CATHOLIC NEWS AGENCY Daily Feed
PLEASE NOTE: Due to our summer schedule, the next issue of the SKC will be dated September 2.
Aug. 12, 2018
KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Prayer and Action; Totus Tuus; Janee Bernal; Diana Ramirez; Heidy Ramirez; Bishop Gilmore honored for 20 years ministry; suicide; contraception and abortion; Dead Sea Scrolls; Humanae Vitae; certification in youth ministry; Chuck Weber; Cathedral rectory chapel; Sister Viola Heichelbech; Adam Urban
‘I was homeless, and you gave me shelter’
By DAVE MYERS
Southwest Kansas Catholic
“I was homeless, and you gave me shelter.” – Matthew 25:35
For 19 years, Marci Smith closed doors. It was part of her job. And it broke her heart.
“One of the worst things was locking people up,” she said of her nearly two-decade job in juvenile probation.
Today, she works for Catholic Charities of Southwest Kansas where her job is to open doors — to find homes for the homeless, a sense of security for those escaping violence, a new start for those recently released from prison.
“Here, we work with a lot of the same people, and we don’t have to lock them up,” said Smith, Director of Family Services.
In 2017, her first full year with Catholic Charities, she helped find homes for 40 adults and 41 children.
So far in 2018, among those she has helped include a woman who had been living in a car for weeks with several of her eight children. Another had five children and were living in a home already over-crowded with numerous extended family members.
As the wind chill reached record lows, a young man was sleeping in a display shed in front of a hardware store. It took a while to find the young man a home, even after he was kicked out of his shed/shelter.
“He told me not to worry, that he’d been on the streets for a long time, and that he’d be fine,” Smith said.
It is these individuals and families — and the many others served by Smith and Catholic Charities — who have been helped by the Vibrant Ministries Appeal.
Much of Smith’s funding comes from grants such as the federal HUD grant and the Kansas Emergency Solutions Grant. But it’s the unexpected expenses – a family or individual who needs a night or two in a hotel or other emergency assistance, or, say, who needs appliances or even various kitchenware — that are made possible because of the appeal.
When a person is in dire straits and dependent on the kindness of strangers for the basic necessities, meeting those unexpected needs can mean the difference between comfort and misery.
Like all of Catholic Charities of Southwest Kansas, Smith’s office takes the teachings of the Lord directly to the people — not in words but in action.
“We use the ‘Housing First’ model,” Smith stressed. “A home comes first, then we talk about income.”
The only requirement?
“They have to be homeless to come here,” she explained. “That includes living on the street, in a shelter, or if they are fleeing domestic violence.”
Once they enter the doors of Catholic Charities, they are given a questionnaire that will assess their needs and prioritize them. As one can imagine, there’s a waiting list.
“It’s not first come, first served,” Smith said. “Housing is based on risk level.” The Garden City office currently has 36 people on its waiting list, while the Dodge City office has six.
Catholic Charities tries to get the clients independent within a year, but they can help support them for up to two years.
“Our goal for them is to be self-sustainable.”
They are mostly single men who come to the Catholic Charities office, Smith said, but there are couples and children as well. Sadly, there are far more in need than there are resources to meet those needs.
Catholic Charities does not have the staff or financial resources for an unlimited number of clients, so it must try to limit its clients to a total of 16 homes. There are currently seven homes being served in Dodge City, and 11 in Garden City, which adds up to 18.
“Brooke [Hamlin-Lopez, Family Support Specialist], is the case worker for Garden City,” Smith said. “This is a difficult population to case manage, so we all work together to help the case management process run more smoothly.
“We pay the first three months’ rent and the safety deposit,” Smith explained. Every three months, Smith’s staff will visit with the clients to reassess their situation.
“We help find them housing and work with landlords,” Smith said. “Our clients are never charged more than 30 percent of their income.”
And if they don’t have some sort of income? Catholic Charities helps them to apply for various programs that will assist them as they get back on their feet. She is “SOAR” certified, which means Smith can help individuals apply for disability if they are homeless or at the risk of homelessness.
“My greatest reward is seeing people make changes in their lives, become self-sufficient,” Smith said.
“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” -- Matthew 25:40
Relics from the Holy Mother, the Crown of Thorns, dozens of saints, draw prayers for miracles
By Dave Myers
Southwest Kansas Catholic
They came with handfuls of items to be venerated by hundred- and thousand-year-old saints, including more than 150 tiny pieces of earthly or bodily remains kept in small reliquaries.
There were relics of saints such as Francis of Assisi, Maria Goretti, Joachim and Anne, the parents of Christ, just to name a few; as well as a fragment of the clothing worn by the Blessed Virgin. There was a piece of Christ’s crib and a part of the iron that pierced Christ’s side as he hung on the cross.
