The PATHWAYS of PAUL Pilgrimage, Sept. 18-28, 2019 -- Information

 
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Jan. 13, 2019

Dec. 23, 2018

   The Dead Sea Scrolls series

 

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

 

   

 

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Audio interview with the late Bishop Eugene J. Gerber preserves, documents history

Archivist Note: On May 25, 2011, I had the opportunity to record an oral history by telephone with Bishop Eugene J. Gerber. At that time, he was Bishop Emeritus of the Wichita diocese and was residing in San Diego. He served as third bishop of the Diocese of Dodge City from 1976 to 1982, before being named bishop of Wichita. He died on Sept. 29. The following text includes excerpts from the interview.     — Tim Wenzl

 

Archivist: Let’s start with the announcement that you had been named the third bishop of Dodge City. Do you remember the circumstances of that announcement?

Bishop Gerber: Let me go back on how the circumstances led up to that announcement. In those days, it was not by telephone call that the apostolic delegate, as he was (then) called, that you learned of your appointment. It was by a letter, and it was a pontifical sealed letter within a letter, and you read the letter, and it asked you the question of whether you would respond affirmatively to the appointment that the Holy Father had in mind. And then, what you did is write back with a secret code word. The secret code word for me was: what are you doing to promote religious education? And I wrote back and responded in that vain and that meant that it was accepted. It meant that I was accepting the appointment and then the actual announcement of the appointment came on October the 16th.

A: You succeeded Bishop Marion F. Forst, who had been bishop of Dodge City for 16 years at the time. Did you have an opportunity to speak to him either before or soon after the public announcement?

BG: Immediately after the public announcement, he called me, and the first thing he sent me as a gift was a zucchetto, because as soon as an announcement is made that a priest is being named a bishop, he can begin to wear a zucchetto, that little head piece. So, he wanted me to have one of those right away, and he wanted it to come from him.

A: In succeeding Bishop Forst, did you have any questions for him, or did he give you any advice?

BG: Giving the nature of Bishop Forst, we worked out some of the general principles or the general guidelines for the installation. After that, it was all turned over to the priest under his charge and the lay people who worked so diligently pulling off the installation there. I might add that at that time, there was a change being made for the way in which bishops are installed and ordained. Up to that time, it was not uncommon for them to be ordained in their home diocese and later installed in their new diocese. It was at that time that they were changing to have the ordination coincide with the installation liturgically, and so the ordination took place in the diocese to which the priest was being assigned. There was still an exception made in my case because my mother was an invalid and could not make the trip to Dodge City. So, they deferred to my request to have the ordination in Wichita, and then she attended the installation (at Dodge City) from the sacristy at the cathedral in Wichita and watched it by way of television.

A: So then, in 1982, you were named to succeed Bishop Maloney at Wichita, your home diocese. Do you recall the circumstances of that appointment? You were only a bishop six years, was that a surprise to you?

BG: It was very much a surprise. Let me tell you how I learned of that. By that time, they were either calling you by telephone or talking to you in person. And I was at a Fall meeting of the Conference of Bishops in Washington. The apostolic delegate at that time (since then has become known as the apostolic nuncio) came to me on the floor and he said, “I need to talk to you.” And so we went into a door, and it was like a storage room/mop room, and he opened another door and it was a kitchen. He opened another door and that wasn’t appropriate. He couldn’t find a place, we couldn’t find a place where he could tell me what he wanted to tell me, so he said, “We’ll just talk here.” We were right on the floor and he said, “The Holy Father wants you to become, is asking you to become the bishop of Wichita,” and I said, “Who me?” He looked at my nametag and he said, “You are Gerber aren’t you?” It was a very humorous event, but I was so taken by surprise that I’d be called from Dodge City, number one, and number two, that I would be called back to my home diocese, but that’s how I learned. So that was on the 22nd, I believe, of October, I mean, sorry, the 22nd of November. Providentially, my dad died ten days later, and ten days after he died, my mother died. So, my dad died on December the 2nd, my mother on December the 12th and what added so much turmoil emotionally for me was, first of all, leaving the Diocese of Dodge City. So I was receiving cards and letters in connection with leaving the diocese, then I was receiving letters and cards for coming to Wichita because I knew a lot of people there, then after my dad died, I was receiving grieving letters, condolences and sympathies from people about his death, then my mother dies and the same thing happens when she dies, and then I receive Christmas cards and Christmas letters. So, that whole period of time just became a blur. So many things were happening emotionally that it was only later that I could catch up with my emotions.

