Letter from Bishop Vincke

Bishop Vincke

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Grace and peace from our Lord Jesus Christ to all of you. 

I’ve been in Salina for a few weeks now and I can tell you without hesitation that I enjoy it here. Thanks to all of you for your warm hospitality. I really appreciate your kindness and support. I’ve traveled to many of our parishes thus far and it has been a source of great joy for me. It’s been wonderful to meet so many of you. I still have quite a few parishes to visit, as well as many of our schools. We are blessed to have a great chancery staff to support the needs of the diocese, too.  

I would like to address a topic that I refer to as “A Time of Healing.”  

The clergy sexual abuse scandal has been on many of our hearts, especially after the Pennsylvania grand jury report was released. The first thing I want to say is how sorry I am that this has happened. My heart goes out to all victims of abuse. What happened to them has a life-long impact on their lives and those connected to them. Sadly, many times the victims did not receive an adequate response from the Church regarding the abuse they endured and the lifelong pain and suffering that accompanies such evil. As a Church, we are extremely sorry and ask for forgiveness for the sins of our clergy. I am sorry as well to all of you, the faithful. What happened leaves us frustrated, confused and even angry. It is completely understandable to have these feelings. I’m also sorry to all of our good priests who have not been involved in any wrongdoing. It’s been very hard on them, too. When one suffers, we all suffer.

We cannot let this happen again. Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, the President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) stated the truth must come out in these situations. To uncover the truth we must launch an audit, with the majority of help from lay people, into what has happened and why it happened. I encourage you to read Cardinal DiNardo’s comments at the USCCB website ( http://www.usccb.org/news/2018/18-136.cfm ). We must learn from the mistakes of our past. We must be more transparent. We cannot hide and be silent. 

With that said, I’ve had discussions with many people in our diocese; and more importantly, I have given this difficult issue much prayer and concluded hiring someone to do an independent audit of the diocesan files is the correct and just action to take. It is my hope this action will uncover any wrongdoings that occurred in the past, and only then can we attempt to make those individuals that were harmed whole again. 

As your new bishop, I will do all I can to make sure we do things the right way. We need to make sure that we follow the Dallas Charter. I personally took the time to go through the training to protect God’s children. Two weeks ago, I met with the Diocesan Lay Review Board, which is composed of mostly laity. This board regularly reviews all complaints of sexual abuse involving minors. I was really, really impressed with this group of individuals. The members come from a variety of backgrounds that deal with issues involving sexual abuse of children. This group is dedicated to protecting the children of our diocese.  

I realize too, that as your new bishop I will have to gain your trust. I’ve been praying about this. The only thing I can do is to give my life for you and to love you as Jesus loves you. I know I will fail at times, but I pray each morning to love the people that I encounter. Please pray for me. The Lord has chosen me to be your shepherd during this difficult time in the Church. The evil one wants me, and all of us, to live out of fear and mistrust, and to stop preaching the saving mysteries of the Gospel.  

This is indeed a dark time in the Church. But God has shed his light on the darkness so that healing can take place. This might be a long process. However, we put our trust in the Lord who will bring a greater good out of this than we can ever imagine.

Finally, if you have ever been abused, please contact our Victim Assistance Coordinator at (785) 825-0865 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ... healing starts when we bring it into the light. 

I’ve started a monthly communication (Enews) to the people of the diocese. I know that some of you don’t receive email. Perhaps you can get a copy from someone at the parish. Otherwise, please sign up at https://salinadiocese.org/bishops-office/bishop-s-enews.

With love and my prayers,­
+ Jerry Vincke

Chief Financial Officer -The Diocese of Salina

CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER -The Diocese of Salina (Salina, Kansas) has an immediate opening for a Chief Financial Officer position. The successful candidate will be responsible for the overall financial management of the diocese and the stewardship of the fiscal resources in support of the mission of the Church. Under the direction of the Bishop of Salina and his Vicar General, this office oversees all financial and related functions including budgeting, accounting, investments, risk management, real estate and facilities, and contracted benefits for the diocese.  The ideal candidate will be a practicing Catholic in good standing. Must possess a high degree of integrity, confidentiality, attention to detail, and excellent verbal and written communication skills.

