By The Register
Salina — Plans are underway for the ordination and installation of Bishop-elect Gerald “Jerry” Vincke. The Aug. 22 event will be by invitation only, due to limited seating at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Salina. Bishop-elect Vincke celebrated a farewell Mass June 24 at his parish, Church of the Holy Family, in Grand Blanc, Mich.
There are many aspects in preparing to become the episcopal leader of a diocese, including selecting a motto. The phrase Dives in misericordia — “Rich in Mercy” — from Ephesians 2:4 will shape his episcopacy. Choosing a motto that included mercy seemed fitting, especially because in 2016, he was one of the “Missionaries of Mercy” commissioned by Pope Francis during the Year of Mercy.
“For the Year of Mercy, we started hearing confessions every day,” Bishop-elect Vincke said. “We also had two ‘24 hours with the Lord’ in which we offered confessions for 24 hours straight with Eucharistic Adoration.” He added that the consecutive hours of confession were rotated with his associate pastor. “It was amazing to see so many people come back to the confessional after being away from this Sacrament for some time,” he said.
Because seating will be limited at the ordination and installation, a live broadcast is being planned. Details will be released as they become available. Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, Kan., as head of the province that includes the Salina Diocese, will ordain the new bishop.
In order for the faithful across the diocese to meet the newly-ordained bishop, two prayer service and receptions are planned. The first is at 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 26 at the Basilica of St. Fidelis in Victoria. The second is at 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 2 at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Salina. All are invited.
For The Register
Junction City — In a world propelled by scientific and medical advancements, there is a growing need for the advocacy of ethics. Father Kyle Berens of St. Francis Xavier Parish in Junction City not only sees the important role that ethics plays in medicine, but has the desire — and now the authority — to fulfill it. He recently earned a Master’s of Science in Bioethics from the University of Mary of Bismarck, N.D. “I am most amazed how necessary this field is to the Catholic Church,” Father Berens said. “The truth doesn’t always reach everyone. But now, with more voices speaking the truth, this truth can set people free to make their own decisions.”
The biomedical ethics degree was two-fold for Father Berens. In the first year, the degree was initiated with the National Catholic Bioethics Center (NCBC) Certification Program, where he laid the groundwork for his degree. The second year, Father Berens finished his degree online with the University of Mary. During his schooling, he studied medical laws and health policies, the principles and practices of the medical field and the rapidly-growing medical industry — all with the aim to defend human dignity throughout the healthcare fields. Classmates included doctors, lawyers and people from all walks of life.
From family planning to end of life, medical choices often become complex, especially in areas of morality. Those with bioethics degrees can help mentor those who are faced with those tough decisions. Retired Medical Moralist for the diocese and former member of the St. John’s Hospital Board, Msgr. James Hake, explained the relevance. “Many people feel they have the freedom over their own body to cut tubes or pull plugs,” Msgr. Hake said.
He explained that those in Father Berens’ position are regularly referenced for issues on abortion, tubal ligation, contraception, euthanasia and other end of life issues. Patients and doctors alike consult these priests because, as Msgr. Hake noted, practical or popular medical procedures often have moral consequences that can be forgotten or overlooked. While it can be hard to watch a loved one suffer in their last hours, Msgr. Hake illuminated the need for consultation. “We are not the lord of life or death — there is already a Lord,” he said. “Most people don’t understand the value of suffering. It’s easy to end a life, but it is not always permissible. There’s a difference between allowing someone to die naturally and causing the death medically. That is what [medical moralists] are referenced for.”
Because of the rapidly advancing medical field, the position of Medical Moralist needed an added level of authority. Father Berens was originally charged to pursue this degree within the first year of his ordination by Salina’s previous bishop, Bishop Edward Weisenburger. Bishop Weisenburger’s aim was for Father Berens to guide the hospital in Manhattan, Mercy Regional Health Center, in its transition from Regional Health to Via Christi.
Salina — When approached by friends or fellow students about becoming a missionary following her college graduation, Tracie Thibault’s answer was simple. Her plan was to continue her academic studies optometry school. “I spent all last summer studying for admissions test for optometry school and did far better than I expected,” she said. “By September, I was accepted to the school I dreamed about going to.” Her plans seemed firm, until Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) approached her about applying to become a FOCUS missionary in October. “I told them I already committed to optometry school,” said Thibault, a Salina native. “They said ‘Why don’t you come to the interview weekend? It’s a good time to discern.’ ”
As she spent time in prayer, she said she “I felt God radically calling me.” Yet, she had plans. And those plans included optometry school. They didn’t include taking two years off to serve as a missionary on a college campus. “I remember being in prayer and very clearly hearing God call me ‘You can help people to see, but first help people see me,’ ” she said.
Conflicted, and home from Kansas State University over Christmas break, she was prepared to decline the opportunity to serve as a FOCUS missionary. She asked her school in October if they would be willing to defer her seat and scholarships for two years, but heard no response. “A couple hours after I got home, I opened my email and [received an email from the college saying] ‘We would love to offer you a two year deferment, and would welcome you in two years,’ ” Thibault said. “My jaw dropped. Jesus answered my prayer. “I learned, that Jesus wants us to give him everything. He doesn’t necessarily take everything away from us. I’m really thankful that both doors are still open. I’m able to be a missionary and pursue my dream of being an optometrist.”
This summer has been spent five weeks preparing with more than 660 other FOCUS missionaries at Ave Maria University in Ave Maria, Fla. Each week focused on a different aspect of formation: human formation, spirituality, intellect and apostolic formation.
