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Coat of Arms as Bishop Emeritus

 

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Commemorative Issue

Honoring the

Most Rev. Ronald M. Gilmore

 

Pages 1-4; 5-8; 9-12; 13-16; 17-20; 21-24;

25-28; 29-32; 33-36; SPANISH; PUZZLES;

Biography of Most Rev.

Ronald M. Gilmore

Bishop Ronald M. Gilmore was born on April 23, 1942 in Pittsburg, Kansas. He attended St. Mary's Elementary School from 1947 to 1956; St. Mary's High School from 1956 to 1959, and gradated from St. John Vianney High School in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1960.

He attended Immaculate Conception Seminary in Conception, MO from 1960 to 1962. From 1962 to 1963, he worked for Catholic Social Service in Wichita in the Cuban Refugee Program. He worked with approximately 20 Cuban boys at what was then called Mariana House.

He attended the University of Ottawa in Canada from 1963 to 1969. He received two degrees in Philosophy, a B.A. and a B.Ph. and three degrees in Theology.

On June 7, 1969, Father Ronald M. Gilmore was ordained to the priesthood.

His first pastoral assignment was at Blessed Sacrament Parish, Wichita. From 1971 to early 1973, he then returned to Canada for doctoral studies in Theology.

In 1973, he was assigned to the Passionist Monastery in St. Paul, KS, doing weekend supply work in various parishes.

He was assigned to the Church of the Magdalen, Wichita, from 1973-1975 and he also worked in the Chancery Office as the Assistant Chancellor.

From 1975-1981 he was assigned to St. Teresa Parish, Hutchinson. During this time his primary duties were at Trinity High School where he worked as chaplain and teacher of religion, and at Holy Family Center, Wichita, where he acted as Chairman of the Executive Committee and as a teacher of religion.

He was appointed administrator of St. Agnes Church, Castleton, from August 1981 to June 1982.

In June of 1982, he was appointed the first pastor of the new St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish on the west edge of Wichita.

He was appointed chancellor in August of 1983 and was appointed Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia in June of 1988.

In May 1998, he was elevated to the rank of monsignor.

He was ordained and installed as the fifth Bishop of Dodge City on July 16, 1998.

 

Bishop Gilmore's Columns:

Remembering Father Schoenmakers

 On 28 July, we marked the death of an early Jesuit missionary, Father John Schoenmakers.  He died in 1883, late on a Saturday afternoon, in Osage Mission, now known as St. Paul, Kansas.   

He was in the 76th year of age, the 50th year of his priesthood, the 49th year as a Jesuit, and the 36th year of his service in Kansas.  His place gave birth to my place, the home parish where I grew up.  My work brought me to live, for some months in his place, on the very spot where he founded his Mission.  I was drawn again and again to his grave in that tiny parish cemetery.  He fills that whole place still.

“There was nothing dynamic about the man, nor was he unusually gifted,” an historian said.  I am not an individual, he said in a letter to his Superiors, I am an institution.  The first was submerged in the last. 

Superior of the local community, manager of the Mission, spiritual Father to the Sisters of Loretto, doctor, postmaster, steward, lawyer, judge, catechist, preacher to the Native Americans, he submerged himself … effaced himself … in his work, rarely spending time in his own rooms, and rarely leaving the Mission compound.

His Jesuit Superiors were not always pleased with him.  They were forever reprimanding him about his spending, forever reminding him to stay within his budget, forever shaking their heads at his seeming inability to understand and to follow instructions.  Some members of the Mission community found him too driven, too exacting, and too apt to interfere in their own work, which perplexed and discouraged them. 

But the members of the Osage Tribe, they came to love him with a fierce loyalty.  They had only a living oral language, passed down from person to person, no written language.   And when they came to make their own word for “priest,” the sound they chose was Schouminka.  His name, his presence, his energy, his work … he was priest to them.  We should all be so lucky.

 

 

‘…Make us whole’

By the Most Rev. RONALD M. GILMORE
Bishop Emeritus of the Catholic Diocese of Dodge City

For nearly 50 years, we have been praying you never cease to gather a people to yourself (3rd Eucharistic Prayer).  That has been a comfort to us, a reminder of the end-to-end power of the Redemption, a hint of the invisible working of Grace. 