A: You were the first of three priest sons from the Wichita Diocese who have been appointed Bishop of Dodge City. The second was Bishop Ronald M. Gilmore, who was your vicar general and moderator of the curia in your chancery there in Wichita. He was appointed to succeed Bishop Schlarman. How did you feel when you learned of Bishop Gilmore’s appointment and that you would be losing your vicar general?

BG: I was not concerned about losing a vicar general. I was pleased that one of our priests was being called to be bishop, and I was pleased that he was being appointed to the Diocese of Dodge City. There is a rejoicing that goes on. I was the Apostolic Nuncio at that time, we had just had the confirmations, the diocesan wide confirmations in Wichita, so we had about I don’t know how many thousand students and after the ceremony, an outdoor ceremony, Archbishop Cacciavillan said: I’m going to go. When we get to the hotel, after about ten minutes, I’m going to be in my room, such and such, and you ask Father Gilmore come in to see me, and five minutes later, after he comes in and sees me, I want you to come in. And that’s how Bishop Gilmore learned of his appointment. So, when I went into the room, there was Archbishop Cacciavillan, Father, then Bishop-elect, Gilmore, and myself. That trio was a nice setting, it was a nice exchange. There was nothing except happiness for the Diocese of Dodge City and for Bishop Gilmore. I didn’t give any thought about losing someone. I’ve always gone to the principle: The best thing you can do for the church is give out of your own need and not out of your surplus, and then you will be blessed. I had learned all of that from the missions in Venezuela, you know, you don’t wait to give out of your surplus but give out of your need, and so that was a viable and life-giving principle that was operative in my heart and in my mind. So it was something that fit naturally into my attitude and my emotions.

A: Now the third son from Wichita to be named Bishop of Dodge City was Bishop John B. Brungardt. And you actually ordained him to the priesthood didn’t you?

BG: I did, through the grace of God.

A: Did you have any part in nurturing his vocation?

BG: To this extent that we would get together with the seminarians every summer, but I would also visit the seminaries every semester. On the occasion of visiting the seminaries where our men were studying, I would visit with each of them individually, take whatever time it took and pursue the reasons for their vocation and what was motivating them, all of that sort of thing that was not only a testing of their vocation, but also an affirming of their vocation. So, to that extent, I had a part in his vocation. What led him from the faculty of Kapaun Mount Carmel at the time to seek the priesthood, I don’t recall exactly, but I knew him on the faculty there before he went to the seminary.

A: Very good. There was one other thing I wanted to visit with you about. You were actually in Rome for an ad lumina visit with Pope John Paul I. You were actually there throughout his pontificate weren’t you?

BG: I was. I was there. The first day after we arrived was his (Pope John Paul I), what is called a Solemn Beginning in St. John Lateran’s (Basilica). And then I was there with Bishop Hanifen, from Colorado Springs, and we were scheduled to have Mass that morning at St. Peter’s tomb, which is several levels under the floor of the Basilica. And we stepped out of where we were living and on our way there it just seemed like all of Italy had been struck by an atomic bomb, it was all quiet and everybody was so subdued and shocked to hear of the Pope’s death. I stayed there during the whole pontificate and the day after the funeral I believe, we left. But it was something to be there during the whole pontificate of the pope and to have been one of the only groups of audiences of bishops that he had received for an ad limina visit. So, I got a chance to visit with him personally, and an interesting point that might be appropriate here is: he liked to watch western movies with Italian lines dubbed in, and I said Dodge City, and he lit up like a Christmas tree. With Matt Dillon and Gunsmoke, you know that sort of thing. So it was a delight to meet him and he dismissed all his aides so that he could be alone with us and it was the first time that I had experienced such a close pastoral relationship with the Holy Father. I had been with Bishop Maloney as a priest with Pope Paul VI, a half a dozen times, but it was really something to be a bishop for the first time to be meeting with the pope for an ad limina visit and do so under those circumstances.

