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November 28, 2014

In this issue

Father Carl Kramer, priest for more than 62 years, mourned
Advent a time of preparing, not for Christmas, but for eternity
Annual collection benefits 35,000 retired religious
Bishops issue statement on judicial decision on same-sex marriage

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Priest for more than 62 years mourned PDF Print E-mail
Written by Doug Weller   
Tuesday, 25 November 2014 16:48

Hays — Father Carl Kramer was remembered for his devotion to his parishioners and his unique way of connecting with them during the Mass.

Father Kramer, 88, died Nov. 11 after a long illness.

A priest of the Diocese of Salina for more than 62 years, he had lived the last 28 years of his life in Hays, so it was appropriate that a memorial Mass for him was celebrated here on Nov. 13.

In his homily, Bishop Edward Weisenburger said he had learned through numerous conversations with people that Father Kramer “appears to have been universally beloved … and that’s no easy feat for any priest.”

“I get the impression he was ‘the real thing,’ committed to his God and committed to the people he was called to serve,” the bishop said. “He seems to have learned early on how to put that phrase from the Gospel into practical practice: He gave in order that he might find. He gave generously of his life in ministry and in return found life.”

Father Kramer was born Nov. 29, 1925, in Ogden to Leo and Kathryn Kramer. He attended a year of public high school and a year of Catholic high school in Manhattan, then enrolled in St. Louis Preparatory Seminary. He completed his philosophy and theology degrees there and was the last priest to be ordained — on March 9, 1952 — in the old Sacred Heart Cathedral in Salina.

He briefly was assigned to parishes in Abilene, Solomon, Hope and Elmo before being named the first full-time chaplain at St. Isidore Catholic Student Center at Kansas State University in Manhattan in 1958.

The Newman Club at KSU had operated from Seven Dolors Parish, but Bishop Frederick Freking saw the need for a separate student center and purchased land across from the university football stadium.

There, Father Kramer oversaw the growth of the center, which moved into newly built facilities in 1963. He remained 18 years, then served at his home parish in Ogden and then neighboring Junction City before being moved west to Gorham and then to Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Hays.

Ad­vent a time for preparing, not for Christmas, but for eternity PDF Print E-mail
Written by Daniel Mulhall, Catholic News Service   
Tuesday, 25 November 2014 16:46

While most people keep track of time based on a year that begins on Jan. 1, others base and organize their lives around their children’s school calendars. Those who run businesses and organizations operate on fiscal years.

The Catholic Church also keeps track of time and its passing. We know it as the liturgical year, which has seasons such as Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter and ordinary time.

For the Church, the year begins with the first Sunday in Advent in late November or early December.

Because Advent comes before Christmas, it is understood as a period to prepare for Christ’s birth. However, it is important that we not make it simply a preseason to Christmas. To turn Advent into a time to prepare for Christmas does a disservice. It limits our ability to get the most out of the liturgical year. Advent should be a rich and fruitful beginning of a spiritual year.

“Advent” comes from the Latin adventus, which means “arrival.” But at Christmas we celebrate what has already occurred: Jesus’ birth and our salvation. A closer look at “advent” reveals greater anticipation. The Latin word adventus is a translation of the Greek word parousia, sometimes used to refer to the second coming of Christ— the event that is eagerly awaited by Christians.

Annual collection benefits 35,000 retired religious PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Register   
Tuesday, 25 November 2014 16:44

Washington — The 27th national collection for the Retirement Fund for Religious will be held in Diocese of Salina Dec. 13-14.

The annual, parish-based appeal is coordinated by the National Religious Retirement Office and benefits more than 35,000 senior Catholic sisters, brothers and religious order priests.

The 2013 appeal raised nearly $28.4 million, enabling the NRRO to distribute $23 million in financial assistance to 424 religious communities. Additional funding is allocated for communities with the greatest needs and for retirement planning and educational resources.

