Reprinted from the Catholic Advance:
Bishop Carl A. Kemme heard about the desires and the expectations of a group of young Wichita area adults during a listening session Monday night at a Theology on Tap event in Loft 150 in Old Town.
It was the fourth since the opening session Sunday, Aug. 27, at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Wichita. A listening session was held Thursday, Sept. 7, in Spanish at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Wichita.
Bishop Kemme announced the listening sessions after returning from The Joy in the Gospel in America Convocation held July 1-4 in Orlando, Florida. The gatherings of the faithful, held throughout the diocese, are a way “for us to listen to the Holy Spirit speaking through the entire community of faith,” he said last month.
After visiting with about 125 young men and women during a social hour, Bishop Kemme sat on a stage in the corner of the room next to Father David Lies, vicar general of the Diocese of Wichita, who welcomed those attending and opened the listening session by asking: What does the Diocese of Wichita do well?
One of the first to answer, David, a member of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Wichita, said the diocese offers young adults opportunities to be a part of the church and to meet each other.
Bryan, a member of the Church of the Resurrection, said the diocese does a lot of things well, in general, but praised the diocese for its dedication to Catholic education. He attributed the large number of seminarians studying for the diocese to the emphasis on Catholic education.
One young adult commended the diocese’s promotion of the stewardship way of life and emphasized the connection of stewardship to providing a Catholic education to children of all demographics.
Adam, a member of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Wichita, said the diocese does Eucharistic adoration well, something he didn’t understand until he didn’t live in the diocese.
One young woman said she appreciated the availability of the Sacrament of Confession across the parishes in Wichita and wished it was more readily available in the smaller towns.
Jessica said she was awed by the women religious in the diocese and the priests. “They are really amazing people,” she said.
Kristin, a member of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Wichita, said she misses the reverence of the Mass when she is outside the Diocese of Wichita. “Wichita takes pride in liturgy done right,” she said.
Another Kristin, a member of St. Jude Parish in Wichita, said the diocese does an excellent job of nurturing young priests. “It’s exciting to see the life of the church is vibrant here…it’s very encouraging.”
A young man appreciated the strong pro-life movement in the diocese. Daniel was amazed by the number who participate in the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. “It’s a great witness,” he said.
Jarrod, formerly of the Diocese of Dodge City, said he was impressed with the number of Masses available on Saturday evenings and Sunday. An employee of Via Christi Hospital St. Francis, he added that he especially appreciated the 9 o’clock Mass Sunday nights at Wichita State’s St. Paul University Parish when he had to work on Sundays.
There was also a variety of answers to the second question: What can the diocese do better?
One young woman who said she had attended public schools her entire life felt the catechists in her PSR needed better formation. She also said she would like more support for young adults at the parish level.
Another young woman said it seemed that when someone questioned the Catholic faith in high school she felt they were “shut down’ instead of being allowed to express themselves.
Several men and women suggested more focus be placed on small towns, and to make more resources available to parishes there.
One woman said she didn’t believe religious vocations for women were emphasized as much as vocations to the priesthood.
A diocesan employee said she would like to see more education for our priests about persons with disabilities and how to involve people with disabilities in the parish. “Mental illness has a huge stigma…how can we work to involve these people into the parish, into the church,” she said.
Several attending said they felt single young adults weren’t valued by their parishes.
Father Lies also asked participants what priorities they believe Bishop Kemme should have in the future.
Bryan, a recent graduate of Wichita State, said the church needs to be a place of community. “What I love about St. Paul’s was that the church wasn’t just a place on Sunday, it was a place where you gathered and did everything.”
A woman said confirmation should be a priority across the diocese.
Another young woman who recently moved into the diocese said evangelization should be a priority. “Focus on going out to those who don’t know Christ,” she said.
Bishop Kemme, closed the listening session by thanking everyone for being a part of the evening. He said he was impressed by the way they articulated their thoughts. “I’m not sure (at their age) that I would have been able to express myself as well as you did,” he said.
He added that he had great expectations of a future together.
“We have a lot of challenges,” Bishop Kemme said. “We are blessed – but we can’t take that for granted. We can’t assume we’ll always have wonderful blessings.”
He said he looks forward to many years of service as bishop of the Diocese of Wichita.
“We need to work to deepen our faith in Jesus Christ,” he said. “We can have all the finest resources…but it doesn’t mean anything unless we are deepening our faith in Jesus Christ. If we’re working on that, we are working on something truly worthwhile.”
Bishop Kemme said he is always open to hearing from the faithful. “I really value your input and your participation in the life of our diocese.”
Although the dioceses has challenges, it also has hope, he said.
“We can’t do it on our own, but together. I want Christ to reign in our diocese and in our homes and in our streets,” he said.
Bishop’s listening session schedule
Here are the dates, times, and locations for the remainder of Bishop Kemme’s listening sessions:
• Oct. 1: Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, 3 p.m.
