven priests will celebrate milestone observances

Salina — The common thread running through the lives of seven priests celebrating milestone anniversaries this year is a Catholic school education.

Five of the six diocesan priest jubilarians are graduates of the former St. Francis Seminary High School in Victoria, and the sixth graduated from Sacred Heart High School in Salina.

The seventh, Capuchin Father Felix Petrovsky, entered his religious order at the age of 19 after attending parochial school and a Capuchin-run high school seminary in his native Pennsylvania.

St. Francis Seminary, operated by the Capuchin Franciscans, provided early formation for Father Daniel Scheetz, Father William Surmeier, Father Kerry Ninemire, Father Donald Pfannenstiel and Father Henry Baxa. All graduated from the school, then pursued college studies in preparation for the priesthood.

“I think of the incredible spirituality from the Capuchin fathers and the access to some of the greatest minds in the order,” Father Scheetz said and he looked back on his education there. “How fortunate I was to be a student with their masters.”

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Biographies of priest jubilarians

60th Jubilee

Capuchin Father Felix Petrovsky

Born May 23, 1930, in Ford City, Pa., to Rudolph and Marie (Erkens) Petrovsky and baptized Rudolph, he joined the Capuchin Franciscans in 1949. His studied at St. Fidelis College, Herman, Pa.; Capuchin College and Catholic University of America, Washington; Fort Hays State University; St. Louis University, St. Louis; and St. Bonaventure University, St. Bonaventure, N.Y.

On June 4, 1955, he was ordained a priest in the crypt of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington by Washington Auxiliary Bishop John McNamara. He spent two more years in studies and then went to St. Joseph Military Academy in Hays (now Thomas More Prep-Marian Junior-Senior High School) as an instructor in math and science and prefect of discipline. During his 17 years at the school, he also began work as part-time parochial vicar of St. Mary Parish in Ellis.

Father Petrovsky became a full-time parish priest in 1970. He served as parochial vicar of St. Joseph Parish in Hays until 1971, then was pastor of St. Fidelis Parish in Victoria from 1971 to 1978 and St. Ann Parish in Walker from 1974 to 1978.

He directed chaplaincy services at the Alverne Hotel and Chapel in downtown St. Louis from 1978 to 1983.

He returned to Hays as paro­chi­al vicar of St. Joseph, from 1983 to 1989, and Our Lady, Help of Christians Parish in Antonino from 1986 to 1989. He was named pastor of the two parishes, with St. Anthony Parish in Schoenchen added in 1992, serving all until 1995. He was parochial vicar at St. John Parish in Lawrence for a year, then returned to Victoria to serve at St. John’s Rest Home from 1996 to 1999.

He offered Reconciliation missions in the Archdiocese of Denver from 1999 to 2001. He returned to Hays and continued mission and Secular Franciscan work until 2008. He served as a confessor at the Catholic Center in the Citadel Mall in Colorado Springs, Colo., 2011, when he moved to the Hays friary after suffering a stroke. He moved to the Victoria friary in 2013.

He has been associated with the Secular Franciscan Order for 35 years and served as provincial and regional spiritual assistant for the Capuchins. He was a member of the Capuchins’ provincial council from 1992 to 1995 and has been local superior at the Victoria and Hays friaries.

For the Salina Diocese, he served on the Priests’ Council from 1971 to 1974 and from 1992 to 1995. He was moderator of the Diocesan Pastoral Council, 1976 to 1978; served on the Diocesan Liturgical Commission, 1974 to 1978; worked in the Diocesan Marriage Tribunal, 1983 to 1990; and served on the Diocesan Planning Committee, 1992 to 1994, the Diocesan Due Process Board, 1992 to 1995, and the Catholic Community Annual Appeal committee, 1994 to 1995.

50th Jubilee

Father Daniel Scheetz

Born May 8, 1939, in New Almelo to Leonard and Marie (Otter) Scheetz, he graduated from St. Francis Seminary High School in Victoria, then attended Mount St. Mary of the West Seminary in Norwood, Ohio. He was ordained May 27, 1965, at St. Joseph Church in Oakley by Dodge City Bishop Marion Forst.

He was named parochial vicar at Sacred Heart Parish in Plainville in 1965 and at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Concordia in 1966. He attended the Catholic University of America from 1967 to 1969 to obtain a licentiate in canon law.

