Salina — The Salina Diocese will participate in #iGiveCatholic for the first time this year. Declared “the most successful Catholic crowdfunding event to date” by the National Catholic Register, the goal of the #iGiveCatholic Giving Day is to rally our Catholic community in support of the organizations that shape our souls: our parishes, schools ministries and not-for-profit organizations. Currently, parishes and not-for-profit organizations across the diocese are enrolling. Enrollment closes Oct. 31.
What is #iGiveCatholic?
It is an online giving day that coincides with #GivingTuesday, which is the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It also kicks off a traditionally charitable season. The goal of #iGiveCatholic Giving Day is to inspire the Catholic community to come together as faithful stewards and to “give Catholic” on Giving Tuesday.
When is #iGiveCatholic?
This year, it is Tuesday, Nov. 27 from Midnight to 11:59 p.m. CST.
How does it work?
#iGiveCatholic is an online platform with searchable profiles of participating parishes, schools, ministries and not-for-profit organizations affiliated with the 28 participating dioceses. All donations are processed through iGiveCatholic.org. Participating organizations and donors can track event progress via leaderboards.
Written by Fr. Andrew Rockers
Q. Should Archbishop Theodore McCarrick be living in Victoria?
A. Many Catholics throughout the Diocese and throughout the country were shocked, discouraged and even angered when they heard the news that the disgraced ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick would be living at St. Fidelis Friary in Victoria. I myself was among them. But then, by God’s grace and Bishop Jerry Vincke’s example, I began to have a different perspective on the whole matter. Basically, I realized I don’t know the answer to the above question, and I don’t think anyone else really does either.
God’s ways are quite mysterious, beyond our ability to comprehend. Anyone who has read the Book of Job knows to be very hesitant about claiming to know the mind of God. Or put another way, we read in Isaiah 55:8-9: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” It’s all too easy to view this situation regarding Archbishop McCarrick from a human perspective. I think Bishop Vincke is challenging us to view it from a divine perspective, through the eyes of faith.
We want justice. All people of good will want the perpetrators of these terrible crimes to face justice for what they’ve done. Many people are calling for Archbishop McCarrick to be thrown in jail, and while that is very understandable, at this moment in time, it’s also very unrealistic. He has not been charged or convicted of any civil crimes, at least not yet, and therefore the Church has no ability to have him thrown in jail, now or ever. Many people are also calling for him to be laicized or removed from the priesthood, something I myself support strongly. But, there’s only one person in the world with the authority to do that, and it’s not Bishop Vincke, nor anyone else in the United States. Even if these just things were to happen, we need to remember that they would not perfectly satisfy justice for the sins of Archbishop McCarrick; all human justice is necessarily imperfect. True justice for these terrible crimes can only be brought about by God himself.
There are two ways this could happen: the eternal punishment of hell or the redemptive power of Christ. No disciple of Jesus can desire the former, we must all desire and pray for the latter. The justice that we must truly desire can only come from mercy, from Archbishop McCarrick repenting of his sins and placing them at the foot of the cross, so that they can be cleansed in the Blood of the Lamb; this is the mystery of our redemption. And this is compatible with him still being held accountable in this life and having to make reparation in Purgatory.
In 1887, there was a convicted murderer by the name of Henri Pranzini condemned to death. He was unrepentant up until the very moment of his execution, when he turned to the priest present and devoutly kissed a crucifix three times. St. Therese of Lisieux had been praying fervently for his repentance and salvation, and she took this as a sign that her prayer had been answered. Bishop Vincke is asking us as a Diocese to take up a similar mission as that of St. Therese: to pray fervently that Archbishop McCarrick will receive all the graces necessary for his salvation. Our bishop saying yes to letting the archbishop live in Victoria is not preventing justice from being carried out. As I said above, he doesn’t have the authority necessary for that. He could have said no, but they would have just found somewhere else for Archbishop McCarrick to live. And some people, especially in Victoria, are probably going to continue to wish our bishop had, and I sympathize with that. But instead, he accepted this challenge for our diocese, taking it to prayer and believing it to be of God.
In God’s providence, we are now being called upon to pray and sacrifice in an intentional and intense way for the conversion and repentance of Archbishop McCarrick. The Prayer after Communion for the Mass of St. Therese beautifully articulates this call from God: “May the Sacrament we have received, O Lord, kindle in us the force of that love with which Saint Therese dedicated herself to you and longed to obtain your mercy for all. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.”
