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Annual request a key part of funding education of future priests

Salina — The seminarian collection is scheduled for Nov. 11 and 12 in all parishes across the diocese. Funding the education of our seminarians is key to the growth of future priests for our Diocese of Salina. 

This year, the diocese has 10 men studying to become priests. The cost to educate them is more than $400,000 this year. The collection typically accounts for about 20 percent of the annual amount needed. 

In a letter to parishioners in this Register, Bishop Edward Weisenburger, Diocesan Administrator for the diocese, discusses the blessing of these men along with the challenge to pay for their education. He asks for financial help. 

“As we ask for your generosity, we also ask you to keep in mind the generosity demonstrated by our seminarians, who are giving God and His Church the gift of their lives,” he writes. “Again, I humbly invite you to prayerfully consider a gift to this very important collection for these fine men of the Diocese of Salina.”

“No single means of fundraising covers the annual educational costs,” said Beth Shearer, director of stewardship and development for the diocese. “The funds come through a combination of outright gifts, the Catholic Community Annual Appeal, the spring dinner, endowments, grants and the seminarian collection. The diocese is constantly looking at new sources to help fund seminarian education.”

The diocese pays for seminarian education so that no man declines the call to a priestly vocation because of his inability to pay. It can take up to eight years to complete that education.

 “Having the funding available,” Shearer said, “makes it possible to continue encouraging men to consider their call to the priesthood.” With a gift to the seminarian fund, individuals are becoming partners in the effort to educate our future priests. 

It is also important to pray for the current seminarians and for an increase in vocations. “These men are indeed a blessing, and we are grateful for their ‘yes’ to discernment. Yet the need for future priests is great in our diocese,” Shearer said. 

In addition to the annual collection, people can support the education of seminarians in a number of ways:

  • Give a monthly gift automatically deducted from a bank account or charged to a credit card.
  • Establish a named seminary burse endowment in honor or memory of someone.
  • Include the Catholic Diocese of Salina Seminarian Education Fund in a will or estate plan.
  • Make a one-time gift.
  • Pray for the seminarians and for increased vocations.

As a reminder, a poster of this year’s seminarians is inserted in this issue.

To learn more, contact Shearer at (785) 827-8746 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


Farewell, bishop

Crowd gathers Oct. 29 to say thanks, farewell to bishop

The Register

Salina — To a crowded Sacred Heart Cathedral on Oct. 29, Bishop Edward Weisenburger summed up his years in the diocese simply: “Thank you, thank you, thank you.”  “It is bittersweet, but truly a joy to celebrate this Mass with you,” he said as Mass began.  “It’s hard to leave a happy home,” Bishop Weisenburger continued during his homily. “When I got here, I began going around our diocese that I knew somewhat from my childhood. What I saw was beautiful churches — and I love beautiful churches — what I found behind those beautiful structures that dot the countryside was equally, if not more beautiful communities of the faithful. Good women and men who continue to live that law so beautifully spelled out in our Gospel today.”  The reading for the Oct. 29 Mass of Thanksgiving and Farewell was Matthew 22 where Jesus tells the scholars “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. … You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”  “It sounds initially like two things: God and neighbor,” Bishop Weisenburger said. “But it’s really three: love and God and neighbor.”

Love is the root, and both God and neighbor flow from love, he said.  “You have to shake the stuff out of your head you’ve gotten from Hallmark cards and schmaltzy music,” he said. “That’s not love. That’s saccharine sweet and it’s tempting, but it’s not the kind of love that Jesus is talking about. The kind of love he’s talking about is given its most beautiful expression on the cross.”  Bishop Weisenburger highlighted the support of Catholic Charities of Northern Kansas, which opened a new headquarters in Salina on April 3.  “I am humbled when I look at your concern for the poor,” he said. “Catholic Charities certainly comes to mind and the way the ministries their have grown and done such wonderful things to impact Christ as Christ is found in the poor.”

He also highlighted the youth programs.  “I think the future here is nothing but bright,” he said, pointing out that Sister Barbara Ellen Apaceller will take more than 800 youth to the National Catholic Youth Conference Nov. 16-19.  “Not only will they be revved up, but they will come home and rev up their communities,” Bishop Weisenburger said.  He also praised Prayer and Action, the summer program where youth provide missionary service to a community within the diocese.  “When you take young people and give them half a day digging in and doing real work for people in need and link it to theological reflection and prayer, the Gospel comes alive in our young people,” he said. “You can see how it flows into vocations … fine young women going into religious life, young men into seminary and many fine young people going out into the world.”


Hays college student is potential Father Kapaun miracle

The Register

Hays — Around his neck, Chase Kear wears a medal of Servant of God Father Emil Kapaun.  Such a devotion isn’t rare in Kansas, but Kear’s connection is deeper than a passing devotion. The senior at Fort Hays State University is one of the alleged miracles attributed to Father Kapaun.  On Oct. 2, 2008, Kear was a sophomore at Hutchinson Community College and a pole-vaulting member of the community college’s track team. During practice, he said he was talking trash with his friends, and decided to try to break a pole during practice.  “I was being cocky,” Kear said. “I wasn’t being safe. I was being a dumb kid.”  He said everything would have been fine if the pole broke, as they all expected it to.

But it didn’t.  “It reacted funny, it way over flexed,” he said. “Because the pole reacted funny, I was 12 or 14 feet in the air, flying outwards, not upwards. I saw the back edge of the pit coming and had a split second to decide if I should turn to land on my back or my butt.”  He turned, angling to land on his backside, but he bounced, flipped and “hit my head, a couple inches above my right eye,” he said, arching his pointer finger across his forehead, from one temple to the other. “It broke across my hair line.”  His survival seems impressive, but that’s not the potential miracle Kear said the Vatican is examining.   “It was highly unlikely that I would live, but still possible,” he said. “This … the recovery …. the fact that we’re talking … the extent and speed of the recovery is what the Vatican is investigating.”  Kear said surgeons removed 25 percent of his right frontal lobe during the course of surgery.  “I had to re-learn how to eat and walk. I had to re-learn everything. I did it from deathbed to front door in one month and 19 days.”

