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St. Agnes parishioner crochets baby hats for Children’s Mercy By Jan Dixon Special to The Leaven


ne tiny hat each day — that’s what Evelyn Smith crocheted for premature babies this past year. A parishioner of St. Agnes Parish in Roeland Park, she has spent a lifetime doing for others. She started young. “My grandmother had me knitting baby socks on four needles when I was eight years old,” she said. “I could knit and crochet and do needlework, and so I made things for others.” Smith was born in Brooklyn, New York. She married a Navy man and moved to Wisconsin, where she served as secretary to the general at Fort McCoy. The family then settled in Kansas and joined St.

Agnes Parish. Smith served as president of the Single Mothers Club and as secretary of the parish school for 30 years. She sent her children to St. Agnes School and to Bishop Miege High School. During those years, she made and gave away hats, scarves, socks and sweaters. “I knitted red socks for my husband who was a Chiefs fan, argyle socks for my daughter and hats for the Salvation Army,” Smith said. Her biggest challenge was a Barbie doll wedding dress crocheted out of very fine string. “I spent many lunch hours working on that one.” Smith also spent many hours helping and listening to children in the school office. Many of the ones that had gotten in trouble in school came back over the years to see her. >> See “PRAYERS” on page 6




Father Rother’s story shows us how to overcome failure

his past Saturday (Sept. 23) in Oklahoma City, I concelebrated the beatification Mass for Father Stanley Francis Rother who has been recognized by Pope Francis and the Congregation for Saints’ Causes as the first U.S.-born martyr and became, on Saturday, the first priest from our nation to be beatified. Stanley Rother grew up in a strong Catholic family in Okarche, Oklahoma — a small rural community. After high school, to the surprise of his family and friends, he entered the seminary. He struggled with the study of Latin and was dismissed from a seminary in Texas for his poor academic performance. Fortunately for the church, Bishop Victor Reed decided to give him a second chance, sending him to Mount St. Mary Seminary in Baltimore where he received special tutoring in Latin. He was ordained a priest in 1963. Father Rother served as a parish priest for five years in Oklahoma. In 1968, he volunteered and was assigned to serve in the diocesan mission located in Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala. To serve his parishioners, Father Rother became fluent not only in Spanish but also in the native dialect. The former seminarian, who had difficulties learning Latin, helped to translate the New Testament into the native language. In addition to his sacramental ministry, Father Rother helped with the formation of native catechists to teach the faith, with the establishment of a local radio station, and was instrumental in opening a medical clinic.

LIFE WILL BE VICTORIOUS ARCHBISHOP JOSEPH F. NAUMANN The former farm boy from Oklahoma helped his parishioners improve their yields from their farms by developing an irrigation system as well as introducing new crops. Unfortunately, Father Rother’s missionary work in Guatemala coincided with a time of civil unrest and military corruption. Eventually, this political strife reached the remote rural area of Santiago Atitlan. Some of his parishioners were kidnapped and killed. Eventually, Father Rother was informed he was included on the military’s death list. Several Catholic priests had already been killed in Guatemala. At the encouragement of his bishop for reasons of personal safety, Father Rother returned to Oklahoma. However, after a few months, he sought permission to go back to Guatemala. He told family and friends that a shepherd cannot abandon his flock at the first sign of danger. He returned to Guatemala in the spring of 1981 in time to celebrate Holy Week with his parishioners. In the middle of the

night on July 28, 1981, Father Rother was murdered in his rectory. His body was brought back to Oklahoma but, in response to the request of his parishioners, his heart was left in Guatemala as a relic in the parish church. The parish of Santiago in Atitlan is more than 400 years old. For four centuries, there had never been a single priestly vocation from the parish. After Father Rother’s martyrdom in 1981, nine men have been ordained to the priesthood from the parish and seven young men from the community are currently in the seminary. There is much that we can all learn from the life and death of Father Rother. His life is a story of openness and perseverance in following God’s will. He did not yield to discouragement after his initial failure with seminary studies. It is a testament to what God can accomplish through us, when we are determined to follow his call: that a young man who struggled with Latin became not only multilingual but sufficiently proficient to be able to assist with translating the Gospel into the local dialect of his parishioners. In the words of Pope Francis, Father Rother

was a pastor who smelled like his sheep. He became deeply immersed in the lives of his parishioners and was delighted to work alongside them on their farms. Father Rother was courageous in refusing to abandon his people because of the threats and intimidation of the military. Very aware of the grave danger to his life, Father Rother was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice, if it was God’s will, for him to follow the example of Jesus the good shepherd in shedding his blood for his people. Father Rother provided a powerful witness to his parishioners that the goal of the Christian life is not to grasp desperately at preserving life in this world. Certainly, we are called to be stewards of our health, but life in this world is fleeting no matter how many years we live. The purpose of our lives on earth is to prepare us for our eternal destiny. Please pray for me and the priests of our archdiocese that we can become more and more shepherds after the example of the good shepherd, Jesus Christ. Pray that we can imitate the example of Father Stanley Rother in striving daily to lay down our lives, setting aside our own personal desires and preferences, for the good of those whom Our Lord has entrusted to our spiritual care. Pray that we can become more and more generous spiritual fathers who are willing to make any sacrifice and bear any burden for the good of our parishioners.

ARCHBISHOP NAUMANN Sept. 29 Joint commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation — Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Kansas City, Missouri

Confirmation — Sacred Heart, Sabetha; St. Augustine, Fidelity; and St. James, Wetmore Oct. 7 Militia of the Immaculata – Midwest Mass and talk — Redemptorist, Kansas City, Missouri

Sept. 30 Mass for Apostles of the Interior Life retreat — Savior Pastoral Center

Pastoral visit to St. Joseph, Wathena; St. Charles, Troy; and St. Benedict, Bendena

St. Lawrence Campus Center Boots & BBQ event

Oct. 8 Pastoral visit to St. Joseph–St. Lawrence, Easton

Oct. 1 Mass of Innocents — Holy Spirit, Overland Park

Christ’s Peace House of Prayer Mass and luncheon

Respect Life Month kickoff Mass — St. Michael the Archangel, Leawood Oct. 2 National Catholic Educational Association Seton Award banquet — Washington, D.C. Oct. 3 Administrative Team meeting “Trust One Greater” — Church of the Ascension, Overland Park Oct. 4 Priests small group meeting Confirmation — Sacred Heart, Baileyville, and St. Mary, St. Benedict Oct. 5 Religious Alliance Against Pornography conference call Atchison regional priests meeting

Groundbreaking and Mass — St. Paul, Olathe Oct. 9 Kansas Catholic Conference Oct. 9-10 Jesus Caritas — Wichita Oct. 10 Advice and Aid banquet — Overland Park Convention Center

ARCHBISHOP KELEHER Sept. 30 Mass — St. Sebastian, Florida Oct. 1 Mass — St. Sebastian, Florida Oct. 7 Mass — St. Sebastian, Florida Oct. 8 Mass — St. Sebastian, Florida

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House offers women a place to discern God’s call By Jill Ragar Esfeld


ENEXA — “All I’ve done is drink coffee and talk about it,” maintains Holy Trinity parishioner Kathleen Fox. “The work was accomplished by the Lord.” Fox makes no bones about the fact that Gratia Plena, the new house of discernment for women in Lenexa, is a work of the Holy Spirit. “People bought me a house,” she said. “They furnished it, they filled the pantry. They’ve provided a computer and support. They’re creating brochures. “I spend three hours a day in prayer about this — that’s the work I do. The work I do is my prayer life.” Indeed, when you hear the story of this new addition to the archdiocese, you see the hand of God all over it. Four years ago, Fox entered into spiritual direction. Though she had a good life as a single Catholic with a career as a physician’s assistant and then starting her own business in the medical industry, she had never truly discerned a vocation. And so, she wasn’t completely fulfilled. “God has given us a vocation at our baptism,” she explained. “It’s up to us to discern it. “And he’s going to bless our lives regardless of what choices we make. “But the abundance of life comes when we truly enter into what he has prepared for us in the first place.” As Fox prayed about her vocation, she came to understand the great need for a house of discernment for women, and she felt called to live in community. “As that desire grew,” she said, “simultaneously, I found out that Karen Lombardi, the consecrated virgin in the diocese, also had a dream of opening up a house of discernment.” It had to be more than a coincidence. If you look up “house of discernment for women” on the internet, only a handful of results pop up. It’s a fairly new concept, but one Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann had long recognized as a great need in our area. “Discernment for young women is challenging,” he said. “Our secular culture is not conducive to it. “Men can go to a seminary college. But women don’t really have a place to go.” Fox and Lombardi met with the archbishop and explained their concept of a house where women could live in community while prayerfully discerning their vocations. “We didn’t ask for any financial sup-

Publication No. (ISSN0194-9799) President: Most Rev. Joseph F. Naumann


Holy Trinity parishioner Kathleen Fox gives a tour of Gratia Plena, a new house of discernment for women. The house is located in Lenexa. port or even any help from the archdiocese,” said Fox. “We knew conceptually that we could acquire a home to rent and, if we had enough occupants, a modest home could be affordable. “And instinctively we knew the community would support the idea.” After the archbishop gave permission to proceed, a board of directors was established with Father Scott Wallish as its liaison to the archdiocese. Then the search began for a vacant property close to a parish church. In March, the group began a 30-day novena to St. Joseph. During that time, two houses come on their radar — basically on the same day, according to Fox. “And so it was unanimous that St. Joseph was going to be our primary patron saint,” she said. A generous Catholic family bought one of the properties — a small house on the edge of Holy Trinity Parish in Lenexa — and agreed to be the landlords of Gratia Plena. “We as a ministry will rent this from them,” said Fox. “They took possession April 27; the IRS gave us our identity on May 1 — the feast of St. Joseph the Worker. “I couldn’t have orchestrated that.” No one could better state the purpose of Gracia Plena than Fox, who is a graduate of the Spiritual Mentorship

Program, and will live in the house and oversee the ministry. “We want to produce an environment that’s conducive to hearing God’s voice,” she said. “When you live in the world, there’s a lot of extra noise out there and distractions. “We want to provide a home on a campus that is conducive to supporting and fostering clarity of your vocation.” Though discerning women should be open to God’s call to a consecrated life, Fox acknowledges that may not be the outcome for everyone. “It’s not a nun factory,” she said. “You look at Mary’s vocation: She decided to dedicate herself completely to the Lord. “And he asked her to be a wife and mother.” At a Holy Hour preceding the opening of Gratia Plena, Archbishop Naumann offered the following encouragement: “This house will help women discern God’s will for them, to embrace that will and follow wherever God leads. “We pray today that many women will hear the call and be willing to take up this special way of life. “We pray the Lord will bless this house and make it a house full of grace.”