A final word does need to be said about the fact that St. Fidelis Friary is right next to an elementary school. This looks terrible; but, I want to suggest that it looks far worse than it actually is. The reason the archbishop was able to do what he did was because of his influence and authority, but that’s all over. He is now a weak and frail 88-year-old man, with no influence or power in Victoria to use as leverage. There are also no young and vulnerable Capuchins at St. Fidelis Friary; it is primarily a retirement home, not a house of formation. The archbishop has been explicitly confined to the Friary itself. He is not allowed to leave for any reason, short of a medical emergency
I realize this doesn't address all of the concerns, disagreements and potential problems with this arrangement, but in God's Providence it is what it is, at least for now. With faith and fervent prayer, let's make the best of it. And please pray for Bishop Vincke as well.
The Church needs to be open, honest and transparent.
On September 13, 2018, I received a phone call from His Eminence, Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C. After brief pleasantries, he got right to the point. He asked for my permission for Archbishop Theodore McCarrick to reside at the St. Fidelis Capuchin Friary in Victoria, Kansas, to live a life of prayer and penance. Archbishop McCarrick is 88 years old. Cardinal Wuerl already received permission for this arrangement from Father Christopher Popravek, the provincial of the Capuchin Friary in Denver. I said, “yes.”
I realize this decision will be offensive and hurtful to many people. Archbishop McCarrick is, in many ways, at the forefront of the recent firestorm in the Church. Many of us are confused and angry by what Archbishop McCarrick is alleged to have done several decades ago. The Holy See stated on July 28 that Pope Francis “accepted his resignation from the cardinalate and has ordered his suspension from the exercise of any public ministry, together with the obligation to remain in a house yet to be indicated to him, for a life of prayer and penance until the accusations made against him are examined in a regular canonical trial.” Please know that I agreed to this arrangement with the understanding that Archbishop McCarrick is excluded from any public appearances and ministry. Our diocese is not incurring any cost in this arrangement.
I believe in justice. Recently, the administrative committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops stated their support of a full investigation into the allegations surrounding Archbishop McCarrick. The committee has recommended that the investigation be done by lay experts in relevant fields, including law enforcement and social services. Currently, a timeline for that investigation is unknown.
I also believe in mercy. In saying “yes,” I had to reconcile my own feelings of disappointment, anger and even resentment toward Archbishop McCarrick. I had to turn to Christ for guidance. Jesus is rich in mercy. He did not come to give us permission to sin, he came to forgive our sins. We know that Christ has compassion and mercy for all who repent of their sins. The cross is a place of love and mercy. It is not a place of retribution. If our actions do not have mercy, then how can it be of the Church?
Jesus reminds us to “be merciful, just as our Father is merciful.” Many years ago, I received a relic of Saint Maria Goretti, who was canonized in 1950. When Maria was almost 12 years old, she was attacked by a 19-year-old man named Allesandro Serenilli. After she rebuffed his sexual advances, Allessandro stabbed her 14 times. On her deathbed, Maria’s last words were, “I forgive Alessandro Serenelli … and I want him with me in heaven forever.” She forgave her assailant. Yet, there was also justice. Allesandro spent a number of years in prison. During this time, he had a deep conversion and spent the rest of his life in a monastery. I have the relic of Saint Maria Goretti beside the tabernacle in my chapel with a prayer that I say often. The
opening line is “Dear Saint Maria Goretti, your heart was so full of mercy that you gladly forgave your assassin and prayed that he might be saved.” I think Saint Maria Goretti is a saint today because she forgave Allesandro.
Sometimes, it can take a long time to forgive.
At this time, I would like to take the opportunity to say how deeply sorry I am to all the victims of abuse. My heart aches for you and your families. I am unable to comprehend the extent of your suffering. Sadly, many times the victims did not receive an adequate response from the Church regarding the abuse they endured and the life-long pain and suffering that accompanies such evil. As a Church, we are extremely sorry and ask for forgiveness. Because of the courage and perseverance of the victims who came forward, they have become the source of much needed change in our Church and our culture. I pray that this may bring about greater purification and healing for our world.
This is a difficult time for the Church. This purification of the Church by God is painful, but much needed. We need the eyes of faith as we suffer through this. “Faith is not a light which scatters all our darkness, but a lamp which guides our steps in the night and suffices for the journey (Lumen Fidei #57).” Jesus is with us as light in the midst of darkness.
We trust that God will bring good out of this situation. Please join me in praying for Archbishop McCarrick as he now leads a life of prayer and penance. Most of all, let us pray for all victims of abuse so they may experience the healing presence of Jesus and the tenderness and compassion of our Blessed Mother.
SALINA, Kan. – Today the Archdiocese of Washington D.C. announced that Archbishop Theodore McCarrick will be residing at the St. Fidelis Friary in Victoria, Kan., to live a life of prayer and penance. Archbishop McCarrick is excluded from any public appearances and ministry. The Diocese of Salina is not incurring any costs during this arrangement.
Out of consideration for the peace of the community at St. Fidelis Friary, respect for the privacy of this arrangement is requested. Thank you.
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/
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.
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.
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/