Catholic bishops in the United States initiated the collection in 1988 to address the significant lack of retirement funding among U.S. religious communities. Proceeds are distributed to eligible communities to help underwrite such day-to-day needs as prescription medications and nursing care.

Since the collection began, Catholics have contributed $726 million. More than 93 percent of donations directly support senior religious and their communities.

In 2013, people of the Salina Diocese gave $47,816 to the collection.

Wichita, Omaha dioceses offer travel packages to Philly PDF Print E-mail
Written by Doug Weller   
Friday, 21 November 2014 10:06

People who want to see Pope Francis in Philadelphia next September — or attend the World Meeting of Families, or both — can join travel groups from Wichita or Omaha, Neb.

Pope Francis announced Nov. 17 that he would attend the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, which is Sept. 22-25, then celebrate Mass for as many as 2 million people on Sept. 27.

No other dates or cities have been announced for the papal visit, although he has been invited to Washington, D.C., and New York.

Travel agencies have put together packages for the Diocese of Wichita and the Archdiocese of Omaha, and they have invited people in the Salina Diocese to join them.

• The Wichita package flies participants to Philadelphia for the World Meeting of Families and the papal Mass for a total cost of $2,600, double hotel room occupancy. It departs Sept. 21 and returns Sept. 28. The price includes the $325 full package registration cost of the World Meeting of Families, as well as airfare, local transportation, hotel rooms, some meals and other activities.

The deadline to register for the Wichita trip is Dec. 15. A non-refundable $250 deposit is required. Reservations are on a first-come, first-served basis. There is no reservation without a deposit.

To register, go to The registration form and deposit are payable to Grand View Tours in Aston, Pa.

• The Omaha package takes participants by bus but does not include the World Meeting of Families. It will take people to the papal Mass, as well as provide two days of tours of sites in the Philadelphia area. The tour leaves Omaha on Sept. 23 and returns Sept. 28. The cost is $999 for an adult, double hotel room occupancy, or $799 for children 11 and younger. The cost includes transportation, some meals, hotel rooms and the tourist sites.

To register, call Legacy Tour and Travel in Fort Dodge, Iowa, at (877) 776-1700 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays. A $200 deposit is required.

Legacy Tour also is planning a longer bus trip taking in both the World Meeting of Families and the papal Mass, as well as a shorter bus trip for youth wanting to attend only the papal Mass. Details have not been released.

For more information or assistance, contact Reg and Jan Konrade, directors of the Office of Family Life / NFP for the Salina Diocese, at (785) 827-8746, ext. 40, or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Pope Francis Announces 2015 Visit to Philadelphia for World Meeting of Families  PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Register   
Monday, 17 November 2014 09:06

Washington — The visit of Pope Francis to Philadelphia in September 2015 for the World Meeting of Families will be a “joyful moment,” said Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Pope Francis made his intention to travel to the United States public Nov. 17 in an address to the Colloquium on the Complementarity of Man and Woman at the Vatican.

“The presence of Pope Francis at the World Meeting of Families in our country will be a joyful moment for millions of Catholics and people of good will. Our great hope has been that the Holy Father would visit us next year to inspire our families in their mission of love. It is a blessing to hear the pope himself announce the much anticipated news,” said Archbishop Kurtz.

The World Meeting of Families, sponsored by the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for the Family, is the world’s largest Catholic gathering of families and is held every three years.World Meeting of Families 2015 will be Sept. 22-25, 2015, hosted by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, and will focus on the theme “Love is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive,” emphasizing the impact of the love and life of families on society.

More information about the meeting, including open registration, is available online: People in the Salina Diocese who are interested in group travel options to Philadelphia with neighboring dioceses can contact the Office of Family Life at (785) 827-8746, ext. 40, or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

The Vatican has not announced additional dates or cities for the 2015 papal visit at this time.

Donations needed to send The Register to every household in the diocese PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Register   
Friday, 14 November 2014 09:20

Salina — A year ago, the Salina Diocese announced a substantial change in the way its newspaper, The Register, is made available to parishioners.