Some held their items, including photos of loved ones who were ill, against the glass of the reliquary as a means of intercession, a prayer for a healing miracle.
It’s understandable if some of those entering the cathedral March 18 for an exposition of the holy relics had at least a few doubts as to their origins. These are tangible items, after all — bone fragments from the saints, wood from the true cross, separated only by a piece of glass.
That’s where Father Carlos Martins comes in. Father Martins is an Ontario-born priest belonging to the order “Companions of the Holy Cross.” He is the founder of “Treasures of the Church,” for which he travels around the world giving presentations and displaying some 150 or so relics of his collection of 4,000 relics.
Prior to the showing of the relics, Father Martins gave a one-hour presentation in the worship area in which he described, for example, how it is that the relic of the true cross in his display was not just one of a forest of supposed true cross relics that exist today, and is instead the real thing.
“In 315 AD, Constantine was the first Christian Emperor of Rome,” Father Martins said. “His desire was to convert all the people to the Christian faith.”
After some three centuries of Christians being fed to the lions, Constantine knew this would take some work. He decided that obtaining some actual Christian artifacts to display to his people would help. So, he sent his mother, (Saint) Helena in search of pieces of the True Cross.
“She was given a revelation that she would find the True Cross on the West side of Jerusalem,” Father Martins explained. Helena discovered the remains of three crosses. How would she know which was the True Cross of Jesus?
“Helena was very clever,” Father Martins said. Helena found a woman who was affected with a grievous disease. Helena led the woman to each cross, which she touched with no effect until she came to a cross that immediately healed her affliction.
The story, the history, the effect that this God-made-man had on each person and on the entire world — told even way back when Christ walked the earth, led those at the time that these items were deeply holy and needed to be kept and treasured.
Once in the gathering space after Father Martin’s presentation, people processed solemnly around the room filled with tables on which sat the reliquaries and a plaque describing each saint. Many people knelt before the holy relics, one woman making her way around the large room, kneeling before each of the 166 reliquaries.
Another woman knelt and prayed reverently before the relic of St. Faustina, the young nun who was told by Jesus to paint him as he appeared to her, leading to the Feast of Divine Mercy, celebrated the first Sunday after Easter.
Among the many relics were those of Bernadette of Lourdes, the Apostle James the Greater (whom Jesus jokingly called “Son of Thunder” due to his voluminous preaching), John Paul II, Mother Teresa, John the Apostle, John the Baptist, the Apostle Paul, Rose of Lima, Therese of Lisieux (the Little Flower), and many others.
For more information on Father Martins and his Treasures of the Church presentation, visit http://treasuresofthechurch.com/. Click on the “more” tab to go to a gallery of photos.
‘Love Gives Life Conference’, April 7
Teen and adults are invited to the “Love Gives Life” Conference on Saturday, April 7, from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Dodge City. The conference will be hosted by Kansans for Life and the Knights of Columbus Council #2955 and will feature Terry Beatley, who will share the personal testimony of Dr. Bernard Nathanson about the deception used to convince Americans to accept legalized abortion. Several educational workshops also will be offered, in both English and Spanish. Come for just an hour, or come for the entire program. The cost is $5 for adults, and teen tickets are free. Lunch is included, but you must RSVP by April 4 if you will be eating lunch. Register by April 4 at kansansforlife.salsalabs.org/04718dodgecity or call 1-800-928-5433. See www.kfl.org for a complete schedule.
Adolescentes y adultos están invitados a una conferencia pro-vida, “El Amor Da La Vida” el sábado, abril 7, de 11 a.m. a 4:30 p.m. en la Catedral de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe en Dodge City.¡El costo es solo $5 por cada adulto, y los boletos para adolescentes son gratis. Se incluye almuerzo, pero se requiere que se registre antes del 4 de abril. Regístrese antes del 4 de abril en la pagina web kansansforlife.salsalabs.org/04718dodgecity o llame al 1-800-928-5433.
Celebration of Jesus’ Mercy takes place April 8
GREAT BEND - The parishes in and around Great Bend will celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday with a solemn hour of prayer and benediction at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 8 at Saint Patrick Church, 4100 Broadway.
The service will include adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, the Divine Mercy Chaplet in song, as well as prayers, music and meditation. Confessions will be heard during the service. It is open to people of all faiths.
Devotion for Divine Mercy began in the 1930s when Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, a Polish nun, received special communications with Jesus in which he asked her to have this image painted to spread the message of his mercy.
Under the instructions of a spiritual director, Saint Faustina wrote down her revelations from Jesus, now contained in her 600-page diary. In these writings, Saint Faustina said people are to call upon Jesus with trust, receive his mercy, and let it flow through people to others.
This mercy fulfills the message in Matthew’s gospel that states, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.”
Saint Faustina said in her diary that people “radiate” God’s mercy to others by actions, words and prayers.
