I’m so excited to present this anniversary edition of The Register for you!
Every day, I walk into my office and am greeted by a framed copy of the very first issue of The Register from 1937. Sometimes, I will re-read the stories, thinking about where our diocese was 80 years ago and where it is today. These thoughts snowballed into the newspaper that is now in your hands. It is a bit of a retrospective.
History isn’t a subject that often captures my attention, but looking back at where we’ve been as a diocese has been fascinating. I hope you enjoy reading the stories from our first paper, and seeing the follow-up.
We’ve come so far in 80 years. The diocesan seat moved from Concordia to Salina in 1945. We’ve had eight bishops since our first paper published. We’re under the guidance of our eighth pope since 1937. Much has changed.
While change is inevitable, the bedrock of our faith remains the same. The strength and dedication of Catholics in Northwest Kansas is constant. People love their Church and take pride in raising their children in the faith. This was evident as I made several road trips around the diocese this summer, meeting parishioners and hearing of their faith journeys.
It is such a joy to capture these stories and share them with you, the readers of the diocese. It is an honor. It is a slice of time, and a capsule of history.
While history isn’t my forte, I do enjoy forging through my folders and looking at the historical pictures (once a photographer, always a photographer! I’m a sucker for those historic black and white photos). It’s even better if I can convince one of our retired priests to sit with me while I do so, and tell me stories about the photos.
As I look into the future, it’s my dream to begin to scan the photos and form a digital archive. We’ll see where God takes us and how he provides to make this happen.
Even as I paused to look back, I also look to the future.
The most obvious future I look at is our new bishop, who is yet to be appointed. He will be the 12th bishop of the Salina Diocese. I know he will also look forward to the history that we all will collectively write as we move forward together.
In the 16 months I’ve been at The Register, we’ve stepped up our social media efforts. If you haven’t been on our Facebook page lately, please stop by soon (Facebook.com/SalinaDiocese). I’ve been floored by the nostalgia and fond memories so many readers have shared about their small-town churches. During both Christmas and Easter, we’ve shared photos from our churches — all decked out for the holidays. The response has been overwhelming. So many people, near and far, remember their parish church with affection. They have pride in their hometown and parish, even if they live miles away and haven’t been able to return lately.
This issue has been a labor of love. Producing a 20 page paper with one editor and a few freelance writers is daunting. Yet I’m so excited for you to read the story of Chase Kear, who is one of the alleged miracles of Father Kapaun (see page 3). I’m also in awe of the Dreamers, those who came to this country as children, and who have bright hopes for their future (see pages 14-15). And where would we be without our youth? Sister Barbara Ellen Apaceller is once again preparing to take 14 busses of youth to Indianapolis for the National Catholic Youth Conference. Each of these smaller stories tells a bigger story of our diocese. It is such a privilege to document this.
All of this is done for your benefit — for the improvement of each individual in every pew across the diocese. In 2014, The Register shifted from a subscription-only newspaper to one that is delivered to every registered Catholic household in the diocese. We went from mailing about 5,500 newspapers every week to shipping out nearly 17,000 newspapers twice a month — on the second and fourth Friday of the month. Instead of selling subscriptions, The Register seeks a $25 donation from each family to underwrite the cost of producing this publication. For those families able to give a little more to assist those who are unable to afford the donation, we are grateful.
It is such an honor to serve you as the editor of The Register. I look forward to the stories you will share with us, and the future we will enjoy together.
Blessings, Karen Bonar, Editor