CATHOLIC NEWS AGENCY Daily Feed

USAVaticanAmericasEuropeAsia PacificMiddle East Africa

Saint of the DayBook ReviewsGuest Columnist

 

 

Sept. 22, 2019

IN THIS ISSUE: Fiesta de Colores 2019; Billings Model of NFP; Fifth Annual Golf Classic; Stewardship Conference; Dominican Sisters Ten Year Anniversary; Young Adult Director visits colleges; Internet and Online Porn exploits children; Caring for Caregivers; Leading up to the Pan-Amazon Synod 

See the caption on Page 1 above. Apologies to Father Anselm Eke, MSP, pastor of St. John the Evangelist Parish! His name should have been included in the original caption. He can be seen riding in the back of the truck at top.

 

Sept. 8, 2019

IN THIS ISSUE: Bishop asks for your input; Catholic Charities opens new office in Garden City; Somali refugees thankful for the kindness of strangers; Teachers learn how to encounter trauma; California Confession Bill; Dominican Sisters' Anniversaries; Natural Family Planning helps to discover serious health issues; Diocese Budget for 2019-2020; Largest seminary class in 30 years; St. Mary of the Plains honors Vietnam War heroes

 

 

    The Dead Sea Scrolls series

 

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

 

   

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

 

Scroll to bottom to navigate to different departments

 

Father Skalsky “retires” from active ministry

By STAFF

Southwest Kansas Catholic

Priests don’t retire, they refocus.

After a life of helping others, they perhaps place a little more focus on themselves, like Father Ted Skalsky, for instance, who is retiring as pastor at the Meade County parish cluster of St. John the Baptist, Meade, St. Anthony, Fowler, and St. Patrick, Plains.

“I don’t plan to be absent from the diocese,” he stressed, “but there won’t be quite as much activity. I still plan to be present in ministries in the diocese in some way.”

After speaking to Father Skalsky, it’s not difficult to understand why he plans to stay active in ministry. The Belpre native loves serving the people of southwest Kansas. He has found great joy in serving the Hispanic community in particular, and said that helping anyone through any sort of rough situation is “probably the most fulfilling thing I’ve ever done.”

One day after this issue of the SKC is in churches, Father Skalsky will celebrate 47 years a priest.

He was ordained to the priesthood June 10, 1972 by the Most Reverend Marion F. Forst, second bishop of Dodge City, at St. Bernard Church, Belpre. He served as associate pastorate at St. Patrick, Great Bend (1972-1975), St. Michael, Lacrosse (1975-1976) and Our Lady of Guadalupe, Dodge City (1976-1982). His pastorates included: Immaculate Heart of Mary, Windthorst (1985-86); Sacred Heart, Pratt (1986-1997); Our Lady of Guadalupe, Dodge City (1997-2001); Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe (2001-2014); and the Meade County parish cluster of St. John the Baptist, Meade, St. Anthony, Fowler, and St. Patrick, Plains (2014-2019). Father Skalsky served the diocese as chancellor from 1979 to 1986, and executive director of Catholic Social Service from 1986 to 2006. During this time he also served as Diocesan Vocation Director. He served as an advisor to Catholic Charities of Southwest Kansas and continues to serve as Moderator of Marriage, Family Life and Natural Family Planning.

As you can imagine by the long list of service he has performed, Father Skalsky does plan to enjoy the freed-up time which he will be given. A small house is being constructed in Greensburg, where he plans to enjoy gardening and wood working, the latter of which he has a passion for, but until his retirement, very little time. He admits with a chuckle that he has more interest in wood working than he has developed skills for the hobby.

As he looks back, is the priesthood all he thought it would be when he first walked through the seminary doors in Dallas?

“I was afraid I wouldn’t find it fulfilling, meaningful — that it would be boring, but none of that’s been true. It has been more fulfilling than I could have ever anticipated.”

“There was an atmosphere of encouraging vocations in those days,” Father Skalsky said in an earlier interview. “The Sisters talked about vocations in school and we prayed a lot for vocations. The whole atmosphere of the Church made one aware that a vocation to the priesthood was a very good thing.

“I like being able to help people on their way to salvation. Many other professions help people in important ways, but a priest can help people in ways that will last for an eternity. Even the best of doctors can only keep people alive for so long.

“A person who helps people in their relationship with God can help them in a way that will have eternal value.

“I wish more young men would consider the priesthood,” he added. “They may be cheating themselves of a very happy and fulfilling life.”

 

 

Diocese undergoing audit for clerical abuse

Earlier this year, Bishop Brungardt met with the Assistant Director of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) and the head of a KBI internal Task Force created to investigate abuse reports received from the public, including accounts from anyone who has been victimized by members of the clergy (all denominations are included in the task force investigation).  The Diocese is cooperating with the task force and has engaged an independent auditor who is currently in the process of reviewing all clergy files, past and present.  Findings of that review will be shared with the KBI and the Kansas Attorney General.

Diocese gathering ammunition in the fight against abuse

BY STAFF

Southwest Kansas Catholic

Editor’s Note: At the request of Bishop John Brungardt, the Catholic is presenting a series of articles on the current abuse crisis within the Catholic Church, as well as what we can do to make sure our children are protected from anyone who seeks them harm.

The Catholic Diocese of Dodge City is upping the ante when it comes to battling abuse—not just abuse against children, but elder abuse, abuse against those who have intellectual disabilities, abuse perpetrated by online predators, financial abuse, and physical and emotional abuse.

How?

By utilizing a new system called CMGConnect, the results of which should be far-reaching with profound implications. The system presents methods that people can utilize to protect themselves and their loved ones. The system will also create a database of Church employees and volunteers, making sure they’re up-to-date on training sessions and background checks.

Over the last year, the diocese’s Safe Environment office has been migrating volunteers and employees into the new, advanced database.

CMGConnect, a subsidiary of Catholic Mutual Group, replaces the previous system utilized by the diocese, Virtus, a National Catholic Risk Retention organization. CMGConnect offers the benefit of quarterly background monitoring, as well as training sessions specific to the individual’s position, such as drivers, teachers (anti-bullying), etc.... At press time,  employees had each taken more than 200 online lessons.

The monthly online training bulletins include important information on a key focus area, followed by a brief quiz.

The sessions are designed to protect children and adults from a wide range of abuses. For example, one lesson highlights the use of social media:

“Dangers of internet use, mobile devices and easy internet access can be useful tools for helping your children mature into adults of strong character. But, as with any tool, these devices and this increased accessibility carry with them certain grave dangers. You wouldn’t hand your child a chainsaw, show him how to start it, and then leave him alone and unsupervised in the woods. Similarly, as parents or other caring adults, it’s our responsibility to be aware of the dangers of the internet so we can guide our children in the proper use of these tools.”

The lesson goes on to present ways to help protect children from dangerous web sites. But it also provides ideas to increase positive communication with your child.

Another lesson discusses vulnerable adults – the elderly, people with disabilities – and the importance of protecting them from a wide arrange of abuses, including financial and physical abuse. What are the warning signs that an elderly loved one is being abused?

What are the warning signs that a child is being abused? If you notice one of the warning signs, what should you do?

The online bulletins are a follow-up to the three-hour on-site facilitator-led Protecting God’s Children Awareness Session required by employees and volunteers who work with children or youth in the Catholic Diocese of Dodge City.

In the last year alone—since July 1, 2018—approximately 375 people throughout the diocese had attended the three-hour live training session.

Additionally, more than 400 employees so far, including priests, religious, and DREs, have been required to complete an online renewal training and background check.

Eventually, all active volunteers in the diocese will be required to take the online training bulletins as well, and to submit a background check.

Those who are in the CMGConnect database will receive notifications from ‘ADMIN _ diocese’ email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  letting them know that the monthly Safe Environment Newsletter/training session is available on CMG Connect. These will be published at the beginning of each month and emailed out to all active members in the database. 

(Some recipients noted that they have turned the notifications away as SPAM, so be sure and add this to your approved incoming addresses.)

In 1993, the Catholic Diocese of Dodge City formed a Diocesan Review Board to carefully study, and then to act, in response to any sort of abuse issue that may arise, including sexual abuse. In 2003, after the breaking of the news in Boston of widespread clerical abuse, the Catholic Diocese of Dodge City voluntarily joined the nation-wide Safe Environment Program, an umbrella organization that oversees Protecting God’s Children, which includes required Awareness Sessions for all those working or volunteering for the Church. There also are annual audits to ensure the diocese is compliant with all requirements of the Safe Environment Program.

 

 

March 28, 2019

Father Marvin Reif laid to rest in Great Bend

Father Marvin Reif, a priest of the Catholic Diocese of Dodge City, will be laid to rest April 1 in Great Bend. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Patrick church.  Full details have not yet been released.

Father Reif, son of the late Albert and Dorothy (Frenzl) Reif, was born August, 19, 1963, in Hoisington. He took his seminary studies at Conception Seminary, Conception, Mo., Holy Trinity College, Dallas, Tex., and Pontifical College Josephinum, Columbus, Ohio.  He was ordained to the priesthood June 3, 1989, by the Most Rev. Stanley G. Schlarman, bishop of Dodge City, at Holy Family Church, Odin, Kansas.

He served as an associate pastor at Sacred Heart Cathedral, Dodge City, and St. Rose of Lima, Great Bend.

His pastorates included: Immaculate Conception, Claflin, with Holy Family, Odin, and St. Catherine, Dubuque, and St. Joseph, Beaver, from 1993 to 1995; Sacred Heart, Ness City, and St. Alphonsus, Ransom, (1995-1999); St. Joseph, Ashland, and Holy Spirit, Coldwater, (1999-2000); St. Rose, Great Bend, (2000-2001); and St. Nicholas, Kinsley, with St. Joseph, Offerle, (2001-2002).

Father Reif served the diocese in the positions of Director of the Office of Liturgy and Worship, Director of Vocations, and was a member of the Presbyteral Council and College of Consultors.

While serving in the diocese, he was recognized and admired for his zeal for spreading the Gospel message. In his years of active service, Father Reif built a large contingent of friends and admirers. 

“Father Marvin is remembered by so many people of our diocese: grateful for his love of the sacred liturgy; still able to hear his voice as he sang and preached; continuing to feel his compassionate and gentle pastoral care,” said the Most Rev. John B. Brungardt, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Dodge City.

“Father Marvin will continue to be remembered as one who sought to serve others in and out of the various changes of his life. He experienced such joy and suffering in his earthly life, and trusted in our Savior Jesus for his eternal life.

“May the Lord, who Father Marvin sought to praise and serve, continue to give him eternal rest and peace.  May that same Lord grant comfort and consolation to his family and all of us who grieve for him.”

On April 3, 2017, Father Reif walked away from his residence at Valley Manor Nursing home in Protection, where he had been receiving treatment for mental illness from which he had suffered for several years.

An extensive search, which included 70 volunteers and Bishop Brungardt, failed to locate Father Reif.

His remains were discovered in a pasture near Protection on March 27, 2019.

In March of 2017, Father Reif shared this Lenten message on a Facebook post. It reads, in part:

“As we know, God’s wisdom is so different than our wisdom. His ways are far above our ways. His thoughts above our thoughts.

“... What does this teach us? It teaches us lots of patience. And it teaches us to surrender, trust and hope. If we want to pray hard and pray well, we need to pray correctly.... It’s the simple prayer of Mary, when the angel came to her in the annunciation: ‘Thy will be done!’

“It is hard at first, but it becomes easy when we understand and believe that God always has the perfect plan for our lives, and yes, even in the struggles and situations in which we find ourselves. 

“... He has a perfect plan for your life, and that plan is sometimes oh, so different than your plan. Surrender to Him and let His holy will guide you in all things.”

 

 

The Heart and Soul of Prayer; An introduction

The Heart and Soul of Prayer; An introduction

By Dave Myers

Southwest Kansas Catholic

The Southwest Kansas Catholic is beginning a series of articles on prayer. If you think this should be an easy read about the joy and simplicity of talking to God, you’d be right.

But you know how we tend to over-complicate things. Which is why when addressing prayer, we bring up all sorts of things, like Ignatian Contemplation, Centering Prayer, Lectio Divina, Adoration, Petition, and Intercession.

Fortunately, these are just variations of the same theme: feeling God’s presence in the moment, listening to Him, speaking to Him.

“Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.” -- 1 Chronicles 16:11

Bishop John Brungardt has asked that this series be more of a practical guide, “not too theological.”

Prayer, he said, means

  • being aware of the presence of God.
  • having an intimate encounter with God.
  • and communication (speaking-head and heart, and listening-head and heart) with God.

In the coming issues, this series will delve into how one can better achieve that closeness with God through various forms of prayer. (For me, it’s always the one-on-one, conversation, simply speaking and simply listening. For others, it’s the Rosary that draws them closest to Christ, or while in Adoration.)

What is your favorite form of prayer? What do you focus on when you pray?

“What happens when you pray?,” asks Father James Martin, S.J., in an article in America, The Jesuit Review magazine.

