The Register


March 24, 2017

In this issue

From ball diamond to Deacon

Fourth Sunday of Lent: Genesis renewed.

189 people in diocese to join Catholic Church at Easter Vigil.


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From ball diamond to Deacon

The Register

Salina — Seminarian Andy Hammeke’s spirituality was something that grew over time. During his fourth year of college, he moved into a house directly across from the Comeau Catholic Campus Center in Hays. 

“I’d come home from baseball practices and see people walking into daily Mass,” Hammeke said. “I didn’t have anything better to do and (seeing students go to daily Mass) started playing on my conscience, so I started going (to daily Mass) more regularly.”

Hammeke will take another step in his vocation when he is ordained a transitional deacon April 22.

The ordination begins at 10 a.m. at Sacred Heart Cathedral. All are invited. 

Hammeke has been studying at Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology in Saint Meinrad, Ind.

Typically, a seminarian has one year of school left after being ordained a transitional deacon before his ordination to the priesthood.

A Hays native, Hammeke began his studies in 2012 after earning a bachelor’s degree at Fort Hays State University. 

Hammeke, 27, is the son of Curtis and Annette Hammeke of Hays, the grandson of Denis and Arlene Stastney of Dwight, Neb. and the late Norman and Jolene Hammeke.

He grew up in Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Hays and attended Thomas More Prep-Marian Jr.-Sr. High School. Upon graduating from TMP, Hammeke attended Fort Hays State University, playing baseball for the university.


Fourth Sunday of Lent: Genesis renewed

This coming weekend, the fourth Sunday of Lent, we will hear the familiar Gospel of the man born blind who is miraculously granted sight by Jesus. As with much of the Gospel, there is literal truth found in this passage, but there are just as many deep spiritual truths that can be grasped only by those who truly wish to see. Indeed, the great church father Origin once wrote “to be holy is to see with the eyes of Christ, to see the world as Christ sees it, from God’s perspective.”  I’m left to wonder if perhaps Origin had this weekend’s Gospel passage in mind as he spoke this eternal truth.

In looking carefully at the biblical passage, one of the most significant points about the story is that it notes that the man was “blind from birth.” But the passage, in the original Greek language, uses the word “genesis” — as in, the man was blind from his “genesis.” Clearly there’s a double meaning here of both “birth” and “creation.” As an old friend of mine, Msgr. Daniel Mueggenborg, points out in his excellent book of biblical reflections “Come Follow Me,” that the text reveals that Jesus comes to establish a new creation, a new Genesis in each of us. 

Moreover, the gestures Jesus uses are striking. Just as God in the Book of Genesis creates Adam from the mud of the earth and places God’s own spirit in Adam, so now Jesus touches a new mud to the blind man’s eyes — a mud infused with Jesus himself (symbolized by spittle). Jesus, who describes himself as the light of the world, then sends this man who has journeyed in darkness his entire life, to wash in the waters of Siloam — a word that means “Sent One.” Here again, the “Sent One” is yet another term that always points to Jesus. And while it is significant that Jesus heals the man from his physical blindness, it is perhaps far more profound that in an encounter with Jesus the man is re-created and granted the ability to see — not merely physically, but as in to understand. 


Columbaria dedication set for April 1 at Mt. Calvary in Salina

Salina — Hopefully, the third time will be the charm for the blessing of  the Mount Calvary Columbaria.

“The first time, everything wasn’t quite ready and the second time it was rained out,” said Nancy Jaquay, the manager of Mt. Calvary Catholic Cemetery. “This time it will happen, regardless.”

The public is invited to attend the blessing at 11 a.m. April 1 in the northwest corner of Mt. Calvary Cemetery, off of Iron Street in Salina.

Closed in 2005 to allow All Saints Cemetery the chance to become established, Mt. Calvary had few spaces left.