For 76 years, the weekly newspaper was delivered to subscribers, but in 2013, that number had dwindled to only about one-third of all registered parishioners.

Plans were made to send the newspaper to every Catholic household, beginning in January 2014.

To accommodate the increased printing and mailing costs — from about 5,500 to nearly 18,000 copies — the decision was made to reduce publication from weekly to twice monthly — on the second and fourth Fridays.

And instead of selling subscriptions, The Register would seek a $20 donation from each family to underwrite the additional costs.

Parishioners responded, donating more than $105,000. More than 4,100 donors gave an average of just over $25.

The same distribution system will continue for 2015. A donation envelope is included in this issue.

The changes have been positive, said Father Steve Heina, who is moderator of the diocesan Office of the New Evangelization.

Bishop moves into historic home adjacent to cathedral, Chancery PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Register   
Friday, 14 November 2014 09:18

Salina — A historic house adjacent to Sacred Heart Cathedral and the Chancery of the Diocese of Salina once again has become the bishop’s home.

Known as the Brungardt house, the two-story brick building at North Ninth and State streets has been owned by the diocese since 1963.

Bishop Edward Weisenburger expressed a desire to move into the home not long after his ordination here in May 2012 because of its proximity to the cathedral and Chancery. The house mostly has been vacant since 2005.

After updates to the heating and cooling systems, installation of energy-efficient windows and other renovations, Bishop Weisenburger moved in last weekend. His former residence in east Salina has been sold.

The diocese purchased the Brungardt house in 1963. It had been built in the 1920s by Dr. Balthasar Brungardt, a well-known Salina physician.

Dr. Brungardt died in 1962; his widow, Margaret, lived in Victoria until her death in 1986. His first wife, Mary, had died in 1925.

Among his 20 children is Father Al Brungardt, now retired in Victoria. One of the grandsons is Bishop John Brungardt of Dodge City.

The Brungardt house served as the home of Bishop George Fitzsimons from 1994 until his retirement in 2004 and briefly was lived in by his successor, Bishop Paul Coakley.

What is the ‘Pope Francis Effect’? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Bishop Edward Weisenburger   
Friday, 14 November 2014 09:17

Much has been said and written about what is called “The Francis Effect.” My hunch is that the reality those words point to is far more complex than what I can summarize in a few words.

However, there is one small piece of the pie that I believe is worth considering. I would propose that what we are seeing in Pope Francis is the distinction between a “confrontational” stance against our culture and a more biblically inspired “prophetic” approach in relation to the world around us. Let me explain the background and the difference.

There is much in our Western culture that is in dire opposition to our beliefs and our faith. A quick look at our culture reveals that the followers of Jesus Christ are in a position of contradiction on the immense value of all human life, the proper role of money and wealth in our lives, a proper understanding of human sexuality, the just treatment of immigrants and a host of other issues.

Conflict is inevitable between those who struggle to orient their lives to Christ and his Gospel and those who align their lives with the purely secular values of our world. It is my belief that good Pope Francis is reminding us — both in the way that he communicates and in the way he treats people — that the way we Christians handle this conflict makes all the difference.

Is it possible that in looking back over the last few decades, we might see signs of our Church responding to the culture in a way as aggressive as the culture itself? Having oftentimes been challenged by our culture, and very harshly so, have we responded in a very similar manner? If so, then we are embracing what I would call a confrontational stance against our culture. If that is the case, then regrettably much of our holy message is lost in the unholy confrontation.

On the other hand, what I believe Pope Francis is calling us to is what I would term a more prophetic stance in relation to the Western world. The teachings of Christ and the will of God found in Scripture and sacred tradition are timeless, but how we present those truths matters immensely.