Fifty-one days. From the accident on Oct. 2, 2008 to his homecoming on Nov. 21, 2008.  For the first two weeks, Kear was in a coma.  “It was maybe 17 or 18 days before I realized it wasn’t a dream,” he said. “You can hear when you’re in a coma. It’s scary. I was hearing all these voices telling me goodbye, to stay strong, fight, what people tell you when they think you’re going to die.”  But he didn’t.  His younger brothers, Cole and Clay took his cause to social media, creating a prayer page, with the request to pray to Father Kapaun for healing.  “It blew up because my brothers put the prayer on Facebook,” Kear said. “There are people in other countries that were praying this prayer.”

Father Kapaun was a priest from the Diocese of Wichita. Pilsen, his hometown, is a few miles from the southern border of the Salina Diocese.  He was ordained a priest on June 9, 1940. After a few years of service in the Diocese, he answered the call for chaplains during World War II and entered the U.S. Army Chaplain Corps in 1944. Captured while serving troops in North Korea, Father Kapaun put into a prison camp, where he continued to minister to prisoners of all denominations until he died on May 23, 1951.  In 1993, the Archdiocese of the Military received approval from the Vatican to begin exploring the cause for Sainthood for Father Kapaun. After many years of the project being on hold with the military archdiocese, the Diocese of Wichita took over the cause, and on June 29, 2008, the Diocese of Wichita opened the cause for canonization in Pilsen.


Support our seminarians by donating to our annual collection

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

“Behind and before every vocation to the priesthood or to the consecrated life there is always the strong and intense prayer of someone: a grandmother, a grandfather, a mother, a father, a community. This is why Jesus said: ‘Pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest’ (Mt 9:38). This is echoed beautifully by Pope Francis who reminds us “vocations are born in prayer and from prayer; and only through prayer can they persevere and bear fruit.”

As I now prepare to leave the Diocese of Salina, I realize that of the many wonderful people I leave behind, our beloved seminarians are high on my list. The fact that we have ten good men currently discerning a possible call to priesthood after the ordination in June of three other good men we now call father, gives me great hope for our diocese. Their generous response to the Lord’s call is humbling. One of the questions I have been asked as I leave for Arizona is how have I been able to find such good men willing to enter the seminary. They are indeed good men and I have truly been proud to be their Bishop. In the end, I would say that it has been the prayers and support of those within our diocese that have provided us with such a blessing. It cannot be denied that along with the blessing, however, is the challenge of paying for their education. It is a wonderful challenge to have, but a challenge nonetheless.

The annual seminarian collection will take place in all our parishes on the weekend of Nov. 11-12. This special collection assists us with current seminarian expenses. The current annual cost for seminary education begins at $40,000 for each seminarian! The total cost to the Diocese runs around $400,000 this year. While endowed funds generate approximately $100,000 each year for seminary education, your support is also necessary, and I now ask for your help. 

In today’s issue of The Register is your personal copy of this year’s seminarian poster. I ask that you place it in your home where you will see it daily to help remind you to remember these men in your prayers. I would also share with you that we continue to have men make inquires about priesthood. We are blessed to have Father Kevin Weber and Father Gale Hammerschmidt as our co-vocation directors and they do excellent work with recruitment as well as guiding vocations.  

As we ask for your generosity, we also ask you to keep in mind the generosity demonstrated by our seminarians, who are giving God and his Church the gift of their lives. Again, I humbly invite you to prayerfully consider a gift to this very important collection for these fine men of the Diocese of Salina.

Please click on this link if you would like to contribute to the Seminarian Education Fund.

Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Rev. Edward J. Weisenburger
Administrator, Diocese of Salina

Register brings news to diocese for 80 years

Dear Readers,

I’m so excited to present this anniversary edition of The Register for you!

Every day, I walk into my office and am greeted by a framed copy of the very first issue of The Register from 1937. Sometimes, I will re-read the stories, thinking about where our diocese was 80 years ago and where it is today. These thoughts snowballed into the newspaper that is now in your hands. It is a bit of a retrospective. 

History isn’t a subject that often captures my attention, but looking back at where we’ve been as a diocese has been fascinating. I hope you enjoy reading the stories from our first paper, and seeing the follow-up.

We’ve come so far in 80 years. The diocesan seat moved from Concordia to Salina in 1945. We’ve had eight bishops since our first paper published. We’re under the guidance of our eighth pope since 1937. Much has changed. 

While change is inevitable, the bedrock of our faith remains the same. The strength and dedication of Catholics in Northwest Kansas is constant. People love their Church and take pride in raising their children in the faith. This was evident as I made several road trips around the diocese this summer, meeting parishioners and hearing of their faith journeys.

It is such a joy to capture these stories and share them with you, the readers of the diocese. It is an honor. It is a slice of time, and a capsule of history. 

While history isn’t my forte, I do enjoy forging through my folders and looking at the historical pictures (once a photographer, always a photographer! I’m a sucker for those historic black and white photos). It’s even better if I can convince one of our retired priests to sit with me while I do so, and tell me stories about the photos.

As I look into the future, it’s my dream to begin to scan the photos and form a digital archive. We’ll see where God takes us and how he provides to make this happen.

Even as I paused to look back, I also look to the future.

The most obvious future I look at is our new bishop, who is yet to be appointed. He will be the 12th bishop of the Salina Diocese. I know he will also look forward to the history that we all will collectively write as we move forward together.


