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    The Dead Sea Scrolls series

 

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

 

   

 

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Thousands march in D.C. in celebration of the joy of life

The approximately 50 pilgrims met on the southwest plains of Kansas in the frigid morning Jan. 16—some two-and-a half hours before the sun was set to rise—to  load onto a bus that would begin a 25-hour trek to Washington, D.C.

As the stars shone brightly, Bishop John Brungardt held out his hand, praying over the large group before they loaded onto a bus.

According to a Facebook post from one participant, “We had a few minor mechanical issues with the bus—nothing that a few ingenious farmers couldn’t handle, but they did slow us down a bit.”

Foggy weather all through Kansas, as well as freezing drizzle in Indiana and Ohio, further slowed the group, but it couldn’t quell the anticipation they felt as they came closer and closer to the nation’s capital.

“The long, 25-hour bus trip was filled with Liturgy of the Hours, Rosaries and personal stories of life and reflection on how fortunate we truly are to live in a Country that allows us these freedoms,” participants Tom and Lisa Ridder told the Southwest Kansas Catholic. “It is a spiritual journey that has a profound impact on those who attend.

“The March for Life Pilgrimage is much more than a walk down Constitution Avenue,” the couple added. “The March is inspiring in itself by the sheer numbers marching respectfully and peacefully for a cause that so deeply affects our nation and its citizens. 

“This year’s march seemed much greater in numbers than in previous years,” the couple noted.  

“It is our hope that the momentum that has been created from the time we boarded the bus will not end now that we are all home and back in our ‘comfort zones’,” the Ridders said.

“We must continue to witness to life, in all stages from conception to natural death.  We must not be afraid to reach out to those in need and, our hope is to someday not have to go and march, but to go and celebrate the day that Roe v. Wade was overturned and that abortion is no longer legal in the United States!” 

.................      .................

The couple wanted to offer their sincere appreciation to all those who worked to make the trips a success.

“On behalf of the 51 pilgrims who made the trip to Washington, D.C. for the 46th Annual March for Life, thank you!

“Thank you to Bishop John, Gayla Kirmer, Janeé Bernal and the chancery staff who supported us in this pilgrimage. 

“Thank you to the parishioners, Knights of Columbus Council 2930 and Bishop Franz Assembly 2567, who supported our youth through their donations and fundraising efforts and prayers. 

“Thank you to Father Tim Hickey who was unable to attend, but spent countless hours preparing flyers, the Liturgy of the Hours books for the bus, preparing a Mass kit for us, obtaining Magificat books for everyone, and for volunteering his sister, Trice and her friend Brenda’s assistance in walking tours in Washington D.C. 

“Thank you to Father Louis Trung Hoang for being our Spiritual Leader for the trip—your spiritual leadership and life story was so very inspirational to us.”

Voices from the March for Life

By Jeanne Marie Hathway

Washington D.C. (CNA) - “There are more kids here than adults!” said 12-year-old Angela from Rockville, Maryland, at the 2019 March for Life.

A crowd of 100,000 people marching on the politically divisive issue of abortion might not seem like the place for kids. But Robin Diller was one of thousands of mothers present who would enthusiastically tell you otherwise: “It’s such a positive environment, a happy and joyful place.”

The March, held Jan. 18, traced the annual route along the National Mall in Washington, DC. It was the Dillers’ second march as a family. Their group of 14 included the Diller brothers, their wives Robin and Lisa, and their collective 10 children. The crowd did not intimidate even the smallest Diller, a 10-month-old blinking out from Mr. Diller’s chest, zipped into his dad’s jacket for warmth.

Mr. Diller said he sees the March as a lesson in civic responsibility: “It’s important to show our kids what positive activism looks like.”

High school history teacher James Flannery loves the March for a similar reason. He said that his biggest concern for his students is apathy. “That’s why it’s so reassuring to see so many of them here, to see them stand for something.”

Though often labeled “anti-abortion,” people like Mary Bonk from Lexington Park, Maryland, think of themselves as marching for many different life issues—not just against abortion.

Bonk adheres to the consistent life ethic, which opposes all forms of violence against the human person, including things like war, torture, embryonic stem cell research, and the death penalty.

Krista Corbello and Alex Seghers, 26-year-olds from Pro-Life Louisiana, shared Bonk’s expansive sense of what it means to be pro-life.

Corbello agreed that it takes humility to welcome diversity into the movement. But in her experience, the spirit of “welcoming hospitality” is always present “when change is really happening.”

One such change is the growth of “pro-life feminism.” Seghers identified herself and her unborn daughter as pro-life feminists: “She’s marching before she’s even born.” To them, pro-life feminism means advocating nonviolence and nondiscrimination for all people, including those in the womb.

“It’s inclusive of anyone from any background.”

