The month of January was spent on the road quite a bit. It’s good to
back in the diocese!!!
Last week, the Senate approved the “Value Them Both” state
constitutional amendment that will allow the people of Kansas to weigh
in on the issue of abortion. However, sadly, it looks as though the House
will not get enough “yes” votes in their vote today for this amendment.
We will not give up. Please continue to pray for the amendment to pass.
I am grateful to Chuck Weber of the Kansas Catholic Conference for his
tireless efforts in this endeavor.
Since May of 2019, Fr. Steve Heina and Tom Murphy (Salina Rural Life
Commission) have been working with the U.S. National Pontifical Mission
Societies office to develop a pilot project for Farmer Mentoring. We are
the only U.S. diocese to participate in this project. This program will
connect (primarily through the internet) Catholic African farm projects
(already identified by the U.S. National Mission office) with Kansas
farmers who can offer the benefit of their knowledge and skills to the
farmers in Africa. These farm projects in Africa are extensions of various
Catholic institutions and are led by priests and religious men and
women. We are starting with two farms but are hoping to expand if all
goes well. The goal is to help the farmers learn more effective ways of
farming. I am very grateful to Fr. Steve and Tom for their initiative,
creativity and courage in this endeavor.
Pope Francis recently said that we should do all we can to serve and
help the poor and to try and end poverty. I think of many parishes and
people in the diocese who give so generously of their time, talents and
treasure to serve those in need. I also think of three organizations in our
diocese that our bright lights when it comes to serving: Catholic
Charities, the Knights of Columbus, and the Sisters of St. Joseph in
Concordia. Thank you to all for caring for Jesus in the poor.
Ash Wednesday is February 26. According to Pope Francis, Lent is a time
to get our hearts in sync with the heart of Jesus and to receive His
mercy. In our fast-paced world, it’s a great time to reflect on our
relationship with God and others. Is there anything in our lives that
leads us away from God? What are the situations that lead to sin? How
is God working in others and in the world?
During Lent, I am offering Mass at the Cathedral at 12:05 pm, followed
by a Lenten reflection and soup and salad. Anyone can attend. Hope to
see you there.
Another great activity for the whole family during Lent is to partake in
the diocesan-wide Lenten study using the series Presence from
FORMED. For more instructions on how to do this, please click here.
You should be receiving the first issue of FAITH magazine sometime this
week. I am really excited about this publication. Thanks to all who have
worked on this endeavor.
Many of you are familiar with Kobe Bryant’s death. He was a Catholic
man. Several years ago, he made some mistakes that had consequences
on him and his family. As I told the high school students when I visited
with them during Catholic schools, when we make mistakes or sin, we
can either run away from God or run to God. Kobe chose the latter,
thanks be to God.
The priests will be in Wichita for Clergy Renewal Days from Feb. 18 – 21.
It’s always great to be together. Because of the distance in our diocese,
many priests do not see each other very often. Please pray for us as we
pray for you.
I am having Mass at St. Mary’s in Salina this Sunday at 4 pm to
celebrate World Marriage Day. Thank you for your vocation to marriage.
As Saint John Paul II said, the future of our society goes through the
family. I want to wish all of you a Happy Valentine’s Day next Friday too!
This weekend is the beginning of the Bishop’s Annual Appeal. I know
listening to a talk on the appeal is not a favorite for many people.
Thanks for listening. Also, check out the video that was produced for the
appeal by clicking here. And thanks for your kindness and generosity in
How about those Chiefs! Things that are worthwhile are worth waiting
for. So happy for all of Chiefs fans throughout the diocese.
Blessings on your Lenten season. With love and prayers,
“Lent is a fitting time for self-denial; we would do well to ask ourselves
what we can give up in order to help and enrich others by our own
poverty. Let us not forget that real poverty hurts: no self-denial is real
without this dimension of penance. I distrust a charity that costs nothing
and does not hurt.”
“There are ways of being crucified that do not involve rough wood or
heavy nails, but a love beyond our capacity to love, which means a love
that has been given to us by God…”
“As Lent is the time for greater love, listen to Jesus’ thirst…He knows
your weakness. He wants only your love, wants only the chance to love
– Blessed Teresa of Calcutta
“Show me your hands. Do they have scars from giving? Show me your
feet. Are they wounded in service? Show me your heart. Have you left a
place for divine love?”
-Ven. Fulton Sheen
“Give something, however small, to the one in need. For it is not small
to one who has nothing. Neither is it small to God, if we have given
what we could.”
-St. Gregory Nazianzen