As a FOCUS missionary, she and her five teammates will assist at the Catholic student center at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ala. They will assist students in forming a relationship with Christ. They will focus on activities, but also the personal relationship with God. “It’s not just a mentorship, it’s accompanying people in this walk of faith,” Thibault said. “I know that it’s a long-term investment. I’m giving people a great foundation as they go into their careers, to live the Catholic identity. My hope is that we will be launching the next doctors, teachers, people in public office, parish leaders, the next generation of the Church.”
She completed training June 30, and will be in the Salina Diocese, visiting family, and working on mission partner development. As a missionary, she will fundraise her salary for the year. “I’m looking for support financially, but also for prayers,” she said. “I’m hoping to meet up with people who will support me by praying for my students on a daily basis.”
Thibault said she will be available to talk with church or parish groups about faith and her journey between now and mid-August, when she will depart for Alabama. She said she experienced an “aha” moment during week three of training. “The last talk was ‘How to win souls, not arguments,’ ” Thibault said. “We learned it’s not by the mind we’ll win souls. It’s by loving them and being a window to Christ.”
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.”
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.”
Salina — For the Catholic Charities 13th Annual Fundraiser, the goal is not only to hit the $100,000 donation match, but to welcome new faces to the event. “We’ve set a new goal: to get 20 new individuals or couples there who haven’t been to the event in a long time or at all,” said Eric Frank, Director of Development for Catholic Charities. The annual fundraiser is from 5 to 7:30 p.m. July 22 at the Salina Country Club, 2101 E. Country Club Rd., Salina.
This is the third year for the venue, which has been a popular one, Frank said. This is also the second year for the hefty $100,000 match. “It was a lot of work to get to the 100,000 match,” Frank said. “You think $100,000 is a lot of money, and it is, but it doesn’t go too far when you’re doing this kind of work. “Thank God we have people that care enough, because this fundraiser is such an important part of our overall picture to get things in place financially for next year.”
The result of Catholic Charities’ 2017 move to Ninth Street in Salina resulted in additional visibility and room for clients and volunteers alike, which yielded additional clients who need assistance, said Executive Director Michelle Martin. “We have so many more volunteers, other classes going on, partnering with other agencies,” Martin said. “It’s a much more active place.”
“We have grown so fast, so quickly in the new location,” Frank added. “We have so much exposure. We’re trying to keep up. “We’re moving forward with our programing in ways we couldn’t while we were working on the new building. There are many new opportunities coming up.”
As exciting as the new partnerships are, Martin said she has what could seem like a silly goal: To be able to give moms a full box of diapers when they come in need of assistance. “A child goes through about two boxes of diapers per month,” she said. “Right now, we count out 10 or 12 diapers from a box and give that to clients who are in need, because that’s all we have to give. My vision is to be able to give a full box of diapers.”
Catholic Charities offers assistance throughout the Salina Diocese to those in need, regardless of religious background. “It’s amazing about the difficulties people face in their lives,” Frank said. “That’s what we’re there for — to help them sort it out. To give them bearing and to give them hope while they’re here, so when they walk out of the door they have some kind of reassurance that we are in it with them. To give them hope to find ways to alleviate some of their problems. We can’t do it all, but we’re doing what we can, when we can.”
The evening includes a social with cash bar, dinner and live auction. The evening is free, but RSVPs are required; seating space is limited. “We want our donors to help us move it forward next year and the next,” Frank said. “We need your help. We can’t do this by ourself.”
To RSVP, please go online to CCNKS.org or call (785) 825-0208 x 215.
Hays — Some familiar faces will be present at the Seventh Annual Diocesan Men’s Conference on Aug. 11 in Hays. Archbishop Charles Chaput, O.F.M., Cap., who hails from Concordia and attended St. Francis Seminary High School in Victoria, will be one of the two speakers at the conference, which is themed “Men of God.” He will be joined by nationally known radio host John Martignoni, who hosts “EWTN Open Line” on EWTN Radio.
Archbishop Chaput said he is delighted to be returning to his home diocese for the conference. “Kansas has its own special beauty, and a lot of that beauty comes from the people who live here,” he said. “You can take the boy out of Kansas, but not Kansas out of the boy.”
The annual men’s conference is hosted by the Salina Diocese office of Family Life. The event will feature the speakers, as well as Mass, Eucharistic Adoration, Reconciliation and lunch.
The conference theme is one both speakers laud. “To be men of God means making a daily effort to be holy; to consciously develop the virtues of courage, honesty, justice, prudence, self-discipline and patience,” Archbishop Chaput said.
Martignoni, who has spoken previously in the diocese, said he thinks the man’s role in the spiritual formation of a family has been de-emphasized. Studies have shown that children whose fathers regularly attend church are 85 to 90 percent likely to attend church themselves as adults. If only their mother attends church, the chance is about 25 percent.
“The impact of the father on the spiritual formation of the children is so great that adult men need proper formation right now,” he said. “In this environment we’re living in, it’s so much more important to get to the male right now.” He said the female’s role in the Church is equally important, but “the male has been neglected and overlooked, we have some catching up to do.”
Archbishop Chaput said today’s culture focuses on “toxic masculinity.” “There’s also an undercurrent of real contempt for male dignity and leadership that’s very unhealthy for society and demoralizing for young men,” he said Archbishop Chaput said he plans to discuss how young men “become real men in a Christian sense, despite all the conflicting pressures.” It’s essential for men to gather in fraternity. “In my experience, men are much less naturally social than women,” Archbishop Chaput said. “They have a tendency to be loners, but they also have a deep need for fraternity and mutual support. That need is particularly urgent now.”
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.
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.