Editor Rev. Mark Goldasich, stl

Production Manager Todd Habiger

Reporter, Social Media Editor Moira Cullings

Managing Editor Anita McSorley

Senior Reporter Joe Bollig

Advertising Coordinator Beth Blankenship

Gratia Plena now taking applications The mission of Gratia Plena is to support vocations by providing a place for postcollege-age women to live and grow in holiness, to deepen their Catholic faith and to discern with greater clarity God’s call for their lives. Regardless of the decisions that will be made and the paths that will be followed, lives will be transformed forever by prioritizing the interior life and deepening personal relationships with Christ. Formation will naturally happen as residents learn to live by a house “rule of life” that includes prayer, Holy Hours, reconciliation, Mass, meditation, retreats and spiritual direction. Gracia Plena is now taking applications from women who desire to discern a vocation and are open to God’s call to a consecrated life. Residents will pay rent and so are expected to be employed. After an application process, potential residents will be scheduled for an interview. If you’d like more information about Gratia Plena, or would like to help this ministry through a donation, visit the website at:

Published weekly September through May, excepting the Friday the week after Thanksgiving, and the Friday after Christmas; biweekly June through August. Address communications to: The Leaven, 12615 Parallel Pkwy., Kansas City, KS 66109. Phone: (913) 721-1570; fax: (913) 721-5276; or e-mail at: Postmaster: Send address changes to The Leaven, 12615 Parallel Pkwy., Kansas City, KS 66109. For change of address, provide old and new address and parish. Subscriptions $21/year. Periodicals postage paid at Kansas City, KS 66109.




Leawood parishioner carries on father’s legacy By Joe Bollig


ANSAS CITY, Kan. — When the late Robert E. Miller was on his deathbed in 2010, he asked his sons Sean and Matt to continue his two philanthropic legacies. He asked Sean to take over “Homes from the Heart,” which builds homes for the poor in Third World countries. And he asked Matt to take over CORE — Celebrating Our Religious Enthusiastically. CORE organizes an annual Priests Appreciation Day. Sean and Matt both agreed, promising their father to carry on the programs. On Sept. 18, CORE and the Serra clubs of Greater Kansas City hosted the 26th annual Priests Appreciation Day. The day included lunch, a shotgun start four-person golf tournament, a Texas Hold ’em and gin rummy tournaments, cocktail hour and dinner. This year, the golfing and card playing took place at the Nicklaus Golf Club at Lion’s Gate in Overland Park, and the dinner took place at St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Leawood. There were 140 golfers and a baker’s dozen of card players. Robert Miller, founder of Robert E. Miller Insurance in Overland Park, was a Catholic with a capital “C” boldfaced and underlined. “It was important to him because he went to Mass daily and [believed] that supporting priests is not only a privilege, but a responsibility,” said Matt Miller, a member of St. Michael the Archangel. “It was giving back — as much as the priests have given us the sacraments and the word, he felt a great need to support them.” CORE, which is the entity that organizes and sustains the Priests’ Appreciation Day, grew out of conversations between Abbot Gregory Polan, OSB, of Conception Seminary in Conception, Missouri, and Miller. It was originally a small golf tournament to support seminarians. The first was in 1992, and it grew to


Matt Miller introduces Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann at the annual CORE Priests Appreciation Day on Sept. 18. Miller has carried on the legacy of his father, Robert E. Miller, who helped start the first Priests Appreciation Day back in 1992. be much more. Today, the event includes opportunities for fun and fellowship for priests and seminarians from both the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas and the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph. In addition to the entertainment and meal, the priests are given the option of receiving a tailored suit or $300 in gift cards donated by Catholic businessmen. Ironically, Miller did not play golf. He and a committee organized the first 17. Matt helped his father with the 2009 event and took over its leadership in 2010. Today, he’s training his daughter Laura Forbes to take over leadership — the third generation. Priests traveled from all over the

archdiocese to attend the day. One was Father Daniel Schmitz, pastor of Annunciation in Frankfort, St. Monica-St. Elizabeth in Blue Rapids, and St. Columbkille in Blaine. Initially, it looked like the day would be a rainout on the course, but the sun came out and everyone had a great day of golf. Except him. “I’m a terrible golfer, but it was a great day to be out on the course,” said Father Schmitz. “I didn’t help my team too much. It was the first time I played golf all summer.” There’s always a shark on the course. This year, it was Msgr. Michael Mullen from St. Patrick Parish in Kansas City, Kansas. Don’t let his Irish charm and

senior status fool you — he knows how to use those clubs. “He has a high skill level, that’s for sure,” said Father Schmitz. Father Schmitz got to know and appreciate the Miller family while he was an associate at St. Michael the Archangel. He, like many other priests, is grateful for their support. “They’re very generous people,” he said. “They’ve been very good and supportive in so many ways, like so many of our parish families. Bob Miller certainly had a special love for priests and wanted to do what he could for us. We’re grateful that his descendants continue to carry on his legacy.”

El Centro honors founder by renaming building By Joe Bollig


ANSAS CITY, Kan. — It was a kind of “old home day” or an extended family reunion on Sept. 14 when people associated with El Centro, Inc., gathered at its downtown office here for a special ceremony. The social service agency’s building at 650 Minnesota Ave. was being dedicated as the “Richard A. Ruiz Administration and Services Building.” Perhaps it was inevitable that something would be named after the man who helped found El Centro and lead it through the first 30 of its 40 years. “I welcome you to an event that’s been a little while in coming, and I blame Richard,” said El Centro chairman of the board John “JD” Rios. “I want to be clear on that. When a man does so much for so many, it’s hard to know what a real, appropriate recognition is.” El Centro, Inc., was founded in 1976, as a social service outreach ministry

of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas. Three key founders — Father Ramon Gaitan, OAR; Father John Stitz; and Ruiz — saw a need to serve the growing community of Spanish-speaking Latinos who were making Wyandotte County their home. El Centro (which means “The Center”) received a $10,000 startup grant and the use of a former convent from the archdiocese and Archbishop Ignatius J. Strecker. The Cordi-Marian Sisters played a key role in the organization’s early years and continue to do so today. Today, El Centro has three locations — one in Olathe and two in Kansas City, Kansas. It continues to maintain a relationship with the archdiocese and is a Call to Share ministry. Ruiz, seeing the need to expand services and establish a presence in downtown Kansas City, Kansas, led efforts to buy the building for $300,000. The Depression-era building is now valued at $819,700. In his remarks before the unveil-

ing of the new name on the building’s facade, Ruiz thanked El Centro staff and leadership of the past and present. He thanked many by name — and apologized for perhaps missing some of the many — who were part of El Centro during his tenure. “Today, I am very honored,” said Ruiz. “I’m not naive enough to think that I did this all by myself — no way. So many people were involved in this effort to bring about an organization that would serve and be a leader in the community.” As he spoke, he also introduced his wife Rosalinda, their children — Gina, Cherie and Richard Jr. — his six grandchildren, and his siblings. Today, he and his family are members of Sacred Heart Parish in Shawnee. Ruiz was born and raised in Kansas City, Kansas. He graduated from Rosedale High School in 1968. He helped found El Centro in 1976, and then served as executive director from 1978 to 2005, and briefly again in 2006, before being succeeded by Mary Lou Jaramillo in 2007.


Richard Ruiz, one of the founders of El Centro, Inc., had the building at 650 Minnesota Ave. in Kansas City, Kansas, named after him.




College doesn’t have to draw students away from their faith By Moira Cullings


LATHE — Over 900 miles separate Ethan Stueve and Patrick Neve. But neither the distance nor their busy college lifestyles have prevented the two from teaming up to share the Catholic faith with other young adults. Stueve, a senior at Kansas State University in Manhattan, and Neve, a junior at Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio, had never met in person when they started their own Catholic podcast. The pair first met online through Catholic Twitter, a place for young people to share their faith. At the time, many of the participants were anonymous, including Neve and Stueve. “I didn’t want to just do Twitter,” said Stueve, a parishioner at St. John Paul II Parish in Olathe. He had bigger dreams for spreading the faith. When Stueve tweeted his hope to create a podcast for young adults, he immediately received a response from Neve. At the time, the two didn’t even know each other’s names. But their simple vision quickly turned into a regular podcast called “The Crunch,” which features a new episode each Sunday. It wasn’t until four months after their podcast took off that the two met in person at the Fellowship of Catholic University Students SEEK conference in San Antonio this past winter. “It was like meeting an old friend again,” said Stueve. The pair uses Google Hangout to record “The Crunch.” Despite their short acquaintance, their chemistry


Ethan Stueve, above, a senior at Kansas State University in Manhattan, started a Catholic podcast called “The Crunch” with a junior at Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio, before meeting him in person. makes listeners feel they are listening to exactly that — old friends. “Our plan was and has been to talk about our lives, give each other advice and hope it helps people with similar problems,” said Neve. Neve and Stueve draw from their own experiences as they discuss a different topic each week in a conversational tone. Topics range from prayer to the saints to the challenges of young people today. “We try and talk about them in an open and honest way so people can understand that there are other young adults struggling where you’re struggling,” said Stueve. With a dose of humor and relatable

conversations, the two have expanded their audience from about 200 subscribers to 1,300. “The Crunch” has gained recognition nationally and was listed as one of EpicPew’s “Catholic Podcasts You Should Be Listening To.” “As social media becomes more a part of life, it’s becoming more important for Christ to be there,” said Neve. “This doesn’t necessarily mean in the form of Catholic celebrity accounts,” he continued, “but it means being more Christian on social media.” Neve and Stueve understand the challenges of making the faith a priority as a young adult — especially in college. Both young men have their hands

full: Neve, studying theology and communications; Stueve, studying electrical engineering. “You get sucked into a college culture that moves so fast and moves pretty quickly away from the teachings of the church,” said Stueve. But if you have time for Netflix, he said, you can make time for prayer. “College is not this insurmountable hurdle that prevents you from growing in your faith,” said Stueve. “College can be used as an asset to take time that you don’t have when you’re an adult to grow in your faith,” he added. Stueve finds inspiration in the example of his parents and siblings, who are active members of St. John Paul II Parish. But his main motivation to bring other young people closer to Christ comes from a sense of responsibility. “It’s what we’re called to do as Christians,” said Stueve. “Everybody has the capability to evangelize and spread their faith in their own circles. “Not a lot of people are given the opportunity to spread the faith how I am able to — through Twitter and the podcast and those types of things.” But both Stueve and Neve agree that reaching people on social media should be an essential mission of the church. “That’s the frontier of the new evangelization,” said Stueve. “If we’re not taking advantage of it or we’re taking advantage of it poorly,” he continued, “then we’re doing a disservice to the young people in our society.” You can find “The Crunch” on iTunes and Google Play or by visiting the website at: www.thecrunchcast. com.

Family farm pays dividends beyond monetary By Erin Hunninghake Special to The Leaven


TCHISON — Many men are passionate about their hobbies. But rarely is all that enthusiasm devoted to vege-

tables. Here it is, a Tuesday morning, however, and Mark Jirak has just gotten out of daily Mass with his family at St. Benedict Church in Atchison. You can hear the pride in his voice as he and his wife Theresa, with five of their six kids trailing behind, walk the countless rows of crops he grows on his farm just north of Atchison. Mark is employed full time by Syngenta as the commercial unit manager for vegetables in eastern North America. But he bought the farm more than 14 years ago in pursuit of his hobby. He’s just that passionate about vegetables. The Jirak Family Produce Farm specializes in growing sweet corn, watermelon, cantaloupe, cucumbers, squash, green beans, pumpkins and more. They sell the majority of their crops to local school districts, restaurants and farmers’ markets and donate excess produce to local food banks. “We have a real desire to provide our customers with high quality produce,” Mark said. “Because of this, 80 percent of our business is repeat business.“ Growing up on farms themselves, Mark and Theresa saw the value this


The Jirak family has found that the family farm has helped them come together. Pictured are, front row from left: Katherine, Joseph and Anna; and back row, Andrew, Theresa, Mark and Kalynn. lifestyle could provide for their family. “The farm gives our kids a chance to earn money to pay for school while teaching them a lot of lessons about working and just the circle of life,” Mark said. “You can’t put a dollar value on teaching work ethic and responsibility.” In addition to learning to farm, Mark and Theresa’s kids have also learned communication and financial skills while working at the local markets. The farm has also been a way for the

Jiraks to come together as a family and learn lessons that go beyond a classroom. “It’s been really great seeing our family grow up around the farm,” said Anna, the Jirak’s oldest daughter. “We work hard during the week, then come together on Sundays for a big beautiful meal with the vegetables we grew ourselves.” “There’s camaraderie built between siblings,” she said. “It’s very bonding.”