Six editors have served The Register in 80 years

The Register

Salina — In its 80 year history, The Register’s most noteworthy editor remains Msgr. Raymond Menard.  A priest for 67 years for the Diocese of Salina, he was the editor for six decades, serving from 1944 until 2006 when he retired. He had a brief break from duties at the newspaper from 1971 to 1975.  “It was his passion,” said Doug Weller, who took the helm of The Register upon Msgr. Menard’s retirement. “Virtually his entire time in the diocese was producing The Register on top of being hospital chaplain (at St. John’s Hospital in Salina) for most of that time. It’s pretty amazing when you think about it.”  An ever-present presence at diocesan events, Msgr. Menard was known for having a camera in his hand.  “So many people would say ‘You’d know monsignor was there because you would see two arms sticking up in the crowd with a camera,’ ” Weller said, and added that Msgr. Menard was about 5 feet, 4 inches tall, so it was necessary to hoist his camera into the air to capture photographs of an event.

The Northwest Kansas Register published its first edition on Nov. 21, 1937 in the Diocese of Salina. It was one of many Register newspapers established by Msgr. Matthew Smith in Denver. The “Register” newspapers contained several pages of local content, provided by a diocesan editor and diocesan contributors.  It was delivered every Sunday, and an annual subscription cost $1.

The Jan. 18, 1941 newspaper reads:  “In the summer of 1936, Father Brown was connected with the Chancery and was sent by the Bishop in the fall of that year to the Register school of journalism, where he later received the degree of bachelor of journalism.  “Bishop Tief recalled Father Brown to Concordia in October of 1937 and appointed him as editor and business manager of the Northwestern Kansas Register, which started publication Nov. 21, 1937. Father Brown has served in this capacity since that time and has effected a steady development of the diocesan organ. It now reaches every Catholic household in the diocese, which numbers approximately 43,000 Catholics.”  In 1941, Father Brown — who later became Msgr. Brown — was appointed chaplain of Catholic Boy Scout troops of the Diocese of Concordia, and Father Bernard Jaster became the editor from 1941-44.

Over the years, diocesan newspapers transitioned from the national platform of The Register to a local one, where an editor was responsible for all of the content in the newspaper, not just the local news.  Msgr. Menard was appointed to The Register in 1944. In 1945, the seat of the diocese moved from Concordia to Salina, and with it, Msgr. Menard. 

A July 28, 2006 story about Msgr. Menard says:  As Register editor, Monsignor traveled frequently. In the early days, that often was with the bishop, and he developed close relationships with them.  He laughed at one recollection.  “Bishop (Daniel) Kucera would say, ‘My God, don’t quote everything I say. I’m running out of material.’ ”


Marymount College becomes new home

Salina — In 1937, Marymount College was home to 150 women. Now, 80 years later, it is a home of a different sort.  After the college closed in 1989, Don and Mona Marrs purchased the former administration building. “My family moved into the building in 1992,” said Dahx Marrs. “My parents renovated space for their family. (Dad) moved his architecture practice here and we started leasing commercial office space at the same time.”  Now grown, Dahx, his wife Colleen and their four boys live in Marymount, along with Don and Mona Marrs and about 20 other families.

The upper five floors were converted into condominiums, in addition to other upgrades.  “We’ve added an underground parking garage and returned the sunken garden on top of it,” Dahx Marrs said. “In the interior, we’ve tried to maintain the look and feel of the historic architecture. The chapel has not changed, and it’s our intent that the chapel is preserved.”  The building acts as host to prom for Sacred Heart Jr./Sr. High School every spring.  “They also have local concerts in the chapel,” Dahx Marrs said of the Catholic high school.

Sister Bernadine Pachta, archivist for the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia, said the religious order opened Marymount College in 1922.  “The first graduating class of Marymount was 1926,” she said. “There were seven women in that graduating class.”  The college was a liberal arts college that began as a women’s college, but became co-ed in 1967.  In 1977, it had its largest enrollment of 877 students. Over the course of its 67 years, the college educated nearly 7,000 students.

In 1983, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia transferred ownership of the college to the Diocese of Salina. The final class of 62 women and 30 men graduated, and the college was closed on June 30, 1989.  For more information regarding the renovation, please visit www.marymountproperties.com.

Grant applications due Dec. 1

Salina — The Catholic Community Foundation is currently accepting grant applications for the 2018 Bishop’s Fund.  

Any Catholic entity with innovative ideas or projects within the Diocese of Salina is welcome to apply. The maximum amount of funding for each grant is $5,000. The Bishop and the board of the Catholic Community Foundation will review and determine grant awards at their December meeting. Funding will be available for the 2018 calendar year. 

The application process is completely online at the diocesan website, salinadiocese.org.  Click here to go to the "Grants" page.  All applications are due Dec. 1, 2017. 

“This is a helpful way for parishes, schools and ministries to access funding for a project that could not be funded in their annual budget,” said Beth Shearer, executive director of the foundation.  “The board is delighted to make these innovative and new projects possible. This follows the original intent of the Bishop’s Fund. We are proud partners with our grantees in fulfilling their missions across our diocese. Together we are strengthening our Catholic community of faith.”

Last year, the Bishop’s Fund awarded $33,272 for various projects.  Donors wanting to help the Bishop underwrite important projects established the Bishop’s Fund in 2008. Each year the diocese continues to receive donations to the Bishop’s Fund.

Applications are open to all parishes, Catholic schools and Catholic ministries within the diocese. The following are examples of grants that will be considered.

  • Technology, increasing and/or upgrading.
  • Catholic Education for both Catholic Schools and PRE programs.
  • Parish mission speakers and materials.
  • Mission work for the poor.
  • Liturgical enrichment, including seasonal programs.
  • Seed money to establish or initiate a new project or program.

The Foundation will NOT consider grants to the following:

  • Operating deficits or retirement of debt.
  • Ordinary recurring expenses.

Inquiries CAN be directed to Shearer at (785) 827-8746, ext. 42, or beth.shearer@ salinadiocese.org.

A look back at St. Mary Parish in Jamestown

“JAMESTOWN — Extensive improvements on the interior of St. Mary’s church were completed this week. The cost of the improvements represents an expenditure of about $1,100.” 