The Divine Mercy image is a painting of Jesus with two rays emerging from his heart representing the blood and water which flowed from the side of Jesus as his heart was lanced after he died upon the cross.
One ray is pale representing the water which makes souls righteous, the other is red for the blood, which is the life of souls.
“These two rays issued forth from the very depths of my tender mercy when my agonized heart, was opened by a lance on the cross. These rays shield souls from the wrath of my father. Happy is the one who dwells in their shelter, for the just hand of God shall not lay hold of him.” (Diary number 299)
Saint Faustina died in 1938 at the age of 33. She was canonized a saint April 30, 2000, in Rome by the Pope at that time, Saint John Paul II, who said that the Sunday after Easter, Divine Mercy Sunday, would now be an official feast day of the Church.
Cardinal Rigali on the
Memorial of Mary, Mother of the Church
By J. Basil Dannebohm
Special to the Catholic
On March 3, the Vatican announced that Pope Francis made the decision that the Church should celebrate the Blessed Mother in her role as “Mother of the Church” every year on the Monday after Pentecost, as a way to foster Marian piety and the maternal sense of the Church.
The official decree was published in a letter from Cardinal Robert Sarah, head of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.
The Marian title of “Mother of the Church,” was given to the Blessed Mother by Blessed Pope Paul VI, who earlier this month, the Vatican announced will be canonized a saint later this year.
In an interview with writer J. Basil Dannebohm, His Eminence, Cardinal Justin Rigali, explained the significance of the distinction between a votive Mass and a Memorial.
“A votive Mass is a Mass that is not inscribed in the liturgical calendar of the Church, but which the Church permits to be celebrated on certain days in honor of a particular mystery of God or the Blessed Virgin or the Angels or Saints,” said Cardinal Rigali. “In the Roman Missal there is a Votive Mass of Our Lady, Mother of the Church, which can be used on various occasions.”
The memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, has been added to the General Roman Calendar, the Roman Missal, and the Liturgy of the Hours.
“What Pope Francis has now given to the Church is a new celebration of Mary, Mother of the Church, to be observed throughout the Church on the Monday after Pentecost,” says His Eminence. “It has the liturgical rank of a Memorial. As such, it is inscribed in the calendar of the Church. It is not a Feast but it is given to the whole Church, and its celebration brings new honor to our Blessed Mother.”
His Eminence noted that observing the memorial on the Monday after Pentecost bears significance.
“This new Memorial is beautifully placed right after the Solemnity of Pentecost and in this way also provokes a reflection on the relationship of the Blessed Virgin to the Holy Spirit,” said Cardinal Rigali.
In his encyclical, “Divinum Illud Munus,” Pope Leo XIII mentioned the spousal relationship between the Holy Spirit and the Blessed Virgin: “You know well the intimate and wonderful relationship existing between her (The Virgin Mary) and the Holy Spirit, so that she is justly called His Spouse.”
The memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, will officially be celebrated for the first time on May 21, 2018.
Knights purchase new scanner for ABC Pregnancy Center
Fathers Mark Brantley and Warren Stecklein presided at the dedication and blessing of a new $47,000 ultrasound scanner at the ABC Pregnancy Care Center in Garden City, which was purchased thanks to a donation by the Knights of Columbus.
“We are extremely excited to have this machine,” said Erica Boone, Executive Director of the ABC Pregnancy Care Center. “Right after the dedication, we were able to do five sonograms for abortion-minded and abortion vulnerable women. All of the women chose life for their unborn baby.
“We are so grateful to have the technology of this machine. The machine we had before worked well for its age, but we’re so happy to have the technology that this machine offers,” including a wide screen and 3-D imagery of the unborn baby.
“Mothers have a better, clear picture of their baby,” Boone said. “It’s just extremely exciting to have that.”
The Knights of Columbus Ultrasound Initiative actively raises money toward the purchase of ultrasound machines for pregnancy centers across the country. This was the first time that a machine was purchased for a center in southwest Kansas.
The Supreme Council (the national Knights office) has provided half the cost, while Kansas Knights have provided the other half.
“Our center is doing a lot over here,” said Tom Loker, a former grand knight and a member of the St. Mary’s Knights of Columbus, Council 2795 in Garden City, who is on the board of directors for the ABC Pregnancy Care Center in Garden City.
“We even provide post-abortion counseling. We recently hired a new executive director, and she has done a fantastic job.”
The Knights’ nationwide ultrasound project began in 2009.
The ultrasound machines will help the centers better provide for the health of both mother and child. Ultrasound exams, which are medically indicated throughout pregnancy for a variety of diagnostic reasons, use sound waves to scan a woman’s abdomen, creating a picture or “sonogram” of the baby in her uterus.
Without K of C support, these centers would be unable to purchase the ultrasound devices, each costing tens of thousands of dollars.