These women appear to have struck a nerve with their inclusive message: their group brought 1,500 young people to D.C. for the March this year.

“Consistency is key for young people,” Corbello said, adding that young people from Louisiana are lucky to have a legislature that is bipartisan on life, including Rep. Katrina R. Jackson, who spoke at the March this year. Seghers attributes the bipartisanship to Louisiana’s diversity and “culture of family values.”

Though “family values” often connotes religion, Pro-life Louisiana’s events are mostly secular in tone. “Abortion is wrong because it is violent,” Corbello said. “That’s not a religious belief.”

Family is a common theme among young people at the March. Though many of them march for religious, political, and educational reasons, almost all point to their families first when asked about their interest in pro-life issues.

Mother and daughter Claudia and Taylor Turcott did this in a literal way, carrying signs with arrows drawn toward each other. Claudia’s reads: “25 years ago, I thought abortion was the only way, but I walked out of that clinic with my baby that day.” Taylor’s read: “October 1994: I survived my mom’s abortion appointment.”

Taylor began volunteering at a crisis pregnancy clinic in college after learning about her mother’s near decision to abort her. The Turcotts see their advocacy, especially the March, as an opportunity to share their gratitude.

Although many people who saw Claudia’s sign thanked her for choosing life, she simply said: “I just feel so, so grateful. I don’t think I’m unusually brave.” Claudia wants to encourage young women facing unplanned pregnancies: “You will be amazed by how many resources there are to help you.”

Friday’s crowd was full of extraordinary stories like the Turcotts.

One woman, Francis Reciniello, has attended the March for more than 30 years. As an immigrant from Honduras, she said she had never supported abortion because it was antithetical to her culture and upbringing. So when a friend got pregnant in college, Reciniello offered help and begged her to choose life.

It worked. “She told her boyfriend and he married her, and they named their child ‘Francois,’ after me” Reciniello said.

Though Reciniello’s own children are active pro-lifers, most years she marches with her friend, who immigrated to the U.S. from Germany. “She’s a cancer survivor, and every year we say: ‘Can we make it?’ And we do. Even though we go at our own pace now.”

The two expressed their amazement at how young the March has become. “Young people are really stepping up!”

Perhaps the most extraordinary part of the March for Life was that the thousands of people who attend each year think of their peaceful activism, loving families, and joyful sacrifices as ordinary.

“This is just, like, normal,” said Garrett, a high school student from Philadelphia, about being young and pro-life. “It’s how we grew up.” His classmates Evan, Miguel, and Charlie nodded.

“It’s normal to respect each other, to have respect for other human beings.”

 

Sister Veronice saw ‘with the eyes of Faith and Light’

By Dave Myers

Southwest Kansas Catholic

On Nov. 30, Frank Sumaya’s heart stopped four times.

The Cathedral Our Lady of Guadalupe parishioner had received a heart catheterization and was in recovery. His wife Virginia sat nearby, praying as the medical staff rushed into the room.  

“The staff came to my aid yelling at me to wake up,” Frank said. “As far as I knew, I had just been napping, because I was so tired from being there since 6:30 a.m. But apparently the EKG monitor said otherwise. I felt nothing, saw nothing, nor heard nothing. It was just a peaceful sleep.” 

“We had just lost Randy [Zerr] three weeks before due to heart problems,” Virginia said. “I prayed for Randy’s intercession.”

Four different times her husband’s heart stopped—once for 30 seconds—and four different times it started back up again, something Virginia attributes, in part, to a beloved Sister whose life on earth was ending at nearly the same moment.

Virginia, with the assistance of Frank, have been the hosts of the Cathedral Our Lady of Guadalupe Faith and Light community, of which Randy Zerr had long been a part, for more than a decade. The monthly gatherings offer developmentally and intellectually disabled individuals, their family and friends, a few hours of faith, fun and friendship in a non-threatening atmosphere.

The communities in Wichita and Dodge City [there are Faith and Light communities across the world] were started by Sister Veronice Born, a forever smiling, soul-uplifting Most Precious Blood Sister who delighted in the happiness of others.

At the precise moment that Frank Sumaya was struggling for life, Sister Veronice’s life on earth was ending, giving way to her rebirth into heaven.

“I wonder if in those moments, Sister Veronice wasn’t praying for Frank as well,” Virginia said.

At a recent gathering of the Faith and Light community, members shared some memories of Sister Veronice. 

“People talked about how nice she was,” Virginia told the SKC. “They were really happy that she started Faith and Light. If not for her, they wouldn’t be there, enjoying each other.

“Frank, do you have memories of Sister Veronice?” Virginia asked her husband.

In the typical dry wit for which he is known, Frank answered without pause, “She always liked you best.”

Life after near-death, his humor is solidly intact.

