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THELEAVEN.ORG | VOL. 41, NO. 21 | JANUARY 10, 2020





‘Ad limina’ report reveals challenges for the local church

omorrow, I travel to Rome with the U.S. bishops from Kansas, Missouri, Iowa and Nebraska to make our “ad limina” visit. These visits are supposed to occur every five years but, because popes get behind in their schedules, it is almost eight years since the previous “ad limina.” The “ad limina” visit has several purposes. The name itself is Latin for “to the threshold.” One concrete objective of each “ad limina” visit is to pray at the threshold of the tombs of the great apostles St. Peter and St. Paul. As successors of the apostles, we pray that we might have the same zeal and courage as Peter and Paul in proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus. During the visit, we will also have the opportunity to celebrate Mass at the four major Roman basilicas — St. Peter, St. John Lateran, St. Mary Major and St. Paul Outside the Walls. We will also meet with Pope Francis to receive his encouragement and counsel. I anticipate our meeting with the Holy Father will be a dialogue — allowing the pope to communicate what he considers most important for our ministry in the United States as well as an opportunity for bishops to ask questions and offer our insights to the successor of St. Peter. In preparation for the “ad limina” visit, each bishop prepares a report for the Holy Father describing the state of the church in our part of the United States. I am grateful to Father John Riley, our chancellor, for coordinating the formulation of our report, as well as all our archdiocesan staff who assisted in providing information in their specific areas of expertise. The Holy Father

LIFE WILL BE VICTORIOUS ARCHBISHOP JOSEPH F. NAUMANN shares sections of the report pertinent to different dicasteries (offices) in Rome — e.g., education, clergy, religious, evangelization, family life, etc. These meetings with the prefect and staffs of the Vatican dicasteries are an important part of the “ad limina” experience. One of the benefits of the “ad limina” process is it provides an occasion to compare current data and analysis with previous “ad limina” reports. Our previous 2012 “ad limina” report was based on data from the calendar year 2011. Similarly, the data for this “ad limina” report is based on data from 2018. This comparison of current data with the past brings into focus the challenges the archdiocese faces. In many ways, I found the report quite sobering. In this week’s column, I will share with you some of the hard cold facts and some of their implications for the future of the church in the archdiocese. It is important that we look squarely at the reality of where we are and where we have failed in recent years in order to plan for a path forward that will lead to the renewal and strengthening of the church. In 2018, we had 1,039 children in Catholic preschools; in 2011, there were only 821. In 2018, we had 9,520

students enrolled in our kindergarten through eighth-grade elementary schools — a significant decrease from the 10,097 in our grade schools in 2011. In 2018, we had 3,452 students enrolled in our Catholic secondary schools; in 2011, we had 3,556 students. In this eight-year period, our Catholic preschools increased enrollment by 218 students. During that same period, however, our Catholic grade school enrollment declined by 577 and our Catholic high schools by 104. On average from 2011-18, we lost 72 students per year in our Catholic elementary schools and 13 students per year in our Catholic high schools. The reasons for these declines are multifaceted. The inevitable rising cost of Catholic education is certainly a factor, but so is a low birth rate and a decrease in overall Catholic population. The choice of an increasing number of parents to home school their children also is a factor. These numbers underline the importance of the Catholic Education Foundation and its successful efforts to raise scholarship money to assist qualifying families. These statistics also make clear the importance of the development efforts of our Catholic high schools and elementary schools to provide financial aid to families. I shudder to think what our enrollment numbers would be without the development

efforts of our schools and the success of the Catholic Education Foundation. The data also reveals an important opportunity. If we can capture the increased numbers in our Catholic preschools, we can reverse the current negative trend. It also challenges us to make the case to parents of the tremendous value of our Catholic schools in assisting them with the spiritual and moral formation of their children. There are many reasons why parents choose to send their children to public schools. As already noted, financial cost is one important factor. There are parts of the archdiocese where Catholic schools are not geographically accessible. Sometimes, because of our limited resources, our schools are not always equipped to address the special educational needs of some children. Many of our recent immigrants from Central and South America come from societies where Catholic schools were only available to the wealthy. With Hispanics making up a large portion of our youth, we need to make special efforts to encourage and make it possible for Hispanic parents to choose Catholic schools for their children. A comparison of sacramental data from 2011 to 2018 highlights even more significant negative trends for our church. The number of infant baptisms in 2018 (2,821) was 862 fewer than in 2011 (3,683). The number of adult baptisms — 760 in 2018 — declined from the 930 in 2011. First Communions numbered 2,946 in 2018, a decline of almost 1,000 from the 3,937 in 2011. Similarly, there were 50 fewer Catholic marriages in 2018 (573) than in 2011 (623). Interfaith marriages declined

