Salina — In an overflowing Sacred Heart Cathedral, Andy Hammeke was ordained a priest for the Salina Diocese. During the homily, Diocesan Administrator Father Frank Coady told Father Hammeke that God gave the spirit to bishops, who in turn share a portion of that spirit when they ordain a new priest. “Just as Christ did not hoard his priesthood, but shared it, so the bishops give power to others,” Father Coady said at the Mass on June 2. “Just as Moses did not suffer decrease when a portion of God’s spirit was given to the 70 elders, so the bishops did not suffer decrease when they took a portion of God’s spirit and share it with others. “Andy, you have been called to share in a portion of the bishop’s spirit, and he is no less for it. Just as the ministry of bishop has been shared with you, you must generously share this with the people of God and with all creation. You must trust that whatever you give of yourself will not deplete you. In fact, the more you give, the more you receive.”
God not only involved, but invited humankind to be involved in their own salvation, Father Coady said. “God has never done it for us. He always invites us into ministry,” he said, adding that God became fully human in Jesus. “Christ for the first time in human history lived the covenant with God — fully, perfectly, open, trusting, docile, obedient — offering his very life on the cross.”
In Jesus, God showed humanity what divinity looked like in human form. “He did this not to be admired or thanked or adored. He did it to give us an example of how possible it is for humans to be divine in this world and in this life and in this time,” Father Coady said. With the sacraments, Father Coady said the Church celebrates the sacrament “in advance of the full reality.”
Junction City — More than 280 youth from across the Salina Diocese gathered for a sweltering experience at Junior CYO Camp May 26-29 at Rock Springs Ranch. As the temperatures topped out at 101 on Saturday and remained in the high 90s on Sunday and Monday, sister Barbara Ellen Apaceller, the diocesan director of Youth Ministry, said this is the hottest camp in memory. “It was a very hot, hot camp,” she said. “It was a full time job just to keep them drinking water. It was not as hot as this — never before.”
The annual camp, which is held over Memorial Day Weekend, welcomes students who recently graduated sixth through eighth grades. Acting as counselors were junior and senior high school students, as well as college students. Seminarian Gavin Sedlacek attended the camp as a camper for four years before beginning a five-year stint as a counselor.
As a parishioner of Seven Dolors in Manhattan, he said he saw faith lived on Sundays, but didn’t understand how it could be incorporated to daily life. “As a kid, I really started to figure out how you could be a regular person and practice your faith,” he said. “I would see people on Sunday and think it’s their whole life. [At camp,] I learned that regular people come and you can practice faith in your everyday life.” It was that lesson that motivated him to return as a counselor — repeatedly. “I wanted to give that back to the kids,” he said. “I try to plant the seeds of the faith for them as it did for me all those years ago.”
Fourteen-year-old Mikayla Skidmore completed the eighth grade recently. “I like being around a bunch of other kids that are close to my age that share the same faith as me,” she said, and added that she returned this year after having fun last year at the camp. The camp entails many traditional activities such as canoeing, horseback riding, archery, arts and crafts and swimming. The evenings, however, focus on the underlying religious threads that tie the campers together.
Each night, Sister Barbara Ellen said counselors shared their lives and lessons with the campers. The group also celebrated Mass, the sacraments and Eucharistic Adoration. As a home-schooled student, Skidmore said there are a few students in her religion classes at St. Mary Parish in Hill City, but not an extended group. Camp provided an opportunity for fellowship, but also for education. “I liked being able to ask questions and people actually understanding them and being able to answer them,” she said. “There were a lot of questions from the boys about how you became a priest.
On the girls side, we also talked about why girls can’t become priests.” She said Father Ryan McCandless explained the trinity in a down-to-earth manner as well. Sedlacek said it’s valuable to take time and invest in the youth. “This is the only thing we have for junior high school students to have to come altogether,” he said. “They’re starting to mature and ask the tough questions and need to understand it’s OK to ask those questions. What they need is a place to get those answers. We’re trying to provide that, as well as showing them you don’t have to be a shut in hermit who prays all the time to be Catholic.”
Kanopolis — While “farm animals” are not permitted to reside within the city limits, a quartet of goats from Sarah Goss’ rural farm made the trip into town to be blessed as part of the “flock and field” blessing during the annual St. Isidore Day celebration for the Salina Diocese. “Heavenly Father, we ask you to bless this goat and his partner in the cage,” Father Richard Daise intoned after Mass, on the lawn of St. Ignatius Loyola Church. He continued: “Bless them for what you created them to be as goats.” He then walked over to the bed of Goss’ truck, where an additional trio of goats were penned. “There’s a whole herd in here,” Father Daise exclaimed. “We’ve got the three musketeers in here,” he said before blessing and sprinkling the additional goats with Holy Water.
The annual diocesan celebration, which is held May 15 every year, is hosted by the diocesan Rural Life Commission. About 50 gathered for the festivities, which included Mass, a blessing of the seeds and soil, a blessing of the flock and field, lunch and an agricultural-related tour. Attendees brought a sample from their fields, as well as seeds, which were blessed at the conclusion of Mass.
