CATHOLIC NEWS AGENCY Daily Feed
Here is the Last Supper painting referenced in Dave Myers's column, in which he tells of the historian Josephus, and how he mentions the fact that Jesus and the Apostles had a pet dog named Winston. Though not mentioned in Scripture, if you squint your eyes and look very carefully, you can see a dog depicted under the table in Da Vinci's Last Supper (above).
May 20, 2018
KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Track meet; Beloved Sinners; Benjamin Martin retires; Smiles; Future of Fortune Telling; Hoisington mission; DofI; Getting Equipped; Spring Social; First Communion; Confirmation
May 6, 2018
KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Archbishop Romero; Seeing, Touching, Tasting; Exhortation; Father Patrick Conroy; Happy Mother's Day; A child on your doorstep; Vibrant Ministries Grant; From the heart of a young father; Love Gives Life; Roman Holiday; Smartphone; retirement
Help to build a legacy of hope
Catholic Charities launches annual appeal
From the Office of Catholic Charities of Southwest Kansas:
From pregnancy and adoption to family support and disaster relief, Catholic Charities is here for you, your family, and your community. Please help us continue to be here for those in need with your generous gift to the 2017 Catholic Charities Annual Appeal.
After revamping our infant adoption program to provide better service and an easier profile program for couples who wish to adopt, we now have a diverse pool of families who have completed all of the necessary steps and are now ready to grow their family through adoption.
After a young couple and their small child lost everything in a house fire, they were able to get back on their feet through the Catholic Charities Housing Program. Not only were they able to find and maintain affordable housing, but the program also gave the mother an opportunity to go back to school and get her GED so that she could get a better job, and provide for her family.
Wildfires burned through Kansas in March; a tornado hit Pawnee Rock and Barton County in May; and in August, storms caused flooding and significant damage to homes and businesses in Seward County. Each time, Catholic Charities stepped up to provide assistance, and with your help, we will continue to do so until everyone is back on their feet.
Every day, your support makes stories like these possible.
Today, we’re launching our 2017 Year-End Campaign. Our goal is to make sure every person who walks through our door experiences hope and fulfillment. Even though we were able to meet some needs like those described above, there are so many other individuals we couldn’t help, because we didn’t have the resources to do so. We need your help to make sure that every person who walks through our door experiences hope and fulfillment.
Would you be willing to make a special year-end donation of $50, $100 or whatever you can afford to help those in need? We cannot do this without you; we need your help to make a real, lasting impact in the lives of those who are still in need. To donate online, go to http://catholiccharitiesswks.org/.
Checks made out to Catholic Charities can also be mailed or brought in person to the following locations:
Dodge City Office
906 Central Ave
Dodge City, KS 67801
Garden City Office
603 N 8th St.
Garden City, KS 67846
Great Bend Office
2201 16th St.
Great Bend, KS 67530
On behalf of those we serve, thank you for your continued support.
How to make a confession
Or, don’t sweat the embarrassing stuff
By Dave Myers
Southwest Kansas Catholic
Editor’s Note: I provided the text that is in italics. Catholic News Agency provided the rest.
You can begin your confession by making the Sign of the Cross and greeting the priest:
“Bless me, Father, for I have sinned.”
This is why you’re here. On another occasion, you could easily greet a priest by saying, “Bless me, Father, for I. Am. Awesome!” Why? Because God loves you so much! Even as we are in sin, we are as beloved to Him as a newborn is to their mom or dad!
But here and now, it’s about saying to God, “I know I let you down. Help me to be a better person. Help me to heal.”
King David probably said it best: “Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.” (Psalm 51:2)
You’re in good company! Even popes go to confession!
The priest gives you a blessing. One response you might give is these words St. Peter said to Christ:
“Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you” (Jn 21:17).
One then continues with the time since one’s last confession:
“My last good confession was... (approximately how many weeks, months or years).”
I’m not sure what a “good” confession is versus any other confession, but the point is, this is similar to telling a dentist when your last checkup was. It gives the priest a little wider perspective on what you are about to confess. If you have a litany of sins a mile long, yet you just went to Confession last week, the priest will probably have different words of guidance than if you last went to confession in 1974.
Don’t be afraid of long lapses! Remember the Prodigal Son!
Say the sins that you remember. Start with the one that is most difficult to say; after this it will be easier to mention the rest.