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even more sharply. In 2018, there were 217 interfaith marriages compared to 353 in 2011 — a difference of 136, an almost 40% decline. While these declines may not be nearly as dramatic as in other parts of the country, this provides little comfort. The stark reality is that there are fewer individuals who are registered members of our parishes — 206,334 in 2011 compared to 190,624 in 2018. Sadly, the decline in those actively participating in the sacramental and liturgical life of the church is even more dramatic. In many ways, these reflect the overall cultural trends of millennials and successive generations of being less religious than their predecessors. In light of these realities, complacency is not an option. The epidemic of loneliness, depression and high suicide rates among youth and young adults is in part a consequence of not only weakened family life but also the loss of being part of a faith community. Our Catholic faith has the antidote to the many toxic elements of our society. We have a responsibility to do our best to share the beauty and richness of our Catholic faith with everyone. The scandals within the church and the failure of those entrusted with leadership —bishops — has certainly contributed to the negative trends. We, bishops, must acknowledge and own our responsibility. At the same time, we are facing a new cultural reality. We are living in what many have termed a post-Christian culture. Moreover, for the first time in human history, there are powerful cultural forces, such as mass media and social media, influencing young people to embrace ideas and values that are not consistent

Jan. 10 Mass, vespers and dinner with Apostles of the Interior Life mentorship program — Savior Pastoral Center Jan. 11-17 “Ad limina” visit — Rome Jan. 18 Catholic Charities Snow Ball Jan. 20 Martin Luther King Day Mass — Blessed Sacrament, Kansas City, Kansas Jan. 21 Kansas Catholic Conference — Topeka Red Mass — Mater Dei - Assumption, Topeka

with those being nurtured in the family. In the coming months, I will be reviewing this data with the Presbyteral Council as well as our Archdiocesan Pastoral Council, soliciting their advice on how we best respond to these realities and reverse these negative trends. We know Jesus is faithful to his promises. Our Lord and the Holy Spirit remain with the church. We need to be supple to their guidance to renew the church and, in the process, renew society. Next week, I will write about some of the positive elements in the comparison of the 2012 and 2019 “ad limina” reports. There are indeed rays of hope.

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Parishioners, priests recall beloved brother, mentor, pastor By Joe Bollig joe.bollig@theleaven.org

Pastoral assignments


ANSAS CITY, Kan. — Many people know that Father Thomas H. Dolezal loved rural communities, rural parishes and rural Catholic schools — especially the schools. It’s difficult to keep a Catholic school going in a rural area and, as longtime pastor of St. Michael Parish in Axtell, he encouraged parishioners to make sacrifices for their school. But many don’t know that he, too, made sacrifices. “Father Dolezal was a humble, caring person,” said Father Francis Burger, a retired priest who knew Father Dolezal for more than 50 years. “He gave back a lot of his salary to keep St. Michael’s School open. And even in his will, [he made a bequest] for St. Michael’s, if it was still open. And if not, then something for the benefit of rural Catholic schools in the archdiocese. He was very proud of St. Michael’s in Axtell,” added Father Burger. Sadly, St. Michael School was closed due to declining enrollment in May 2015. Father Dolezal, 75, died of aplastic anemia on Jan. 1 at Kansas City Hospice House in Kansas City, Missouri. He had arrived there on New Year’s Eve. The funeral Mass was celebrated by Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann — with Father Burger as the homilist — on Jan. 4 at Holy Trinity Parish in Lenexa. Father Dolezal was buried at St. Michael Cemetery in Axtell. Father Dolezal was born on Nov. 19, 1944, at Fort Lewis, Washington, the second son of Joseph and Ana Marie (Henrich) Dolezal. His father was a U.S. Army doctor at the time. After the war ended, the Dolezal family moved to Omaha, Nebraska, where Tom — he preferred to be called Tom — attended St. Bridget School for grades one to seven, and then Christ the King School for eighth grade. It was in eighth grade when he first thought about the priesthood, influenced by one of his heroes, Msgr. Joseph Aughney. The Dolezal family moved to the Kansas City area in 1958 and joined Queen of the Holy Rosary Parish in Overland Park. Tom graduated from Bishop Miege High School in 1962. He still thought about the priesthood, but he had other interests, too. “He’d studied architecture, and Tom entered several model homes in architecture contests,” said Bill Dolezal, his brother. “But he got the calling for the priesthood.” Tom became a seminarian for the Archdiocese of Omaha and graduated from Conception Seminary College in Conception, Missouri, in 1966. In 1967, he became a seminarian for the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas. Archbishop Edward J. Hunkeler allowed him to continue his studies at Mount St. Bernard Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa, until it closed in 1969. He completed his final year at the Aquinas Institute in Dubuque in 1970. He was ordained a deacon by Archbishop Hunkeler on May 29, 1969, at