The family has connected their farm with their faith by finding correlations to different events in the Bible — especially, they say, Jesus’ agony in the garden. The farming life is very demanding, said Theresa. “It can be very vice-filled,” she said, “but you know those are chances to train yourself to be virtuous. It keeps you grounded.” “You feel grateful when you do have a good crop because you know it’s not all you — it’s God shining down,” Mark said. The connection to their faith really became apparent two years ago when they got news that would change everything. Mark had been diagnosed with cancer. “We had to shut down the farm that year,” Theresa said. “But we realized it was all part of God’s plan.” “All the kids learned to really pitch in together during that time,” she said. “Now I don’t complain as much when I’m sweating and hot,” Mark said. “It’s better than sitting in the hospital for a chemo treatment.” Mark has now been in remission for almost two years and is back to looking toward the future of the family farm. The Jiraks recently expanded their business with farm in Cummings. Mark said he looks forward to the day he can retire so he can concentrate full time on two of his biggest passions. Vegetables, of course — and the Kansas City Royals.



Youth ministers urged to recognize social media risks

TOOLS FOR FAMILIES Growing as Disciples of Jesus

Recognizing Jesus in our homeless


e often pass by people holding signs saying “Homeless,” asking for assistance. It can seem overwhelming. We cannot assist everyone. Many times, it is not safe or possible to stop and help. How can we care for Jesus in our homeless brothers and sisters? • Carry a bag with nonperishable food to give when possible. ARTWORK BY NEILSON CARLIN, 2015 • Take a moment as you drive by to lift these people up in prayer, inviting your spouse, children or passengers to join in. • Pray each day at mealtime for those homeless and hungry. — Deacon Tony Zimmerman, lead consultant for the archdiocesan office of marriage and family life



St. Bede, Kelly Address: 7344 Drought St., 66538 Phone: (785) 889-4896 Parochial administrator: Father Mariadas Sesetti Mass time: Saturday, 6 p.m. Website: MORE PHOTOS AND A VIDEO TOUR of this church can be seen online at:



St. James Academy

By Jan Dixon Special to The Leaven


ENEXA — “Protect our kids and walk them into a life of freedom.” That was Deacon Dana Nearmyer’s opening prayer and the central message heard by archdiocesan clergy, religious education directors and youth workers at a recent “Creating a Safe Church” seminar. “Creating a safe place for children, teenagers and adults in the church requires teamwork,” said Dr. James Albers, a former youth minister and current senior pastor of Celebration Baptist Church in Wichita. His extensive theological training and 25-plus years of experience with children, teens and adults, have given him an insight into the joys and challenges of church work. “God’s word doesn’t change,” he said. “But the methods by which we share God’s word have changed.” In 2014, Pope Francis said communication is a means of spreading the mission of the entire church. Today, social media is one way. “Although web-based mobile technologies enhance communication, learning and ministry,” Albers said, “they are very dangerous tools.” It is therefore important that youth workers of the church recognize their responsibility to learn which platforms kids are using and to help them discern what is safe. Youth ministers can also serve as a bridge for parents to understand what their kids are using. Special Agent Mike Daniels of the FBI Child Exploitation Division explained the many dangers faced by young people online today: enticement, trafficking, pornography, sexting and sextortion. “Social media provides many ways to perpetuate harm to victims,” he said. Kids today prefer instant chat apps, but with a false sense of security in sending content to


Dr. James Albers, a former youth minister and current senior pastor in Wichita, shared how to create a safe church environment with archdiocesan clergy, religious education directors and youth workers at a recent “Creating a Safe Church” seminar. friends and strangers. The photos and videos disappear after viewing but viewers can screenshot and save content. “With this false sense of security, kids can move beyond sharing silly photos to the world of sexting and sexual videos,” said Daniels. Task force officer David Albers, of the Kansas City Police Department, gave real life examples of child exploitation cases to challenge the thinking of the conference attendees. “The federal and state laws regarding child exploitation laws are severe,” he said. “The outcomes for all involved are tragic.” And that is why child protection protocols must be in place. Applications for volunteers, criminal background checks, reference checks, interviews and regular training sessions are proactive measures against the exploitation of children and are part of the Catholic Church’s Virtus program. It is required for anyone working with youth. “Parents are also encouraged to sign up for Virtus online which has resources for everybody,” said archdiocesan youth ministry consultant Rick Cheek. The need for a written and im-

plemented child protection social media policy was given at the seminar. Key components should include a clear purpose, key definitions, a participation covenant, policy enforcement and a procedure for reporting suspected abuse. Jan Saylor of the child and youth protection office of the archdiocese said the office is always available to answer questions and provide assistance with these protocols. The presenters suggested that youth workers protect their ministry by avoiding the use of the evergrowing list of messaging apps as communication tools for ministry and keeping all communication with minors public. It was noted that written consent from the parents/guardians must be received before posting any pictures of children under the age of 18. Tagging or captioning images with student names was strongly discouraged. “We love God and we love people, and that’s why we implement child protection protocols,” said James Albers. “We are creating a safe church for children and teens and the people who work with them.”

Prayers complete every hat crocheted >> Continued from page 1

The St. James Academy girls golf team was in action Sept. 21 at Heritage Golf Course in Olathe. Leaven photographer Jay Soldner caught the action. To see his photos, go The Leaven’s Facebook page.


“They said I was the only one that understood them,” she said. After her retirement in 1997, Smith continued to live in her Westwood home and do for others. A year ago, she moved to Bishop Spencer Place in Kansas City, Missouri, where she participated in the Thursday Needlework Hour with other residents and employees. “People always come by to see what Evelyn is making,” said Stephanie Harriman, activities assistant. With her family scattered around the country and herself living in a new place, Smith knew she needed to seek fulfillment. She knew it would be found in doing for others.

“First, I made a baby blanket with donated yarn,” she said. “It was the biggest thing and I thought I’d never get done with it.” That was when the idea for hats came to her. Chaplain Kathy Hall recently delivered 50 hats to Children’s Mercy Hospital. “It was quite a prodigious collection,” she said. Smith crocheted one little hat each day. At age 91 and with limited eyesight, it wasn’t always easy for her. “If it became a chore, I put it down and came back to it later,” said Smith. She also crocheted lots of small hearts for the staff and friends at Bishop Spencer Place. But she always maintained her connections with St. Agnes Parish.

“I lived there for over 50 years,” she said. “I used Facebook to stay in touch.” Father William Porter, pastor of St. Agnes, even came to see Smith — because his two nieces were having babies. Luckily, she had some blue and pink yarn. “I just start at the top and go round and round until they are long enough,” said Smith. And then she adds the finishing touch. “I always say a little prayer for the baby that will receive the hat,” she said. Meanwhile, Bishop Spencer Place’s chaplain has only this to say about the dedication of the 91-year-old resident. “We take off our hats to you, Evelyn,” said Hall.


LOCAL NEWS Guided retreat to explore the power of prayer


EAVENWORTH — Sister Mary Pat Johnson, SCL, will facilitate a silent, guided weekend retreat on “The Transforming Power of Prayer” from Oct. 27-29 at Marillac Center here on the campus of the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth. During this weekend, Sister Mary Pat will explore with participants how the Holy Spirit guides a person’s prayer and the signs of transformation this brings about in daily life. There will be time for personal and group prayer and reflection. Sister Mary Pat has many years of experience in the classroom and as a spiritual director. She received a bachelor’s degree in theology from the University of Saint Mary; a master’s in religious studies from Gonzaga University, Spokane, Washington; and a master’s in Christian spirituality from Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska. Donation for the retreat is $125 (includes meals); a $25 deposit is requested. Scholarships are available. Overnight accommodations are $55 per night. To register, contact Sister Susan Chase online at: or call (913) 680-2342. For more information, visit the website at:

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for The Leaven


Sister Rita Marie Anderson, SCL

EAVENWORTH — Sister Rita Marie Anderson, 87, a Sister of Charity of Leavenworth for 69 years, died on Sept. 17 at the motherhouse here. Her happiest years were in the classroom, especially when applying her expertise and skills to help children with learning disabilities. Among her talents, she was creative as an artist, poet and writer. Rita Marie Anderson was born June 14, 1930, in Lecompton, to William and Theresa (Guenther) Anderson. She attended a one-room school in Stull, where she excelled and was a teacher’s helper. She graduated from St. Mary’s Academy, Leavenworth, and entered the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth on Aug. 19, 1948. She professed vows as Sister Mary Wilma on Aug. 15, 1950, and later returned to her baptismal name. From 1950 to 1965, Sister Rita Marie brought her creativity into elementary school classrooms. She discovered her calling in special education while an intern at the Child Study Center at Saint John’s Hospital

in Santa Monica, California. She returned to Kansas to serve as the in-house teacher at St. Vincent’s Home, Topeka, and continued work toward her master’s in learning disabilities. Sister Rita Marie devoted 25 years in Topeka public schools teaching children with learning disabilities. Not ready to retire, she spent 11 more years as a learning resource and English as a Second Language teacher at Our Lady of Guadalupe School, Topeka, for which she learned Spanish. For her almost 40 years of teaching in Topeka, she received recognition as the Kansas Learning Disability Teacher of the Year and the Kansas Literacy Person of the Year. Sister Rita Marie retired to the motherhouse in 2008 where she was a “roving reporter.” She also continued volunteering in a kindergarten classroom. In 2014, she moved to the Sisters’ skilled nursing facility. Her watercolors grace the walls of the new Ross Hall.


Rose (Rothwell) and Bill Patterson, m e m bers of St. Philip Neri Parish, Osawatomie, celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on Aug. 3. The couple was married at Sacred Heart Church, Gardner, on Aug. 3, 1957, by Father Maurice Gardner. Their children are: Jim, Becky, Ed, John, Celeste, Carol, Julie and Janie. They also have 25 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Pamela (Hubbart) and Robert Paulussen, members of St. Matthew Parish, Topeka, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on Sept. 23 with family. The couple was married on Sept. 23, 1967, at Church of the Assumption, Topeka. Their children are: Tracy Costales, Topeka; Mary Kate Fritton, Auburn; and William Paulussen, Topeka. They also have four grandchildren.

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In the article about Father Ben Shazad (Sept. 22 issue) it was incorrectly reported that the Truesdell family met Father Shazad in Rome. The Truesdells are longtime parishioners of Curé of Ars Parish, Leawood.

Rural priests rev Story by Moira Cullings Photos by Joe Bollig


AMEGO — Life in a smallt o w n parish moves at its own pace. From the population to the prayer intentions, rural parishes are noticeably different from those in the city. But country living has grown up and, if you look a little closer, there are similarities that connect the areas in ways one might not expect. Fathers Ray May, Mike Peterson and Earl and Carl Dekat know this as well as anyone.