~ The Register, Nov. 21, 1937

With 30 families in the small-town parish about 12 miles west of Concordia, the renovation was a big one. An arch was added between the sanctuary and nave, as well as improvements of the ceiling of the church. Additionally, oak floors were placed in the sanctuary, and steps were added in front of the communion rail, according to a historic Register article. Additionally, the Altar Society contributed “gothic style light fixtures, an organ, furnishings for the sanctuary and paid to have the statues refinished.”

Father James Grennan’s family moved four miles west of Jamestown when he was nine years old. His father, William, assisted with re-shingling the church during the 1937 improvements. The enthusiasm was short-lived for the parish, when in December 1948, the “the church burned “to the walls.” A six-inch coat of plaster saved the walls though some of the bell tower stone was cracked and had to be removed. This made the tower seven feet shorter in the reconstructed building.”

The loss was $40,000 to the parish, and Mass was celebrated in the basement of the rectory while the church was rebuilt.  Father Grennan and Bob Vering were in the St. Louis Preparatory Seminary when the fire struck the church in 1948. 

“Less than three weeks later we were home for Christmas vacation,” Father Grennan wrote in a recent letter. “Seeing the church we had known and loved nothing but a pile of ashes surrounded by the bare limestone walls was a shock indeed, but the good news was that after the fire cooled, Father Poell found the tabernacle in the basement all unharmed with the Blessed Sacrament also unharmed. Even the Mass Chalice was singed, but unharmed.  “Father Poell offered (Christmas Eve) Midnight Mass with 120 parishioners crowded into the Rectory.”

The May 1, 1949 issue of The Register recounts: “Volunteer work figures highly in the reconstruction work of the St. Mary Church, so thoroughly gutted by fire. … On Easter Monday, 18 volunteer workers mixed and poured more than 225 sacks of concrete around the walls of the St. Mary Church. The walls were the only part of the building left after the fire and are of native stone.”  The church was complete and blessed by Aug. 8, 1949.

“Two days after our ordination (in 1951), in the old Cathedral in Salina, Father Vering and myself offered our First M­­ass in the St. Mary Church.”  The two priests were the last vocations from the parish.  The church celebrated its final Mass Aug. 28, 1994. The building was sold in 1997 to the Methodist Church in Jamestown.­

Defending Dreamers: DACA changes affect those in Salina Diocese

For The Register

In her 20s, Maria* is preparing for a career in medicine, hoping to serve the rural population of Kansas with her skills.  Amid the typical struggles of college life, Maria has one added struggle: the Sept. 5 discontinuation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.  At age four, she moved to the United States with her family.  “Growing up as a little kid I didn’t know I wasn’t legal here,” she said. “As a little kid, I thought, ‘Oh, I can go to school. I can go to college.’  “When I grew up, my mom explained I couldn’t go to school or get a job because I didn’t have a social security number or work permit. This DACA program was going to help us.”  Or it would have helped, until Sept. 5 when President Donald Trump ended the program and called on Congress to develop and pass a replacement program that could be implemented in time to continue protections or begin a new phase of immigration reform.

DACA was established by executive order in June 2012 by former President Barack Obama. The program offered temporary relief for certain individuals who came to the United States as children. While the program did not guarantee that these men and women, dubbed “Dreamers,” would obtain citizenship, it did provide them a pathway toward a more secure future by offering them the opportunity to legally hold a job or attend college.  With the Trump administration’s decision, DACA discontinued its acceptance of new applications as of Sept. 5, 2017. Dreamers whose card expires before March 5, 2018, had until Oct. 5 to submit their renewal paperwork. While no alternative plan has been announced, those, like Maria, who are currently in the program will see their deferred action start to expire in the coming months.  “We’re trying to not let it affect us,” says Maria during a break between her college classes. “We’re doing everything as though nothing has happened.” 

Bishop Edward Weisenburger, now Bishop-elect of the Diocese of Tucson, Ariz. believes the program not only helped the participants in it, but helped the United States as a whole. He addressed the issue during a press conference introducing him to the members of his new diocese Oct. 5 in Tucson.  “Most [beneficiaries] are very productive members of our society, getting a good education or holding down great jobs,” he said. “Those are the people we need today in our country.”  He expressed concern about limiting the number of immigrants.  “I think we need a better comprehensive legislation position on immigration in general,” he said.  He also addressed Dreamers and their place in the country.  “I very much want America for them, but I also really want them for America, because their gifts, their talents, their dedication reveals to us the very best of what it means to be an American,” Bishop Weisenburger said.


Defendiendo Soñadores: Los cambios de DACA afecta a aquellos en la Diócesis de Salina

Para El Registro

En sus 20 años, María* se está preparando para una carrera en medicina, con la esperanza de servir a la población rural de Kansas con sus habilidades.  En medio de las luchas típicas de la vida universitaria, María tiene una lucha adicional: la discontinuación del 5 de Septiembre del programa de Acción Diferida para Los Llegados en la Infancia.  A los cuatro años, se mudó a los Estados Unidos con su familia.  “Cuando era pequeña y mientras crecía yo no sabía que no era legal aquí”, dijo. “Cuando era un niño, pensé, ‘Oh, puedo ir a la escuela. Puedo ir a la universidad.”  “Cuando crecí, mi mamá me explicó que no podía ir a la escuela o conseguir un trabajo porque no tenía un número de seguro social o permiso de trabajo. Este programa de DACA nos iba a ayudar.”  O hubiera ayudado, hasta el 5 de Septiembre cuando el Presidente Donald Trump finalizó el programa y pidió al Congreso que desarrolle y apruebe un programa de reemplazo que podría implementarse a tiempo para continuar las protecciones o comenzar una nueva fase de la reforma migratoria.