• 1970 — Associate pastor of Christ the King Parish in Kansas City, Kansas • 1973 — Associate pastor of Curé of Ars Parish in Leawood • 1977 — Pastor of St. Malachy Parish in Beattie and associate pastor at St. Gregory Parish in Marysville • 1979 — Associate pastorate ended at Marysville • 1983 — Pastor of St. John the Baptist in Greeley • 1986 — Pastor of St. Michael Parish in Axtell and Holy Family Parish in Summerfield • 1995 — Pastor of St. Malachy in Beattie in addition to Axtell and Summerfield • 2001 — Pastor of Holy Trinity Parish in Lenexa • 2011 — Retired to temporary medical leave and senior parochial vicar of Prince of Peace Parish in Olathe • 2012 — Retired • 2014 — Pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Emporia • 2015 — Parochial administrator of Holy Spirit Parish in Overland Park • 2016 — Retired

Savior of the World Seminary. He was ordained a priest by Archbishop Ignatius J. Strecker on May 22, 1970, at Queen of the Holy Rosary Church in Overland Park. His first assignment was as associate pastor at Christ the King Parish on Aug. 18, 1970. During the ensuing years, he served in both rural parishes and suburban ones. He retired twice — coming out of his first retirement to help Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann by serving at a parish going through a difficult period. He was known as an able administrator and manager. He had a long convalescence after he broke his hip in Naples, Italy, in 2006. His last assignment was in 2015, as parochial administrator of Holy Spirit Parish in Overland Park. Father Dolezal retired in 2016, but continued to assist with sacramental duties at Holy Trinity Parish in Lenexa until his death. “He died with his boots on,” said Father Burger. “He was somewhat a cross between Grizzly Adams and St. John the Baptist, with that full beard on his face.” “I don’t know how many cards [of condolence] I’ll have to answer,” mused Bill Dolezal. “He was truly loved and respected by many at the parishes he was at.”

President Most Rev. Joseph F. Naumann

Publication No. (ISSN0194-9799)

“HE WAS MY MENTOR, MY GUIDE, MY BIG BROTHER. HE WAS EVERYTHING THAT AMERICA IS FOR ME.” Father Dolezal was a fun-loving, outgoing kind of guy, said Bill. He loved the rural areas, Catholic education, the Knights of Columbus (twice serving as state chaplain), and “wounded warriors” — former military people who had been hurt in combat. He was an early tinkerer with computers and created and maintained the first website for The Leaven. And like his father and brothers, he loved railroading. He would take vacations on old steam engines still operating and built large model train sets. Father Reginald Saldanha, pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Baileyville, knew Father Dolezal from the first day he arrived in the archdiocese 15 years ago. Father Saldanha, a native of India, had served in New Guinea. “My first assignment was under

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him,” said Father Saldanha. “He was my mentor, my guide, my big brother. He was everything that America is for me. “He made me welcome, coming into a new culture from another country. He made me feel at home and taught me about the history of our country. He taught me a lot about America, its history and culture.” “Thanks to him,” he continued, “it was easy to assimilate into this culture. As a priest, he was always there for me.” Father Dolezal taught him how to love rural Kansas, how to meet and greet people the American way, and how to love the weather, “which changes every time,” said Father Saldanha. “Whenever it snowed, Father Tom would give me a call and say, ‘It’s snowing, go make a snow angel or snowman,’” he added. He took Father Saldanha to Indian food stores and restaurants to make him feel at home until he became used to American food. “He looked like a giant figure, but he was very gentle at heart,” said Father Saldanha. “He loved the poor, the weak, the sick, the elderly, the home-bound and the minorities. “He always had a very soft corner for those who were in need. “That’s the one thing I liked about Father Tom — he’d go out of his way to help others.” Father Dolezal was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his brothers — John from Evanston, Indiana; Robert from Manhattan, Illinois; and William from Ankeny, Iowa — as well as nephews and nieces. The family suggests memorial contributions to either the Catholic Education Foundation of the archdiocese and/ or the Wounded Warrior Project®. 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: sub@theleaven.com. 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.