Small-town roots Father Peterson is pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Flush, Sacred Heart Parish in Paxico, Holy Family Parish in Alma and St. Bernard Parish in Wamego. Growing up in the small town of Clyde prepared him for serving in rural parishes. “It was a town of about 900 when I grew up,” said Father Peterson. “Wamego’s a big town compared to what I grew up in.” Father Peterson’s uncles were farmers, so he would help them in the summer with their harvest. “I can talk a little ‘Farmese,’” he admitted with a grin. Although Father Peterson was only ordained in 2011, he’s already had a taste of suburban and rural parishes, serving his first assignment at St. Michael the Archangel in Leawood. “St. Michael’s is one of those over2,000 family [parishes],” he said. “So it’s hard to remember names. “I can at least start remembering names here.” But even with smaller parish populations, serving four of them at once can get complicated. Fortunately, Father Peterson has help from the Dekat cousins, retired priests who take turns saying Masses and taking on other tasks to lighten Father Peterson’s load. Father Carl and Father Earl were raised on farms in Flush where they currently reside. Both are passionate about country living. “I was raised on a family farm,” said Father Carl. “We farmed horses back in my day.” Father Earl has served in Kansas City, Kansas, Topeka, Leavenworth and a variety of rural parishes throughout the archdiocese. “There’s probably no one in this diocese who has served as many parishes as I have — and all these rural parishes,” he said. But he and Father Carl prefer it that way. “I’d rather be out in the country than in the city,” said Father Carl. Fourteen miles east of Wamego, Father May serves as pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish in St. Marys and St. Stanislaus Parish in Rossville. Father May grew up in Topeka, Aurora and Oswego (both in Illinois), which all had more of a big-city vibe compared to the rural parishes he serves now.

“It’s a slower pace [out here],” said Father May. “You can walk to where you want to go, get to know people and be recognized better.” Father May has experience with college campus ministry and Hispanic ministry, as well as a variety of rural parishes. “You get to know people more out here,” he said. “St. Mary’s in Hartford [where I served before] has 50 families, so you get to know pretty much everybody.”

Country qualities Every parish has its own personality, and rural ones are no exception. “People are more concerned about rain here,” said Father May. “We’re always praying for rain or higher commodity prices,” said Father Peterson. If they had to describe their parishioners, Father Earl would say “eager to learn,” Father Peterson would say “lively” and Father May would say “rooted, faithfilled and family-oriented.”

“IT’S A SLOWER PACE [OUT HERE]. YOU CAN WALK TO WHERE YOU WANT TO GO, GET TO KNOW PEOPLE AND BE RECOGNIZED BETTER.” All four priests have noticed their parishioners’ lifestyles tend to be similar to those in suburban areas, but with a twist. “There’s a farm influence on all of the parishes,” said Father Peterson. But these days, most rural residents work normal jobs and farm on the side — unlike the full-time farmers of years ago. “They own some land that they farm or raise livestock on and, at the same time, have another job,” said Father May. Much of that has to do with the bigger towns surrounding the priests’ rural parishes — namely Manhattan and Topeka. “People live out in the country and like

to be away from the big city of Manhattan, and they’ll commute into there,” said Father Peterson. “We’re kind of a bedroom community for Manhattan,” he added. St. Bernard Parish has become more like a city than Father Peterson’s other parishes, he said. “We have quite a variety of demographics — from a lot of kids to older people,” he said. “They’re well-educated.” The parish boasts four college professors from Kansas State University, as well as employees of Caterpillar Inc. The priests have also noticed a greater youthful impact on the country parishes. “There are lots of young people,” said Father Earl. “And I think that’s characteristic more of the rural areas than the city areas. “They seem to participate more in the life of the church [here].”

Rural retirement For Father Carl and Father Earl, retirement in the country comes with its own set of responsibilities.

vel in country life From left, Fathers Carl Dekat, Earl Dekat and Mike Peterson serve the rural communities of Alma, Wamego, Flush and Paxico. The retired Dekat cousins help Father Peterson keep up with his four parishes.

“I say daily Mass and help out on weekends,” said Father Earl. “I’m chaplain [of the] Knights of Columbus in Flush,” he added. Father Carl also continues to say daily and Sunday Masses when needed, and visits parishioners. “I’ve always enjoyed taking Communion out,” he said. Father Peterson appreciates any relief they can offer. “I try not to overwork them,” he said. “I try to accommodate their being retired.” “Sundays is where I need the help,” Father Peterson continued. “I can’t be in two places at once.” One of the keys to success with multiple parishes is communication with the parish secretaries. Without their help, the priests agreed, things would get chaotic. And although the retired priests work hard, they still enjoy their free time, with Father Earl spending much of his gardening on his property in Flush. “I spend a lot of time hoeing weeds,” he said. “I have 40 tomato plants, okra, cucumbers.”

He also takes advantage of small-town perks like fishing in the creek that runs through his own backyard.

Ups and downs Serving in the country comes with unique challenges and its own set of advantages. “I think there’s more activity in those big Johnson County parishes,” said


Father Ray May is responsible for the pastoral care of St. Stanislaus in Rossville and Immaculate Conception in St. Marys. He likes the small size and closeness of his rural parishes.

Father May. “They have more talent to draw from for things,” he continued. “Here, we struggle sometimes to get accompanists and cantors.” Having fewer resources is a challenge many rural priests face. “There have been a few Saturday evening Masses where we haven’t found anyone to come forward [and sing], so I end up being my own cantor,” said Father May. “But if you have people of faith in your parish, you can usually find [the help],” he added. For rural priests, email and phone communication is important when questions about liturgy or other problems arise, since the archdiocesan offices are so far away. “It’s a little more challenging to find an answer,” said Father Peterson. “You rely upon your own judgment more,” he added. But a definite bonus of serving in the country is the food. “In all these rural parishes, you’ll never find a bad meal,” said Father Earl. “In every place I’ve been, the rural

people know how to cook.” Serving in small towns has also brought the priests closer to their parishioners and to creation. “You feel like you’re more part of the family,” said Father Earl. “You see more of nature, too,” said Father Peterson, “and a variety in the seasons.” “[You see] a beautiful sunrise over the Flint Hills,” he continued. “You see aspects of nature in a different perspective.” Although the days can go by slowly, it’s hard to get bored, said Father May. “In our time, everything is so accessible,” he said. “And there’s interesting things about any area you go.” For priests who will serve country parishes in the future, it doesn’t matter where they’re coming from, said Father May. His advice for them would be the same. “You have to be adaptable,” he said, “and be willing to listen to people. “Get out of the way and let people do what they’re good at.”




Monks from St. Benedict’s Abbey witness relative’s beatification By Marc and Julie Anderson


K L A H O M A CITY — On Sept. 23, more than 14,000 people witnessed the beatification of Father Stanley Rother at the Cox Convention Center here. Among the thousands were two Benedictine monks from St. Benedict’s Abbey in Atchison — Abbot James Albers and Father Meinrad Miller, chaplain of Benedictine College. Both monks are distantly related to each other and the newly beatified priest. The pair was among 288 priests and 51 bishops from around the country, including Archbishop Paul Coakley of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, in attendance. Cardinal Angelo Amato, SDB, the prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes, served as the principal celebrant of the Mass. The rite of beatification started with Archbishop Coakley, accompanied by Archbishop Emeritus Eusebius Beltran and Dr. Andrea Ambrosi, postulator of the cause, addressing the cardinal with the official request for beatification. As the rite continued, Archbishop Beltran read a brief biography of the priest. Cardinal Amato then read the apostolic letter from Pope Francis declaring Father Stanley Rother to be counted among the blessed of the Catholic Church, after which Archbishop Coakley read an English translation. The rite continued with the unveiling of a tapestry of the martyred priest, after which applause broke out in the convention center. A relic of Blessed Stanley Rother was processed to the side of the altar as “Holy God, We Praise Thy Name” was sung by the choir and those in attendance. Sister Marita Rother, ASC, and Tom Rother, along with his wife Marti, joined the cardinal and the archbishop to exchange greetings. Sister Marita and Tom Rother are the late priest’s two living siblings. In his homily, Cardinal Amato extolled the late priest’s heroic virtues. “In a period of grave social and political turbulence in Guatemala, Father Rother lived as a perfect disciple of Christ, doing good and spreading peace and reconciliation among the people,” said the cardinal. “Unfortunately, his immediate recompense on this earth was persecution and a bloody death, in accord with the words of Jesus: ‘Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit’ (Jn 12:24). “His blood, united to that precious blood of Jesus, purifies and redeems even his enemies, who are loved and also forgiven.” The cardinal also invited those in attendance to remember the priest’s martyrdom with joy. “His martyrdom, if it fills us with sadness, also gives us the joy of admiring the kindness, generosity and courage of a great man of faith. The 13 years spent as a missionary in Guatemala will always be remembered as the glorious epic of a martyr of Christ, an authentic lighted torch of hope for the church and for the world. Formed in the school of the Gospel, he saw even

TIMELINE ANNIVERSARY submissions of Blessed Stanley Rother

Editor’s note: Rother is pronounced ROW-ther. March 27, 1935 – Stanley Francis Rother is born in Okarche, Oklahoma, to Franz and Gertrude Rother. He is the oldest of four children born to the couple. 1953 – He graduates from high school. May 25, 1963 – At age 28, Rother is ordained a priest for the Diocese of Oklahoma City and Tulsa. May 26, 1963 – Father Rother celebrates his first Mass at Holy Trinity Church in Okarche. 1968 – After five years as a diocesan priest and heeding the call of St. John XXIII, Father Rother volunteers to serve in the mission of Santiago Atitlan in Guatemala. September 1980 – Father Rother writes a letter to the bishops of Oklahoma City and Tulsa. In it, he describes the unrest and anti-church sentiment in Guatemala, saying, “The reality is we are in danger. . . . But if it is my destiny that I should give my life here, then so be it.” Christmas 1980 – In his final letter to Oklahoma Catholics, Father Rother writes: “The shepherd cannot run at the first sign of danger. Pray for us that we may be a sign of Christ’s love for our people, that our presence among them will fortify them to endure these sufferings for the coming of the kingdom.”


Above, Sister Marita Rother, ASC, the sister of Blessed Stanley Rother, proclaims the first reading at Mass in front of an image of her brother. Right, Father Meinrad Miller, chaplain of Benedictine College, and Abbot James Albers — both distant relatives of Father Rother — attended his beatification on Sept. 23. his enemies as fellow human beings. He did not hate, but loved. He did not destroy, but built up.” As he ended his remarks, Cardinal Amato said, “This is the invitation that Blessed Stanley Francis Rother extends to us today — to be like him as witnesses and missionaries of the Gospel. Society needs these sowers of goodness. Thank you, Father Rother! Bless us from heaven!” Both Abbot James and Father Meinrad think Father Rother’s example will inspire many. “This is a historic moment in the American church, and I think we’re going to see many fruits,” the abbot said. “Going to the beatification of Blessed Stanley Rother was much more for me than going to a social event for a distant relative,” said Father Meinrad. “Blessed Stanley, through baptism, is

Early 1981 – After his name appears on a death list, Father Rother returns to the United States. Prior to his return to his native country, Father Rother witnesses the kidnapping of a beloved friend, one of his parish’s catechists. Holy Week 1981 – After having returned to Guatemala, Father Rother celebrates Holy Week among his parishioners at the mission. July 12, 1981 – In a carefully worded statement read in all the Catholic churches, the Guatemalan bishops denounce the government’s plan to intimidate the church and silence its prophetic voice. July 28, 1981 – Three men enter the mission’s rectory and shoot Father Rother twice, killing him.

related to all of us. In Christ, we all are brothers and sisters, sons and daughters of our merciful Father. It was this awareness that led to his martyrdom. For him there were no second-class citizens.” “When he insisted on seeing the humanity and the face of Christ in all people,” Father Meinrad continued, “he was put on death lists. In spite of this, he did not give in to fear, but trusted God. He told people that, if he should be killed, they should light the Easter candle and sing Easter hymns. The awareness of the resurrection of Christ flooded his soul.” “I think he will become a model,” concluded Father Meinrad, “for ordinary, hard-working people who do not abandon their faith, but always trust in the goodness of God.”