DACA fue establecido por orden ejecutiva en Junio de 2012 por el ex Presidente Barack Obama. El programa ofreció alivio temporal para ciertas personas que vinieron en los Estados Unidos cuando eran niños. Si bien el programa no garantizaba que estos hombres y mujeres, llamados “Dreamers,” obtuvieran la ciudadanía, sí les proporcionó un camino hacia un futuro más seguro al ofrecerles la oportunidad de tener un empleo o asistir a la universidad legalmente.  Con la decisión de la administración Trump, DACA suspendió su  aceptación de nuevas solicitudes a partir del 5 de Septiembre de 2017. Los soñadores cuya tarjeta expira antes del 5 de Marzo de 2018 tenían hasta el 5 de Octubre para enviar su documentación de renovación. Mientars tanto, no avido ningun anuncio de un plan alternativo, aquellos, como María, que están actualmente en el programa verán que su acción diferida comenzarán a vencer en los próximos meses.  “Estamos tratando de no dejar que nos afecte”, dice María durante un descanso entre sus clases de la universidad. “Estamos haciendo todo como si nada hubiera pasado.”

El Obispo Edward Weisenburger, ahora Obispo electo de la Diócesis de Tucson, Ariz., cree que el programa no solo ayudó a los participantes sino que ayudó a los Estados Unidos en su conjunto. Hablo de el tema durante una conferencia de prensa presentándole a los miembros de su nueva diócesis el 5 de Octubre en Tucson.  “La mayoría [de los beneficiarios] son miembros muy productivos de nuestra sociedad, obtienen una buena educación o mantienen grandes trabajos,” dijo. “Esas son las personas que necesitamos hoy en nuestro país.”  Expresó su preocupación por limitar el número de inmigrantes.  “Creo que necesitamos una mejor posición legislativa integral sobre la inmigración en general,” dijo.  También se dirigió a Dreamers y su lugar en el país.  “Realmente quiero América para ellos, pero también los quiero para Estados Unidos, porque sus dones, sus talentos, su dedicación nos revelan lo mejor de lo que significa ser estadounidense,” dijo el obispo Weisenburger.


More than 800 from diocese to attend NCYC

The Register

Salina — Once again, Sister Barbara Ellen Apaceller is preparing to take more than 800 youth to the National Catholic Youth Conference in Indianapolis Nov. 16-19.  Since the conference began in 1995, Sister Barbara Ellen has not missed a single of the 12 conferences in two dozen years.  “They see a bigger Church,” she said of the conference, whose theme is “Called.”

The conference includes keynote speakers, workshops, Eucharistic adoration, Reconciliation and a large exhibit area.  “It’s a time where they connect and realize they’re not by themselves in their journey in the relationship with God,” said Sister Barbara Ellen, who is the diocesan director of youth ministry. “It’s good for our young people to realize the Church is huge — bigger than the Salina Diocese.  It is a life-changing experience for a lot of them.”  The featured speakers include Chris Stefanick, Sister Miriam Heidland, Roy Petitfils, Brian Greenfield, Father Joseph A. Espaillat II and Emily Wilson.

With more than 800 attendees from the diocese, Sister Barbara Ellen said the diocese is taking 14 full busses to the conference. Busses will start in Goodland, filling with youth groups, and work their way east across the diocese.  In addition to the students, many parent volunteers come along, and this year will include a record-setting seven priests who will join the youth for the trip.  In order to afford the $585 per person cost, many parishes fundraise over the course of two years, Sister Barbara Ellen said.  “We have a lot of new kids, freshman and sophomores who this will be the first time,” she said. “We use the older kids who have been there before share what to expect — to make sure they take the risk to go to different workshops, what they’re interested in.”

The conference can be admittedly overwhelming, with about 27,000 high school students in attendance.  In addition to the local clergy, Sister Barbara Ellen said Bishop Edward Weisenburger will join the group Nov. 16 for a special Mass. It will be his last public event prior to departing for Tucson, Ariz., where he will be installed as Bishop of Tucson Nov. 29.  “The Bishop hasn’t missed an NCYC since he’s been here,” Sister Barbara Ellen said. “He’s always been there. The kids appreciate that; I appreciate that.”

In addition to youth from the Salina Diocese, Sister Barbara Ellen invited the 16 conference attendees from Tucson to join the Salina group for Mass with the bishop. 

Statement from Bishop on Racism

Racism and bigotry are among the great evils of our age, and the resurgence of neo-Nazi and white-supremacist movements is profoundly troubling.  The follower of Jesus Christ can see something of God’s image in every human being. For this reason, people of faith must unite and speak truth to this evil in our midst.  Let us renew our firm commitment to truth, equality, and universal human dignity.