ANSAS CITY, Kan. — The scandal of clerical sexual abuse continued to roil the Catholic Church in 2019, but many positive actions were taken by Pope Francis and the American bishops to more effectively address the crisis. In January, Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann published the results of a review of archdiocesan records dating back more than 75 years, which yielded a list of those clergy who had substantiated claims of sexual abuse of minors made against them. Pope Francis met with the presidents of the world’s bishops conferences in Rome from Feb. 21-24, out of which came the pope’s May 9 motu proprio “Vos estis lux mundi” (“You are the light of the world”). In this worldwide response to clerical sexual abuse, the document called for better reporting systems, standards for pastoral support of victims and timely investigations. Bishops, too, would be held accountable for abuse of minors or vulnerable persons, as well as abuse of authority and cover-ups of abuse. On June 13, the U.S. bishops approved a 10-point statement, “Affirming Our Episcopal Commitments,” at their general meeting in Baltimore. In part, the statement said that the requirements of the 2002 Dallas Charter dealing with clerical sexual abuse of minors would apply to bishops as well. Despite the pall cast by the abuse crisis on the national stage, many positive — and indeed, celebratory — events took place in the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas. Nothing better demonstrated this than one of the biggest events in the history of the archdiocese: the “Enflame Our Hearts: Be Disciples, Make Disciples” convocation held Oct. 3-5 at the Overland Park Convention Center. More than 1,500 archdiocesan Catholics representing every parish, as well as religious communities and ministries, attended the event. When it was over, the delegates returned to their parishes as “missionary disciples” to inspire and organize others to undertake the important duty to evangelize. More positive news included six priestly ordinations and two transitional deacon ordinations for the archdiocese, the inauguration of a new ministry for African Catholics, new people assuming key positions in the archdiocesan chancery, parish anniversaries, more than 500 people entering the Catholic Church at Easter, Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas resettling some 400 refugees, and much more. Although only a small part of archdiocesan life could be captured in the weekly 16 pages of The Leaven, the news showed a diverse, vital and vigorous Catholic community. So, before we close the books on the old year, let’s take a look back at the people and events that comprised the life of the archdiocese in 2019.


One of the highlights of the year was the “Enflame Our Hearts: Be Disciples, Make Disciples” convocation held Oct. 3-5 at the Overland Park Convention Center. More than 1,500 archdiocesan Catholics representing every parish, as well as religious communities and ministries, attended the event.



LOCAL NEWS JANUARY • Neil and Fran Douthat, members of St. Ann Parish in Prairie Village, served as presidents of the 45th annual Snow Ball benefiting the Catholic Charities Foundation of Northeast Kansas, held on Jan. 19 at the Overland Park Convention Center. The event raised $3 million. t Debra Niesen, a member of Holy Trinity Parish in Lenexa, was appointed lead consultant for the archdiocesan pro-life ministry. • Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann blessed the new Holy Trinity Mausoleum in Mount Calvary Cemetery in Topeka on Jan. 12. • Don and Julie Stratham, members of Sts. Peter and Paul Parish in Seneca, were appointed co-chairpersons of the Archbishop’s Call to Share campaign. • The Catholic Spiritual Mentorship Program graduated 72, awarding certificates during a ceremony on Jan. 13 at Savior Pastoral Center in Kansas City, Kansas. • A group of individuals in the Kansas City area launched Faith Walk, a Catholic website that offers accessibility to Catholic spiritual resources. • Archdiocesan Catholics participated in the annual March for Life on Jan. 18 in Washington, D.C., and on Jan. 22 in Topeka. • After a review of records going back more than 75 years, the archdiocese released in the Jan. 25 issue of The Leaven a list of clergy against whom substantiated claims of sexual abuse of minors had been made. Twenty-two substantiated cases of abuse were found out of 1,080 files examined. • The annual “Support Our Seminarians” benefit for the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph and the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas was held on Jan. 25 at Union Station in Kansas City, Missouri. • More than 300 youth from the archdiocese gathered on Jan. 26 at the SportingKC Event Center in Kansas City, Kansas, to listen to Pope Francis’ televised message from the 34th World Youth Day in Panama.