If you do not know how to confess, or you feel uneasy or ashamed, simply ask the priest to assist you. Be assured that he will help you to make a good confession. Simply answer his questions without hiding anything out of shame or fear. Place your trust in God: he is your merciful Father and wants to forgive you.
I know: This is the tough part. Just know that there is no sin that the priest has not heard before. Probably. When my mom was a girl, she thought her first confession was a rehearsal for the real thing, so she made up a bunch of sins that would have made Al Capone envious. I’m sure the priest sprouted several grey hairs that day.
If you do not remember any serious sins, be sure to confess at least some of your venial sins, adding at the end:
“I am sorry for these and all the sins of my past life (not past life as in, you were once a Roman gladiator), especially for...” (mention in general any past sin for which you are particularly sorry; for example, all my sins against charity).
The priest will assign you some penance and give you some advice to help you to be a better Christian.
This is what some people forget: the Sacrament of Reconciliation isn’t just about how many Our Father’s you’ll be assigned, it’s about receiving caring guidance.
Listen to the words of absolution attentively. At the end answer: “Amen.”
Be willing to do the penance as soon as possible. This penance will diminish the temporal punishment due to sins already forgiven.
Know this: Just because you’re doing penance, doesn’t mean God loves you any less, even temporarily. As it says in the book of Micah (7:19), “You will cast into the depths of the sea all our sins.” From what I hear, that ol’ sea is pretty darn deep!
These priests were martyred for refusing to violate the seal of confession
CNA -- In recent years, some Catholics have been concerned by pushes from governments in locations such as Louisiana and Australia who challenge the secrecy of the sacrament of confession, asking that priests betray the solemnity of penitents’ confessions when they hear of serious crimes in the confessional.
However, Catholics should not be afraid, because keeping the secrecy of the sacrament of confession is one of the most important promises priests make.
The code of canon law states that “the sacramental seal is inviolable; therefore it is absolutely forbidden for a confessor to betray in any way a penitent in words or in any manner and for any reason.” Priests who violate this seal of confession are automatically excommunicated.
Priests take this solemnity of the seal of confession very seriously; these four priests who died protecting it are witnesses to the extreme lengths to which priests are willing to go to protect the seal of confession.
St. John Nepomucene
Born in Bohemia, or what is now the Czech Republic, between 1340 and 1350, St. John Nepomucene was an example of the protection of sacramental secrecy, being the first martyr who preferred to die rather than reveal the secret of confession.
When he was Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Prague, the now-saint served as confessor of Sofia of Bavaria, the wife of King Wenceslaus. The king, who had infamous outbursts of anger and jealousy, ordered the priest to reveal the sins of his wife. The saint’s refusal infuriated Wenceslaus, who threatened to kill the priest if he did not tell him his wife’s secrets.
King Wenceslaus and John Nepomucene came into conflict again when the monarch wanted to seize a convent in order to take its wealth and give it to a relative. The saint prohibited its seizure because those goods belonged to the Church.
Filled with rage, the king ordered the torture of the saint, whose body was then thrown to the Vltava River in 1393.
St. Mateo Correa Magallanes
Saint Mateo Correa Magallanes was another martyr of the seal of confession. He was shot in Mexico during the Cristero War for refusing to reveal the confessions of prisoners rebelling against the Mexican government.
He was born in Tepechitlán in the state of Zacateca on July 22, 1866 and was ordained a priest in 1893. Father Matteo served as chaplain in various towns and parishes and was a member of the Knights of Columbus.
In 1927, the priest was arrested by Mexican army forces under General Eulogio Ortiz. A few days later, the general sent Father Correa to hear the confessions of a group of people who were to be shot. After Father Mateo finished administering the sacrament, the general then demanded that the priest reveal what he had heard.
Father Mateo responded with a resounding “no” and was executed. Currently, his remains are venerated in the Cathedral of Durango.
He was beatified Nov. 22, 1992 and canonized by St. John Paul II May 21, 2000.
Father Felipe Císcar Puig
Father Felipe Císcar Puig was a Valencian priest who is also considered a martyr of the sacramental seal because he was martyred after keeping confessions secret during the religious persecution of the Spanish Civil War.
During the war, revolutionary and republican forces engaged in violent battles for power, and many Catholics were targeted. This was especially true of the coastal province of Valencia, on the Mediterranean sea.
The Archdiocese of Valencia indicated that, according to the documents collected, Father Císcar was taken to a prison near the end of August 1936. There, a Franciscan friar named Andrés Ivars asked that Father Císcar hear his confession before the friar was executed be firing squad.