– Bishop Edward J. Weisenburger

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  • IMAGE: CNS/Paul HaringBy Cindy WoodenVATICAN CITY (CNS) -- People have a basic choice in the way they live: either striving to build up treasures on earth or giving to others in order to gain heaven, Pope Francis said. "What we invest in love remains, the rest vanishes," the pope said in his homily Nov. 19, the first World Day of the Poor. Between 6,000 and 7,000 poor people attended the Mass in St. Peter's Basilica as special guests, the Vatican said. While almost all of them live in Europe, they include migrants and refugees from all over the world. Among the altar servers were young men who are either poor, migrants or homeless. The first reader at the Mass, Tony Battah, is a refugee from Syria. Those presenting the gifts at the offertory were led by the Zambardi family from Turin, whom the Vatican described as living in a "precarious condition" and whose 1-year-old daughter has cystic fibrosis. In addition to the bread and wine that were consecrated at the Mass, the offertory included a large basket of bread and rolls that were blessed to be shared at the lunch the pope was offering after Mass. Some 1,500 poor people joined the pope in the Vatican's audience hall for the meal, while the other special guests were served at the Pontifical North American College -- the U.S. seminary in Rome -- and other seminaries and Catholic-run soup kitchens nearby. Preaching about the Gospel "parable of the talents" (Mt 25:14-30), Pope Francis said the servant in the story who buried his master's money was rebuked not because he did something wrong, but because he failed to do something good with what he was given. "All too often, we have the idea that we haven't done anything wrong, and so we rest content, presuming that we are good and just," the pope said. "But to do no wrong is not enough. God is not an inspector looking for unstamped tickets; he is a Father looking for children to whom he can entrust his property and his plans." If in the eyes of the world, the poor they have little value, he said, "they are the ones who open to us the way to heaven; they are our 'passport to paradise.' For us it is an evangelical duty to care for them, as our real riches, and to do so not only by giving them bread, but also by breaking with them the bread of God's word, which is addressed first to them." Where the poor are concerned, the pope said, too many people are often guilty of a sin of omission or indifference. Thinking it is "society's problem" to solve, looking the other way when passing a beggar or changing the channel when the news shows something disturbing are not Christian responses, he said. "God will not ask us if we felt righteous indignation," he said, "but whether we did some good." People please God in a similar way to how they please anyone they love. They learn what that person likes and gives that to him or her, the pope said. In the Gospels, he said, Jesus says that he wants to be loved in "the least of our brethren," including the hungry, the sick, the poor, the stranger and the prisoner. "In the poor, Jesus knocks on the doors of our heart, thirsting for our love," he said. True goodness and strength are shown "not in closed fists and crossed arms, but in ready hands outstretched to the poor, to the wounded flesh of the Lord." Before joining his guests for lunch, Pope Francis recited the Angelus prayer with thousands of people in St. Peter's Square. The previous day in Detroit, he told the people, Capuchin Father Solanus Casey was beatified. "A humble and faithful disciple of Christ, he was known for his untiring service to the poor. May his witness help priests, religious and laypeople live with joy the bond between the proclamation of the Gospel and love for the poor." Pope Francis told the crowd that he hoped "the poor would be at the center of our communities not only at times like this, but always, because they are at the heart of the Gospel. In them, we encounter Jesus who speaks to us and calls us through their suffering and their needs." Offering special prayers for people living in poverty because of war and conflict, the pope asked the international community to make special efforts to bring peace to those areas, especially the Middle East. Pope Francis made a specific plea for stability in Lebanon, which is in the middle of a political crisis after its prime minister announced his resignation. He prayed the country would "continue to be a 'message' of respect and coexistence throughout the region and for the whole world."- - -Copyright © 2017 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

  • IMAGE: CNSBy DETROIT (CNS) -- Blessed Solanus Casey always said that "as long as there is a spark of faith," there can be no discouragement or sorrow, said Cardinal Angelo Amato, head of the Vatican's Congregation for Saints' Causes. His words were accompanied by "the concrete practice of faith, hope and charity in his everyday life," said the cardinal in his homily during the Nov. 18 beatification Mass for the beloved Capuchin Franciscan friar who was known for his cures and wise counsel. "He came from an Irish family of profound Catholic convictions. Faith for him was a very precious inheritance for facing the difficulties of life," Cardinal Amato said. "When the young Bernard (his given name) Casey, entered the Capuchins, he passed from one community of faith to another." Blessed Solanus "focused on the poor, the sick, the marginated and the hopeless," Cardinal Amato said. "He always fasted in order to give others their lunch. For hours upon hours, he patiently received, listened and counseled the ever-growing number of people who came to him." The friar saw people "as human beings, images of God. He didn't pay attention to race, color or religious creed," the cardinal said. A congregation of 66,000 people filled Ford Field, home of the NFL's Detroit Lions, which was transformed for the Mass. The altar, placed at midfield, was created originally for St. John Paul II's visit to the Pontiac Silverdome in 1987. To the right of the altar was a large painting of Blessed Solanus. It was unveiled after the beatification rite, which took place at the beginning of the Mass. Dozens of bishops, priests and deacons processed into the stadium for the start of the liturgy. The music was provided by a 25-member orchestra and a choir of 300 directed by Capuchin Franciscan Father Ed Foley. The singers were members of parish choirs from across the Detroit metro area. Cardinal Amato was the main celebrant, joined at the altar by Detroit Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States, and Boston Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley, himself a Capuchin Franciscan. In the congregation were 240 Capuchin friars and at least 300 members of the Casey family from across America and their ancestral country of Ireland. The Casey family's Irish roots were reflected in the Irish hymns chosen as part of the music for the liturgy. "What a witness was our beloved Solanus," said Father Michael Sullivan, provincial minister of the Capuchin Franciscan Province of St. Joseph in Detroit, as the ceremony began "He opened his heart to all people who came to him. He prayed with them, he appreciated them, and through him, God loved them powerfully again and again." "For decades countless faithful have awaited this moment," said Archbishop Vigneron before asking Cardinal Amato to read the decree from Pope Francis declaring Father Solanus "Blessed." He is the second American-born male to be beatified, after Blessed Stanley Rother, a North American priest from Oklahoma who in 1981 was martyred while serving the people of a Guatemalan village. He was beatified Sept. 23 in Oklahoma City. Among the hundreds, if not thousands, of healings attributed to Blessed Solanus during and after his lifetime, Pope Francis recognized the authenticity of a miracle necessary for the friar to be elevated from venerable to blessed after a review by the Vatican's Congregation for Saints' Causes was completed earlier this year. The miracle involved the healing -- unexplained by medicine or science -- of a woman with an incurable genetic skin disease, Paula Medina Zarate of Panama. She was only recently identified publicly and she was at the Mass. As it began, she walked up to the altar with a reliquary holding a relic of Blessed Solanus. Zarate was visiting friends in Detroit and stopped at Father Casey's tomb to pray for others' intentions. After her prayers, she felt the strong urging to ask for the friar's intercession for herself, too, and received an instant and visible healing. The miraculous nature of her cure in 2012 was verified by doctors in her home country, in Detroit and in Rome, all of whom confirmed there was no scientific explanation. Father Casey himself died of a skin disease July 31, 1957. Born Nov. 25, 1870, in Oak Grove, Wisconsin, Bernard Francis Casey was the sixth of 16 children born to Irish immigrants Bernard James Casey and Ellen Elizabeth Murphy. He enrolled at St. Francis High School Seminary near Milwaukee in 1891 to study for the diocesan priesthood. But because of academic limitations, he was advised to consider joining a religious order instead. He went to Detroit to join the Capuchin order in 1897. He was given the religious name Solanus. He continued to struggle academically but was finally ordained in 1904 as a "simplex priest," meaning he could celebrate Mass but could not preach doctrinal sermons or hear confessions. He went to New York and served for two decades in friaries and churches there and was transferred back to Detroit in 1924, where he began working as the porter, or doorkeeper, of St. Bonaventure Monastery. Father Casey co-founded the Capuchin Soup Kitchen in 1929 and today it serves the Detroit metro area by providing food, clothing and human development programs to the people of the community. In addition to preparing and serving up to 2,000 meals a day, the facility has an emergency food pantry, service center and a tutoring program for children. He spent his life in the service of people, endearing himself to thousands who would seek his counsel. From 1946 to 1956, he was at the Capuchin novitiate of St. Felix in Huntington, Indiana, then was transferred back to Detroit for what was the last year of his life.- - -Copyright © 2017 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

