E-news for the faithful: May 31, 2019
It’s not the First Friday of the month, but I thought I would send out a message to the faithful today.
Visitation: On this last day of May, the Church celebrates the Feast of the Visitation. Our Blessed Mother visited Elizabeth and the baby, John the Baptist, in her womb leapt for joy. Our Blessed Mother still visits each one of us and brings us her Son, especially in the Eucharist. This Presence is the ultimate source of our joy.
Seminarians: Speaking of joy, last evening we had a wonderful turnout for our seminarian dinner fundraiser. Thank you so much for your support and thank you for your prayers for them! It looks as though we will have 12 seminarians next year.
FOCUS: The Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) has done great service at Kansas State University. Fr. Hammerschmidt credits FOCUS as the reason why so many college students attend daily Mass there. Some more good news: FOCUS has agreed to have an apostolate at Fort Hays State University this coming fall. Fort Hays State, under the leadership of Fr. Fred Gatschet, has had a wonderful campus ministry. FOCUS will only enhance and deepen what has been taking place.
Youth News: Lots of exciting youth news. This past week, about 12 college students spent the week learning how to teach for Totus Tuus under the tutelage of Fr. Luke Thielen. For the next several weeks, three teams will be going to 22 parishes in our diocese to teach grades 1 thru 12 about the Catholic faith. Did you know that if a person were to attend Totus Tuus for six years they would learn the entirety of the Catechism of the Catholic Church? Last weekend, more than 300 middle school children attended the Junior CYO Summer Camp at Rock Springs. On top of that, around 500 youth and adults will be participating in Prayer and Action at Sacred Heart Church in Colby and St. Andrew’s in Abilene during the months of June and July. The icing on the cake is the National Catholic Youth Conference in Indianapolis from November 21 – 23 in which more than 1,000 youth from our diocese will attend!
School News: Hope all the students are having a good summer break thus far. Someone sent me a very compelling video on Catholic schools. Click here to see the video.
Catholic Charities: On June 5, I am going to bless the new Catholic Charities office in Manhattan. We really appreciate all the wonderful service they do to help others! We are keeping our eyes on the possible flooding situation in Manhattan due to Tuttle Creek. Last year, Catholic Charities was instrumental in helping many victims of the flood there.
Books: May I recommend a couple of books. Through Fire by Water: My Journey to the Catholic Faith by Sohrab Ahamari is a truly fascinating story of the author’s journey from being an atheist in Iran to the Catholic faith. Like St. Augustine, his restless heart tried everything else first! The other is Bishop Robert Barron’s book Letter to a Suffering Church: A Bishop Speaks on the Sexual Abuse Crisis. Bishop Barron makes a powerful and compelling plea for Catholics not to leave the Church because of the scandal nor for any other reason.
USCCB Meetings: During the second week of June, I will be attending the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops meeting in Baltimore. Come Holy Spirit!
Land: I am praying for our farmers, hoping that they will be able to plant their crops after such an enormous rainfall this past month. I am praying and trusting that God will bring good from this difficult situation.
Pentecost: The weekend of June 8 – 9 the Church celebrates Pentecost. The same Holy Spirit—not a lesser Spirit or lesser quality Spirit—is given to us. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit changed the disciples who then changed the world. Please continue to pray for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon our diocese (and ourselves too). Thank you!
Be assured of my love and prayers,
“The kiss of God is the gift of the Spirit.” St. Bernard of Clairvaux