“After the confession, they tried to extract its contents and before his refusal to reveal it, the militiamen threatened to kill him,” says an archdiocesan statement by a witness to the event. The priest then replied, “Do what you want but I will not reveal the confession, I would die before that.”
“Seeing him so sure, they took him to a sham court where he was ordered to reveal the secrets.” Father Císar remained committed to his position, stating that he preferred to die, and the militiamen condemned him to death. Fathers Felipe Císcar and Andrés Ivars were taken by car to another location where they were shot on September 8, 1936. They were 71 and 51 years old, respectively.
Both Felipe Císcar and Andrés Ivars are part of the canonization cause of Ricardo Pelufo Esteve and 43 companions.
Father Fernando Olmedo Reguera
Father Fernando Olmedo Reguera was also a victim of the Spanish Civil War who opted to die rather than break the secrecy of confession.
Born in Santiago de Compostela Jan. 10, 1873 and ordained a priest in the Capuchin Order of Friars Minor on July 31, 1904, Father Olmedo was killed Aug. 12, 1936. He served the order as its provincial secretary until 1936, when he had to leave his convent due to the severe religious persecution in the area.
Father Olmedo was then arrested, and beaten in prison. He then was pressured into revealing the confessions of others, but Father Olmedo did not give in. According to reports, he was shot at a 19th century fortress outside of Madrid by a populist tribunal. His remains are entombed in the crypt of the Church of Jesus of Medinaceli in Madrid, and he was beatified in Tarragona Oct. 13, 2013.
Historic Windthorst church suffers major water damage
Rueb vows that 105-year-old Immaculate Heart of Mary ‘will be ready for Easter concert’
By Dave Myers
Southwest Kansas Catholic
The historic Immaculate Heart of Mary Church at Windthorst suffered major damage Nov. 11 when hundreds of gallons of water leaked into the basement and worship area due to a boiler malfunction.
The exact nature of the malfunction has not been determined. Susan Rueb, president of the board of directors of Windthorst Heritage, Inc., which owns the building, said she expects the damage to exceed $250,000.
“We discovered it Saturday (Nov. 11) late afternoon,” said Rueb. “We had several community deaths, and Carol Correll came here to put the names on the board. She saw standing water in the church.”
Rueb’s husband, Kenny, a fourth generation Windthorst resident, was the first to enter the church following the discovery.
“When I stepped on the carpet, the water was about an inch deep,” he said. “The radiators, which supply steam heat to the worship area, were leaking water.”
When Kenny tried to adjust the valve, abnormally high pressure forced the water out like a fire hose, shooting from the back of the church nearly to the altar.
They turned off the main valve. Susan Rueb checked the basement and found nearly five inches of standing water. Much of the ceiling had caved in, revealing a burst pipe.
“We realized this was going to take more than a couple of shop-vacs,” she said.
The Diocese of Dodge City closed the church in 1997 and sold it to Windthorst Heritage Inc. for $1.
Since taking over the parish maintenance 20 years ago, Windthorst Heritage, Inc. has overseen numerous restoration projects. They hired a company to clean and refurbish all the century-old stained-glass windows. They replaced all the sidewalks around and in front of the church. They renovated the rectory’s exterior and interior. A new sewer system was installed, and maintenances were performed on the church roof.
Each effort required fund-raising, grant-writing, much sweat-equity and prayers.
Which made it all the more heart-breaking when Rueb found herself wading through five inches of water in the basement to a room off to the side in which she stored all the historic records of the church, including the 1870s document in which the Santa Fe Railroad deeded the land to the Catholic Church.
There were monstrances, chalices, a tabernacle from 1878. As she reached the room, Rueb prayed that they had been spared. When she opened the door, she saw that the ceiling had collapsed. Nothing was spared damage. The historic documents were soaked.
“ServiceMaster told us to place all the wet documents into Ziploc bags,” Rueb explained. “They told us to freeze them. Instead of calling all our neighbors and asking if they had room in their freezers, we called Kirby Meats in Dodge City. They stored them all in their freezer until they go to Chicago for restoration. God bless Kirby Meats!”
The restoration team from ServiceMaster showed up within an hour of Rueb’s call on Saturday afternoon. Their first job was to remove as much water as possible; that night more than 500 gallons were removed from the basement. The team brought 40 blowers, 17 dehumidifiers, and an industrial heater with 50,000 BTUs of heat working to dry the wooden floors of the former worship area.