FEBRUARY • Archbishop Naumann was the homilist at the archdiocesan World Marriage Day Mass on Feb. 10 at St. Therese Parish North in Parkville, Missouri. • The Catholic Education Foundation’s Futures Art Event, held on Feb. 28 at the Boulevard Brewery in Kansas City, Missouri, raised $37,000 for the Futures’ Guardian Angel Fund.

MARCH • The Runnin’ Revs took on the Serra All-Stars in basketball games on March 4 at Bishop Miege High School in Roeland Park and on April 29 at Hayden High School in Topeka. • Residents who live along the Missouri River, including some Catholic families, were affected by flooding in March and April. Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas, parishes and individuals participated in relief efforts.

• Sixty-eight residents and staff of the Legend Healthcare Facility took refuge on March 4 at Sacred Heart Parish in Tonganoxie when carbon monoxide levels spiked at the facility. • More than 770 students from 23 schools in Wyandotte, Johnson and Miami counties attended a Fifth-

Grade Vocations Day on March 5 at Ascension School and Parish in Overland Park. • During a national tour, the incorrupt heart of St. John Vianney (the Curé of Ars) visited five locations in the archdiocese March 17 and 18. • Archbishop Naumann blessed a new ultrasound machine on March 21 at the Olathe Pregnancy Clinic. It was one of about 1,000 machines given to clinics across the United States by the Knights of Columbus. • The annual archdiocesan healing Mass was celebrated on March 23 at Curé of Ars Parish in Leawood. • The groundbreaking pro-life movie “Unplanned” premiered in the archdiocese at various theaters on March 26-27 and March 29.

APRIL • Jenifer Valenti, former ombudsman for the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph since 2011, became the director of the office of child and youth protection for the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas. • The annual Men Under Construction men’s conference was held on April 6 at Ascension Parish in Overland Park. t Bishop Ward High School in Kansas City, Kansas, honored 20-year baseball coaching legend Dennis Hurla by naming the diamond after him on April 12. • Archbishop Emeritus James P. Keleher received the Saint Marian of the Year award from the University of Saint Mary in Leavenworth on April 13 at SpireFest, its annual scholarship gala. • Archbishop Naumann and the other three bishops of Kansas decried an April 26 Kansas Supreme Court ruling that found a “right to abortion” in the 159-year-old Kansas Constitution. Through the Kansas Catholic Conference, the bishops launched an ecumenical effort to amend the Kansas Constitution to nullify this ruling and protect state pro-life laws. • More than 300 candidates and 200 catechumens throughout the

archdiocese became Catholic at the Easter Vigil, April 20. Earlier in March, they signaled their intentions during three separate Rites of Election.

MAY • Archbishop Naumann led the blessing and groundbreaking on May 2 of a new academic building at Donnelly College in Kansas City, Kansas. It is part of a total transformation of the campus. • Pope Francis’ motu proprio “Vos estis lux mundi” (“You are the light of the world”) was issued on May 9. The document established and clarified norms and procedures for bishops and religious superiors regarding the reporting of sexual abuse of minors, seminarians and members of religious orders. • Archbishop Naumann ordained Deacon Anthony Mersmann and Deacon Travis Mecum to the transitional diaconate on May 18 at Holy Spirit Parish in Overland Park. • Father Albert Hauser, 85, a monk of St. Benedict’s Abbey in Atchison, died on May 19 at the abbey. • The Myanmar (Burmese) Catholic Community of Holy Family Parish in Kansas City, Kansas, celebrated its 10th anniversary on May 19 with a Mass and dinner. s Archbishop Naumann ordained to the priesthood Father Colin Haganey, Father Mark Ostrowski, Father Kenn Clem, Father Nicholas Ashmore, Father Joel Haug, AVI, and Father Daniel Weger on May 25 at the Church of the Ascension in Overland Park. • On May 25, parishioners celebrated the 150th anniversary of St. Joseph Parish at Wathena. • Archbishop Naumann blessed and dedicated the new Mount Calvary Cemetery shelter for Annunciation Parish in Baldwin during an outdoor Mass on May 26. • Archdiocesan Catholics picked up the pieces after their homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed by an EF4 tornado on May 28 that moved through Douglas and Leavenworth counties.