Feb. 6, 1996 – During a pastoral visit to Guatemala, St. John Paul II is given a list of 78 people believed to be martyrs killed in the political violence in South America during the 1970s and 1980s. Father Rother’s name appears on the list. 2007 – Father Rother’s cause for canonization is officially opened by the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City. Dec. 2, 2016 – Pope Francis declares Father Rother to be a martyr, paving the way for his beatification. Sept. 23, 2017 – Father Rother becomes the first American-born priest and first American-born martyr to be beatified by the Catholic Church. More than 14,000 witness the beatification rite at the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City, including the late priest’s two surviving siblings, Sister Marita Rother, ASC, and Tom Rother.




Jesuit in Puerto Rico says hurricane devastation is ‘apocalyptic’ By Rhina Guidos Catholic News Service


ASHINGTON (CNS) — It took a couple of days for Jesuit Father Flavio Bravo to venture out and survey the devastation of Hurricane Maria, with its torrential rain and winds of 155 miles per hour, inflicted for hours on the island of Puerto Rico. “We were trapped,” because of debris, said Father Bravo, the superior of the Society of Jesus’ Puerto Rico community, recounting the initial aftermath of the hurricane on the island. When Father Bravo finally managed to get outside, the scene was nothing short of “apocalyptic,” he said during a Sept. 22 telephone interview with Catholic News Service. In what was once a lush forest, the palm trees that are still standing look more like telephone poles because they have no leaves on them. Before Maria, it was hard to see anything past the dense tropical foliage, and now “you can see all along.” Seeing the fallen trees, “it is brutal,” Father Bravo said. But what was most shocking, said Father Bravo, was the sight of the cross at the entrance of Colegio San Ignacio de Loyola, the secondary school the Jesuits operate on the island: The 6-foot5-inch cross was bent into a 45-degree angle by the hurricane’s forceful winds and now looks almost like a sword planted on the cement post. “It was a sight that touched me. But that cross invites me to think: What have I done for Christ? What am I doing for Christ? What ought I do for Christ?” Father Bravo said, citing part of the Jesuits’ Spiritual Exercises. “It was a message of destruction but also of reconstruction.” Puerto Rico, as well as other places affected by September’s back-to-back hurricanes, first Irma and now Maria, has a long way to go before life returns to normal. Father Bravo said the aftermath has left a pile of emotions and thoughts almost as high as the debris: sadness, desperation from lack of communication, the poor who already were suffering will now suffer more, wanting to help but not knowing where to begin.


Rescue workers help people Sept. 20 in Guayama, Puerto Rico, after the area was hit by Hurricane Maria. After battering the Virgin Islands, the hurricane made landfall in Puerto Rico, bringing “catastrophic” 155 mph winds and dangerous storm surges.

“IT’S AN AVALANCHE OF DISASTERS, ONE DISASTER AFTER ANOTHER DISASTER.” It feels daunting, he said. Those who have been able to free themselves from damaged buildings and homes are out looking for neighbors, family, making sure everyone is OK. “There isn’t a sense of panic, but [rather] sadness. . . . You don’t know how to console, or be consoled” because there’s so much destruction all

around, he said. Puerto Rico already was experiencing economic problems because of huge debt due to mismanagement before the hurricanes arrived. The economy already was weak, people were leaving the island behind and with it, family, because of the financial problems. And now those who had little, have nothing, Father Bravo said. “It’s an avalanche of disasters, one disaster after another disaster,” he said. One of Father Bravo’s tasks is to repair the damage done to the Jesuit school, which educates more than 600 in San Juan, and which already had suffered damage from Hurricane Irma. Electricity will not return for a long time, he said, maybe four to six months. There is a lot of broken glass, damage to buildings, and debris to clear. And yet, he said, the feeling he

hangs onto is of gratitude to God, gratitude to those who are thinking about those who are suffering on the island and other places, gratitude for those who have been moved with compassion, gratitude for those who have helped and want to help, and gratitude for those “who have not allowed us to feel the emptiness,” he said. Even in the midst of tragedy, “we are seeking the greater glory of God,” said Father Bravo. The Society of Jesus in Puerto Rico wants to offer its thanks for the help and support it will take to raise, in the middle of an aftermath, a path of hope to face the future ahead. The website for the Jesuits’ province lists a link for donations at to help with recovery efforts.

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Teacher assistant - Special Beginnings, Lenexa, is seeking full- or part-time after school teacher assistants at all locations. We are looking for a teacher assistant candidate who has an excellent work ethic, heart for children and a willingness to learn more about early childhood education. Experience and/or education is a plus, but we will train the right candidate. Teacher assistants will work with the lead teacher to care for and educate the children. Primary responsibilities include assisting the lead teacher with: care and supervision of children, lesson plan implementation, parent communication, and cleanliness and organization of classroom. Starting hourly pay ranges based on experience and education. Pay increases are based on job performance. Opportunities for advancement are available, as the company prefers to promote from within. Apply by sending an email to: chris@ or in person at 10216 Pflumm Rd., Lenexa, KS 66215. Sales professional - We respect your many years of experience; we value and need your wisdom. We only ask if you are “coachable”? If so, Catholic Cemeteries of Northeast Kansas has openings for sales trainees in our Johnson, Shawnee and Wyandotte counties area cemeteries. An excellent earning of $40K to $50K+ in commissions is legitimate income potential for the first year. Training allowance your first 30 days, then draw commission with bonus opportunities. Medical, life, dental, optical, prescription, 401(k) plans, etc., are some of the many perks our employees receive. Excellent opportunities for women and men interested in a sales career and in helping people. Advancement opportunities are available for hard-working and focused individuals. Must be willing to work some evenings and weekends when our client families are available to see us in their homes. Once you learn our formula for success, your schedule is determined by you. Please email your resume and contact information to: dvanthullenar or fax to (913) 353-1413. Drivers - Special Beginnings Early Learning Center is seeking part-time drivers for its school-age program located in Lenexa. Candidates must be able to drive a 13-passenger minibus, similar to a 15-passenger van. CDL not required, but must have an excellent driving record. Candidates would pick up children from area schools and then work directly with them when arriving back at the center. Experience preferred. Must have strong work ethic and the ability to work with children. Insurance provided. Background check will be conducted. Great opportunity for retired persons or those seeking a second job. Job responsibilities include: ensuring safety and well-being of children who are being transported at all times, including loading and unloading. Driving short, round-trip routes to elementary schools in Lenexa/Olathe area. Summer only: Driving short, round- trip routes to two Lenexa city pools. Maintaining mileage log. Keeping interior of vehicle clean. Apply by sending an email to: or in person at 10216 Pflumm Rd., Lenexa, KS 66215. Early childhood positions - Wonderful opportunity for adults interested in working with young children. Catholic preschool seeks caring individuals who wish to care for children from infants to 5-year-olds. Great working conditions and immediate benefits. Call Ms. Theresa, director, at (913) 248-4589. Caregivers - Daughters & Company is looking for several compassionate caregivers to provide assistance to ambulatory seniors in their home, assisted living or in a skilled nursing facility. We provide light housekeeping/light meal preparation, organizational assistance, care management and occasional transportation services for our clients. We need caregivers with reliable transportation and a cell phone for communication. A CNA background is helpful, though not mandatory. We typically employ on a part-time basis, but will strive to match hours desired. Contact Pat or Murray at (913) 341-2500 to become part of an excellent caregiving team. Teachers - WE LOVE OUR TEACHERS - COME SEE WHY YOU WANT TO WORK HERE! The Goddard School, Olathe Northwest, is looking for dynamic, energetic, professional teachers to add to our faculty. The Goddard School is a premiere preschool where children from 6 weeks to 6 years are encouraged to develop at their own pace in a nurturing environment, lovingly guided by our highly skilled, professional teachers. We are hiring for the following positions: FULL-TIME PRESCHOOL TEACHER; FULL-TIME TODDLER TEACHER; FULL-TIME ASSISTANT TEACHER; PART-TIME AFTERNOONS ASSISTANT TEACHER. To apply, send an email and resume to: olathe2ks@ Praise and worship music leader - St. John the Evangelist Church in Lawrence is currently looking for someone to be responsible for planning and leading music for the Sunday 5 p.m. Mass. Music is largely contemporary praise and worship style, but also includes traditional hymns. The leader coordinates a group of 5 - 10 singers and instrumentalists. Piano playing and singing capabilities are preferred. Other opportunities for leading worship will also be available throughout the year. Monthly stipend. Send an email to Lisa Roush, director of liturgy and music, at:

SERVICES Cleaning lady - Reasonable rates; references provided. Call (913) 940-2959.

Tree Trimming Tree Trimming/Landscaping Insured/References Free Estimates/Local Parishioner Tony Collins (913) 620-6063 Agua Fina Irrigation and Landscape The one-stop location for your project! Landscape and irrigation design, Installation and maintenance. Cleanup and grading services It’s time to repair your lawn. 20% discount on lawn renovations with mention of this ad. Visit the website at: Call (913) 530-7260 or (913) 530-5661 Bankruptcy consultation - If debts are overwhelming you, seek hope and help from compassionate, experienced Catholic attorney, Teresa Kidd. For a free consultation, call (913) 422-0610; send an email to:; or visit the website at: Please do not wait until life seems hopeless before getting good quality legal advice that may solve your financial stress. Custom countertops - Laminates installed within 5 days. Cambria, granite, and solid surface. Competitive prices, dependable work. Call the Top Shop, Inc., (913) 962-5058. Members of St. Joseph, Shawnee. Rodman Lawn Care Lawn mowing, aeration, verticutting, mulching, Hedge trimming, leaf removal, gutter cleaning Fully insured and free estimates John Rodman (913) 548-3002 Mike Hammer local moving - A full-service mover. Packing, pianos, rental truck load/unload, storage container load/unload, and in-home moving. No job too small. Serving JoCo since 1987. St. Joseph, Shawnee, parishioner. Call Mike at (913) 927-4347 or send an email to: mike@mikehammer Sparkle Plenty cleaning service - 100% satisfaction guaranteed; house cleaning, deep cleaning, move-out cleaning, construction cleaning. Great references. Call Sarah at (913) 449-8348.