This position requires a bachelor’s or higher degree in accounting and/or finance, CPA licensure preferred, and at least ten years related work experience. Application and a more detailed job description are available on the diocesan web site at: http://salinadiocese.org. Qualified individuals should submit a cover letter, resume, cover letter, a pastor’s letter of support, and application (CLICK HERE) to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Open until filled.

Bishop prays with, meets faithful of the diocese Aug. 26

The Register

Victoria — In a church with the namesake of his mother, Bishop Jerry Vincke greeted faithful from across the diocese Aug. 26 at the Basilica of St. Fidelis. “This church is more beautiful than I thought it would be,” the newly ordained installed bishop said of the basilica, which is also dubbed “The Cathedral of the Plains.” The afternoon gathering consisted of a prayer service, a gospel reading and a reflection by Bishop Vincke. “I think many of you know today is a special day for me because today is my mother’s 92nd birthday, and her name happens to be Fidelis,” he said. “I talked to her this morning, she sends her love to all of you as well.”

 

Bishop Vincke said shared his gratitude about his parents and the Catholic faith they instilled in him. He recalled once as a young adult, he was traveling with his parents, and his mom insisted the first order of business was to locate a church for Mass. “I said ‘Why don’t we get there first and then we’ll try to find a church?’ and she said ‘Oh no, we’re going to church first. That’s what we do,’ ” Bishop Vincke said. “Her model was always God first, family second, whatever we desire third. That’s a great recipe for life as well.” Yet faith can be difficult at times, especially recently when many faithful are shaken from renewed clergy abuse allegations. “The Church is going through a very difficult time. It is being purified,” he said. “There have been acts that are criminal and sinful and have caused great harm to individual victims and the community of believers. We admit as Christ’s body that we have done wrong and we are sorry. We are sorry on behalf of the Church for the wrong that has been done. “I know we have lost confidence in many ways of some Church leaders. We beg for God’s mercy and we pray for healing for those who would hurt the members of the Church. We can’t allow this to happen again.”

The path forward seems obscure, he acknowledged. “It would be easy to despair. It would be easy to hide in our rooms and do nothing,” Bishop Vincke said. “That’s what evil wants us to do. We trust that Jesus will bring good will bring good out of evil.” Bishop Vincke reiterated words he spoke at Vespers (evening prayer) Aug. 21, the night before he was ordained bishop. “(In my parish), every morning in prayer I would pray ‘Lord, help me to love the people I encounter, help me to love the people at my parish,’ ” Bishop Vincke said. “Of course that’s not always easy to love at times, especially the people we love the most — even spouses. “As I enter this position, I promise to do the same. To love the people of this diocese, in good times and in bad.”

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St. Francis native takes solemn vows in Texas cloister

By The Register

Arlington, Texas — Sister Jacinta of Jesus, O.C.D., professed her final vows at the Carmel of the Most Holy Trinity in Arlington, Texas, Aug. 18. The community — Discalced Carmelite Nuns — is a cloistered contemplative religious order. Their main apostolate is to pray for priests, the poor, unemployed, sick and suffering, the hungry and those who ask for prayers, according to the order’s website. The community gathers each morning for Mass, and seven times throughout the day to chant the Liturgy of the Hours.

Born Jody Geinger in St. Francis to Tony and Joan (Banowetz) Geinger, Sister Jacinta graduated from St. Francis Community High School in 2002 and with a degree in agriculture from Fort Hays State University in 2006. She is the granddaughter of Willard “Pete” and Wanda Geinger, of St. Francis, and the late Frank and Elizabeth Banowetz of Edna. Sister Jacinta has one sister, Kari Toon, who lives in Victoria with her husband, Nate, and five children (with a sixth on the way). She lived and worked as a soil scientist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Salina while discerning her religious vocation and exploring potential religious orders. 