“Not long before she died, she told me, ‘Don’t ever give up Faith and Light,’” Virginia said of Sister Veronice. For some time now, Virginia has been trying to find another person ready to give their all to this special community—just one day a month, eight months out of the year.

Sister Veronice’s plea to Virginia came in the knowledge that a good host is difficult to find.

Just as happened all those years ago when Sister Veronice attended the meetings (she had long since been residing at the motherhouse in Wichita), smiles, laughter, songs and praise filled the Holy Family Social Hall at the cathedral Dec. 15. After sharing their memories, Virginia had a reenactment of the Nativity using a small creche.

“And suddenly there was with the Angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!” Virginia read from the Book of Luke.

Concluding the gathering was a pot-luck with homemade Mexican food and many desserts, celebrated with smiles and delight thanks in large part to a beloved Sister who saw fit to serve God’s special people.

 

ICE detains Dodge City man for three days in case of mistaken identity

Yet, father of three thankful for opportunity to live in the United States

By Dave Myers

Southwest Kansas Catholic

Editor’s Note: “Alberto’s” documentation is in process and he has no fear of deportation. While he allowed the SKC to use his full name, due to his pending immigration hearing and any possible actions concerning his alleged false arrest, the SKC has decided only to use his first name.

It was a December morning.  A deep blue sky made the biting cold a bit more tolerable. As he did every morning, a Dodge City resident waved goodbye to his three young children as they boarded the bus to school.

As the bus drove out of sight, two individuals, a man and a woman, both with letters — ICE — emblazoned on their jackets, approached the man. They questioned him briefly. He pleaded with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agents. He had committed no crime. He has no criminal record.

 He was not the man they were looking for. If only they would accompany him to his home where he could get his passport to prove it.

“The ICE agents didn’t speak Spanish,” the man told the Southwest Kansas Catholic, and Alberto, the man questioned that morning, spoke very little English. They refused to allow him to go home, he said. His phone was taken from him. Unable to inform his wife, the father of three found himself being driven to Chase County, northeast of Wichita, on that cold December morning, his immediate future a frightening mystery.

Alberto’s documentation is in process. Up until that December morning a year ago, he had no fear of deportation.

Alberto was born in Guatemala, the son of farmers. His family owned a small patch of land on which Alberto, his siblings and parents, grew corn.

“We were poor,” Alberto said through interpreter, Sister Angela Erevia, MCDP. At his side sat his three children, ages 9, 5 and 3. The oldest, a boy, sat quietly while his sister, the middle child, tapped away on a cell phone. The youngest vied for the attention of his father (when not attempting to obtain the cell phone from his sister). 

“We could not afford clothes, so our mother would buy sheets and cut them up for us to wear,” Alberto said. “Every morning we would work for one hour in the field before going to school.

“After school we would work until the sun began to set, then we’d play [soccer] using a ball we made from sackcloth,” he said, smiling at the memory.

Despite his hardships, he eventually graduated from high school, and even went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in “Primary Education in a Bicultural Setting.” It was while teaching Spanish and his native Quiché in Guatemala that he met the woman of his dreams. The two were soon married.

The paradox of love is that the weight of the world both decreases and increases when one adds love to the mix: a person’s heart is made light by love, yet loving another multiplies one’s concerns for health and safety. The political strife, the depressed economy, and worst of all, the violent gangs, compelled him (as it has countless others) to make the difficult decision to start a new life in the United States.

This was 12 years ago. In those 12 years, Alberto and his wife have built a family in Kansas — two boys and a girl — both parents have jobs, their children happily attend school, and they paid off a home. He is only 33, and he is realizing his true American dream.

As Alberto lay on a cement slab under a thin blanket at the Chase County Jail a year ago, he thought about his life in the United States.

“He is very active in his Church,” Sister Angela volunteered as she listened to Alberto tell his story. “He is a reader at Mass, and from 3-6 p.m. each Sunday he attends the Guatemalan prayer gathering for reflection, Rosary, song and fellowship.”

Once arriving at the Chase County Jail, Alberto was given his phone. He notified his wife, who sobbed in sadness and relief after finally hearing from her missing husband.

For three days Alberto was incarcerated, a victim of mistaken identity. It was someone else they were looking for, possibly the previous owner of the house in which he lived, Sister Angela said.

“I felt very sad,” Alberto said. “They didn’t listen to me. They only spoke English.

“I have a clean record,” Alberto added.

When the truth was finally realized, that he indeed was not the person they were looking for, he was unceremoniously released.

“They told me that when my family pays a fine, I can go.”  His wife raced east with a friend, paid a $1,500 fine and retrieved her tired husband.

With his three children sitting quietly at his side during his interview with the SKC (his wife was at work and unable to attend), he explained that his attorney said that in four years, he would attend a court hearing in which he will, in all likelihood, obtain his legal residency (green card).

Despite all that has happened, he is ever thankful to live in the United States. “I’m so glad that I have the opportunity to live here,” he said. “I would never want to go back to Guatemala.”

His hope now is to one day be able to again step into a classroom and share the lessons he has learned with an eager audience.

“God is great,” he said. “God is love, and God is mercy. Our faith in God gives us hope.”

 

 

The immigrant story doesn’t end at the border

Alberto’s story (above) shows that the situations affecting immigrants are not just happening at the border,” Sister Angela Erevia, MCDP, told the Southwest Kansas Catholic, “they are happening right here.”

Sister Angela, the Director of Hispanic Ministry for the Catholic Diocese of Dodge City, offers a voice for the rapidly growing Hispanic population in the diocese.

She does so to build bridges of understanding and fellowship between all people.

In 2010, Sister Angela participated (as she has in years’ past) as a volunteer with the U.S. Census Bureau. Her job was to encourage people, documented and undocumented, to register with the census — to not be afraid.

Why?

“The census information is kept secret for 72 years,” she explained. “Once the information is analyzed, we all become statistics, and that is what is published for public record.

“Once the census is calculated, the city receives federal funding based on the population,” Sister said.

“That’s funding for education, health care, infrastructure.”

“Therefore,” she stressed, “immigrants are contributing to the economy, to the schools! Families are providing teaching jobs by sending their children to school. Some of these children are U.S. citizens.

“Just look at our schools. The Dodge City high school and middle schools had to expand to address the growing student population. Dodge City is benefitting from their presence.

“Just as in the case of Alberto,” Sister Angela concluded, “they don’t want a hand-out, they just want to work.”

Nine Days for Life

9 Days for Life:

Taking place January 14-22, 2019, 9 Days for Life (www.9daysforlife.com) is an annual period of prayer and action for life. Each day of the novena provides a different intercession, reflection, information item and suggested action. The novena is available in English and Spanish, and can be received in four ways: a free mobile app, text message, email, or social media.

Archbishop Romero declared a saint

Archbishop Romero declared a saint

By Charlene Scott Myers

Southwest Kansas Catholic

Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador, brutally murdered 38 years ago by a right-wing military squad that had defiled and slaughtered three nuns and a lay woman before his death, was declared a saint by Pope Francis on Sunday, Oct. 14. 

Romero was shot down by a right-wing death squad on March 24, 1980 while celebrating Mass at the Cathedral of San Salvador.  He had protested the murders of the three nuns and a lay woman who had worked with the poor in San Salvador, and when threatened with death himself, had defied the cowardly murderers and bravely launched a weekly Sunday radio address to his flock urging them to keep the faith and also be brave in the face of death.

The canonization of Romero was opposed by some leaders in the Roman Catholic Church who thought he was “too political.”  None of those leaders, however, had ever risked their lives or spoken out on behalf of the “disappeared” in El Salvador. 

Hundreds of college age youth had marched in defense of the poor in that country and paid for their bravery by being brutally defiled and “disappeared,” a much too clean word for the young people whose bodies were crudely dumped in a volcano in El Salvador.

The modern martyr Romero also had spoken out against the brutal Salvadoran Army, and the people of El Salvador did not forget his courage in the face of death.  Five thousand people from El Salvador traveled nearly a thousand miles to attend the canonization in Rome of their beloved slaughtered leader, who was revered as a saint long before the Vatican proclaimed it so.

“Romero left the security of the world, even his own safety, in order to give his life to the poor and to his people,” Pope Francis said.

The ceremony to declare Romero a saint drew a total of 70,000 people to St. Peter’s Square in Rome.  Pope Francis was the first pope from Latin America, and he revealed early in his papacy that he would work for the canonization of Archbishop Oscar Romero.

The United Nations recognizes the important work and values of the life of Archbishop Romero every March 24 when it celebrates a day to promote human rights, and Westminster Abbey erected a statue of Romero in London, honoring him along with Dr. Martin Luther King as one of 10 modern martyrs.

Among the greatest moments of my life were the two times I visited the coffin of Archbishop Romero outside the cathedral in San Salvador. 

I touched the coffin lightly with one hand, and wiped away my tears with the other hand, so honored to stand beside him after his death. 

Romero was a humble, quiet man, and a giant of humility and grace.

In the face of injustice and terror, he spoke out.

Pray for us left behind who miss you so much, dear St. Oscar!

May we kneel and kiss the hands of the Lord and Mary and your hand someday in Heaven!

 

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

May 5, 2019

April 21, 2019

Easter Sunday

April 7, 2019

March 24, 2019

March 10, 2019

Feb. 24, 2019

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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