A: Very good. Well Bishop, are there any loose ends that we did not touch on that you would like to address?

BG: I would like to talk a bit about living, where I lived. When I went to Dodge City, the chancery that is there now, the chancery actually stopped at the door before you go into the hallway. There was a low number of staff members. Early on, I moved my office into the bishop’s quarters, of what is now I think the chapel, and that became my office. And then as these various diocesan services were developed, I kept moving up and offices kept following up until the building was full of offices and I was living in the attic. The best place that I have ever lived as a bishop was that attic. It was so, it was just a holy place for me. There was no way out except the stairs. So, I don’t remember who, but somewhere along the line, the chancellor and others decided that I needed a rope up on that fourth floor in case there was a fire and I couldn’t get down the stairs. And so they gave me a rope and I said, “Well, now I know that I am fully accepted.” But I just want to underline what a spiritual place it was to live in the attic. I still have an incredible love for western Kansas, for that diocese.

 

Past Issues

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

 

Dec. 17, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Celebrate Christmas 'unplugged'; Msgr. Matthew Smith; Klan; Catholic Charities Annual Appeal; Fr. Larry Rosebaugh; A Guadalupe Encounter; Laci and Joe Salazar; A Christmas Wish; Adoption; Confession; Advent; EWTN; Christmas Blues; Tilma; Pittsburgh; PSR

 

Dec. 3, 2017

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: 2017 NCYC; Wheel of Balance; Marita Rother; Stanley Rother; slavery; trafficking; Windthorst water damage; martyred priests; confession; reconciliation; How to go to confession; recipe for codfish cakes; Catholic schools; appeal

 

Nov. 19, 2017

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Saints; Father Kola; Black Elk; Giving Tuesday; velvet Elvis; a Slice of Time; Dani Sandoval; Mexican Village; Father Tim Hickey; New faces at chancery; priests share thoughts on confession; Wheel of Balance

 

Nov. 5, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Matrimony Anniversary Mass, 2017; Riebel; Faith and Light; Scripture Day; Sex in the Bible; Quilt, Mexican Village Story; Finance; Fatima pilgrimage; Fowler church window renovation; Medicare; Crazy Glue


Oct. 15, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Father Francis Jordan; Sister Renee Kirmer; Father Rother beatified; religious liberty; RCIA Kansas; V Encuentro; Bishop Weisenburger; Daughters of Isabella; Bishop Gerber Science Center


Oct. 1, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: De Colores; Rebein; Dreamer; Pies; Kellner; Code Quilts; Sister Crucita; Feezor; Formed.org; Sin and pain

 

 Sept. 17, 2017

 

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Sister Lucy Fidelis; Underground Railroad; Sister Irene Hartman; DACA; new priests; teachers; Volunteer of the Year; Golf Classic; St. Francis Xavier; St. Nicholas Parish Center, Kinsley; seminarians; Knights Lite; Stewardship Day 2017

Sept. 3, 2017

Aug. 13, 2017

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Coronado Cross; Masada; Moody Gardens; Elders; Rother; undocumented children; cages; year of mercy; Kumi; Hollywood makeup artist; New Mexico; refugee women.

July 16, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Summer camp; tithing and almsgiving; Bill Baalmann; Nathan Schaller; Jubilarian Sisters; Sister Hortencia Rodriguez; Sister Petrona Stockemer; Sister Denise Sevart; Convocation of Catholic Leaders; Mother talks about her son entering seminary; Arcoiris; Youth group travels to Colorado Springs; Major Phillip Roth

June 11, 2017 (Updated)

Ordination; Mark Brantley; Jacob Schneider; Father's Day; Thanks, Dad!; Appeal; Sister Mary Martin Weaver; Bishop Maralit; Budget; Trafficked women; Deacon Michael Brungardt; Dead Sea Scrolls; softball; Father Urban retirement; Sister Kravec retirement; Father Mazouch retirement; Authentic Joy; Pris Climate Accord; Jack Schramm; Pieta.

