Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
I usually try to get the e-news sent on the First Friday of each month. However, I was at a funeral in western Kansas last Friday.
Sorry for the delay.
Today, September 8, is my favorite feast day as we celebrate the birth of our Blessed Mother. At the crucifixion, the Gospel of John describes the scene: “When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, behold your son.’ Then he said to his disciple, ‘Behold, your mother.’ And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.” What a blessing it is for us disciples of Jesus to have Mary as our mother too!
On September 1, the Church celebrated the Day of Creation. Five years ago, Pope Francis published the encyclical letter Laudato Si’ On Care for Our Common Home, addressed to “every person living on this planet.” He wrote, “The universe as a whole, in all its manifold relationships, shows forth the inexhaustible riches of God.” (no. 86) “Whether believers or not, we are agreed today that the earth is essentially a shared inheritance, whose fruits are meant to benefit everyone.” (no. 93) “Disregard for the duty to cultivate and maintain a proper relationship with my neighbor, for whose care and custody I am responsible, ruins my relationship with my own self, with others, with God and with the earth. When all these relationships are neglected, when justice no longer dwells in the land, the Bible tells us that life itself is endangered.” (no. 70).
Many of you may know that Pope Francis recently called for a Synod on Synodality. This will be a multi-year process beginning with every diocese hosting a diocesan synod beginning in October 2021 and concluding with a Vatican Synod in October 2023. The theme for the Vatican Synod is “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation and Mission.” Our diocesan synod will include meetings and listening sessions with representatives from all parish communities and people across the diocese. The pope is asking us to listen and learn together as we discuss and discern how God is calling us to be as the Church in the 3rd millennium. Look for more information to come on our Diocesan website and social media.
Pope Francis has asked us to fast and pray for the situation in Afghanistan. Thank you!
Sometime soon there will be a special collection for the USCCB Emergency Disaster Fund to assist those most in need due to the recent natural disasters.
We all miss Sr. Barbara Ellen and her work in our youth ministry office. We will especially miss her at the National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC) in November. We are in the process of sifting through applications for the Youth and Young Adult Ministry Director and hope to have someone hired very soon—especially with NCYC right around the corner.
So far so good! Our Superintendent Geoff Andrews has visited many of our schools and reported that all is going well thus far. Please continue to pray for our students, teachers, staff, and their families and our Lady’s protection of them.
The priests from our diocese will be on retreat from September 13 – 16 at the Spiritual Life Center in Wichita. Our retreat director is Fr. Johnny Burns from the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. Please keep us in your prayers.
We are about to begin the 3rd year of our Diocesan subscription to FORMED! Please take a moment to fill out a brief survey HERE to let us know if you have taken advantage of this Catholic resource. We appreciate any feedback you have to offer.
I am looking forward to attending the Divine Mercy Radio Dinner. Fr. John Riccardo from the Archdiocese of Detroit was supposed to be the keynote speaker, but now is unable to attend. Fr. Riccardo began Acts XXIX. The Acts of the Apostles is 28 chapters long and tells the story of the early Church with the main emphasis on spreading the Gospel. The point of Acts XXIX is that we are called to be the next chapter of bringing the Gospel to others.
I am very excited for the funeral Mass & procession to the Cathedral for the internment of Servant of God Fr. Emil Kapaun in Wichita on September 29. What a blessing it is to have someone on the way to sainthood in our state!
This past weekend, I met Fr. Ignatius (John) Tran of the Congregation of the Mother of the Redeemer (CRM). Fr. Ignatius grew up in Salina and attended Sacred Heart High School for a brief time before entering the religious life. I also recently had an interesting conversation with a relative of Fr. Cletus Bachofer from the Congregation of the Holy Cross. Fr. Bachofer attended Sacred Heart High School as well and then became the head of the biology department for fifteen years at the University of Notre Dame. He died in 1964 at the age of 51.
The week of September 20, I will be attending the Catholic Extension conference in Chicago with 40 other bishops. Catholic Extension financially supports mission dioceses—those that don’t have the financial resources that other dioceses do. We are very grateful for their support. After the conference, I will then attend a couple of days of the Institute for Priestly Formation conferences for bishops.
This Saturday marks the 20-year anniversary of 9/11, an event that had a deep effect on the way we do things now. I am presiding at a wedding this Saturday. This is great news. Love is greater than death.
Last month I had dinner with the FOCUS missionaries from St. Isidore and Comeau Catholic Campus Centers in Manhattan and Hays. I am so impressed with their zeal to help others to encounter Jesus and His love them.
This past Sunday, I was on the way to Brookville to celebrate Mass when I saw smoke from several miles away. When I arrived at the church, the house next door was engulfed with flames. Thankfully, the couple who live there were not home, but they also lost everything in their house. Watching the scene made me much more appreciative of firefighters. While I stood at a distance, firefighters entered the dangerous situation.
Many of you have gotten to know Katie Greenwood from our Chancery staff. She is the editor of the Register and faith magazine. On Labor Day, she said ‘yes’ to her boyfriend’s request for marriage. We are very happy for her!
Inspiration from the Saints
Some quotes from St. John Chyrostom, whose feast day is September 13.
“Prayer is the place of refuge for every worry, a foundation for cheerfulness, a source of constant happiness, a protection against sadness.”
“The bee is more honored than other animals, not because she labors, but because she labors for others.”
“The rich man is not one who is in possession of much, but one who gives much.”
“There is nothing colder than a Christian who does not seek to save others.”
“Nothing will divide the church so much as the love of power.”