#iGiveCatholic receives more than $280,000 in first year
Salina — At the end of Giving Tuesday, the Salina Diocese was in the top five (arch)dioceses who participated in #iGiveCatholic Nov. 27. “I am extremely proud of the Salina Diocese for the generosity shown to the Catholic community,” said Beth Shearer, director of stewardship and development. “Thank you to everyone who promoted this and the donors who responded generously. We should all feel proud and blessed.” In all, 614 donors gave $281,042.59 to 54 ministries throughout the diocese.
This was the first year the Salina Diocese participated in #iGiveCatholic, a nation-wide campaign spearheaded by the Archdiocese of New Orleans. “When we started #iGiveCatholic four years ago, our goal was to support parishes, schools and nonprofits in our archdiocese,” said #iGiveCatholic President Cory J. Howat. “Now that it has become a national campaign, we are amazed by the generosity of Catholic communities across the country. While it’s hard to predict how these communities will come together on the giving day, there is no doubt that the Catholic community in Salina is extremely generous.” In all, 29 (arch)dioceses across the nation participated in the annual campaign, and collectively raised more than $5.5 million.
A noteworthy accomplishment includes nine Salina Diocesan ministries in the top 100 based on amount of money given. “One of the great things about #iGiveCatholic is that it is a great neutralizer,” Howat said. “When it comes down to it, it’s all about how a diocese and its participating organizations embrace the program. We see rural parishes outpacing larger parishes in dollars raised because they’ve taken the program, made it their own and had fun with it. Truly, a little bit of time and talent can yield great results, which is evidenced by five Salina organizations in the top 50 for dollars raised and nine in the top 100 nationwide.”
Salina — As infants squeaked and children shuffled, Bishop Jerry Vincke began his homily at the Inaugural Adoption Celebration Mass. “Raise your hands if you have adopted children,” he said. “What about any grand parents of adopted children? Anyone here who has given up their child for adoption? Raise your hand if you are adopted.” Hands raised and lowered around Sacred Heart Cathedral around the crowd of more than 125.
About half way back, Patrick and Rachel Haberman of Brookville passed their 9-month-old son, Isaac back and forth, taking turns feeding and cuddling their son. The Habermans are the most recent couple to adopt from Catholic Charities of Northern Kansas, with headquarters in Salina. They found out about three years ago they would be unable to have biological children, and turned to adoption. The process was often rocky. “We signed up with an attorney in (out of town) who does adoptions, in addition to being on the list at Catholic Charities,” Rachel said. “We had a match that failed miserably (with the attorney).” The couple decided to take a vacation, clear their heads and regroup. During that time, they decided to return all of the baby items they previously procured because having baby items around the house for a baby that would not arrive was too difficult, she said. “It was literally two hours after we got back we got the phone call,” Rachel said. “Isaac was born the next day.” She and her husband have an open adoption with Isaac’s parents. “I send his birth mom pictures all the times, a couple times a week and we see his birth dad we see regularly,” she said. “I’m so glad our adoption happened through Catholic Charities. They helped the mom get the resources she needs. “I feel only love and gratitude toward his mom. She didn’t ask us for anything and she still cares very much about us.” The date of the Mass was a special one — it was on that day two years ago that she and Patrick completed all of their paperwork to finally be on the waiting list at Catholic Charities. “Adoption is such a crazy journey,” Haberman said. “It was beautiful to be around people that have had any kind of experience with adoption. It’s such an exclusive club. People who are not in it can never understand. It’s pretty emotional to be around people who have an idea of the beautifulness, the stress, the scariness of it.”
TMP student competes, places 3rd in national livestock judging competition
School just started FFA club for students
Hays — For Jacob Schmeidler, a week away from school in the middle of the fall semester was anything but a vacation. The Thomas More Prep-Marian High School senior was a member of a four-person team, the Kansas 4-H All-Stars, that competed at the National 4-H Livestock Judging Competition in Louisville, Ky., Nov. 12-14. The competition, held in conjunction with the North American International Livestock Exposition, was made up of more than 30 teams representing states across the country. The team earned 4th Place High Team honors, with Schmeidler capturing 3rd place individually in swine judging.
While he has been competing in livestock judging contests since he was 6 years old, this was the first time Schmeidler had competed at a national level. He earned his place on the Kansas All-Star team through a series of tryouts. After being selected, he and his teammates participated in workouts held throughout the region in Nebraska, Indiana, and several communities in Kansas. During the national competition the aclasses, were tested over their knowledge of the animals they’d judged, and they provided oral reasoning for their placement of the classes. “It was the first time in many years that a Kansas team had placed in the top five,” he said.
Schmeidler’s participation in 4-H has had a direct impact on other areas of his life, not the least of which is his role in one of TMP’s newest student organizations, a chapter of FFA, also known historically as Future Farmers of America. “We just started in 2017 and we were the first private school in the state to have an FFA chapter,” said Schmeidler, the current president of the TMP chapter.
The goal of the National FFA Organization is to make “a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.” The TMP chapter takes this a step farther and incorporates faith elements that are so vital to both the students’ Catholic education and way of life. “On the back of our t-shirts we have the large letters ‘FFA,’ but we’ve added the words ‘Faith, Family, Agriculture,” Schmeidler said. “It’s something we’ve been able to implement in our chapter that also helps us show we give glory to God because he’s given us so much.”
Schmeidler recognizes that 4-H and FFA have both provided experiences he can draw from now and in the future, and that, while separate, both organizations’ goals compliment each other. “Both FFA and 4-H have helped me build leadership and public speaking skills, so they really do go hand-in-hand,” he said. “I can take what I’ve learned from one group and put it toward the other.”
While he knows the proficiencies he’s gained from the two organizations have aided him in securing his place on the Kansas All-Star Team and in leading the TMP FFA chapter, Jacob gives credit for everything to God. “I’ve been given some wonderful opportunities, but truly the only person you can attribute those to is the Lord.”