“You can experience powerful emotions, surprising insights and consoling memories. You can also experience feelings, both physical and otherwise.

“Sometimes when you’re praying, you might feel physically more relaxed,” he continues. “That’s quite common. It may be a physiological response to simply slowing down from what may be a busy life, but, more often than not, it’s much more than that.

“We are not just purely spiritual beings, and so God communicates to us through our bodies as well. That’s part of our own incarnation. So pay attention to those physical feelings in prayer.

“At the same time, you may also experience feelings in prayer that are hard to name. Sometimes it can feel like a confusing mix of feelings. Sometimes people say to me, ‘Well, I felt happy and sad at once.’ Or ‘I felt a sense of confusion about what my life was going to be like, but at the same time I knew it would be fine.’

“It’s okay if you can’t precisely say what you’re feeling. Just because you can’t describe it doesn’t mean that it’s not real. And it doesn’t mean that it’s not coming from God.

“So just ask yourself: What might God be telling me through these feelings? And trust that God will help you, in time, to understand them.”

 

 

 

 

Jacqueline Loh pens book about the ‘Grace that Reigns’ experience

‘When Monday Comes’

Jacqueline Loh pens book about the ‘Grace that Reigns’ experience

A trained architect, Jacqueline Loh founded the retreat ministry Grace that Reigns in Vancouver, Canada.  She is in the United States now involved in a series of Lenten retreats in this country.  These retreats feature a new book she has written, “When Monday Comes.” The SKC caught up with her recently in Dodge City.

 

Q: The title of your new book is intriguing.   Where did it come from, and what does it mean?

A:  It is a faint echo of the Helen Keller story.  You may remember that young Helen could not see and she could not talk: she was locked up inside herself.  A gifted teacher, Anne Sullivan, was able to set her free from that angry isolation.  That story appeared in a movie in the 1960s called the Miracle Worker.  But there was a whole life to live after that moment, and the story of the rest of her life was made into a movie called Monday after the Miracle

Persons making a retreat experience something similar.  Retreats today are often weekend things that are intense, emotional, uplifting and sometimes decisive in a person’s life.  They often end in conversion, a return to God, and those who experience it are on an emotional high.  But there is a whole life to be lived after that.  Just how do you retain and deepen that intimacy with God when the miracle of conversion has passed, when Monday comes.  The retreats that Bishop Gilmore and I do help people understand and live through all the Mondays of their lives. 

Q: That’s very interesting.  How did you come to write such a book at this particular time?

A:  The Lord turned my life upside down over 20 years ago now: it was the conversion that set me on a new course.  So I have something of an instinctive understanding of how a conversion works itself out over time. 

Retreats are interesting things: they have a life, almost a personality, of their own.  They have a short, but intense, history.  They are, in concentrated form, the very adventure that every human life is.  As in the Gospels, the Lord sends us out as a pair to prepare for his coming in every town and every village he intends to visit.  Just as he called the two of us, he also calls the participants in each retreat.  He is the beginning, the middle, and the end of all such retreats.

How we try to do this listening to the Lord, how we try to prepare persons for the Mondays of their lives, how all of it is structured … all this is concentrated in this slender book.  It is both a guide and a workbook for the retreatants.  It is a Catholic Vade Mecum, a printed companion you can take with you.  In that sense, it is a guide for all our retreatants, and even for all the retreatant-wannabe’s out there.  It is a tool to help you understand the way God works in a life, and thus to help you in your own conversion, and prepare you for the obstacles you will face as you live out that new adventure.  As the retreats are a concentrated form of every human life, so this book is a concentrated form of every retreat we give.

Q: Where can our readers find your book, and any other materials you have available?

A:  The book is available at each of our retreats, and with the cost of printing and postage, it is now selling for $12.  It also is available on our website, www.gracethatreigns.com. It is useful for the retreatants, of course.  But it can also be used by any individual who is sincerely seeking God, and it can be used by like-minded friends who want to pursue that relationship in small groups.  Autographed copies are available at the retreats, and when purchased through our website. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Past Issues

August 4, 2019

IN THIS ISSUE: Prayer and ActionAction for AlexTotus TuusCamp Cristo ReyFather Schawe in GuatemalaSt. Francis Cabrini FraternityEmPowering those facing challenges; Pro-Life group brings help, hope to borderSeminarians' Summer MinistriesHow Catholics Pray

July 7, 2019

June 9, 2019

May 19, 2019

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

 

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

 

Site by Solutio