One of my favorite Scripture commentators is Brant Pitre. His book, “Jesus the
Bridegroom: The Greatest Love Story Ever Told” is a must read. In discussing the
temptation of Jesus, Pitre did a wonderful job of tying in the temptation of Adam and
Eve and the Lenten practices of fasting, almsgiving and prayer. He relates the
temptations of our first parents with that of Jesus while he was in the desert.
|Adam & Eve||Jesus||Our Temptations||Remedy|
|1st Temptation||The Evil One|
said that the
tree was good
|The Evil One|
offered to turn
bread for food.
to food or
|2nd Temptation||The Evil One|
said that the
pleasing to the
|The Evil One|
offered to give
Jesus all the
|3rd Temptation||The Evil One|
said that the
|The Evil One|
to be prideful
and stand on
the parapet of
the temple for
all to see.
Therefore, the Church encourages us to pray, fast, and give alms during this Lenten
Lent is a battle and it can be grueling. We are only a week into it, and we can feel like
giving up. This Sunday’s Gospel provides us with hope as we keep our eyes fixed on
Jesus. Six days before the Transfiguration, Jesus tells his disciples that he would
suffer and die and rise (they always seem to not get that part!). I always picture Peter
and the others walking downcast and discouraged. But then Jesus does something
beautiful as he is transfigured before Peter, James and John. This prefigures the
Resurrection. This is our hope too.
I thoroughly enjoyed the Rite of Election at the Cathedral this past weekend, and I am
looking forward to being in Hays this coming weekend. It brings me a lot of joy to
meet those who are joining the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil.
I hope you enjoyed the first edition of FAITH magazine. I am excited to have both the
Register and FAITH in the Diocese of Salina. Please take a few moments to fill out
the following survey so that we can continue to serve you. Thank you in advance!
Many of our parishes are participating in small groups to discuss the Eucharist
focused video series called Presence that is offered through FORMED. It is very
informative and moving. Please consider watching the videos. It will help you to
experience God’s love for you in a new way. Additionally, I will be doing a short
video reflection prior to each episode, which will be posted on our Facebook
and YouTube channel. For more information, please visit our website.
We continue to pray for the passage of the Value Them Both amendment. If this
amendment passes, then we will be able to vote in August to say that there is no such
thing as a “natural right” to abortion. We will protect both the mother and her unbornchild. Should the Value Them Both amendment pass, we can then look to the future to
ensure that the Medicaid Expansion bill, without abortion and with conscience
protection, will also pass.
Abby Johnson is a prominent figure in the Pro-Life movement and the movie
Unplanned is based on her story. She was once the Director of a Planned Parenthood
clinic, where she experienced a major conversion and has become a huge advocate for
life. She will be speaking at the Knights of Columbus Convention in Wichita on May
2, 2020 at 1 pm at the Century 2 Convention Center. The event is open to the public. I
hope to see many of you there.
We continue to pray for those affected by the coronavirus, for their families, and for
the healthcare professionals who are serving those who are ill. We especially pray for
a cure for this virus. God is in control and desires us to trust Him. No one should feel
obligated to attend Mass if they are sick. I am sending out some directives on this
topic to our priests this afternoon. As of today, there are no known cases in Kansas.
As some of you may know, Fr. Charles Awotwi, who is a priest of the Diocese of
Salina, is currently serving in the United States Army as a military chaplain in the
Middle East. He has requested our assistance with sending over care packages for the
1,500 troops in his unit. We hope to send enough packages for every soldier! For more
information on how you can help, please click here.
Fr. Rich Daise, an army veteran, recently attended an event for the 75th Anniversary
of the Survivors of the Battle of the Bulge. He was able to visit with some of the other
veterans. They all knew exactly where they were when they heard that the war was
over, and they all talked about the first thing they would eat when they made it back
home! Additionally, one of the last survivors of the USS Arizona, Seaman 1st Class
Donald Stratton, recently passed away. Seaman Stratton was nineteen years old at the
time of Pearl Harbor. With burns over 70% of his body, he was able to continue to
climb and man his battle station while the USS Arizona was under attack. After the
battle, the doctors advised Stratton to undergo an amputation. He refused. Instead, he
re-taught himself how to walk. A few years later, in 1944, he re-enlisted and returned
to war. We pray for him, and all of the other men and women who have bravely
served our country.
The Feast Day of St. Joseph is on March 19. St. Joseph is patron saint of fathers and is
an example to many of us. On his feast day, all of the priests in the diocese will be
gathered together for a time of prayer and reflection. We will also have some work to
do! Enjoy St. Patrick’s Day too!
The Rural Life Winter Seminar will take place on March 7 at the Sacred Heart
Cathedral in the Hall of Bishops from 10 – 4 pm. I am looking forward to attending
this event and learning more about agricultural ethics and conservation.
Divine Mercy Radio is expanding! Based in Hays, Divine Mercy Radio has recently
acquired a tower in the Salina area which will allow them to broadcast in Salina and
surrounding areas. This should take place sometime in May.
Catholic Charities is hosting an Emergency Preparedness Workshop for the Faith
Community on March 18 from 9-4 pm at the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Salina. The
event is free to attend. For more information, please click here.
A friend of mine recently sent me a copy of an 8th Grade Exit Exam from Salina dated 1895.
The total test lasted a little over 5 hours. A few examples from the test – the
students had a series of words that they had to mark diacritically and divide into
syllables; identify all of the republics of Europe (along with capitals); identify the
various epochs into which U.S. History is divided, and so on. Not sure many of us
could have passed that test today!
I have been making the rounds visiting our schools and attending some of their
auctions. Recently, I visited Holy Family Elementary in Hays to celebrate a Mass and
visit with the students and faculty. Early in the morning as I was greeting the students,
a little girl in second or third grade came up to me and said, “Hi Bishop! How has
your day been thus far?” I was very impressed with that question! Thank you for your
support of our Catholic schools.
I am in the midst of celebrating the Sacrament of Confirmation throughout the
parishes in the diocese. I have met some really incredible young people. I am
impressed by their love of the faith.
The CYO Convention will take place on March 28-29 here in Salina. This Convention
is a great opportunity for our young people to be together and celebrate their faith. For
more information, please click here.
Jason Evert is an internationally known speaker who gives talks on love, dating, and
relationships. He will be at Immaculate Heart of Mary in Hays on March 30 for a
small mini retreat. If you or a family member would be interested in this event, please
Thank you to all who have already donated to the Bishop’s Annual Appeal. Every
dollar helps us to provide education to our seminarians, support to our retired priests,
and ensure that the diocese has the funds necessary to continue to serve our parishes,
schools, and parishioners.
The Chrism Mass will be on April 2 at 11:30 am at the Sacred Heart Cathedral in
Salina. The Chrism Mass is a very important celebration in the Church. At this Mass,
I will bless all the oils that are used in the Sacraments. Additionally, every priest will
renew the promises that he made on the day of his ordination. It is a very powerful
Mass. Anyone can attend this Mass, and I hope to see you there.
Many of you have attended our Catholic Charities dinner fundraiser. Please know that
this year the day will be on Saturday, July 18. Hope to see you there as we support our
Catholic Charities which serves people from our whole diocese.
In Christ’s love and peace,
“Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.”