One team ripped through the damaged ceiling in the basement. Another scraped linoleum from the floor of the worship area to allow the century-old hardwood floors to dry. ServiceMaster brought in two large storage units to allow them to store furniture and other items, allowing them space to work.
Meanwhile, Rueb and other volunteers labored to move all the historic items out of the basement. Community volunteers worked until 10 p.m. ServiceMaster continued until 2 a.m., and was there when volunteers returned the next morning.
While closed as an active church, the structure remains firmly in the heart of a multitude of people dispersed across southwest Kansas and beyond who attended the K-12 Catholic school and grew up celebrating Mass in one of the most beautiful churches in the diocese.
“We were the mother church of western Kansas,” Rueb said, proudly. “We existed in this prairie in the middle of nowhere. This is a monument to the history of the people who settled the plains of Kansas.
“In the 1950s, we had 350 families,” Rueb said. “When we closed we had 33 families. In 20 years, I’ve met a lot of descendants. From one family who lived nearby, the dad helped build the steeple. The kids watched from a distance—they could see Dad at work.”
Rueb is certainly heartbroken at the events of Nov. 11, but she is also deeply appreciative. She’s thankful for the efforts of the restoration team, which quickly took control of the situation and gave her the advice she needed to save the historic paperwork. She’s thankful for the community of volunteers and for the Windthorst Heritage, Inc. board.
“I’m just one of the caretakers,” she said. The success of the structure is “because of the people with whom I’ve been on the board for 20 years. I have a good foundation to work with.
“A tornado did not blow away the church. Nothing is damaged that cannot be fixed. I have a mess on my hands, and I have God looking over my shoulder.”
While the annual Christmas concert has been cancelled, she expects the structure to be ready and in good shape for the Easter concert. The event will not only celebrate the rebirth of our Savior, but yet another rebirth of this beloved church on the prairie.
Catholic schools have alreadybenefited from the appeal
The Catholic schools of the Diocese of Dodge City have already received benefits from the generosity of Catholics who donated to, or prayed for, the Vibrant Ministries -- Uniting Our Church Appeal.
According to Mark Roth, Director of Development for the diocese, each school has received what amounts to $75 per student enrolled at the school.
“Each school will be using the funds at their own discretion,” explained Trina Delgado, Superintendent of Schools for the diocese. This includes tuition assistance.
“All the Catholic schools already provide tuition assistance,” she stressed. “We never want a family who wishes to come to Catholics schools, and maybe can’t afford it, not to go without financial assistance. We don’t want that to be the reason they don’t come here.
“That being said, we know that we have to recoup that money in some manner, such as through various fund raisers, generous donors, parishes, and through the assistance of the Vibrant Ministries appeal.”
The funds from the Vibrant Ministries appeal came to the schools in early November, an early Christmas present.
“I was asked how much I thought the schools were expecting,” Delgado said. “I responded that they weren’t expecting anything. Everything we receive is a gift that will be used greatly and much appreciated. When we had our principal’s meeting, I posed the same question, and they all said the same thing: it’s a gift.
“It made me feel pretty good. It’s truly a gift to them to be used how it is most needed in their individual school. We felt so good that the bishop felt the schools were important enough to get the almsgiving to use right now when it’s key. We are moving almsgiving into action for our Catholic Schools!”
The Vibrant Ministries – Uniting our Church Appeal is designed to benefit the diocese in three ways: works of mercy, Catholic faith formation, and priestly formation.
Debbie Hagans, principal of Sacred Heart School in Ness City, said that thanks to the Vibrant Ministries appeal, students at her school will receive brand new science and math textbooks next spring.
“It was a nice surprise,” Hagans said. “I knew that we were getting funding, but I didn’t know how much it would be. I’m very thankful for Vibrant Ministries for providing that for us.”
For Karen Moeder, principal at Holy Family School in Great Bend, the money came as a complete surprise.
“We were told a couple of principal meetings ago that we might be getting something,” Moeder said. “We didn’t know when or how it would be calculated, or even if it would be this school year. It was not part of our plan. When you get told something like that, you think that it may be a couple of hundred dollars. It was way more than we expected. It was just a complete and total wow!”
Moeder said that the funding will go toward new text books as well as items on the schools wish list, such as a couple of new lunch room tables.
“It was totally unexpected, and very much appreciated!”