 

Sister Jacinta, 35, entered the Carmel of the Most Holy Trinity on Nov. 12, 2012, and took her first vows in 2015. According to their website, “Once we enter, we do not leave the monastery grounds except for necessary medical care... nor does anyone else come inside the cloister except for necessary maintenance. But the walls, the grilles, the hiddenness do not cut us off from the sufferings of the world or mean that we fail to appreciate its good and beautiful values; rather our unique vantage point lets us penetrate into the very heart of things. We are free... free to reflect, to ponder life in the light of God’s Word, to concentrate on love.”

The principal celebrant of the religious profession and solemn vows and veiling ceremony was Bishop Michael Olson, bishop of the Diocese of Fort Worth, Texas. The sisters are separated from the congregation by a metal grille. The bishop and concelebrating priests, as well as family and friends watched the profession from the other side, which is part of the sisters’ private cloister.

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Heavy rains displace residents over Labor Day

The Register

Manhattan — Nearly nine inches of rain fell early the morning of Sept. 3, causing Wildcat Creek to rise rapidly. The resulting flood displaced more than 300 residents.
When Lani Bresler woke up at 6:30 that morning, a neighbor was pounding on the door and her dog was barking.
“I went to put my slippers on, and there was water was over the top of my feet,” she said. “When you go to put your slippers on, you don’t expect to put your feet in water.”
She quickly woke her husband, John, and looked out of her bedroom window into the backyard of her duplex. Her neighbor’s storage shed was about two feet deep in the floodwater.
“I ran (to the door) barefoot because my slippers were under water,” Bresler said. “As I was going out, I could feel the sloshing under neath me. It smelled terrible.”
Greeting her at the door were college students in hip waders, with the water up to their hips as they made their way down Highland Ridge Drive.
The volume of rainfall in that storm was the most rain ever recoded at one time, according to the City of Manhattan’s website. It also said the nearly 9 inches of rain is more than projections for a 100-year flood event.

“We just started shoving everything up on upper shelves and moving things as fast as we could,” she said. “(We wanted to) get our equipment up off the floor, our computers and everything.”
By the afternoon, the water began to recede and the couple began to asses the damage. 
The lingering odor from the sewage-laced water permeated the bulk of their furniture, including a recently purchased mattress. 
“This is all a complete loss. All of this is going to go in the dumpster,” Bresler said, holding back tears.
She and John spent much of Sept. 4 cleaning and organizing smaller personal items that could be salvaged, including her china.
“Yesterday, I was packing up all of my china, I just didn’t think we’d be starting over,” Bresler said. “It just feels weird because you just get used to being in your environment, and now most of this stuff is going in a dumpster. It’s just stuff, but it’s your comfort zone.”

In the aftermath of the flood, several emergency shelters opened, including one at St. Thomas More Parish Hall. Permanent Deacon Wayne Talbot, pastoral associate, said 17 people stayed at the parish Monday night, and four remained Tuesday
“We are just glad to be answering the call to serve in some small capacity during a stressful time in people’s lives,” Deacon Talbot said. “It is our mission as Christian disciples to reach out and walk the walk.”
This is the second or third time since the parish built the structure it was utilized in cooperation with the Red Cross as a shelter during an emergency. 
The temporary shelter at the parish was then combined with Pottorf Hall in one of the city’s parks Sept. 5.
On Sept. 4, Gov. Jeff Collyer issued a state of disaster emergency declaration that included Riley County. The declaration makes state and federal aid possible, as well as assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Following the flooding, all of the submerged bridges were examined, and deemed safe for travel. The City of Manhattan worked to examine 93 properties with 106 buildings and a total of 381 dwelling units. Final estimates on number of individuals directly and indirectly affected were not available at presstime. 

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