But in these 50 years of gathering, Mass attendance has all but fallen off the table.  Only 23 percent of us go to Mass weekly these days.  Seventy-seven percent of us Catholics cannot be bothered.  If three-fourths of the family doesn’t see being with the family as something important, then the family has almost ceased to be a family. 

He is gathering; we are ungathered.  There is something way wrong with this picture.  What “is” going on here?

I am not smart enough to know the answer.  My Faith is not deep enough, perhaps.   My Hope is not energetic enough.  My Love is not lively enough.  I know one thing only (as the old Wisdom writers used to say), only two things do I know.

I know a young man who could look upon the consecrated Host, raised on high in a long, dark, Basilica, and he could see all of Hebrew history contained in that slight round wafer.  He could see all of Christian history there too, and all of world history there too, and even all of his own personal history there as well.  The Consecrated Host was like a concave mirror to him, drawing all those things from wide corners into itself.  Could I but grasp what is in that host, he thought, I would know all I need to know.   

I know an old man who now spends his time with the disappointed, the disenchanted, the wounded, the hurting, and the weary, with those who come to a religious retreat, sometimes out of desperation.  There is in them a hunger to make sense of their motley lives.  Where did they come from, why have these hard things fallen upon them, where are they going?  They are driven to make sense of all this.  Their thoughts and their feelings seek a center.  They need that concave mirror. 

Despite all the bare Churches they have known, they are drawn still … somehow … to the Bread … the Bread of the Word, and the Bread of the Altar.  I know one thing only, only two things do I know.   O slight, mute, wafer: fill us now and make us whole. 

 

 

‘Lord, renew your Church’

We have celebrated the great mysteries of our Faith: the Death of Jesus of Nazareth; the Resurrection of Christ; the Ascension of Christ; the coming of the Spirit of Christ; and the first steps of a fledgling Church, the new People of God for whom the Lord had come to draw them to himself. 

Those were “heady” days liturgically (big with meaning), and they were meant to flow into “hearty” days practically (to tumble over into visible action).  But look around you on this Monday after Pentecost, and what do you see? 

Our leaders and teachers at odds with one another.   They contradict one another, they fight with one another, they demean one another, they divide into warring camps.  They … We … give scandal to one and all.   

By this, they shall know we are Christians: by how we love one another.  But look around you.  Do we?  Are we?  Or, are we allowing … something … to get in the way?

The new Roman Missal has Eucharistic Prayers for Various Needs, one of which is for the Church on the Path toward Unity.  In it we pray: Lord, renew your Church (in all the dioceses of the world) by the light of the Gospel. 

 

Strengthen the bond of unity

Between the Faithful and the pastors of your people.

Together with Francis our Pope, John our Bishop,

And the whole Order of Bishops:

That in a world torn by strife

Your people may shine forth

As a prophetic sign of unity and concord.

 

Lord, come down from above, and let it be so.

 

 

‘Señor, renueva tu Iglesia’

 

Hemos celebrado los grandes misterios de nuestra fe: la muerte de Jesús de Nazaret; la Resurrección de Cristo; la Ascensión de Cristo; la venida del Espíritu de Cristo; y los primeros pasos de una Iglesia incipiente, el nuevo Pueblo de Dios por quien el Señor había venido para atraerlo a sí.

Aquellos fueron días “embriagadores” litúrgicamente hablando (grandes de sentido), y estaban destinados a fluir prácticamente hacia días “abundantes” (transformándose en acción visible).  Pero mira a tu alrededor este lunes después de Pentecostés, y ¿qué ves?

Nuestros líderes y maestros en desacuerdo unos con otros.   Se contradicen entre sí, pelean entre sí, se degradan entre sí, se dividen en campos de batalla.  Ellos... nosotros... damos escándalo a todos.  

Por esto, ellos sabrán que somos cristianos: por la forma en que nos amamos unos a otros.  Pero mira a tu alrededor.  ¿Lo hacemos?  ¿Lo estamos?  O, ¿estamos permitiendo... que algo... se interponga en el camino?

El nuevo Misal Romano tiene plegarias eucarísticas para diversas necesidades, una de las cuales es para la Iglesia en el camino hacia la unidad.  En ella oramos: Haz que nuestra Iglesia de (nombre de la diócesis) se renueve constantemente a la luz del Evangelio y encuentre siempre nuevos impulsos de vida;

 

consolida los vínculos de unidad

entre los laicos y los pastores de tu Iglesia,

entre nuestro Obispo Juan, y sus presbíteros y diáconos,

entre todos los Obispos y el Papa Francisco;

que la Iglesia sea, en medio de nuestro mundo, dividido por las guerras y discordias,

instrumento de unidad,

de concordia y de paz.