He was named pastor at Immaculate Conception Parish in Minneapolis and St. Patrick Parish in Lincoln in 1969 and appointed to the Diocesan Marriage Tribunal. He became pastor of St. Peter Parish in Aurora and St. Anthony Parish in Miltonvale and chaplain at Cloud County Community College in Concordia in 1971. He was named chaplain of St. Robert Bellarmine–St. Isidore Catholic Student Center in Manhattan in 1976.

In 1983 he became the founding pastor of St. Nicholas of Myra Parish in Hays. He was pastor of St. Mary Parish in Russell and St. Mary, Help of Christians Parish in Gorham from 1993 to 1996. He was pastor of St. Bernard Parish in Ellsworth, St. Ignatius Loyola Parish in Kanopolis and St. Mary Parish in Holyrood from 1996 to 2008. He served one year as pastor at Sacred Heart Parish in Atwood, Assumption of Mary Parish Herndon and St. John Nepomucene Parish in Beardsley until his retirement in 2009. He currently lives in Russell.

Father William Surmeier

Born Jan. 7, 1940, in Hays to Anthony and Gertrude (Fellhoelter) Surmeier of Angelus, he graduated from St. Francis Seminary High School in Victoria and attended Conception Seminary College in Conception, Mo., where he earned a college degree and completed theological studies. He was ordained May 27, 1965, at St. Joseph Church in Oakley by Dodge City Bishop Marion Forst.

He was named parochial vicar of Sacred Heart Cathedral in Salina in 1965, at St. Francis Xavier Parish in Junction City in 1967 and Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Hays in 1969. He served briefly as pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Greenleaf in 1971, then was parochial vicar of St. Mary, Queen of the Universe Parish in Salina from 1971 to 1975.

He was pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Selden and Sacred Heart Parish in Oberlin from 1975 to 1982 as part of a team ministry project. He was pastor of St. Mary in Salina from 1982 to 1991, then spent the next year earning a master’s degree in pastoral counseling at Loyola University of Maryland.

He was diocesan director of youth ministry from 1969 to 1984.

He began as a counselor at Catholic Charities in Hays in 1992 and was pastor of St. Thomas Parish in Stockton and St. John the Evangelist Parish in Logan until 1993, when he was named priest supervisor of St. Nicholas of Myra Parish in Hays and St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Munjor. He became priest supervisor of Sacred Heart Parish in Plainville and St. Thomas Parish in Stockton in 2005.

In 2006, he earned a doctorate in psychology from the Graduate Theological Foundation in South Bend, Ind.

He was named pastor of St. Mary, Help of Christians Parish in Gorham in 2008. He retired from active ministry in 2013 but continues to work at Catholic Charities in Hays, where he lives.

40th Jubilee

Father Kerry Ninemire

Born Nov. 8, 1949, in Norton to Raymond and Imogene Ninemire of New Almelo, he graduated from St. Francis Seminary High School in Victoria, then St. Mary’s College in St. Mary, Ky., and Kenrick Seminary in St. Louis. He was ordained June 13, 1975, at St. Joseph Church in New Almelo by Bishop Cyril Vogel.

He was named parochial vicar of Seven Dolors Parish in Manhattan, then parochial vicar at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Salina in 1981.

He was named pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Oberlin and Assumption of Mary Parish in Herndon as part of a team ministry project. He then was named parochial vicar of St. Mary, Queen of the Universe Parish in Salina in 1986 and became pastor of St. Thomas More Parish in Manhattan in 1991. He was named pastor of SS. Philip and James Parish in Phillipsburg and St. Francis Parish in Claudell in 1995, then returned to St. Mary in Salina in 1997 as pastor. He was named pastor of St. Francis Xavier Parish in Junction City in 2013.

He was named vicar general in 2013.

Father Daryl Olmstead

Born Aug. 21, 1948, in Honolulu to Justus “Wes” and Dorothy Olmstead, he grew up in Salina, where he graduated from Sacred Heart High School. He attended St. Mary’s College in St. Mary, Ky., and St. Thomas Seminary in Denver. He was ordained June 7, 1975, at St. Mary, Queen of the Universe Church in Salina by Bishop Cyril Vogel.

He was parochial vicar at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Hays from 1975 to 1980 and associate campus minister at St. Robert Bellarmine–St. Isidore Catholic Student Center in Manhattan from 1980 to 1981.