>> Continued on page 6



LOCAL NEWS >> Continued from page 5

JUNE • Ten people from across the country met from June 17-20 at Savior Pastoral Center in Kansas City, Kansas, to begin creation of an official American Sign Language translation of the “YouCat,” the Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church. • The U.S. bishops approved a 10-point statement, “Affirming Our Episcopal Commitments,” on June 13 during their general meeting in Baltimore. In part, the statement said that the requirements of the 2002 Dallas Charter dealing with clerical sexual abuse apply to bishops as well. • The Leaven won 11 Catholic Press Association awards at the annual Catholic Media Conference held June 18-21 in St. Petersburg, Florida. • Payton Verhulst, a junior at Bishop Miege High School in Roeland Park, led the USA Women’s U16 National Basketball Team to a gold medal on June 22 at the Americas Tournament in Aysen, Chile. Team USA was undefeated and Verhulst was named tournament MVP. • Bishop Kevin Vann of the Diocese of Orange, California, ordained Father Luke Turner, OSB, a priest on June 29 at St. Benedict’s Abbey in Atchison. • The Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas sponsored a Religious Freedom Rally on June 30 at the Church of the Ascension Parish in Overland Park.

JULY u Vincent Cascone, principal of Visitation School in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, succeeded Kathy O’Hara on July 1 as superintendent of archdiocesan schools and secretary of the archdiocese’s family and child formation division. • Archdiocesan priest Father Steven P. Beseau was appointed rector of the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio. He was later installed on Oct. 1. • The priests of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas took on the priests of the Diocese of Kansas CitySt. Joseph at the sixth annual Pitching for Priests softball game, hosted by the Catholic Radio Network, on July 5 at T-Bones Stadium in Kansas City, Kansas. The archdiocese won 14-12. • On July 7, the archdiocese launched a new ministry for African Catholics at Prince of Peace Parish in Olathe. • The Keeler Women’s Center held a grand opening on July 15 at its new location, 759 Vermont Ave., Suite 100-B, Kansas City, Kansas. • Archbishop Naumann led archdiocesan seminarians on a pilgrimage from July 21-Aug. 2 to Mexico City.

AUGUST u Certificates were awarded to 22 graduates of the office of Hispanic ministry’s School of Basic Theology on Aug. 7 at Savior Pastoral Center in Kansas City, Kansas.

• The Kansas City Chapter of Legatus received its charter at a vigil Mass on the solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Aug. 14 at Our Lady of Good Counsel in Kansas City, Missouri. Archbishop Naumann and Bishop James V. Johnston of the Diocese of Kansas CitySt. Joseph were homilist and main celebrant respectively. Following the Mass, Bishop Johnston inducted the 22 founding chapter members and installed the officers. • The “Start A Fire” Southern Region youth and family rally was held on Aug. 18 at Prairie Star Ranch in Williamsburg.

SEPTEMBER t Sister Aurora Villamar and Sister Laurentia Garcia, members of the Missioneras Guadalupanas de Cristo Rey based in Mexico City, were honored on Sept. 15 for 25 years of service to St. Catherine Parish in Emporia.

• City on a Hill, a Kansas City-area young adult apostolate of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, and the Holy Family School of Faith in the archdiocese merged to better evangelize young adults in the Greater Kansas City metropolitan area. • There was a blessing and groundbreaking on Sept. 23 for a new hospice wing at Villa St. Francis in Olathe. It is a joint project of Villa St. Francis and Catholic Community Hospice. • Archbishop Naumann was the main celebrant and homilist at the 150th anniversary Mass on Sept. 28 at Queen of the Holy Rosary Parish in Bucyrus-Wea. On Sept. 26, Queen of the Holy Rosary School was recognized as one of 50 nonpublic schools in the nation to receive the National Blue Ribbon School award. • Archbishop Naumann was the main celebrant and homilist at a Blue Mass on Sept. 20 at Mater DeiAssumption Church in Topeka. The Mass is offered for police, other law enforcement and firefighters.

OCTOBER • “Now is Your Time to Make HIStory” was the theme of the Fifth-Grade Vocations Day held on Oct. 2 at Most Pure Heart of Mary Parish in Topeka. Nearly 300 fifth-graders attended. • Evangelization was the focus of more than 1,500 Catholics who attended the “Enflame Our Hearts: Be Disciples, Make Disciples” convocation held Oct. 3-5 at the Overland Park Convention Center. The event, two years in the planning, is intended to train Catholics to be missionary disciples for northeast Kansas. • Archbishop Naumann was the main celebrant and homilist at the 100th anniversary Mass and celebration on Oct. 13 at Sacred Heart Parish in Topeka.

