Last Sunday, we celebrated the Feast of Pentecost. This concluded the Easter season and we are now back to Ordinary Time. Throughout the Easter season, the readings for Mass come from the Acts of the Apostles. It’s the story of the early disciples and their mission to bring the good news of Jesus to the world. Oftentimes, they are besieged by persecution and difficulties. The Acts of the Apostle s is only 28 chapters long. It doesn’t have an ending because, in a way, it’s still being written. Through our baptism, Jesus calls for us to continue the mission of the Church and write “Acts 29.” We are called to become intentional disciples who go out and make other disciples.
We have a beautiful faith! The Bible is a love story, a battle between Good and Evil. God is Love. He’s the protagonist in the story who comes to save us. This Sunday, we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Trinity. We believe in God—the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. By His very nature, God is Love. God the Father loves God the Son. God the Son loves God the Father. That love between them is God the Holy Spirit. This eternal love is poured into our hearts. As St. Catherine once said, “God is a mad lover.” He loves each one of us individually, intimately and unceasingly. Our destiny is to be with the Holy Trinity, now and
Next weekend, we celebrate the Feast of Corpus Christi—the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus. How blessed we are that Jesus not only speaks to us through His Word, but also desires to become one with us through His Body.
As a nation, we pray for the soul of George Floyd and for his family. We pray for healing and peace in our country. I encourage each of us to ask ourselves, “Do we see each human person as sacred? Is there any prejudice or racism in our own hearts?” To be pro-life is to acknowledge that abortion, euthanasia, racism, human trafficking, etc. are all life issues that we must stand up against. Hopefully, when we examine ourselves, we will turn to the Lord and ask for forgiveness and change. As our country continues to heal from this violent act, we are reminded that in every difficult situation, there is an opportunity for us to become saints. Jesus calls us to love God above all things and to love our neighbors as ourselves. Our neighbors include every person, those we love and those we struggle with. It all begins by taking time to pray. St. Padre Pio said that the rosary is a powerful weapon against the evil in our time. Please see the statement from the USCCB on George Floyd here.
Many of you had the opportunity to read the story in the Register of Fr. Michael Leiker and his need for a liver transplant. Amazingly, a donor from Sacred Heart Parish in Atwood was a perfect match. Fr. Michael had his surgery at the Mayo Clinic on May 22 and is doing quite well. His donor has already returned home, and she is doing great too! I am so thankful for her generous sacrifice. There will be an update in the Register sometime in the future.
I highly recommend that you watch a video series titled, “Search” produced by FORMED. It’s very well done and has received very positive reviews. This video series touches the heart and asks the questions: ‘Why do I exist? Where am I going? Does God exist?’ As we search for meaning in life, we discover that God is actively searching for us. He comes to find us. I think this series would be great for RCIA courses, schools, and especially for those who are not practicing or who have left the faith.
Last weekend, I was in Smith Center. I had the privilege of baptizing two adults and two babies. Then, I was able to confirm five men. It was a moving experience for me as I witnessed these humble men enter the Church. Our catechumens and candidates are slowly receiving the Sacrament of Initiation. We welcome them with open arms.
It seems as though many of you are slowly coming back to Mass. I am so happy that we are able to celebrate public Masses again. As a reminder, please do not feel obligated to attend Mass if you are sick or health compromised.
Nick Compagnone has been the Superintendent of our Catholic Schools for the past 20 years. He has done a tremendous job serving as a part-time superintendent, and also serving as the principal of St. Mary’s Grade School in Salina. I am very grateful to him. After much prayer and discernment, I made the decision to look for a full-time superintendent for our Catholic Schools. We recently hired Geoff Andrews as the new superintendent. His official start date is June 15. Thank you to Nick for his many years of dedicated service, and welcome to Geoff in his new role. We are excited to have him.
Catholic Charities has accomplished so many good things under the guidance of Michelle Martin during her time as Executive Director of Catholic Charities. Recently, she resigned from her position. We are grateful to her for all of her service. At this time, we are looking for someone to fill the role as Executive Director. If you have any interest, please click here for a detailed job description. Additionally, Catholic Charities will be hosting their annual fundraiser as an online auction this year. The event is scheduled for July 18. Hope you can participate in helping Catholic Charities pursue their mission of caring for those who are most in need.
I am super excited that Divine Mercy Radio will soon begin broadcasting in the Salina area and beyond within the next few weeks. Our goal is to bring the good news to all people. Catholic radio is a great way to evangelize. The station is 101.7 FM – KJDM. Please be sure to tune in! Thank you for your support of this very important evangelization tool.
June 27 is the Feast Day of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, the patroness of our diocese. On this day, I will celebrate the Mass of Consecrated Virginity for Judy Kvasnicka. Consecrated virginity is an ancient rite in which women consecrate themselves solely to Jesus. They do not belong to a religious order. But, they choose to live on their own and are “married to Jesus.” Please keep Judy in your prayers during this time. All are welcome to attend the consecration Mass at 10 am at the Sacred Heart Cathedral on June 27.
This weekend, I will be heading to Bird City and Sharon Springs for the Sacrament of Confirmation. It’s wonderful to be able to visit our parishes again.
Even though Prayer and Action and Totus Tuus have been cancelled for the summer, it’s encouraging to see many of our parish youth programs do their own mini Prayer and Action by serving the people in their own parish. Well done!
Usually our seminarians spend their summer serving on the Prayer and Action or Totus Tuus teams. This summer, they are living at parishes throughout the diocese. They are also meeting in Salina periodically throughout the summer for some classes. They just finished a class series led by Fr. Fred Gatschet. By the way, the Annual Seminarian Dinner will be held on August 13. Stay tuned for more details. Thank you so much for your support of our seminarians.
As you may know, we are restoring the diaconate program. We are having some information gatherings for those interested in applying for the diaconate.
June 20 @ 1 pm; St. Mary Queen of the Universe Parish, Salina
July 11 @ 1 pm; St Joseph Parish, Oakley
For more information, please contact Deacon Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org
May God bless all our fathers on Father’s Day, June 14.
Many of you have already heard of some priest assignment changes. Later this month, they will be posted online and included in this month’s issue of The Register.
Our long-time Director of Youth Ministry and Religious Education, Sr. Barbara Ellen Apaceller, is celebrating her birthday today! Happy Birthday, Sr. Barb!
As I mentioned earlier, Our Lady of Perpetual Help is the patroness of our diocese. Her feast day is on June 27. Please join in a 33 Days to Morning Glory devotion to Mary. For more information, please look at our diocesan Facebook page for more information.
Praying for all farmers and their upcoming wheat harvests.
Love and blessings,
During these days when there is so much pain and hurt, we reflect on the words of Saint Mother Teresa and St. Francis of Assisi.
“We must not be surprised when we hear of murders, killings, of wars, or of hatred…If we can accept that a mother can kill her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another? – Mother Teresa
“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Amen.” – St. Francis of Assisi