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 Call to Continuing Conversion and Rite of Election 2019

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March 10, 2019

Mathematical solution to the Sock puzzle

Feb. 24, 2019

Local youth attend World Youth Day in Panama

Annual QUEST weekend honors Scouts

   The Dead Sea Scrolls series

 

   St. Nicholas School, Kinsley, Advent Cantata, Dec. 7, 2008

 

   

 

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Priests from across state graduate from program designed to make them

‘Good Leaders, Good Shepherds’

See photos from the graduation celebration

GREAT BEND -- In March 2009, nearly 30 priests from the Dioceses of Salina and Dodge City, and two from the Archdiocese of Kansas City, volunteered to embark on a two-year program designed to make them stronger leaders in their parishes, better managers, and more capable stewards of time, talent and treasure.  
On Oct. 28, those same priests gathered at the Dominican Motherhouse in Great Bend to celebrate their graduation from the “Good Leaders, Good Shepherds” program. Father Rene Labrador, a missionary priest serving as pastor of St. Michael Parish in LaCrosse, explained that almost four years ago  when he came to the Diocese of Dodge City, “I honestly thought I had what it takes to be a servant leader, to be a shepherd. But through my journey through Good Leaders, Good Shepherds, I said, ‘Wow; This is awesome.’ It’s like, I have a yard and you gave me an acre. Yes indeed, this program has offered me an enormous amount of information and knowledge. I honestly believe this process should be a must for all priests, especially missionary priests like me serving in this particular part of the world. …”
During 10 day-long sessions and six three-day sessions, the priests explored values that strengthened their leadership skills.     
In a letter to parishes prior to the start of the program, Bishop Ronald M. Gilmore wrote that the participants would learn “how to set goals for themselves and those with whom they minister, and would further develop their listening skills and their ability to facilitate problem solving and decision making.”
The priests also learned to foster partnerships that enhanced their ministry and parish life, “using Jesus as the ultimate shepherd and model of leadership.”
And while a challenging process, they seemed to have a good time doing it.
At the graduation celebration, Father Labrador told those gathered that “Being born and raised in a small island in the Philippines, traveling by boat became part of my life. I loved watching the beautiful scenery, and the gorgeous deep clean blue sea. I remember I enjoyed a cold bucket of beer while conversing with some friends. But what made my experience really exciting and enjoyable was not the departure or the arrival, but the way, the journey…. I guess this is also true in our Good Leader, Good Shepherd training.
“At times the way was rough and very challenging. It really was as a struggle. But I felt a sense of joy and excitement along the way. Every minute of the process was truly interesting and thought provoking.
“Yes, there is still so much to be done,” Father Labrador said. “I know the journey’s a marathon, not a sprint. It takes time and patience….
“As I apply my knowledge I learned from this training in my parish ministry, I know I will in the process build not only my confidence, but also develop my skill in leading and shepherding my own self and the people entrusted to my pastoral care.”
Father Nicholas Parker, a young priest who was given his first pastorate (of Sacred Heart Parish in Atwood) last July, admitted that when his pastor encouraged him to join the program last year, he was reluctant, a reluctance that didn’t necessarily change after the first workshop, or “module.”
“It was incredibly overwhelming,” he said. “I didn’t know what I got myself into.” Yet he quickly found himself using the methods he had learned in his everyday life.
He was pleased in particular with the idea of setting goals:
“I find that I need that discipline,” he said. “I’m usually very spontaneous. I like to do things as they come. For example, we recently decided we’d have a liturgy renewal day. I said I’d do some research and get back to them. I never got back. So, I said, ‘Let’s put something on the calendar and list goals and make sure we can obtain this.’
“I know I still have a lot of skills to work on and a lot of skills to refine. … I really feel now that I have the ability to look at the parish, look at the state that it’s in, come up with a vision, and I at least have the tools to bring that vision about.”
Good Leaders, Good Shepherds is a program of the Catholic Leadership Institute, headquartered in Wayne, Penn. Present at the graduation was Father Bill Dickinson, National Director of CLI.
“This is essentially a master’s program in leadership development,” he said proudly. “We don’t know of any industry corporate leadership training program that is as comprehensive as this.
“…It has been our intent in part to help make your lives be full and rich, abundant, so that the wellspring of compassion and passion, leadership and council, fills the lives of your people. …We just like to think you have a few more skill sets to kind of polish off a few of the rough edges that, as you serve the people of God, [will enable them to] more clearly see the presence of the living one within you.”
Dennis VanAuken, who co-presented the workshops with Barbara Eckert, said, “It’s so awesome as a lay person to participate in this ministry. My hope and prayer for all of you is be patient. It is a life-long journey. … Thank you for being who you are. Thank you for being priests in our Church.”
Through tears, Eckert told the priests that the program had been a journey for her as well. “You know you’re in my heart, and I care about what happens to you.”
After each priest received a certificate and pin, the Most Rev. Ronald Gilmore said to laughter, “You all have equivalents of master’s degrees, and Bishop Paul [Coakley] told me it would be reflected on your next paycheck.
“…So, what do you do now?” the bishop asked. “I hope you will take time to absorb the techniques and the habits you have examined at such length. You have seen too much, perhaps, and too quickly. You may find it hard to make room for it amongst your other thoughts, and habits, and experiences, hard to make room for it in the already fully-furnished rooms of your mind. Give yourself time to take in all its implications, as Paul gave himself time after his experience on the road to Damascus (some say he spent two years in the desert sorting it all out). Give yourself time to absorb the pastoral instincts behind the vision you studied.”
In his homily at a Mass prior to the graduation, he told the priests that “You now have the tools to do this essential work of a pastor in yet another way. I shall be curious to see what you and your parishioners create through your own judgments and your own imaginations, all the while working with the God of all Imagination.”
The priests offered their sincere appreciation -- including a round of applause  -- for the kindness and service shown them by the staff of the Dominican Motherhouse.