  • IMAGE: CNS photo/Stephen Morrison, EPABy Cindy WoodenVATICAN CITY (CNS) -- People who are dying must be accompanied with the love of family members and the care of medical professionals, but there is no requirement that every means available must be used to prolong their lives, Pope Francis said. "Even if we know that we cannot always guarantee healing or a cure, we can and must always care for the living, without ourselves shortening their life, but also without futilely resisting their death," the pope said in a message to the European members of the World Medical Association. "This approach is reflected in palliative care, which is proving most important in our culture, as it opposes what makes death most terrifying and unwelcome: pain and loneliness," the pope said. The European members of the medical association were meeting at the Vatican Nov. 16-17 for a discussion with the Pontifical Academy for Life on end-of-life care. At the same time, across St. Peter's Square, the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development and the International Confederation of Catholic Health Care Institutions were hosting a meeting on inequalities in health care. Pope Francis' message touched both topics, which he said intersect when determining what level of medical intervention is most appropriate when a person is dying. "Increasingly sophisticated and costly treatments are available to ever more limited and privileged segments of the population," the pope said, "and this raises questions about the sustainability of health care delivery and about what might be called a systemic tendency toward growing inequality in health care. "This tendency is clearly visible at a global level, particularly when different continents are compared," he said. "But it is also present within the more wealthy countries, where access to health care risks being more dependent on individuals' economic resources than on their actual need for treatment." A variety of factors must be taken into account when determining what medical interventions to use and for how long with a person approaching the end of his or her earthly life, Pope Francis said. For those with resources, treatments are available that "have powerful effects on the body, yet at times do not serve the integral good of the person." Even 60 years ago, he said, Pope Pius XII told anesthesiologists and intensive care specialists that "there is no obligation to have recourse in all circumstances to every possible remedy and that, in some specific cases, it is permissible to refrain from their use." Determining what measures amount to "therapeutic obstinacy" or "overzealous" treatment, and are therefore either optional or even harmful, requires discernment and discussion with the patient, the patient's family and the caregivers. "From an ethical standpoint," the pope said, withholding or withdrawing excessive treatment "is completely different from euthanasia, which is always wrong, in that the intent of euthanasia is to end life and cause death." In determining the best course of action in caring for a dying person, the pope said, "the mechanical application of a general rule is not sufficient." If the patient is competent and able, the pope said, he or she "has the right, obviously in dialogue with medical professionals, to evaluate a proposed treatment and to judge its actual proportionality in his or her concrete case" and to refuse the treatment "if such proportionality is judged lacking." In either case, he said, even medical professionals must follow "the supreme commandment of responsible closeness," remaining alongside those who are dying. "It could be said that the categorical imperative is to never abandon the sick," he said. "The anguish associated with conditions that bring us to the threshold of human mortality, and the difficulty of the decision we have to make, may tempt us to step back from the patient. Yet this is where, more than anything else, we are called to show love and closeness, recognizing the limit that we all share and showing our solidarity." "Let each of us give love in his or her own way -- as a father, a mother, a son, a daughter, a brother or sister, a doctor or a nurse. But give it!" Pope Francis said. Dr. Frank Ulrich Montgomery, president of the German Medical Association and organizer of the meeting, said the World Medical Association has not changed the position it adopted in 1987 and reaffirmed in 2013 that euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide are unethical, but doctors must respect a patient's right to decline medical treatment. However, he said Nov. 17, the position is debated constantly at association meetings, including the one at the Vatican, and is the object of a series of regional meetings of the association's medical ethics committee. Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, said it was important for the Vatican to be involved in the dialogue even though some participants disagree with the teaching of the church and the position of the association. "We aren't billiard balls that meet only when knocking against each other," he said, but human beings interested in listening to one another and trying to emphasize essential human values. Pope Francis' message, he said, reaffirmed and added precision to previous papal texts about end-of-life care by restating the church's "opposition to euthanasia, physician-assisted suicide and therapeutic abandonment" of dying patients. "He emphasized the obligation of continuing care," which is not always the same thing as continuing medical treatment, the archbishop said.- - -Copyright © 2017 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