May 28, 2017 (Updated)

 

Grateful Hearts; MSFS Provincial; Reddy; Reif; Opossum; Dead Sea Scrolls; Our Lady of Fatima; Jorge Herrera, Jr.; Cursillo; Kough; First Communion; Confirmation

May 14, 2017

Esteban Hernandez; citizen; Lilly Ann Rein, Amberly Jimenez, Mother's Day; peacock; Quattrocchi; President Kennedy; Teen Moms; Junior High Youth Rally; Encounter With God's Call; granny/nanny; seniors' contributions; tornado anniversary; harvest; healthcare; Mr. Brown; Store-bought teeth; Louis and Zelie Martin; Father John Sullivan; Irish priest whose prayers could heal; Mexican beauty queen; Esmaralda Gonzalez; religious life

April 30, 2017

   KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Easter Vigil; bully; TEC; Father Marvin Reif; Bet'sie; What makes a hero?; St. Mary of the Plains; tornado

Easter, 2017

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: SKYAC; Honorable courtship; footsteps of migrants; CHRISM Mass 2017; honoring priests; Encuentro Cross blessed; Daughters of Isabella State Convention; Fatima pilgrim statue; Mary Sharon Moore interview; Senate advances pro-life measures; love must be at the core of family life; Father John Forkuoh's car story; Confirmations; Sisters of Concordia; CNN hero Father Khalil Jaar

March 26, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: From the heart; kidney; Rother; Friar Carmelo; Schnauzer; Lauren Seachris; Lauren's Treat; fire; Guatemala; immigration; Lenten Regulations 1888; Hot Cross Buns; budget; Trump; Forkuoh; Seiwert; South Sudan; hot ashes

March 12, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Refugees; immigrants; Gilbert Herrman; When you give alms'; Lent; Call to Continuing Conversion, Rite of Election; Charell and Jeremy Owings; adoption; Our Growing Church; Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia; water; creation; Sudan; Darlow Lampe

Feb 26, 2017

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Night to shine; Immigration; immigrants; Knights of Columbus; Pete Gomez; this foreign mission; Creole; Robin Doll; Eagle Scout; Quest

Feb 12, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Catholic Schools Week; March for Life; Pro-life; Executive Order; Secular Franciscan Order; teachers; Down Syndrome; Eagle Scout; Bronze Pelican

Jan. 29, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Thank you, religious; SEEK 2017; homeless man to priest; Fourth Sunday; Secret Service to Sacred Heart; Dr. Gerard Brungardt; Martin Luther King; 110 year old nun; Toddler miracle; Letter from undocumented immigrant; health care; immigration

Jan. 15, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Mary helps us share; Tighe donates home to Birthright; Pro-life billboard; Theobald Hattrup; Helen and Steve Eck; Pearl Harbor; Reigning Grace

Dec. 18, 2017

KEYWORDS: Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, 2016; Pope Francis Christmas schedule; 2016 high school youth rally; Aerospace engineer; Father Stanley Rother; Radio station; Dying girl's letter; Scout nominations; 12 days of Christmas

Dec. 4, 2016

KEYWORDS: Vocations Day; Pope Advent advice; Ex-prostitute; Spearville mission; Pilgrims v. Zombies; Face of God; Mission bazaar; Ness City fall festival; Rural health care; Archbishop Gomez; Bishops congratulate Trump

Nov. 20, 2016

Nov. 6, 2016

Oct. 23, 2016

Oct. 9, 2016


Sept. 25, 2016


Sept. 11, 2016

 
Aug. 7, 2016

July 10, 2016

June 12, 2016

May 29, 2016

May 8, 2016


 April 24, 2016

 April 10, 2016

 March 27, 2016

March 13, 2016

Feb. 28, 2016

 

Feb. 14, 2016


Jan. 31 , 2016

Jan. 17, 2016

Dec. 20, 2015

Dec. 6, 2015

Nov. 15, 2015

Nov. 1, 2015

Oct. 18, 2015

Oct. 4, 2015

Sept. 20, 2015

Sept. 6, 2015

August 9, 2015

July 12, 2015

Jun 14, 2015

May 17, 2015

May 3, 2015

April 19, 2015

Easter, 2015

 

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