Angelus — Founded on the pillars of faith, family and farming, the community of Angelus has stood proudly on the plains of Northwest Kansas since the mid-1880s. Since 1887, St. Paul Catholic Church has been the jewel at the center of the community. The current parishioners of St. Paul Church and many area residents with long-standing ties to the parish recently completed 100 hours of Eucharistic Adoration to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the dedication of the building that now serves as the church proper.
While serving as the primary coordinator for the 100 Hours of Adoration event that took place May 14-18, Elsie Rietcheck, is quick to give credit where it is due. “This is not an idea I came up with,” Rietcheck said. “The parishioners at St. John Nepomucene in Beardsley did this at their church, so I spent time talking to Deb Pochop [parishioner of St. John Nepomucene] about that event during a Cursillo retreat. Then I talked to our Altar Society before approaching Father [Donald Pfannenstiel, pastor of St. Paul Church] about it. “I was nervous because it was such a big project,” she added. She needn’t have worried. Father Pfannenstiel was quick to put his stamp of approval on the venture. “How could I say no to that?” he said. “How could I turn down something that holy?”
With the pastor’s blessing, Rietcheck got to work, enlisting the help of her daughter, Amanda Ostmeyer to organize the plan. Within a couple of weeks, the groundwork was completed and Father Pfannenstiel presented pamphlets listing the available hours to the parishioners after Sunday Mass. Each of the 100 hours corresponded with a year in the building’s history, giving parishioners the opportunity to sign up for an hour/year that was meaningful to them, such as the year they got married or were baptized in the church. “There was a concern that this was going to take place right during planting season,” Rietcheck recalled. “But Father said the blessings we [the community] would receive from this would be worth the hours. “He asked people to take the pamphlet home, pray about it, and bring it back with the hour or hours they would be able to fill.”
Following the initial wave of sign-ups that saw parishioners of all ages volunteering to take an hour or two, Rietcheck said she spent a few hours on the phone contacting people who hadn’t responded, as well as people who had long-standing ties to the parish but who had moved to nearby communities over the years. “Honestly, I didn’t have to coerce anyone to sign up,” she said with a laugh. “And you know God’s hand was in this when I walked into Dollar General and ran into a man from the parish who was able to fill the last slot. This was definitely the work of the Holy Spirit!”
In all, the process took less than one month to bring the plan to fruition. The 100th anniversary celebration began with Mass at 7 p.m. on May 14, followed by the first of the 100 hours of Eucharistic Adoration at 8 p.m. The hundredth hour concluded at midnight on May 18.
Angelus — The original community of St. Paul Church began in 1887. With a few families served by Capuchin Father Fitzpatrick, a traveling priest, Mass was held once every three months. As the membership expanded in 1888, Mass was offered “occasionally” in the home of George Korte. When a priest was not available to offer Mass, the parishioners gathered to pray a rosary and read the Sunday’s Gospel passage.
With 49 members in 1889, efforts began to construct a church. After disputes about the location from parishioners, Bishop Richard Scannell decided on the final location, where the church still sits today. Construction of the original church began in March 1890 and concluded in 1891. The cost of construction was $650, aided by “home labor” and donations from parishioners. A short six years later, due to expanded membership, the parish invested slightly less than $860 to lengthen the church by building on a new sanctuary and sacristy to the original building. The expanded church was dedicated June 1, 1897.
Twenty years later, in 1917, the parish needed additional room. On May 10, 1917, the cornerstone of the current St. Paul Church was laid. On May 5, 1918, the new church was dedicated. In all, the new church cost slightly more than $35,400. The new bell tower stood at 130 feet tall, and the building was 52 feet wide, 118 feet long and seats 400 people.
The new church was built in the same location as the original church. The original church was relocated on the property, and used as a parish hall until the Knights of Columbus built a hall.
The building, now 100 years old, saw a few additional interior renovations throughout the years. In 1947, Msgr. Michael Dreiling, oversaw a redecoration, which included the addition of padded kneelers. Several improvements and remodels occurred in the mid 1960s.
In 1966, a new approach to the church, as well as a concrete walk and landscaping were added. From 1966-67, a sacristy, cry room and restrooms were added to the rear of the church. Also in 1966, to comply with the Second Vatican Council, the church interior was remodeled. The $8,870 improvement included installing walnut paneling, as well as moving the altar, repairing stained glass windows and adding new shingles to the roof.
The parish is currently accepting donations for exterior repairs of the church, including pin-tucking the concrete, steeple work and guttering issues. Once the exterior work is paid for and complete, the parish will examine potential interior repairs. Interior repairs could include repairs to the cracking plaster, and ceiling repairs.
For more information about St. Paul Church, or to support its improvements, please visit http://sjoakley.org/st-paul.
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 salinadiocese.org/the-register.