STA (Sure Thing Always) Home Repair - Basement finish, bathrooms and kitchens; interior & exterior repairs: painting, roofing, siding, wood replacement and window glazing. Free estimates. Call (913) 491-5837 or (913) 579-1835. Email: Member of Holy Trinity, Lenexa. DRC Construction We’ll get the job done right the first time. Windows - Doors - Decks - Siding Repair or replace, we will work with you to solve your problems. Choose us for any window, door, siding or deck project and be glad you did. Everything is guaranteed 100% (913) 461-4052 Local handyman - Painting int. and ext., staining, wood rot, power wash, decks, doors and windows, masonry, hardwood floors, gutter cleaning, water heaters, toilets, faucets, garbage disposals, ceiling fans, mowing and more!! Member of Holy Angels Parish, Basehor. Call Billy at (913) 927-4118. NELSON CREATION’S L.L.C. Home makeovers, kitchen, bath. All interior and exterior remodeling and repairs. Family owned, experienced, licensed and insured. Member St. Joseph, Shawnee. Kirk Nelson. (913) 927-5240; Concrete construction - Tear out and replace stamped, stained or colored patios and drives. Retaining walls, footings, poured-in-place safe rooms, excavation and hauling. Asphalt drives and lots. Fully insured; references. Call Dan at (913) 207-4371 or send an email to: Kansas City’s Premier Deck, Fence & Concrete - We repair, power wash and stain wood decks and fences. We power wash and seal concrete drives, walkway, pool decks and more. Call Brian at (913) 952-5965. Member of Holy Trinity Parish. Swalms organizing - downsizing - cleanout service - Reduce clutter – Any space organized. Shelving built on-site. Items hauled for recycling and donations. 20 years exp.; insured. Call Tillar at (913) 375-9115. WWW.SWALMSORGANIZING. COM. HARCO Exteriors LLC Your Kansas City fencing specialists Family owned and operated (913) 815-4817 Thank you for another great year - Through your support, my family has been blessed and my business has grown. We do windows, trim, siding, doors, decks, interior and exterior painting, wood rot, bathroom renovations, tile and sheetrock. If you need work done around your home, we can do it. Josh (913) 709-7230.


Speedy Guzman Moving and delivery Licensed and insured Anytime (816) 935-0176

Residential lifts - New and recycled. Stair lifts, porch lifts, ceiling lifts and elevators. St. Michael’s parishioners. KC Lift & Elevator at (913) 327-5557. (Formerly Silver Cross - KC)

Professional window cleaner - Residential only, fully insured. Over 40 years experience. Free estimates. Contact Gene Jackson at (913) 593-1495.

For sale - 1800s English furniture: chest, hutch, corner cabinet, armoire; Lenox china, Waterford; signed Sports Illustrated issues. Call Doug at (913) 593-6362.

The Grounds Guys - The Grounds Guys know that fall is one of the toughest times to keep an immaculate lawn. That is why we are standing by with an array of lawn care services to help: cleanup of fallen leaves and branches, aeration, dethatching, fertilization, mulching, seasonal color and winterization of irrigation systems. Call Brian at (913) 242-1902.

For sale - Laser engraver/cutter - package with accessories. Full spectrum H-series 20” x 12” business or hobby. Engrave photos, awards, plaques, wood, plastic or metal. Like new. Paid $3600, asking $1800. Olathe. Call (913) 327-9812.

HOME IMPROVEMENT Life Simplified - Professional organizing for home and business. We organize tools to toys, closets to attics. Pre- and post-moving support for upsizing or downsizing. We advise on what to keep, donate, recycle or toss and offer personalized strategies on keeping organized. Supportive and non-judgmental. Call (913)-725-8151 or email:

For sale - Handsome curio displays collectibles on adjustable glass shelves; two wooden platforms with a mirrored back. Lighted upper uses one 25-watt bulb. Composite wood with solid wood frame. Asking $250. Call Virginia at (913) 438-0882. For sale - Tandem vault located at Mt. Calvary Cemetery in Kansas City. Patio II, tier C, crypt 105. Eye level with peaceful view and surroundings. Includes perpetual care. Current market value over $10,000. Selling price is $8,000. Call (913) 208-2703.

Masonry work - Quality new or repair work. Brick and chimney/fireplace repair. Insured; second-generation bricklayer. St. Paul Parish, Olathe. Call (913) 829-4336.

For sale - Single vault at Shawnee Mission Memory Gardens mausoleum, located 23215 W. 75th, Shawnee. Current value is $7500; selling price is $5500. Call (816) 977-3634.

Handyman/Remodeler - Quality service with references. Kitchens, baths, tile, painting, garage doors and openers, decks and wood rot repair. Call Jeff at (913) 915-4738.

For sale - Three individuals plots located at Mt. Calvary Cemetery in Kansas City. Located in section 3, old lot 195, spaces 10, 11 and 12. Current value is $2070 per space. Selling price is $1280 per space or $3500 for all three. Call (913) 208-2703.

The Drywall Doctor, Inc. – A unique solution to your drywall problems! We fix all types of ceiling and wall damage — from water stains and stress cracks to texture repairs and skim coating. We provide professional, timely repairs and leave the job site clean! Lead-certified and insured! Serving the metro since 1997. Call (913) 768-6655. EL SOL Y LA TIERRA *Commercial & residential * Lawn renovation *Mowing * Clean-up and hauling * Dirt grading/installation * Landscape design * Free estimates Hablamos y escribimos Ingles!! Call Lupe at (816) 935-0176 Rusty Dandy Painting, Inc. – We have been coloring your world for 40 years. Your home will be treated as if it were our own. Old cabinets will be made to look like new. Dingy walls and ceilings will be made beautiful. Woodwork will glow. Lead-certified and insured. Call (913) 341-9125.

For sale - Double lawn crypt at Resurrection Cemetery in Lenexa, Garden of Hope section, double lawn crypt, lot 78 C, space 4. Conveyance fee included. $8100. Call Lou at (512) 294-2869.

WANTED TO BUY Will buy firearms and related accessories - One or a whole collection. Honest evaluation and top prices paid. Contact Tom at (913) 238-2473. Member of Sacred Heart Parish, Shawnee. Wanted to Buy Antique/vintage jewelry, paintings, pottery, prints, sterling, etc. Renee Maderak (913) 631-7393 St. Joseph Parish, Shawnee

>> Classifieds continue on page 13


CALENDAR OCTOBERFEST St. John the Evangelist Parish 1234 Kentucky St., Lawrence Sept. 30 from 4 - 10 p.m.

This event includes live music by Festhaus-Musikanten Band, authentic German food and beer, and activities for kids. On this year’s menu is wienerschnitzel, bierock, bratwurst, cabbage roll, sauerkraut and German potato salad.

SPAGHETTI DINNER Church of the Holy Cross 8311 W. 93rd St., Overland Park Sept. 30 from 5 - 7:30 p.m.

A meal of homemade pasta and meat sauce, bread, salad and desserts will cost: $10 for adults; $3 for kids ages 12 and under; $25 for families of four or more. Takeout meals will be available.

‘TASTE OF NATIVITY’ Church of the Nativity 3800 W. 119th St., Leawood Sept. 30 from 6 - 11 p.m.

Nativity’s annual auction this year will present a “Taste of Nativity” featuring parishioners who are restaurateurs. In addition, two students from the University of Kansas, who are Nativity School alumni, will give a witness talk about their experience and the value of Catholic education. For more information, go to the website at:

FALL BAZAAR Holy Family Parish 600 Main St., Summerfield Oct. 1 at 4:30 p.m.

A meal of turkey, dressing and trimmings will be served. The cost is $10 for adults; $5 for kids under the age of 12. Proceeds go to church restoration. There will also be a country store and a chance book drawing.

ANNUAL FALL FEST Sacred Heart-St. Casimir Parish 1405 2nd Ave., Leavenworth Oct. 1 from 11:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.

A turkey and ham dinner will be served. The cost will be $10 for adults; $5 for kids ages 12 and under. There will also be a silent auction, a country store, games for kids, a DJ and three different raffles.

FALL BAZAAR St. Boniface Parish 32292 N.E. Norton Rd., Scipio Oct. 1 from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.

A meal of roast beef, chicken and noodles, and sides will be served. The cost is: $10 for adults; $5 for kids ages 5 - 10; and no charge for kids under the age of 5. Takeout dinners will be available for $11.

400TH ANNIVERSARY OF VINCENTIAN CHARISM Sacred Heart Parish 312 N.E. Freeman Ave., Topeka Oct. 1 at 10:30 a.m.

Mass will be hosted by the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth and associates to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the Vincentian charism. The Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth trace their roots to St. Vincent de Paul.

‘CREATING FINANCIAL SECURITY FOR A LOVED ONE WITH SPECIAL NEEDS’ Curé of Ars (Father Burak Room) 9401 Mission Rd., Leawood Oct. 3 from 6:30 - 8 p.m.

Financial advisers will explain special-needs trusts and the Achieving Better Life Experiences Act of 1973. This event is sponsored by the special-needs ministry of the archdiocese.

TAIZE PRAYER Annunciation Chapel 4200 S. 4th St., Leavenworth Oct. 5 at 7 p.m.

People of all Christian traditions are invited to

participate in this Taize prayer service. Taize prayer is a candlelit service that includes simple chants sung repeatedly, silence and prayers of praise and intercession. For more information, visit the website at: www.marillac or call (913) 680-2342.

‘LIFE SHIFT: WORK AND THE CHRISTIAN JOURNEY’ Sophia Spirituality Center 751 S. 8th St., Atchison Oct. 6 at 7 p.m. - Oct. 8 at 1 p.m.

This retreat is an opportunity to reflect on your life and faith and to explore avenues for new opportunities. For more information or to register, call (913) 360-6173 or visit the website at:

‘HIS OWN’ RETREAT Mother Teresa Parish 2014 N.W. 46th St., Topeka Oct. 7 from 7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

This retreat combines a love for Jesus, passion for music and the desire to proclaim the joy of the feminine heart. There will be music, testimonies and talks. Lunch is provided. After lunch, there will be adoration with music and a talk. Mass will be at 4 p.m.

IRISH ROAD BOWLING Wyandotte County Park 126th & State Ave., Bonner Springs Oct. 7 at 10 a.m.

The Father Donnelly Division of the Ancient Order of Hibernians is hosting its fall 2017 fundraising event. Teams of four complete a 1.5-mile course through Wyandotte County Park. Proceeds benefit S.A.F.E., an organization supporting families of fallen police and firefighters; the Duchesne Clinic, which provides for the medical needs of the poor in Kansas City, Kansas; and many other charities. Suggested donation-entry fees are $120 per team. Visitors are welcome. For more information and to register, go online to: www.

OKTOBERFEST St. Pius X Parish 5500 Woodson Rd., Mission Oct. 7 from 5:30 - 9 p.m.

Dinner includes German food. German wines and beers will be available for purchase. The cost to attend is: $15 for adults, purchased in advance; $20 at the door; $5 for kids ages 6 12; free for kids ages 5 and under. For more information, call Marisa Snook at (913) 244-5732; send an email to:; or call the parish office at (913) 432-4808.

FALL BIOETHICS EVENT St. James Academy 24505 Prairie Star Pkwy., Lenexa Oct. 7 at 6:30 p.m.

The Kansas City Catholic Medical Association will present a talk on ethical and religious directives for Catholic health care in America, titled “What Would Jesus Say?” The speaker will be Msgr. Stuart Swetland. To register or for more information, go online to: www.

BISHOP MIEGE CLASS OF 1967 - 50TH REUNION Bishop Miege High School 5041 Reinhardt Dr., Roeland Park Oct. 7 from 7 - 11 p.m.