NOVEMBER • Jeanne Gorman, archdiocesan legal counsel for 15 years, retired and was succeeded on Nov. 4 by Chris Arth, formerly administrator of St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Leawood. • The University of Saint Mary in Leavenworth honored Archbishop Emeritus James P. Keleher at the dedication on Nov. 10 of the newly renovated Keleher Learning Commons, formerly the DePaul Library. • Richard Sack was the first recipient of the Vincentian Charism Award, given to him on Nov. 11 on Founders’ Day at the Sisters of Charity motherhouse in Leavenworth.

s Deborah and Deacon Dana Nearmyer received the St. Rose Philippine Duchesne Award on Nov. 19 at Sacred Heart Parish in Mound City. Deacon Nearmyer is lead consultant for the archdiocesan office of evangelization, and Deborah is the director of faith formation at St. James Academy in Lenexa. • The Catholic bishops of Kansas reiterated their support for Medicaid expansion, but with conditions that it include a vote on a state constitutional amendment to remove abortion as a right granted, according to an April Kansas Supreme Court decision, in the 159-year-old constitution.

DECEMBER • The African Catholic Community celebrated its first African Harvest Festival on Dec. 1 at Prince of Peace Parish in Olathe. • Catholics in the archdiocese took part in the national “Giving Tuesday” crowdsourced fundraising campaign on Dec. 3 by giving through “iGive Catholic.org.” More than 200 archdiocesan entities — parishes, schools and ministries — participated. • Leon Roberts retired as archdiocesan director of real estate and construction, ending his 20-year career on Dec. 31. He was succeeded by Dan Himmelberg. They had been working together during a transitional period since July.



LOCAL NEWS Statement Father Joseph Cramer, who pleaded no contest to the charge brought by the Johnson County district attorney’s office of one felony count of theft of property greater than $25,000 but less than $100,000, was sentenced Dec. 30 to 24 months’ probation, 240 hours of community service and restitution in the amount of $46,476.50. Roger D. and Marcia S. Madere, members of St. Leo Parish, Horton, will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary on Jan. 18 with a get-together at the Fisher Center in Hiawatha. The couple was married on Jan. 17, 1970, at St. Ann Church, Hiawatha. Their children are: Sheila D. Lucero, Chauncey D. Madere and Daniel R. Madere. They also have nine grandchildren. Betty (Schmits) and Jim Sudbeck, members of St. Mary Parish, St. Benedict, will celebrate their 50th anniversary with a Caribbean cruise. The couple was married Jan. 10, 1970, at St. Mary, St. Benedict. Their children are: Dana Bradley, Darren Sudbeck and Curt Sudbeck. They also have 10 grandchildren. Anthony “Tony” and Mary “Marybeth” (Watson) Stattelman, members of Sacred Heart-St. Joseph Parish, Topeka, will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary on Jan. 10. The couple was married on Jan. 10, 1970, at St. Joseph Church, Topeka. They will take a trip with family and friends in the spring to celebrate. They have a son, Anthony “AJ” Stattelman, and three grandchildren.

Couple makes stewardship a family affair


ANSAS CITY, Kan. — For the honorary chairs of the 2020 Archbishop’s Call to Share appeal, Sam and Melissa Rockford, living stewardship is more than a way of life — it’s a way of parenting. “We raise our children to be other-centered and Christ-centered, rather than self-centered,” said Sam. The Rockfords are involved with many of the ministries supported by the annual Archbishop’s Call to Share appeal. Sam is a Catholic high school teacher and the couple volunteers with Prairie Star Ranch in Williamsburg and their parish, Good Shepherd, Shawnee. Together, they are teaching three children to be “other-centered,” leading by example. When they welcomed twin boys six years ago, they were overwhelmed by the generosity of family and friends, who helped their family prepare to bring the babies home. As the boys grew, they looked for a place to share the baby gear. “That’s the thing — when you have twins, you end up with two of everything!” joked Sam. “We have been so blessed in our lives, and a key part of our faith is sharing those blessings with others in our own community,” said Melissa. The Rockfords were connected to the Wyandotte Pregnancy Clinic through an acquaintance, where their baby clothes, blankets and toys were passed on to new families. Pro-life pregnancy clinics in Wyandotte County and Olathe are supported, in part, by the Archbishop’s Call to Share appeal and serve more than 5,000 women throughout the region. Each center offers parenting classes, a new-mothers’ support community, one-on-one and group classes, breastfeeding support groups, pediatrician referrals and a “closet” of maternity and baby clothes for new families. The Kansas City, Kansas, location also offers a peer-led support group