• Oct. 7: Holy Cross Parish, Hutchinson, 10 a.m
• Oct. 27: Session for Diocesan Curia only
• Oct. 29: St. Patrick Parish, Parsons, 1 p.m.
• Nov. 5: St. Mary Parish, Derby, 1:30 p.m.
• Nov. 18: 10 a.m., Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Pittsburg
• Nov. 30: Priests only
Joy of the Gospel – Diocese of Wichita Listening Sessions
With Bishop Kemme
|Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017||6:30p||St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish|
|Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017||6:30p||Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception||Spanish Language|
|Monday, Sept. 11, 2017||7:00p||The Loft at River City Brewery||Session for Young Adults|
|Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017||3:00p||Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception||English Language|
|Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017||10:00a||Holy Cross Parish, Hutchinson|
|Friday, Oct. 27, 2017||9:00a||Spiritual Life Center||Curia Session|
|Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017||1:00p||St. Patrick Parish, Parsons|
|Sunday Nov. 5, 2017||1:30p||St. Mary’s Parish, Derby|
|Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017||10:00a||Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Pittsburg|
|Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017||9:15a||Spiritual Life Center||Priest Session|
Holy Savior Catholic Church, along with Pax Christi USA, will host a seminar, "Day of Empowerment for Black Catholics," on Sept. 23.
The event will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and will focus on topics including: Catholic school teachings and how those are applied to everyday life; how to eliminate personal and systematic racism; and the contributions of black Catholics to the church in the United States.
Pax Christi International is a global Catholic peace movement that focuses on peace, respect for human rights, and justice and reconciliation.
Registration is underway for the fourth annual Red & Black Banquet, "Celebrating a Community of Life and Love," a benefit for Holy Savior Catholic Church and Academy.
This year's banquet is scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday, October 7 at the Wichita Marriott, 9100 E. Corporate Hills Drive in Wichita. Suggested donation is $50 per person or $500 for a table of 10. Dress is Sunday or business attire.
The event will include dinner, performances by choirs of Holy Savior Catholic Academy and Holy Savior Catholic Church, silent and live auctions and presentations from Rev. Jim Billinger, pastor of Holy Savior, and Dr. Delia Shropshire, principal of Holy Savior Catholic Academy.
Holy Savior Catholic Church has now received more than $8 million in commitments for its capital campaign, "A New Hope, A New Home: Built of Living Stones." Holy Savior wishes to again thank the more than 650 families, businesses, organizations and foundations who have chosen to support the building project. Should you want more information about the campaign, please call the church office at 316-682-8712.
Holy Savior Catholic Church recently was given a $500,000 gift towards its capital campaign, "A New Hope, A New Home: Built of Living Stones." With this gift, the benefactor will match dollar-for-dollar, up to $500,000, any new pledges or increases in existing campaign pledges. Thus far, about $220,000 has been raised towards this matching gift pledge!
More than $7.6 million total has been committed to the building project so far. If you have not yet committed to the project, this would be an excellent time to do so, as your gift would be matched. Please contact the church office at 316-682-8712 for more information. And as always, thank you to everyone who has supported the campaign!
Wichita Wingnuts Faith and Family Day is Sunday, August 27th. Cost is $10 for lower box and $8 for Upper Box. The cost includes Wingnuts Game which starts at 1:05 PM, Post game Concert, Christian Speaker, Splash Down Sunday, Post game Catch, and Post game run the bases. For more information, please call (316) 264- 6887. There is a sign up sheet in the vestibule of the Church.
Ladies of Holy Savior next luncheon is Tues, September 19th at 1 PM at Old Chicago, located at 300 N. Mead St. To RSVP, please call Linda Pearce at (316) 619-5451.
If you are interested in volunteering at The Lord’s Diner or need to renew your current card, a class will be offered at Riverwalk Church of Christ , located at 225 N. Waco (northwest corner of Waco and 2nd Street) on Saturday, September 9 at 9:30 AM in the Sanctuary. Please arrive a bit early to complete paperwork. All are welcome.
Colorado Catholic Choo Choo Trip with Fr. Dan Spexarth, is September 5-11. Join Father Dan Spexarth and fellow Catholics from our diocese for an unforgettable journey through Colorado visiting the Cathedral, Mother Cabrini and St. Teresa shrines, a monastery, brewery, winery, museums and much more. This trip includes daily mass, four train rides including one on Amtrak crossing the beautiful majestic Rocky Mountains and a scenic float trip down the Colorado River. For more information and to reserve your spot call Village Tours and Travel at (316) 721-4455
The twelve week program begins Wednesday, August 30th . The class is from 7PM-8:30 PM at the Spiritual Life Center. The cost is $35 and includes the Surviving Divorce Personal Guide and all program materials. Call the Spiritual Life Center at (316)744-0167 to register.