In 1981 he was named pastor of St. John the Evangelist Parish in Logan and St. Mary Parish in Densmore as part of a team ministry project. He became pastor of SS. Philip and James Parish in Phillipsburg, along with Logan and Densmore, in 1985. In 1995 he was named pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Goodland. He was parochial vicar at St. John the Baptist Parish in Beloit and St. Mary Parish in Glasco from 2002 to 2003, then pastor of St. Theresa Parish in Mankato, Sacred Heart Parish in Esbon and St. Mary Parish in Smith Center from 2003 to 2005. He has been pastor of St. Nicholas of Myra Parish in Hays and St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Munjor since 2005. In July he will become pastor of St. Boniface Parish in Tipton, SS. Peter and Paul Parish in Cawker City, St. Mary Parish in Downs and St. Aloysius Gonzaga Parish in Osborne.

Father Donald Pfannenstiel

Born Oct. 4, 1948, in Munjor to Celestine and Lois (Stoecklein) Pfannenstiel, he graduated from St. Francis Seminary High School in Victoria, then studied at St. Fidelis College in Herman, Pa., and Marymount College in Salina. He completed theological studies at Kenrick Seminary in St. Louis and was ordained June 14, 1975, at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Munjor by Bishop Cyril Vogel.

He was named parochial vicar at St. Mary, Queen of the Universe Parish in Salina in 1975. He was named pastor of St. Peter Parish in Aurora and St. Anthony Parish in Miltonvale in 1978, with St. Joseph Parish in St. Joseph added in 1981. He became pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Plainville in 1983, then pastor of St. John the Evangelist Parish in Herington, St. Phillip Parish in Hope and St. Columba Parish in Elmo in 1986. He was named pastor of Christ the King Parish in WaKeeney in 1998, with St. Michael Parish in Collyer added in 1999. He was named pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Oakley and St. Paul Parish in Angelus in 2013.

25th Jubilee

Father Henry Baxa

Born Feb. 17, 1941, in Cuba to Henry and Blanche Baxa, he graduated from St. Francis Seminary High School in Victoria. He earned a bachelor’s degree at Benedictine College in Atchison, a master’s at Emporia State University and did graduate work at Kansas State University and the University of Kansas. He taught in Atchison and Topeka, then was English and humanities teacher at Concordia High School for 16 years.

In Concordia he was active in Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish, where he was involved in religious education and earned the master catechist certificate from the Diocese of Salina. He served as religious education coordinator, CYO sponsor and team teacher in the RCIA program.

At the age of 45, he applied for the seminary and studied at St. Meinrad Seminary in St. Meinrad, Ind., from 1986 to 1990.

He was ordained to the priesthood on May 26, 1990, by Bishop George Fitzsimons at the Concordia church.

His first assignment in 1990 was as parochial vicar at St. Francis Xavier Parish in Junction City. In 1992 he was named pastor of St. Andrew Parish in Abilene. He then was pastor of St. John the Baptist Parish in Beloit and St. Mary Parish in Glasco from 1994 to 2004. He has been pastor of St. Andrew in Abilene and priest supervisor of St. Michael in Chapman since 2004. Junction City, Beloit and Abilene parishes all have parochial schools.

Father Baxa serves on the Diocesan Clergy Health and Retirement Board and is moderator of the Diocesan Respect Life Commission.

Extension grant, donors finance project

Salina — Work is underway at Sacred Heart Cathedral to clean and repair the limestone exterior.

The project is funded in part by a $25,000 grant from Catholic Extension, and Bishop Edward Weisenburger sought donations from several parishioners in the Salina Diocese to match that.

The original structure, completed in 1953, was showing its age. The mortar had deteriorated in places, and oxidation had discolored some of the cut stones. Additionally, lawn irrigation had stained the lower portions in places.

“This repair work will give the building a nice, clean look but will also preserve the stone from further weather damage,” Father Frank Coady explained to cathedral parishioners in a recent bulletin.

“There will be no cost to the parish,” he added. “The bishop took a leadership role in this endeavor. We are grateful to him for extending the diocese’s help on the cathedral church.”

In seeking the grant from Catholic Extension, Bishop Weisenburger described the building’s unique architecture, designed to reflect the large grain elevators that can be seen in nearly every town in the diocese.

“Our ancestors sacrificed to leave us a magnificent Cathedral,” the bishop said. “It is now our responsibility to provide the ongoing care that keeps it a sacred space where we, along with the generations to come, can nurture and celebrate our faith.”