Statement on the Judicial Decision on Same-Sex Marriage PDF Print E-mail

Joint Statement of the Roman Catholic Bishops of Kansas

It is with considerable regret that we acknowledge the Nov. 12 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to allow a federal judge to strike down the Kansas marriage amendment. By recalling that 70 percent of Kansas voters in 2005 chose to protect the institution of marriage, it would seem clear that this recent social issue is far from resolved in the minds and hearts of Kansans. In addressing this judicial decision we also must note that the Church’s teaching on marriage is not simply a “position” on a political issue, because marriage is not a creation of the state. Rather, marriage is part of the natural order instituted by God, and even well-intentioned, conscientious members of the Legislature and judiciary cannot alter a given reality. Such truth simply does not change with the times.

No statement on marriage is complete without asserting our core belief that all people, including those with same-sex attraction, are beloved children of God. Indeed, a fact oftentimes lost in this discussion is that many homosexual persons find a loving home in the Catholic Church. They encounter among us not only revealed truth but brothers and sisters who are anxious to journey with them on the path of holiness. However, any effort to stretch the meaning of marriage beyond its essential definition, even in a benevolent effort of inclusiveness, does an injustice to all. True happiness comes only when we embrace God’s plan for us. As explained so beautifully by St. Augustine, our hearts are restless until they rest in the Lord.

Beyond our religious beliefs we also would note that marriage is the very foundation of human society. Its value extends far beyond the individual man and woman who embrace it. By its very nature it involves the coming together of a male and a female not only for their own good but likewise for the good of children and the stability of society. Therefore it is equally important to note that every child wants to know his or her mother and father, to be with them, and to be loved by them. Tragic circumstances sometimes render this impossible, and we have great admiration for the many noble and dedicated single parents, grandparents, adoptive parents, and others who nurture children in challenging situations. However, for the state to decide that substantial numbers of children will intentionally go without mothers or fathers is an extraordinary injustice.

It is our understanding that the decision to strike down Kansas’ marriage amendment will continue to be appealed, and it appears that the U.S. Supreme Court will ultimately decide the issue for the entire country. We are grateful for last week’s decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upholding the rights of states to legally recognize and protect the meaning of marriage as exclusively between one man and one woman. It is our hope that the U.S. Supreme Court will affirm the Sixth Circuit’s decision.

We pray for a restoration of respect for the true meaning of marriage in our country. We pray that those individuals who experience same-sex attraction find comfort in the love of God as they strive to live in accordance with God’s will. Finally, we pray for those faithful Christians who will undoubtedly face criticism, ostracism, and even persecution in the coming years for their steadfast adherence to the Gospel’s timeless teaching on human sexuality.

Most Reverend Joseph F. Naumann, Archbishop of Kansas City in Kansas
Most Reverend John B. Brungardt, Bishop of Dodge City
Most Reverend Edward J. Weisenburger, Bishop of Salina
Most Reverend Carl A. Kemme, Bishop of Wichita

Philadelphia officially opens World Meeting of Families registration PDF Print E-mail
Written by Catholic News Service   
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 13:10

Philadelphia formally opened its arms to the world as Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia told the U.S. Catholic bishops Nov. 10 that registration has begun for the World Meeting of Families next year in the city.

The archbishop made the announcement on the first day of the annual fall general assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore.

With up to 15,000 attendees expected for the gathering of families from around the country and the world Sept. 22-25, 2015, organizers are planning hotel and other accommodations plus a full slate of top speakers and activities for what will be the largest convention for Philadelphia next year.

People in the Salina Diocese who are interested in group travel options with neighboring dioceses can contact the Office of Family Life at (785) 827-8746, ext. 40, or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

"The World Meeting of Families will deal with a wide range of family issues where our faith is both needed and tested," the archbishop said. "These are matters that affect families not only here in the United States but on a global scale."

Addressing those matters in six keynote speeches and 67 breakout sessions — each allowing for 15 to 20 minutes of questions and answers with 700 to 1,000 people per session — will be speakers including Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila, Philippines, and other bishops, priests and religious sisters, plus Helen Alvare, Supreme Knight Carl Anderson and author Scott Hahn.

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