Help celebrate the class of 1967’s 50th reunion. There will also be events on Oct. 6 and 8. For more information, contact: bishop; Betty Brooks Gacom at:; Gary Rittenhouse at:; or Linda Sine Porter at:

PANCAKE LUNCHEON St. Mary Parish 446 Hwy. 137, Purcell Oct. 8 from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Pancakes, whole hog sausage, scrambled eggs, homemade pies and tea or coffee will be served. The suggested donation is a freewill offering.

100TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE FOUNDING OF THE MILITIA IMMACULATA Redemptorist Church 3333 Broadway, Kansas City, Missouri Oct. 7 at 9 a.m. for Mass

The Militia of the Immaculata in the Midwest invites all to the centennial celebration of its founding by St. Maximilian Kolbe with a rosary and Mass. Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann will be the celebrant. A presentation by Mike Scherschlight from the School of Faith will follow. Send an email to:, or go online to: if you are planning to attend. Registration opens at 8:30 a.m. (The cost is $10 at the door.)

TURKEY DINNER AND BAZAAR Sacred Heart Parish 1100 West St., Tonganoxie Oct. 8 from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.

The cost for dinner is: $10 for adults; $5 for kids ages 6 - 12; and free for kids ages 5 and under. There will be a country store, bingo, theme baskets, children’s games and a raffle with many cash prizes.

OKTOBERFEST DINNER Church of the Ascension Parish (hall) 9510 W. 127th St., Overland Park Oct. 15 from 6 - 8 p.m.

The Knights of Columbus will be hosting a meal of brats, hot dogs, bierocks, red cabbage, sauerkraut and strudel. Soft drinks are included. The cost will be $9.50 for adults ages 12 years and over; $5 for kids ages 5 - 12. Entertainment will be provided by the Alpen Spielers polka band.

PROJECT ANDREW Mother Teresa of Calcutta Parish 2014 N.W. 46th St., Topeka Oct. 15 from 4 - 7 p.m.

Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann invites single men ages 16 and over to Project Andrew, an evening of prayer, inspiring priests, learning about discernment and a delicious dinner. Parents may attend. There will be a special session with parents of seminarians. There is no cost, but please register by sending an email to: or calling (913) 647-0303.

BULL CREEK/HOLY TRINITY FAMILY 5K RUN/WALK Wallace Park E. Osage St. and Wallace Park Dr., Paola Oct. 8 — registration at 11 a.m., race at noon

FALL BAZAAR St. Theresa Parish 209 3rd St., Perry Oct. 15 from 11 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

FALL BAZAAR AND DINNER St. Aloysius Parish 615 E. Wyandotte St., Meriden Oct. 8 from 11:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.

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Preregister online at: and then click on the “Bull Creek Family 5K Run/Walk,” or register on the morning of the run/walk. The cost for preregistration is $30 for those ages 12 and up; $12 for those ages 11 and younger. There is a cap of $100 for a family of five or more. A lunch and prizes will follow the race at Holy Trinity School cafeteria in Paola.

There will be a turkey and ham dinner with all the trimmings. The cost is: $10 for adults; $5 for kids ages 5 - 12; and free for kids ages 4 and under. Takeout meals are available for $10. There will also be a country store, games, drawings for money, a beer garden, bingo, raffles, a silent auction and more. For more information, call (785) 484-3312.

MASS OF THANKSGIVING Christ’s Peace House of Prayer 22131 Meagher Rd., Easton Oct. 8 at noon

Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann will celebrate a Mass of thanksgiving at the retreat center. There will also be a lunch with time to visit the archbishop. Tours will be available as well. If you are interested, call (913) 773-8255 or send an email to:

SOUP SUPPER AND AUCTION St. Bede Parish 7344 Drought St., Kelly Oct. 8 at 7 p.m.


A turkey and ham dinner with homemade pie for dessert will be served in the parish hall. The cost is $10 for adults; $4 for kids ages 10 and under. Takeout meals will be available. There will be games, a silent auction, bingo, a cakewalk, baked goods and a country store.

REAL ESTATE Whole Estates Need to sell a home and everything in it? We buy it all at once in as-is condition. Call (816) 444-1950 or send an email to: For sale - Reduced price, maintenance-provided home. New price $359,900. Monthly HOA $132. Two BR, 2.5 BA, backs up to Ascension Church, open floor plan, one-level living. Call for appointment at (913) 669-8178. I NEED HOUSES! - We are members of Holy Trinity Parish and we pay cash for any real estate without any realtor commissions or fees. If you would like an easy, no-hassle sale at a fair price, please call me. We have 13 years of experience. Mark Edmondson (913) 980-4905.

CAREGIVING Caregiving - We provide personal assistance, companionship, care management, and transportation for seniors in their home, assisted living or nursing facilities. We also provide respite care for main caregivers needing some personal time. Call Daughters & Company at (913) 341-2500 and speak with Laurie, Pat or Gary. “Dignity and integrity home health care” - Senior care, respite care, meals cooked, showers, end-of-life care; worked in hospice many years; overnights, Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. 33 years’ experience. Call Sarah at (913) 449-8348.

Chili, soups, sandwiches, hot dogs and desserts will be served. The cost is a freewill donation. There will also be an auction of handmade quilts and other items, a country store and refreshments.

Medication support - Need help filling weekly pill boxes? Need daily medication reminders? We can provide these services in your home with daily or weekly visits. Call to learn about our exciting new medication solutions that allow you to continue living safely at home. Call Home Connect Health at (913) 627- 9222.

100TH ANNIVERSARY OF FATIMA Queen of the Holy Rosary Parish 7023 W. 71st St., Overland Park Oct. 14 at 9 a.m.

Looking for assisted living at home? - Before you move, call us and explore our in-home care options. We specialize in helping families live safely at home while saving thousands of dollars per year. Call today for more information or to request a FREE home care planning guide. Benefits of Home - Senior Care, or call (913) 422-1591.

There will a rosary procession following the 8:15 a.m. Mass to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Fatima.

QUARTER MANIA Christ the King Parish (Yadrich Hall) 5973 S.W. 25th St., Topeka Oct. 14 from 9:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.

This is a fundraiser for Christ the King Early Education Center. You can bid on items from many vendors, including LuLaRoe, 31, Avon, Perfectly Posh and many more. For more information, call (785) 272-2999.

CNA - 47-year-old female available to work nights and weekends. Lots of experience, excellent references. Call Kara at (913) 909-6659. Caregiving/housecleaning - Reasonable rates; references provided. Can sit with and provide care for elderly lady. Lenexa area. Call (913) 599-2215.

VACATION Branson getaway - Walk-in condo on Pointe Royale Golf Course. Sleeps six. Close to lakes and entertainments. Fully furnished. Pool and hot tub available. No cleaning fee. Nightly rates. Wi-Fi available. Discounts available. Call (913) 515-3044.


COMMENTARY TWENTY-SIXTH WEEK OF ORDINARY TIME Oct. 1 TWENTY-SIXTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME Ez 18: 25-28 Ps 25: 4-9 Phil 2: 1-11 Mt 21: 28-32 Oct. 2 The Holy Guardian Angels Zec 8: 1-8 Ps 102: 2, 16-23 Mt 18: 1-5, 10 Oct. 3 Tuesday Zec 8: 20-23 Ps 87: 1-7 Lk 9: 51-56 Oct. 4 Francis of Assisi Neh 2: 1-8 Ps 137: 1-6 Lk 9: 57-62 Oct. 5 Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos, priest Neh 8: 1-4a, 5-6, 7b-12 Ps 19: 8-11 Lk 10: 1-12 Oct. 6 Bruno, priest; Blessed Marie Rose Durocher, virgin Bar 1: 15-22 Ps 79: 1-5, 8-9 Lk 10: 13-16 Oct. 7 Our Lady of the Rosary Bar 4: 5-12, 27-29 Ps 69: 33-37 Lk 10: 17-24


’m thinking about getting a new roommate. I’m tired — literally — of mine waking me up around 4 a.m. each day. I suppose it’s just his way to get back at me for confusing him so much with my odd hours. He’s never sure when I’m going to be home or if company is coming over to disrupt his schedule. By the way, my roommate’s name is Shadow, as pure (breed) a cat as the driven-on snow. He’s a plump, gray furball — companion and pest, cuddly and skittish, perpetually nosy and definitely a creature of comfort. Someone once said that you don’t own a cat; a cat owns you. That’s definitely the case here. He’s got me well trained at keeping his food bowl filled, his water bowls freshened and his litter box spotless. I find myself thinking about pets this time of year with the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, great lover of creatures, on Oct. 4. (And I always bless Shadow on that day, even if on some days, an exorcism seems

Bless, instead of being catty MARK MY WORDS

FATHER MARK GOLDASICH Father Mark is the pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Tonganoxie. He has been editor of The Leaven since 1989.

more in order.) And, while I bless my cat, I also feel blessed — to have him around. Scientists tell us that having a pet is good for our health. Studies have shown that cats, for example, can lower their human’s risk of cardiovascular disease, reduce blood pressure, lower triglycerides and cholesterol, and reduce anxiety, stress and loneliness. They can also improve your mood. And who doesn’t at least occasionally watch a cat

video online? Here is one of my favorite — and allegedly true — cat stories. A pastor once had a kitten that climbed up a tree in his backyard and then was afraid to come down. He coaxed and cajoled, but the kitty wouldn’t budge. Because the tree was not sturdy enough to climb, the pastor decided to tie a rope to his car and drive away slowly, forcing the tree to bend down enough for him to grab the kitten. That’s what he did. He stopped the car every few seconds and got out to check his progress. At one point, he decided to drive just a little bit farther in order to reach the kitten on the bent tree. As he

moved that last inch, though, the rope broke. “Boing” went the tree and the kitten sailed through the air, out of sight. Distraught, the pastor combed through the neighborhood, asking if anyone had seen a kitten. After a fruitless search, he prayed, “Lord, I commit this kitten to your safekeeping,” and went about his business. A few days later at the grocery store, he met a parishioner. Seeing cat food in her cart, and knowing that she hated cats, he asked why she was buying it. She explained that her daughter Meghan had been pleading with her nonstop for a cat, but she kept refusing. Finally, worn out by her daughter’s badgering, she said, “Well, if God gives you a cat from heaven, you can keep it.” “Well,” continued the mom, “I watched my little girl go out in the yard, kneel and ask God for a kitty cat. And really, Pastor, you won’t believe this — but I saw it with my own eyes — a kitten suddenly came flying out of the blue sky, paws spread out, and landed


right in front of her!” Now, true or not, that’s a funny story. So, in honor of all the joy that our pets bring us, why not bless them on Oct. 4? Below is a portion of a pet blessing from Father Ed Hays’ “Prayers for the Domestic Church”: “We now bless (name) by taking delight in his/her beauty and naturalness. May we bless this animal with a Noah-like protection from all that might harm him/her. May we, like Adam and Eve, speak to this creature of God with kindness and affection, reverencing his/her life and purpose in our communal creation. May we never treat (name) as a dumb animal, but let us seek to learn his/ her language and to be a student of all the secrets that he/she knows. May God’s abundant blessing rest upon this creature who will be a companion for us in the journey of life. Amen.” Incidentally, Shadow loves blessings. No surprise there! He’s cat-olic, after all!