Built at a cost of about $1 million, Sacred Heart was the first structure actually built as a cathedral. When the Diocese of Concordia was created in 1887, the existing Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church there became the cathedral church.

When the see of the diocese was moved to Salina in 1945, again, the existing Sacred Heart Church became the cathedral church.

Soon after diocesan operations moved here, efforts were underway to build a new cathedral church. Once Bishop Frank Thill determined enough money had been raised — about equally by the Sacred Heart Parish and the diocese at large — bids were let to begin construction.

It was Bishop Thill who proposed the idea of building a cathedral reflecting the diocese’s farming heritage. Initially, concrete was suggested but the bishop was able to raise the necessary $70,000 to upgrade to limestone quarried near Junction City.

Bishop Thill blessed the cornerstone June 4, 1951, and dedicated the cathedral June 6, 1953. It opened for worship on the first Sunday of Advent in 1953.

Bishop Frederick Freking consecrated the cathedral on June 19, 1962, while marking the 75th anniversary of the diocese.

A $30,000 project in 1989 saw the exterior cleaned and tuck-pointed by Mid-Continental Restoration of Fort Scott, which is in charge of the current exterior work.

“It was simply time again to give some serious attention to this magnificent structure,” Bishop Weisenburger said. “Pollution, along with the effects of weather and time, have left their marks. Discoloring from pollution has to be removed by water-blasting, some of the stone work has to be repaired, and mortar between the stones has to be restored.”

An addition to the cathedral completed in 2000, at a cost of about $1 million, included a new gathering space and baptismal font, parish hall and kitchen and other remodeling. Stone from the same quarry used for the original construction was used for the new exterior.

Mass honors consecrated life

Salina — Women and men religious gathered May 6 at Sacred Heart Cathedral for a special Mass honoring them during the Year of Consecrated Life.

Each May, the bishop has offered Mass for women religious living and serving in the Diocese of Salina, but this year, during Pope Francis’ Year of Consecrated Life, men religious also were invited.

They included members of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia; the Missionary Sisters of the Eucharist Heart of Christ the King, from Mexico City; St. Mary of the Woods Hermitage near Manhattan; the Franciscan Capuchins serving in Ellis County; the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate, from India; and the Heralds of Good News, also from India.

“Obviously we not only need but desire to take this opportunity to lift you up in a spirit of gratitude. You have our heartfelt thanks,” Bishop Edward Weisenburger told those gathered during his homily.

Whether the consecrated religious were born in Kansas or came from a distant continent, their desire to serve eventually brought them here, he said.

“Each of you have offered your life, your talents, your abilities and your love,” the bishop said. As consecrated religious, they have taught, prayed, fed the hungry, offered the sacraments and visited people in their homes.

“Your charisms are a remarkable faith witness, and for this community of faith — redemptive,” Bishop Weisenburger said.

 

Evening with seminarians, bishop is May 28 in Salina

Salina — “An Evening with Our Seminarians” will take place May 28 at St. Mary, Queen of the Universe Parish Center.

All of the diocese’s seminarians and Bishop Edward Weisenburger will be on hand to meet with guests.

It begins with an optional prayer service at 6:30 p.m. at the church. A social time starts at 6:50 p.m., followed by a catered dinner at 7:30 p.m. and a short program, all in the parish center.

The cost is $50 per person, with reservations required by May 14. Seating is limited.

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Catholic Charities’ pregnancy program celebrates 10 years

Salina — For 10 years, Catholic Charities of Northern Kansas has strived to help pregnant women deliver healthy, full-term babies through the Pregnancy Maintenance Initiative program.

Counselors and case managers work with mothers from conception to six months after delivery. There is no cost for the mother.

“We serve pregnant women throughout the Salina Diocese from our three offices located in Salina, Hays and Manhattan,” said Michelle Martin, CEO of Catholic Charities. “Our goal is to have both a healthy mother and baby at the end of the program.”

Jessica Palen, a PMI counselor in Manhattan, said she really enjoys getting to know the mothers and helping them navigate their pregnancies.

“We work to set and meet health, educational, financial, relationship, housing and safety goals for her and her family. Together we really dive in and figure out where she needs help to have the most successful pregnancy and home life after the baby is born,” she said.

“We often get referrals from our Emergency Assistance coordinator,” said Peggy Crippen, PMI case manager in Salina. “When a pregnant woman comes to Catholic Charities in need of food or assistance with their rent or utilities, chances are she could benefit from the PMI program. When a mother is struggling with basic needs, it is difficult to fully focus on her pregnancy, the health of her baby and her health.”

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Sister Esther Pineda, former diocesan director of Hispanic ministry, dies

Sister Esther Pineda, 74, of Concordia died May 6, 2015. Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. May 11 by Father James Hoover at Nazareth Motherhouse Chapel in Concordia. Burial will be in Nazareth Motherhouse Cemetery. A vigil will be at 7 p.m. May 10 at the chapel.

She was born July 1, 1940, in Bayard, N.M., to Pablo and Isidora (Salaiz) Pineda and baptized Maria Ester. She entered the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia on July 1, 1972. She entered the novitiate of the sisters on June 6, 1973, and was given the name Sister Esther. She pronounced first vows on June 8, 1974, and final vows on Aug. 15, 1980.

Sister Esther earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education and history from Western New Mexico University, a master’s in physical education and recreation from the University of New Mexico and a master’s in religious studies from Fordham University.

She taught physical education in Fairbury, Neb., from 1974 to 1975, then served in campus ministry at the St. Francis Newman Center in Silver City, N.M., and then as religious education coordinator for Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Bayard.

In 1982, Sister Esther was appointed director of associates for the congregation with residence in El Paso, Texas, and then in Concordia. In 1987 she was named vocation director and in 1988 postulant director. In 1991 she was elected to the executive council of the congregation for a four-year term, followed by a four-year term as vice president of the congregation.

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Clergy changes involve 29 locations

Salina — New or changing assignments will affect 15 priests in the Diocese of Salina as of July 1.

In addition, Father Larry Letourneau will retire after 15 years of priesthood, and two Dominican friars will be assigned to campus ministry at Kansas State University.

In all, the changes will affect 29 of the 87 parishes and campus centers in the diocese. The official notification appears on page 3 of this week's Register.

The most notable change, perhaps, is at St. Robert Bellarmine-St. Isidore Catholic Student Center in Manhattan.

Dominican Father Michael Demkovich and Dominican Father Robert Barry will serve as pastor and parochial vicar, respectively.

Bishop Edward Weisenburger celebrated all five Masses at the student center the weekend of April 18 and 19 after the change had been announced.

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Biographies of reassigned priests, deacon

Heralds of Good News Father Joseph Asirvatham has been parochial vicar at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Hays since arriving in the diocese last August from India.

He was ordained in February 2009 after attending the Heralds of Good News minor and major seminaries in India. He has served as a retreat preacher, assistant pastor and administrator of the order’s minor seminary.




Msgr. Barry Brinkman has been pastor of St. Mary, Queen of the Universe Parish in Salina since 2013.

Ordained May 17, 1991, for the Salina Diocese at Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Wichita, he was named parochial vicar at St. Mary in Salina. He was named pastor of St. John the Baptist Parish in Clyde and St. Mary of the Assumption Parish in Clifton and co-pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Concordia in 1993; pastor of Concordia in 1994; parochial vicar of St. Mary in Salina in 1999; and pastor of Concordia in 2003, with added responsibility as administrator of St. Edward Parish in Belleville, St. George Parish in Munden and St. Isidore Parish in Cuba in 2007, then becoming pastor of the three parishes in 2012.

He earned a degree in canon law in 1999 and was named vice chancellor of the diocese the same year. He served as chancellor from 2001 to 2014. A member of the diocesan tribunal, he became judicial vicar in 2012.

He was elected diocesan administrator to serve between the terms of Bishop Paul Coakley and Bishop Edward Weisenburger and was conferred the honor of monsignor by Pope Benedict XVI in 2013.

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Other clergy changes detailed

Full name to be used for Manhattan center

The Catholic campus center in Manhattan has been known informally for years as St. Isidore’s, but references in The Register now will include its formal name.

The St. Robert Bellarmine Catholic Student Center was dedicated in 1963, along with its St. Isidore Chapel.

A Newman Club had been active at Kansas State University since 1912, and plans were started in 1957 to build a student center separate from Seven Dolors Parish.

The new center was named for St. Robert Bellarmine, an Italian Jesuit priest who was named a cardinal in 1599. He was canonized in 1930 and named a doctor of the Church a year later.

His choice as patron for the Manhattan student center likely was due to the fact that Jesuit Father E.J. Weisenburg of St. Mary Theological Seminary in nearby St. Marys had served as advisor to the Newman Club since 1933.

Bishop Edward Weisenburger, in studying the history of the center, asked that the original name be reflected in future references, so the center will be called St. Robert Bellarmine-St. Isidore Catholic Student Center.



New priests’ locations to be known in May

Deacon Kyle Berens and Deacon Andrew Rockers will be ordained to the priesthood at 10 a.m. May 30 at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Salina, and their assignments as new priests will be announced at that time.

They and Deacon Chad Stramel are completing their theological studies at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis.

Deacon Stramel has opted to delay ordination and will spend the coming year in diaconal ministry at St. Thomas More Parish in Manhattan. He also will assist Father Joseph Popelka with Hispanic ministry at Seven Dolors Parish in Manhattan.



More priests from India are expected

Two additional priests from the Heralds of Good News in India are expected to arrive in the diocese later this year, and they will be assigned to parishes once they have completed an orientation for international priests.

The missionary order of priests currently has four priests working in the Salina Diocese.

Pastoral hispana / Hispanic ministry

Los cambios de los sacerdotes para este el verano en la diócesis de Salina, también traerán algunos cambios a las parroquias que tienen programas de pastoral hispana.

El padre Carlos Ruiz irá a la parroquia del Inmaculado Corazón de María en Hays como vicario parroquial. Monseñor Barry Brinkman será el párroco. El padre Ruiz sigue como director diocesano de la pastoral hispana.

El padre Ruiz deja las parroquias de Bird City y St. Francis, las cuales serán atendidas por el padre Norbert Dlabal, quien celebra misas en inglés y español en la parroquia del Perpetuo Socorro en Goodland. El padre Dlabal atendió por cinco años una misión en Perú.

El padre Donald Zimmerman será el párroco de la Catedral del Sagrado Corazón. Él ha tenido contacto con la pastoral hispana desde finales de los setentas y celebró su primera misa en español en la parroquia de los Dolores de María en Manhattan. El padre Gale Hammerschmidt seguirá como vicario parroquial en la catedral y celebrará las misas en español.

En Manhattan, el diácono Chad Stramel ayudará al padre Joseph Popelka con la pastoral hispana en la parroquia de los Dolores. El diácono Stramel residirá en la parroquia de Santo Tomás Moro en Manhattan. Diácono Stramel estudió español el verano pasado en la Universidad de Pittsburg. El padre Popelka domina el español y hasta ahora ha contado con la ayuda de las Madres Misioneras del Corazón Eucarístico de Cristo Rey que vienen del D.F.

• • •

The reassignment of priests in the Diocese of Salina this summer also brings some changes to parishes that have Hispanic ministry programs.

Father Carlos Ruiz Santos will move to Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Hays, where he will be parochial vicar. Msgr. Barry Brinkman will be the pastor. Father Ruiz is also diocesan director of Hispanic ministry.

Father Ruiz leaves parishes in Bird City and St. Francis. Those will be added to the responsibilities of Father Norbert Dlabal, who has celebrated both English and Spanish Masses at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Goodland. Father Dlabal spent five years as a missionary in Peru.

Father Donald Zimmerman becomes pastor of Sacred Heart Cathedral. He has been involved in Hispanic ministry since the late 1970s and celebrated the first Spanish Masses at Seven Dolors Parish in Manhattan. Father Gale Hammerschmidt, as parochial vicar, will continue to celebrate Spanish Masses at the cathedral.

In Manhattan, Deacon Chad Stramel will assist Father Joseph Popelka with Hispanic ministry at Seven Dolors Parish. Deacon Stramel will be based at St. Thomas More Parish in Manhattan; he studied Spanish last summer at Pittsburg State University. Father Popelka is fluent in Spanish and is assisted by the Missionary Sisters of the Eucharistic Heart of Christ the King from Mexico City.

Bishop to host pilgrimage to Italy in October

Salina — Bishop Edward Weisenburger is hosting a pilgrimage to Italy the last week of October.

The tour will spend eight days in Rome and the vicinity. The group leaves Wichita on Oct. 22 and returns Oct. 31.

“After my arrival in 2012, I was asked by several people to consider leading a diocesan pilgrimage to Rome,” Bishop Weisenburger said. “Now after almost three years as your bishop, I feel this is a good time to host one.”

“I believe that this pilgrimage will share several cities in Italy that we, as Christians, have a desire to visit,” he added.

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Farming and rural life have played a sacred role

I can get close but regrettably I cannot tell you exactly where my grandparents’ farm was located in Ellis County.