  • IMAGE: CNS photo/Tyler OrsburnBy Mark PattisonWASHINGTON (CNS) -- Hey, Smithsonian, there's a new kid on the block. It's the Museum of the Bible, just a few blocks from the National Mall in Washington. With its opening to the public Nov. 18, it will tell visitors how the Bible -- both Old Testament and New Testament -- has intersected society and at times even transformed it. The people behind the museum say that if visitors were to read the card behind every artwork, saw every video, heard every song and took part in every interactive experience -- including a Broadway-style musical called "Amazing Grace" about the song's writer, John Newton, and the biblical inspiration behind the abolitionist movement -- it would take them 72 hours to do it all. But visitors can take their time, because there is no admission charge to the museum. The museum was the brainchild of Steve Green, chairman of the museum's board of directors and president of the Hobby Lobby chain of arts and crafts stores. It was Hobby Lobby that successfully argued before the Supreme Court in 2014 that, as a closely held company, its owners based on their religious beliefs should not have to comply with a federal mandate to cover all forms of contraceptives because some act as abortifacients."It's exciting to share the Bible with the world," Green said at a Nov. 15 press preview of the museum, which is just one block from a subway stop serving three of the Washington-area subway system's six lines. The $500 million museum had its coming-out party in 2011 at the Vatican Embassy in Washington before a gathering of business, government, academic and religious leaders. Museum backers found a circa-1923 refrigeration warehouse that had been repurposed for other uses, bought the building and set about expanding it, adding two stories and a skylight to the top of the structure and a sub-basement for storage space. The result: six floors of exhibits, not to mention the theater, gift shop and restaurants. Most of the exhibits, when necessary, use the designations "B.C." and "A.D." -- Before Christ and Anno Domini, Latin for "year of the Lord" -- to refer to the timeline of civilization marked by Jesus' birth. Museum brass had discussions on the topic, Susan Jones, curator of antiquities for the museum, told Catholic News Service. "They decided that's the way they wanted to go," she said. Most researchers, Jones noted, prefer the designations "B.C.E" and "C.E." -- Before the Common Era and Common Era -- because "they're more neutral." Also preferring the latter names is the Israeli Association for Antiquities, which has a 20-year deal with the museum to supply artifacts in a fifth-floor exhibit space. "You're in Israel now," she told a visitor as a tour guide was boasting that he had his hand on a rock from the Western Wall in Jerusalem in the exhibit. There are a number of items on loan to the museum from the Vatican Museums and the Vatican Library. They're in a tiny space on the museum's ground floor -- relatively speaking, since the museum totals 430,000 square feet. What can't be seen in person can be accessed by two dedicated computers in the exhibit area, one for the museums and one for the library. Brian Hyland, an associate curator for medieval manuscripts at the museum, told CNS the Vatican donations will be around for six months, then replaced by other artifacts. One of his favorite items currently in the exhibit space is the first volume of a facsimile of the Urbino Bible, which dates to the 15th century; the second volume will replace the first volume at some point in 2018. Despite the Bible's status as the best-selling and most-read book in history, one exhibit speaks of "Bible poverty," and the fact that roughly 1 billion people have never read the Bible in their native tongue. An organization called IllumiNations, a collaborative effort by Bible translation agencies, is trying to change that. The aim is to have, by 2033, 95 percent of the world's peoples with access to the full Bible, 99.9 percent with at least the New Testament, and 100 percent with at least some parts of the Bible translated into what museum docent William Lazenby called "their heart languages." The exhibit space touting this endeavor is stocked with Bibles and New Testaments in various languages. Hardcover books with blank pages in the exhibit represent the untranslated languages. Wholly untranslated languages are represented by yellow covers, and partially translated tongues are represented by covers with a redder hue.- - -Follow Pattison on Twitter: @MeMarkPattison.- - -Copyright © 2017 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

  • IMAGE: CNS photo/Luong Thai Linh, Pool via ReutersBy HONG KONG (CNS) -- Officials in China's eastern Jiangxi province have replaced religious images displayed by Christian families with portraits of the country's leader, Xi Jinping. Ucanews.com reported that, on Nov. 12, pictures were uploaded to the popular social messaging service WeChat account of Huangjinbu town government, showing officials removing images of the cross and other religious subjects in Yugan County. The message from officials said the Christians involved had "recognized their mistakes and decided not to entrust to Jesus but to the (Communist) Party" claiming the Christians voluntarily removed 624 religious images and posted 453 portraits of Xi. The officials also claimed they were "converting" Christians to party loyalty through poverty alleviation and other schemes to help the disadvantaged. Nearly 10 percent of Yugan County's largely impoverished 1 million people is Christian. Father Andrew, who declined to give his full name for fear of government retribution, told ucanews.com that the removal of the Christian images involved officials giving money to poor households in return for hanging Xi's portrait. Father John, in northern China, said he felt Xi had become "another Mao" Zedong following the 19th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party in October. The priest predicted that other officials around the country would imitate what had been done in Jiangxi. With the party's new revised "Regulations on Religious Affairs" to be implemented Feb. 1, Chinese Christians and observers believe religious policy will closely follow Xi's "Sinicization" model. During the 1966-76 Cultural Revolution, religious intolerance and Mao's dogma prevailed. Young people were encouraged to criticize their elders, including parents and teachers. People accused of spying for foreign powers were detained and beaten to obtain confessions. Priests in China who spoke to ucanews.com did not see any direct return to the conditions of the Cultural Revolution, but said they feared religious and social controls would continue to intensify. "It is not going to be good," said one of the priests. The release in China of videos urging children to spy on their families has also brought back further memories of the Cultural Revolution, when youths enforced Communist Party ideology. Young people of the Red Guards engaged in the arrest and public humiliation of anyone considered to be deviating from the teachings of revolutionary leader Mao. Recently, the Chinese Society of Education, affiliated with the Education Ministry, released two videos online aimed at teaching children to report family members who could pose a threat to national security. One video was for primary school students and another for high school students. Both instructed children to report to the national security bureau anyone, including parents, who could be illegally relaying confidential information, especially to foreigners. The videos provided a hotline phone number to report suspicious activities. An official notice said the videos were produced to match Xi's strategy of incorporating national security objectives into the education system. - - - The original story can be found at https://www.ucanews.com/news/china-officials-replace-in-home-pictures-of-jesus-with-xi-jinping/80810.- - -Copyright © 2017 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.