“I was getting calls continuously from people who wanted space at Mt. Calvary,” Jaquay said. “Father Frank Coady and I were talking that more people are going to cremation. We thought ‘Why not set up a columbarium for cremated remains?’ It would allow people to still be in the same cemetery as their ancestors and family members.”

Plans were made and in 2016, the columbaria — with six granite blocks and room for 504 inurments behind solid granite doors — was placed.

Since its opening, three sets of remains have been inurned. Additionally, about a dozen slots in the columbaria have been sold.

“Surprisingly, I thought the niches that would be sold faster would be ion the inside that face the altar and cross,” Jaquay said. “The people buried there wanted to be on the outside, looking over the cemetery.”

Bishop Edward Weisenburger said the new columbaria offers a way for Catholics to merge cremation with Catholic ritual.

“In our Catholic faith the cremains are to be treated the same as an intact body would be treated,” Bishop Weisenburger said. “ Cremation is an acceptable means of respectfully disposing of our bodies upon death, but the Universal Norms of the Catholic Church stress that the cremains are to be buried in the ground or placed in a mausoleum or columbaria, just as we would treat an intact body.”

For more information about purchasing a columbaria spot, contact call Jaquay at (785) 823-7221.

Motherhouse Dinner is a family affair

For The Register

Concordia — Yes, there was spaghetti, of course. And prize drawings and a bake sale and tours of the historic Nazareth Motherhouse. Yes, there was a silent auction and even a quilt sale, along with live musical entertainment, grab-bags and Easter baskets.

Yet what there was most of was family — cousins and siblings and nieces and grand-nephews and … well … family of every description, who came to the annual Spaghetti Dinner March 12 hosted by the Sisters of St. Joseph for something of a family reunion.

Many arrived in big bunches of family, spanning three or four generations. Others came in ones and twos to remember an aunt, great-aunt or other relative who had been a Sister in Concordia.

“I never met her,” said one young woman of a great-aunt who had been a Sister and is now buried in the Nazareth Cemetery behind the Motherhouse, “but this place and these women were such important parts of her life … I just wanted to be here.”

She and her family were among hundreds of guests, along with untold volunteers, sisters and staff, who filled the Motherhouse for the spring fundraiser. 

Kitchen staff, buoyed by volunteers, served a record 625 dinners and the event raised $10,927 to benefit the ministries of the Sisters of St. Joseph.

Musicians performing were the Bent Wind with a Kick, John Paul Breault, Sarah Jeardoe, Amber Rogers and Sheri Johnson.


Tipton student wins poetry competition

Salina — Sarah Katsiyiannis, a senior at Tipton Catholic High School, was named champion of  Kansas State Poetry Out Loud Champion for the second consecutive year.

The competition, presented in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, is part of a national program that encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance and competition. Beginning with school competition, winners advance to regional finals, then to the state competition and ultimately to the National Finals in Washington, DC. 

At the Kansas state finals, which was held at the Salina Community Theater on March 4, six contestants each recited three works they had selected from an anthology of more than 900 classic and contemporary poems. Katsiyiannis’ interpretation of “In School Days” by John Greenleaf Whittier, “The Nail” by C.K. Williams and “August 12 in the Nebraska Sand Hills Watching the Perseids Meteor Shower” by Twyla Hansen earned her top rankings for the second straight year.

Katsiyiannis competed at the national competition last year and is excited to return to D.C. to have another chance to compete.

“Last year’s experiences and the opportunities that blossomed from it made Sarah even more determined to reach Nationals again in 2017,” teacher and coach Cheryl Germann said. “She began vetting new poems to perform almost immediately after returning from the 2016 finals and spent countless hours practicing them; her passion for poetry is evident in both her dedication and in her performances.”


Agricultural document presented, discussed

Russell —  Executives from Catholic Rural Life were in the Salina Diocese Feb. 25 to present “The Vocation of the Agricultural Leader” document and glean feedback from local farmers and ranchers.