It wasn’t far from Catharine. Their small, wood-frame home was moved to Hays when my mother was a teenager and still stands, just a few blocks from St. Joseph Church. The lot where it originally stood in Catharine is now empty, leaving no evidence that a house once stood on this plot of earth facing the parish cemetery.

But that lot, that home and that community are all fundamental to my family origins, and the thread that weaves my heritage together with that of the people of our diocese is the livelihood that most all of us can trace our roots back to: farming.

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Farming, faith bound together, says national director

St. Paul, Minn. — A national organization devoted to Catholic rural life didn’t come about just recently.

Catholic Rural Life is in its 91st year, and while some of the issues have evolved over the decades, the institution remains devoted to supporting rural communities and the Catholic faith.

“Why be concerned about rural? We are concerned because 50 million people live in rural America,” said Jim Ennis, executive director.

“Food is essential to life, and therefore all Catholics and Christians should be concerned about our farms and way of living and continuing to support that way of life because that way of life ultimately sustains all our lives,” he said.

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Local commission seeks to care for creation, its people

The Salina Diocese Rural Life Commission seeks to “serve the mission of the Church by promoting the care of God’s creation and the welfare of the people who depend on it.” We answer to the bishop and support the national Catholic Rural Life organization.

Pope Francis recently stated there is no humanity without farmers. New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the shepherd of one of the most urban dioceses in the country, is a native of Missouri who said, “As the countryside goes, so goes the Church.”

Bishop Edward Weisenburger, a member of Catholic Rural Life’s national board of directors, noted at a recent Mass for Catholic Schools Week that the majority of Catholics in the diocese either grew up on a farm or their ancestors were farmers. Bishop Weisenburger’s grandparents farmed near Catharine.

The Rural Life Commission dates back to the 1920s and 1930s, when Msgr. Arthur Luckey and others expressed concern about the decline of family farms and rural communities. Seminars and workshops provoked public interest and thought about spiritual, social, economic and environmental issues affecting rural America.

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Life, then and now, revolves around farm, parish

Trego County — Fifty years ago, the standard farm family in Kansas featured father and mother both at home. They worked side by side, rearing their children to do likewise.

Six days a week they cared for the land, then worshipped on Sundays. It was a time when the rural school bus route made three stops and the bus was full, thanks to the large farm families.

That is not the norm anymore, but neither has that lifestyle vanished.

Marvin and Arlene Riedel, who live near Ellis in Trego County, are one of those couples whose lives still exemplify that model of long ago.

One of 10 children and a twin to his brother Melvin, Marvin was already helping on the farm along side his parents and siblings at an early age. By seventh grade he was driving a tractor, much like every other boy his age. They worked the land and lived off it as well.

“We ate chicken all the time and sometimes turkey or fish,” Melvin said, adding that they never butchered beef because it had to age and they simply did not have the facilities for that particular process.

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Rural members maintain active role in Ellis parish life

For Catholics in western Kansas, appointing a committee to promote Catholic rural life seems a mite unnecessary.

For many people in the diocese — like Father Richard Daise, pastor of St. Mary Church in Ellis — it really is a way of living.

“It’s the only life I know,” Father Daise said, explaining that even though he had a career in the military as a veterinarian before being ordained a priest, his rural roots never left him.

“I grew up going to Mass every week. The one-room schoolhouse I went to, the kids took turns saying grace at lunch,” he said.

His rural background comes into play as moderator of the Salina Diocese Rural Life Commission.

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Second generation part of Colby area operation

Colby — Tony Horinek wasn’t even sure he’d have the opportunity to farm when he finished college, let alone see that his sons would be farming with him or that perhaps, one day, a grandchild might take over the operation.

“It’s just been wonderful,” he said. “When I started college, I didn’t know if I’d be a farmer because I didn’t have a farm to go to. The Lord directed us. We’re so blessed to have grown to the size we are. I didn’t figure the boys would come back, and I didn’t need them, but then the farm grew. It worked out so beautifully in God’s plan.”

Tony and his wife, Anita, married in 1980 and began farming in 1981 west of Colby.

“Neither of us had a farm to move on to,” Tony said. His father was a mechanic and farmed on the side. Anita’s grandfather had farm ground, and he wanted a grandchild to farm it, but he also wanted them to live on it.

“Our home was out in the middle of the wheat field,” Tony said.

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