Past Issues

Feb. 10, 2019

Jan. 27, 2019

Jan. 13, 2019

Dec. 23, 2018

Dec. 9, 2018

Nov. 25, 2018

Nov. 11, 2018

Oct. 28, 2018

Oct. 14, 2018

Sept. 16, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: 2018 Golf Classic; student athletes; physically challenged; Leonard Stegman; Lesson in forgiveness; Sending us on a mission

Sept. 2, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Priest crisis; Scandal; Opioid addictions; Seeds of Suicide; Leightons; St. Anne; Vincke; seminarians; Dominican Sisters; Stewardship Conference; Dead Sea Scrolls; PSR programs; Roe V. Wade

 

August 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

July 15, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Immigration Protest/Rally; Faith and Light Fiesta; Seeing the Dead Sea Scrolls; Corpus Christi procession; Prayers for priests; Sisters turn 100; Michael Brungardt; Gerald Vincke; Massacre in San Salvador; Action for Alex 

 

June 3, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Parish Pray for Priestly Vocations; Appeal reaches $10 million; Gangs; Seminarians; Pam Willis; Why I like being a priest; Happy Father's Day; Patricia Lujan; Tyler and Rachel Bennett; Adoption Protection Act.

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
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
Fossil Hunting

 

April 15, 2018

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Easter Vigil; Angelica Village; Colorado woman; The art of anger; Cimarron Couple; Staats; Adoption; 

Father Ultan Murphy anniversary; Coughlan; Spiritual Advisor to Hoodlums; Woman of Courage; Oration contest; Darcy Feist  

 

April 1, 2018

 

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Defending Adoption; Led by the Spirit; Knights; ABC Pregnancy Center;
Memorial of Mary; Homeless; Relics; Down syndrome abortion; Chrism Mass

 

March 18, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: SKYAC; Aleksandr Men; Fasting for Priestly Vocations; Uganda; School for deaf; Rannah Evetts; Oberle; Rachel and Doug Trombley; Oscar Romero; Paul VI; DACA

 

 

March 4, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Fasting for priestly vocations; Father Juan; Fasting and prayer;
Quest Weekend 2018; DACA; With God, anything is possible; Homelessness in our communities; Rhubarb, Kansas;
What's the point of fasting; Rite of Election; same-sex couples

 

Feb. 18, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Catholic Schools Week; Rachel Doll; Ellinwood; Great Bend; Garden City; Ness City; Dodge City; Sister Rita Schwarzenberger; Nigeria; Bishop Hermes; Fasting for Priestly Vocations; World Day for Consecrated Life; 50th Anniversary St. Dominic School; What will life be like in 50 years?

 

 

Feb. 4, 2018

 

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: March for Life; Tracy and Ross Smith; Adoption; Vibrant Ministries; Faith and Light;
Pro-Life; Mortal sin to discard elderly; DACA; Abortion; Dreamers; Human Trafficking

 

Jan. 21, 2018

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Louise Korbe; Anne Frank; Miep Gies; Home Heat; Father Solanus

 

Jan. 7, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Good news and kingdom living; dreamers; Sister Teresa Orozco; Infant Adoption; Elderly; a moral conundrum; seminarian; feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

 

 

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