Jim Ennis, Executive Director of CRL, presented the document to an audience of 55 at St. Mary Queen of Angels Parish in Russell.

Previously, Ennis gave similar workshops to farm organizations such as the Farmers Union in various locations. The workshop in Russell was the first to be given at a diocese. 

The document, which was presented, is a faith-based resource for leaders in food and agriculture. The goal is to integrate faith, food, and the environment for leaders in agriculture. It was inspired by a document “Vocation of the Business Leader,” which was published in 2012. Ennis, the Executive Director for Catholic Rural Life and also President of the International Catholic Rural Association (ICRA), said a similar document for agriculture was needed. He was told to compile such a document.

Beginning with a national symposium on Faith, Food and the Environment, in November 2014, and followed by an international gathering in Milan, Italy in June 2015, various focus groups and other stakeholders were encouraged to contribute their perspectives to the document. Pope Francis presented his encyclical “Laudato Sí, on Care for Our Common Home” in 2015. This also influenced the document “Vocation of the Agricultural Leader.”


The Annual Appeal contributes to a lasting difference

Salina — If you could make a lasting difference in the life of one person, would you do so?  

We all have an opportunity to make a difference in not just one life but many lives, young and old, by donating to the 2017 Catholic Community Annual Appeal (CCAA). This year’s CCAA,”The Lord is Good to all; He has Compassion on all He has made,” seeks to raise $1 million to help fund the day-to-day operations of our ministries throughout the Diocese of Salina. From subsidizing Catholic schools to funding youth and adult programs, the CCAA helps to educate young and old about their faith.

This year’s CCAA donors are encouraged to make one-time contributions or pledge a gift amount monthly or quarterly through the end of the year. As of Feb. 28, $573,630 has been pledged toward the 2017 goal. The 1,877 gifts received to date represent 10 percent of the households of the diocese. Four parishes already have met or exceeded their goals. But there is so much more to accomplish before the end of the year. 

This weekend, March 11 and 12 there will be an in-pew solicitation for the CCAA to give to people who have not had an opportunity to make a donation to do so. Pledge cards and envelopes will be available in all parishes for those who need them. 

All registered parishioners received a packet with a letter from Bishop Edward Weisenburger in February asking for their prayerful consideration and support of this important appeal. Those who did not receive a packet and would like to receive the above-mentioned packet can call the Office of Development at (785) 827-8746, or they can donate online at At the beginning of the appeal, Bishop Weisenburger shared an audio message at all Masses. The message in English and Spanish also can be found on the diocesan website. 

Here are the ministries that are supported through the appeal, “The Lord is Good to all; He has Compassion on all He has made:”

  • $200,000 for seminarians, deacons, vocations, priests’ continuing education
  • $154,250 for Catholic schools subsidies
  • $109,000 for Catholic education and formation
  • $132,500 for priests’ retirement
  • $126,500 for priests’ health care
  • $ 163,000 for diocesan administration
  • $ 50,000 for five national collections
  • $ 49,000 for Family Life and Natural Family Planning
  • $ 9,000 for Catholic Charities of Northern Kansas
  • $ 6,250 for Respect Life.

‘Register’ your support Donations needed to send newspaper to every household

By The Register

Salina — The Register, the newspaper of the Diocese of Salina, is delivered to all registered parishioners.

To be able to continue to do that, however, requires some help on their part.

Today’s issue includes a donation envelope. Every household is asked each year to donate $25, roughly the cost of printing and mailing the newspaper.

Until three years ago, The Register was mailed only to those who subscribed. In January 2014, the publication model changed, and the newspaper was sent to every household registered with a parish in the diocese.

To accommodate the increased printing and mailing costs — from 5,500 to about 17,500 copies — the decision was made to reduce publication from weekly to twice monthly — on the second and fourth Fridays.

Instead of selling subscriptions, The Register would seek a $25 donation from each family to underwrite the additional costs.

In addition to each household receiving the newspaper, each Register edition also is available online at