Parables of brothers examine obedience, repentance


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rothers and sisters often accuse the youngest of enjoying favoritism from the parents. After all, he (or she) is the baby of the family and can get away with more, at least so they claim. The oldest sibling often assumes greater responsibility and presumably is more mature. The parable of the prodigal son, Lk 15:1132, reflects this line of reasoning. When the younger spendthrift son repents his wayward ways, the older son complains that he has always obeyed his father. Nonetheless, the parable points to the young son as the one to imitate, while it gently condemns the older son. Two sons also appear


FATHER MIKE STUBBS Father Stubbs is the pastor of Holy Cross Parish in Overland Park and has a degree in Scripture from Harvard University.

in Sunday’s Gospel reading, Mt 21:28-32, in another of Jesus’ parables. We are not told which is the younger and which is the older. In fact, we


People need to have true compassion so they feel others’ pain and are moved to help, Pope Francis said. “Compassion is an emotion that engages, it is a feeling from the heart, from the gut,” affecting one’s entire being, the pope said Sept. 19 during morning Mass in the

are not told anything about them, except that one initially refuses the command of his father, but subsequently obeys, while the other at first says that he will comply with the command, but then fails to follow through with his promise. Jesus addresses this parable to the chief priests and elders of the people, whom he identifies with the son who

begins as obedient, but then ignores the orders of his father. By their office as chief priest and elder, they claim to be following God’s will. Despite this claim, they reject the preaching of John the Baptist. They refuse to repent. The parable teaches the importance of actions over words. It reminds us of an earlier teaching of Jesus, where he says: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven” (Mt 7:21). The second son politely addresses his father as “Lord,” (translated in our Gospel reading as “sir,” but it is the same word), but then fails to do the will of his father. In contrast, the first

Domus Sanctae Marthae. Compassion “is not the same as ‘pity’ or [saying], ‘What a shame, poor people,’” but leaving things as they are, he said. The word “compassion” comes from “compati,” which means to “suffer with,” he said, and this is compassion’s true meaning. In his homily, the pope reflected on the day’s Gospel reading from St. Luke, which re-

son abruptly refuses his father’s orders, “I will not,” but then reconsiders and does it anyway. Politeness is not everything. The parable also teaches the importance of repentance. The son who reconsiders his earlier refusal to comply with his father’s orders is held up as an example to follow. In that respect, he resembles the younger brother in Luke’s parable of the prodigal son. Similarly, the tax collectors and prostitutes have listened to John the Baptist’s message, reconsidered their previous way of life and repented. These newcomers enter into the path of salvation, while the oldtimers, the chief priests and elders, turn away from it.

counted Jesus encountering a widow mourning the death of her only son — her only hope of support and survival. Instead of worrying about the crowd that had accompanied him and using that as an excuse to move on, Jesus was more concerned about the tragic plight of the widow right in front of him, the pope said. — CNS




Parents, teachers all grateful for Jesus’ presence in the classroom


ear friends of Catholic schools, My sister, who teaches first grade, sent me a cartoon several years ago that I framed for my office. It is an illustration of two people sitting on a park bench when this fierce “swoosh” of wind suddenly blows by them. One turns to the other and asks, “What was that that just flew by?” The other replies, “Summer.” As I write this, students, teachers and parents are settling into the routine of another school year, and I had the same feeling as those on


an you image getting a love letter and not opening it? Can you fathom not opening 73 love letters? You would have to be pretty disenchanted with your suitor. At that point, you might be seeking a restraining order. God can feel like we have put a restraining order on him when we do not open his 73 love letters to us. He sees us tired, lackluster, disconnected and lonely. He reaches out to us moment by moment in prayer and in his love letters to us: the Bible. Retreats and camps get us fired up and on track, but that fire is


KATHY O’HARA Kathy O’Hara is the superintendent of archdiocesan schools.

the park bench — what happened to summer? Perhaps you feel the same way.

This year, I have been reflecting quite a bit about the reasons why parents and our great faculty and school leaders choose Catholic schools because I have been blessed recently with some inspiring encounters with parents

and school staffs. I will share just a few: • Just this morning, I was told of a teacher who also had her own child in our schools. This teacher referred to her child as a “Perfect Wings child” because he had a form of autism. The child has since graduated from a Catholic high school and has done very well. The teacher/mom credits his experiences in our schools and the assistance of the Perfect Wings program for his success. She now is advocating for one of her classroom students who has a similar special need, saying, “I know this student can

learn here — look at my son!” • Recently, I was reading through material sent to me by a school leader. Included in the material was a description of the various circumstances of families whose students attend the school. I was humbled that families were so committed to keeping their children in Catholic schools despite job losses, illness and changes in family circumstances. These parents also know the difference our schools can make in their children’s lives, and I am so appreciative that our schools are able to work with families in so many challenging situations.

• At our new teacher orientation, one new teacher was in tears. When I asked her if she was OK, she told me, “These are tears of joy! I am so grateful to be able to teach in a place where Jesus is present!” I am grateful that the members of our school communities — parents, teachers and students — value Jesus’ presence and see it in our schools. As we start another school year, I want to say thank you to everyone who supports Catholic schools. Please pray that we are guided by the Holy Spirit and the love of Our Lord Jesus Christ. ¡Vaya con Dios!

There is a love letter on your shelf SEEKIING CHRIST’S HEART

DEACON DANA NEARMYER Deacon Dana Nearmyer is the lead consultant for the archdiocesan office of evangelization and Catholic formation of youth.

temporary if we stop what got us fired up in

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the first place, drawing close to Jesus. I have led and participated in hundreds of retreats and camps; drawing near to Jesus lifts our spirits and gives us direction and purpose. Retreats help us focus and create an atmosphere where we can

more easily get into a conversation with Jesus. I have an overwhelming sense that God is calling us to open those letters and soak up his love and guidance. “Gospel saturation” is a term that many churches are talking about. How do we get the living word of God to soak into our hearts, marriages, families, neighborhoods and cities? The Bible is like no other book. It is the living word of God. It really is life’s answer book and an unquenchable source of goodness and comfort. We are hungry for that kind of love. Our families desperately need these love letters.

You can just open your Bible to one of the Gospels, ask God to speak to you through your reading and dive in. You could go to the Sunday readings online and pray through them. You could look up “lectio divina” and use that simple reading technique to get a deeper dive into the Bible. Jesus will bless you whichever way that you choose; he is a generous suitor. If you would like some help, there are many ways to plug in. The youth office is taking 450 teens to Indianapolis for National Catholic Youth Conference this fall. The adult evangelization office is hosting

“Trust One Greater” prayer evenings for young adults; walking parishes through an in-depth evangelization process; assisting with Kyrios 2017, an ecumenical adult prayer conference; and a foster care retreat sponsored by CarePortal. Saint Paul Outreach hosts vibrant weekly and monthly young adult events. The School of Faith has wonderful classes for adults. Our rural youth outreach and ReachKCK are loaded with opportunities to engage and connect. There is no shortage of ways to connect, but staying plugged in is like any relationship: It takes work.

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Archbishop Joseph Naumann cordially invites single men 16 & over to Project Andrew — an evening of prayer, inspiring priests, dinner, and learning about discernment.

Sunday, Oct. 15, 4-7pm at Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Topeka or Sunday, Oct. 22, 2-5pm at Holy Cross School, Overland Park Register at or (913) 647-0303 Parents invited too.










Helping boys remain active as acolytes into high school By Joe Bollig


RAIRIE VILLAGE — Every year without fail, St. Ann Parish here would experience a mysterious phenomenon: Altar servers would disappear from the sanctuary. Boys who had faithfully (more or less) served Mass through grade school and the middle school/junior high years would become high school freshmen and . . . Poof. They’d disappear from the altars. And St. Ann Parish was not alone. Parishes all across the archdiocese would still see these young men at Mass with their families. They’d just drop out of serving — and, instead, sit glued to the pews. Andrew Lynch, faith formation director at St. Ann Parish, identified the problem — but not a solution. That’s when the boys spoke up. “I teach the confirmation class for students in the eighth grade,” said Lynch. “I talked with them about how it would be nice for high school students to stay involved [in serving].” After three years of making this plea, a group of six boys came forward and said they’d keep serving as a group — if Lynch would come up with some sort of program. So in 2015, Lynch and Deacon Steve Nguyen came up with a program that combined fun, fellowship, formation and a touch of vocational motivation. They called it the Knights of St. Tarcisius. Normally, nearly all the high schoolaged boys would drop out. But that year, the six stayed. The next year, there were six more. “We went from keeping one or two, to keeping 100 percent of the highschool aged boy servers, and we had to train 10 new boys who had never served before because they wanted to join the Knights,” said Lynch. “That’s a big turnaround. Going from one or two a year to 30 is a pretty big thing,” he added. The Knights of Tarcisius is a boys-only program for several reasons, said Lynch. One is that the Knights are challenged to model themselves after St. Tarcisius, the third-century boy martyr and patron saint of altar servers. The group is also intended to promote vocations to the priesthood, a goal specifically supported by a directive from


Deacon Steve Nguyen, left, and Andrew Lynch, faith formation director at St. Ann Parish in Prairie Village, developed an altar boy program called the Knights of St. Tarcisius that combined fun, fellowship, formation and a touch of vocational motivation. the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments. Finally, there also just doesn’t seem to be a demand by high school girls for this kind of program. The Knights have been meeting one Sunday a month at St. Ann after the 10:30 a.m. Mass. Knights serve all the Masses at the parish on the weekend they meet. “Our monthly meeting will involve advanced server training,” said Lynch. “It will also have general formation about our faith and practices, and a bit of fellowship as well. On a normal meeting, we’ll have small group discussion and lunch. “About thee times a year, we’ll have a ‘Sunday Fun Day,’” he added. “It could be going to a movie or playing games. In June, we went paint balling and had a pool party. In November, our Sunday Fun Day will be a one-day rocket build. I’ll teach them about astronomy and Catholic cosmology while we’re building rockets, and then we’ll fire them off.” Being a Knight of St. Tarcisius also includes advancement in rank. The


four ranks are Squire, Knights’ Apprentice, Knight and finally Grand Knight. The program is still under development, but will eventually be bigger in more than numbers. Lynch plans for each participating parish to eventually form small groups called “minyans.” Each minyan will consist of Knights, a lay leader and a cleric. “Minyan” is a Jewish term for a quorum of adults required to accomplish certain religious obligations, such as a prayer meeting. “Right now, we are concentrating on members and not minyans,” said Lynch. “I expect by May or June 2018 we’ll have several minyans.” The Knights are experiencing strong membership growth, according to Lynch. Pastors like the program, too. There are new members — or expressed interest — from Curé of Ars, St. Michael the Archangel, and Church of the Nativity in Leawood; Queen of the Holy Rosary Parish in Overland Park; and Holy Trinity Parish and St. James Academy in Lenexa. Lynch also met recently with Bishop James V. Johnston and sev-

BECOME A KNIGHT ANNIVERSARY submissions • Any high school-aged boy who is a server at any parish is eligible to become a Knight of St. Tarcisius. • For information, contact Lynch by calling (913) 660-1116 or by email at: • Information can also be found on the Knights’ website at: tarcisius.

eral pastors, boys and parents from the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph about expanding the program to include parishes across the state line. Two current members of the group are from Visitation Parish in Kansas City, Missouri. In order to accommodate growth, the Knights will begin meeting on a regional basis at Curé of Ars. The first regional meeting will be held after the 6 p.m. Mass on Oct. 15.


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The Leaven is the official newspaper for the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas.