Happy and Blessed Easter! May celebrating the Lord’s resurrection bring peace and joy to your hearts.
People tend to forget that the Easter season is fifty days, always culminating with Pentecost Sunday which falls this year on May 23. Please celebrate the Resurrection during these days
This Sunday is Divine Mercy Sunday. I am grateful for all the parishes that are hosting Divine Mercy festivities. One of the most wonderful things you can do is to invite a person to confession who has been away from that Sacrament for a long time. Jesus’ desire to forgive us, no matter how serious our sin, is much greater than our desire to be forgiven. The following are some of the statements that Jesus revealed to St. Faustina: Mankind will not have peace until it turns with trust to My Mercy. —St. Faustina’s Diary 300Let all mankind recognize My unfathomable mercy. It is a sign for the end times; after it will come the day of justice. Diary 848He who refuses to pass through the door of My mercy must pass through the door of My justice… Diary 1146
On March 17, 2020, the bishops in Kansas dispensed all Catholics from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass. On the weekend of Pentecost Sunday, May 23, I am lifting the dispensation to attend Sunday Mass in the Diocese of Salina. Obviously, if people are sick, elderly, afraid to contract COVID, the dispensation remains intact for you—just like it did prior to COVID. I am writing a pastoral letter to the faithful on the importance of attending Sunday Mass
We are super blessed that Deacon Brian McCaffrey will be ordained to the priesthood on Saturday, June 5 at Sacred Heart Cathedral at 10:30 am. Any one from the diocese is welcome to attend the ordination. Hope to see you there.
I am enjoying meeting the good people of the Diocese of Dodge City. I go there every couple of weeks or so, plus travel for Confirmation Masses. I also write columns for their bi-monthly newspaper.
People are very sympathetic to the vast territory of the Salina and Dodge City Dioceses. Well, I was talking to the bishop of the Diocese of Fairbanks in Alaska the other day. He said he had just returned from a two-week excursion visiting his parishes via a snowmobile in -5-degree weather usually taking two hours to get from one parish to the next. I guess my travels aren’t so bad after all! He told me that some of the villages had not had a Mass for over a year because of COVID. He was also happy to baptize 39 people during those two weeks.
We are blessed that more than 100 people throughout the diocese joined the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil last Saturday. I am so grateful for all the RCIA coordinators who guided them on this beautiful journey. I am also grateful to those people who had an impact on the lives of those joining the Church.
Last month, the bishops were invited to join in a presentation on Fratelli Tutti (All Brothers) by Cardinal Michael Czerny, SJ, who serves in the Migrants and Refugees Section at the Vatican. It was very enlightening. He invited us bishops (and all of us) to reach out to others we normally would not.
Last month, I was invited to shoot free throws as a fundraiser for Catholic Charities. Our superintendent, Geoff Andrews, Fr. Andrew Hammeke, and I all made nine out of 15 shots. However, a St. Mary’s Salina grade school student, Addie Lee, easily made ten shots.
Well, I did not go home for Easter Week as I had originally planned. I am going home for a family wedding and my mom’s birthday this summer. My mom is doing really well. She suffers from dementia, but she is always joyful and at peace.Be assured of my love and prayers for all of you.
Inspiration from the Saints
“O Death, where is your sting? O Hell, where is your victory? Christ is risen, and you are overthrown. Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen. Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice. Christ is risen, and life reigns. Christ is risen, and not one dead remains in the grave. For Christ, being risen from the dead, is become the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. To Him be glory and dominion unto ages of ages.” (St. John Chrysostom, Easter Homily)
“In fact, everything that exists and moves in the Church – the sacraments, doctrine, institutions – draws its strength from Christ’s Resurrection.” (Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, Life in Christ, 67)
“The Lord’s triumph, on the day of the Resurrection, is final. Where are the soldiers the rulers posted there? Where are the seals that were fixed to the stone of the tomb? Where are those who condemned the Master? Where are those who crucified Jesus? He is victorious and faced with his victory those poor wretches have all taken flight. Be filled with hope: Jesus Christ is always victorious.” (St. Josemarie Escriva, The Forge, 660)