for July 29, 2022
Days Away: Please make sure you vote on August 2 if you haven’t already, and please vote YES on the Value Them Both Amendment. Thank you to all who have supported this issue in so many ways. I especially want to thank our parishes who are having holy hours and rosaries in the coming days prior to the vote. This is a spiritual battle and the key is prayer and fasting.
Neighbor: A few weeks ago, we heard the Gospel on the Good Samaritan. A scholar of the law asked Jesus “who is my neighbor?”. Jesus told the story of a man beaten and left for dead. A Levite and a priest walked by offering no assistance, but the Good Samaritan helped. Martin Luther King Jr. said this: The Levite and the priest didn’t help because they were focused on what would happen to them if they helped the man. However, the Good Samaritan was focused on what would happen to the person if he didn’t help him. We are called to be a neighbor to all people, including the unborn. What will happen to the unborn if we don’t help? If we don’t speak up for them?
Both/And: When I was in the seminary, one of my professors warned us that when it comes to theology issues, beware of those who choose one or the other because it’s usually both/and. For example, Jesus is both God and man, not one or the other. The same could be said about the Value Them Both Amendment. We are all for women’s rights, but we are also concerned about the unborn baby’s rights. Choosing only the women’s rights is bad theology, just as someone who would say Jesus is only God or only man.
Lies: Perhaps the biggest frustration of the campaign for the Value Them Both Amendment, besides the fact that people outside of Kansas opposed the Amendment have dumped enormous amounts of money for TV ads, is the amount of misinformation provided by the opposition. Here are a few examples:
1. “If Value Them Both passes, women will die.” This outrageous lie cruelly manipulates emotions and deceptively ignores the fact that there is an exception for the life of the mother in every Kansas prolife law. Treatment for miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies and other important women’s reproductive health issues will not be impacted.
2. “Value Them Both is not needed because the abortion industry is already highly regulated.” The Kansas Supreme Court stated in their original ruling, called Hodes & Nauser v. Schmidt, that every prolife law is now “presumed unconstitutional” (page 72 of Hodes). Because of the Hodes ruling and the declaration that abortion in Kansas is now a “fundamental right,” two laws have already been overturned: a ban on D&E abortions, also known as “live dismemberment abortion,” and a basic clinic licensing law regulating abortion clinics. 20+ other prolife laws will almost certainly be overturned without passage of Value Them Both. Without Value Them Both, Kansans will almost certainly be forced to pay for elective abortions in the near future with their tax dollars.
3. “Value Them Both creates mandates for Kansans who don’t like government mandates.” Please read the amendment: www.kansasamendmentfacts.com No where will you find the word “mandate.” However, without the protection of Value Them Both, Kansas taxpayers will almost certainly be “mandated” to pay for abortions! The language of the amendment is actually abortion neutral and gives a voice to the people of Kansas on this important issue.
Charities: I always look forward to attending the annual Catholic Charities fundraiser dinner, which is being held tomorrow evening at the Salina Country Club. Thank you for your support of Catholic Charities as they support the least among us.
Seminarians: We are blessed to have many new young men joining our list of seminarians! Thank you for your continued prayers and support for all of them. There will be several opportunities to show your support in person before they head off to their respective seminaries this fall.
1. THE ANNUAL SEMINARAIAN FUNDRAISING DINNERS are scheduled for August 10th @ 5:15 P.M. at the Salina Country Club and August 11th @ 5:15 P.M. at The Strand in Hays. Register online HERE.
2. THE RUNNIN’ REVS game is scheduled for August 12th at 6:00 P.M. at the TMP-Marian Al Billinger Field House. There will be prayer at half-time for Vocations. Pizza will be available afterwards.
Men: I am looking forward to the 2022 Diocesan Men’s Conference “Called to Protect” which is set for Saturday, August 13th, at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Hays. Dr. Mario Enzler, a former Swiss Guard who served St. John Paul II, will be the Keynote speaker. He is a dynamic speaker and I promise all who attend will leave this conference feeling it was well worth the time and travel to attend! Your advance registration HERE is preferred, however, walkup registrations are also accepted. More details about the conference can also be found on the registration page.
Women: The following weekend will be the 2022 Salina Diocesan Council of Catholic Women Convention on August 20, 2022, at St. Nicholas of Myra Church in Hays. The speaker, Sarah Hart, is a talented musician and Catholic evangelist. This conference will also be one well worth the time and travel to attend. You can register for the conference and find more information HERE.
Grateful: As the summer comes to an end, I am so grateful for all those who participated in the Prayer & Action and Totus Tuus programs in our Diocese. The teams, participants and volunteers were exceptional! Many blessings come from these programs in our parishes and communities.
Students: Speaking of the end of summer…soon our students of all ages will be returning to the classroom. Please join me in praying for all our Catholic school teachers, volunteers and students as they embark on another school year.
Rural Life: The 2022 Rural Life Day will begin at St. Fidelis Church in Victoria on Sunday, August 14th, beginning at 3:00 P.M. with a prayer service in the Basilica. We will then move to the Victoria VFW for the featured event of Rural Life Day, the Msgr. John George Weber Century Farm awards. These awards are presented to families who have lived on farms, have farmed land, or owned farms in the diocese for 100 years or more. I look forward to hearing their stories as they are always a testament of how the Faith has impacted life in rural Kansas for many generations!
Rain: I have been praying for rain for the western part of our diocese. I know they have received some rain, but could use more. Let’s continue to pray for more rain.
Have a blessed weekend and month of August!
With my love and prayers,
The Holy Father Pope Francis is currently in Canada. I would like to share some comments from a recent conference he gave.
“Christian joy is about the experience of a peace that remains in our hearts, even when we are pelted by trials and afflictions, for then we know that we are not alone, but accompanied by a God who is not indifferent to our lot. When seas are rough: The storm is always on the surface but the depths remain calm and peaceful. That is also true of Christian joy: It is a free gift, the certainty of knowing that we are loved, sustained and embraced by Christ in every situation in life.”
“The Gospel needs to be proclaimed if we are to communicate the joy of faith to today’s men and women. Yet this proclamation is not primarily a matter of words, but of a witness abounding with gratuitous love, for that is God’s way with us. A proclamation that should take shape in a personal and ecclesial lifestyle that can rekindle a desire for the Lord, instill hope, and radiate trust and credibility.”
“We must be careful not to fall prey to pessimism or resentment, passing immediately to negative judgments or a vain nostalgia. Bitterly complaining that the world is evil; sin reigns is not Christian. We are called, instead, to have a view similar to that of God, who discerns what is good and persistently seeks it, sees it and nurtures it.”