 

Señor, desciende de lo alto y que así sea.

 

 

Fleeing ‘Revelation’

 

The shortest psalm, with the tallest meaning, by an unknown poet: 

O praise the Lord, all you nations;

Acclaim him, all you peoples.

For his merciful love has prevailed over us;

And the Lord’s faithfulness endures forever.

 

Psalm 117 is two verses only, but its depth has never yet been plumbed.

First, it calls all the nations and all the peoples to praise the Lord.  Not just the Hebrew people. It proclaims a universal call for all … for All … to acclaim the Living God, who never tires of loving us. 

Second, it links two Hebrew words: Hesed (merciful love) and Emeth (faithfulness).  This was the way the Hebrew people came to understand the Lord in the crucible of the Exodus.  And this was the source of all their wonder at him.

But there is another facet to this wonder.  Most translators render that second verse as “Strong is his love for us.”  That is not quite what the Hebrew suggests.  It might better be rendered as his love “has prevailed over us.”  For the word comes from a Hebrew noun meaning “a strong man, a warrior, who triumphs and overcomes difficult situations.”  The one who never stops coming: that is the energy hidden in this verse.

In the 4,000 years of the Hebrew and of the Christian Revelation, “we” have always been the “difficult situation.”  We have looked past the Revelation.  We have dismissed it.  We have despised it.  We have mocked it, and we have fled from it, in 10,000 inventive ways. 

But, still, he keeps coming, this warrior, Francis Thompson’s Hound of Heaven.

I fled him, down the nights and down the days;

I fled him, down the arches of the years;

I fled him, down the labyrinthine ways

Of my own mind; and in the mist of tears

I hid from him ….

 

Huyendo revelación

 

El salmo más corto, con el significado más alto, de un poeta desconocido: 

 

Alaben al Señor, todas las naciones,
aclámenlo, todos los pueblos.
Pues grande es su amor con nosotros,
la fidelidad del Señor es eterna.

 

El Salmo 117 tiene solo dos versículos, pero su profundidad nunca ha sido completamente sondeada.

Primero, llama a todas las naciones y a todos los pueblos a alabar al Señor.  No solo al pueblo hebreo. Proclama un llamado universal para todos... para Todos... para aclamar al Dios vivo, que nunca se cansa de amarnos. 

En segundo lugar, vincula dos palabras hebreas: Jesed (amor misericordioso) y Emeth (fidelidad).  Esta fue la forma en que el pueblo hebreo llegó a entender al Señor en el crisol del Éxodo.  Y esta era la fuente de toda su admiración hacia él.

Pero hay otra faceta de esta maravilla.  La mayoría de los traductores presentan ese segundo versículo como “grande es su amor con nosotros”.  Eso no es exactamente lo que sugiere el hebreo.  Se podría representar mejor como que su amor “ha prevalecido sobre nosotros”.  Porque la palabra proviene de un sustantivo hebreo que significa “un hombre fuerte, un guerrero, que triunfa y supera situaciones difíciles”.  El que nunca deja de venir: esa es la energía escondida en este versículo.

En los 4.000 años de la Revelación hebrea y cristiana, “nosotros” siempre hemos sido la “situación difícil”.  Hemos mirado más allá de la Revelación.  La hemos descartado.  La hemos despreciado.  Nos hemos burlado de él, y hemos huido de él, en diez mil formas inventivas. 

Pero, aun así, él sigue viniendo, este guerrero, El sabueso del cielo de Francis Thompson.

 

Hui de Él, a través de las noches y los días;

Hui de Él, a través de los arcos de los años;

Hui de Él, a través de caminos laberínticos

De mi propia mente, y en la niebla de lágrimas me escondí de él...

Bishop Emeritus Ronald M. Gilmore
Bishop Emeritus
Ronald M. Gilmore

Ordained & Installed
Bishop of Dodge City
July 16, 1998

 

Diocese of Dodge City


910 Central PO Box 137 Dodge City, KS 67801 | 620-227-1500

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