Melissa and Sam Rockford, this year’s honorary chairs of the Archbishop’s Call to Share appeal, stand with their children — Maggie (center) and twin boys, Sammy and Joe-Mike. for new fathers. Gifts to the Archbishop’s Call to Share appeal support more than 40 offices, agencies and ministries throughout northeast Kansas, including parishes like Good Shep-

herd and agencies like the Wyandotte Pregnancy Clinic. Please prayerfully consider renewing your commitment to the Archbishop’s Call to Share appeal today.



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Preaching the Gospel globally, dealing with scandals By Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service


ATICAN CITY (CNS) — For Pope Francis, 2019 included his sixth anniversary as pope, his 83rd birthday and his 50th anniversary as a priest, but it also was a year that saw him still confronted with the clerical sexual abuse crisis and with Vatican financial scandals. He earned more points than ever on his frequent-flyer card, making seven foreign trips in 2019, traveling almost 52,000 miles to visit Panama for World Youth Day, the United Arab Emirates, Morocco, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Romania, Mozambique, Madagascar, Mauritius, Thailand and Japan. Continuing to push the idea of a “synodal church,” one in which all the faithful are asked to reflect on specific issues and then the bishops gather to discern practical responses together, Pope Francis hosted a special Synod of Bishops for the Amazon and issued his postsynod document on young people, “Christus Vivit.” The year began with Pope Francis writing a letter to U.S. bishops who were attending a spiritual retreat he had suggested they hold before trying to work out a specific system for handling allegations against bishops and holding each other accountable. Writing to the bishops at the Jan. 2-8 retreat, the pope acknowledged that the scandal had created a “crisis of credibility” for the U.S. bishops, led to divisions within their body and, he said, to a temptation to look for administrative solutions to problems that go much deeper. Without a clear and decisive focus on spiritual conversion and Gospelinspired ways of responding to victims and exercising ministry, “everything we do risks being tainted by selfreferentiality, self-preservation and defensiveness, and thus doomed from the start,” the pope wrote. The retreat took place before Pope Francis’ summit on the abuse crisis, a meeting in February with the heads of every bishops’ conference in the world, the heads of the Eastern Catholic churches and superiors of men’s and women’s religious orders. For four days, they listened to speeches and survivors’ testimonies, held discussions in small groups and celebrated a penitential liturgy and Mass. At the end of the summit, the pope pledged to continue work on eight priorities: the protection of children; “impeccable seriousness” in dealing with clerical sexual abuse; genuine purification and acknowledgment of past failures; improved training for priests and religious; strengthening and continually reviewing the guidelines of national bishops’ conferences; assisting victims of clerical sexual abuse; working to end online exploitation of children; and working with civil authorities to end sex tourism. Less than three months after the summit, Pope Francis issued “Vos estis lux mundi” (“You are the light of the world”), a set of revised and clarified norms and procedures for holding bishops and religious superiors


Pope Francis greets the crowd before celebrating Mass at the monument to Mary, Queen of Peace, in Port Louis, Mauritius, Sept. 9, 2019. For Pope Francis, 2019 included his sixth anniversary as pope, his 83rd birthday and his 50th anniversary as a priest, but it also was a year that saw him still confronted with the clerical sexual abuse crisis and with Vatican financial scandals. accountable in protecting minors as well as in protecting members of religious orders and seminarians from abuse. The document’s title, from Matthew 5:14, frames the need for true accountability and a serious commitment to ending abuse within the very mission of the Catholic Church. “Our Lord Jesus Christ calls every believer to be a shining example of virtue, integrity and holiness,” the pope wrote; obviously the opposite occurs when young people and vulnerable adults are abused or when bishops, priests and superiors use their position to harass or abuse seminarians and novices. Three months after “Vos estis” was released, Pope Francis reached out to priests around the world outraged by what some priests have done and sometimes being attacked publicly because of the crimes of others. In the letter, published in August in conjunction with the 160th anniversary of the death of St. John Vianney, patron of priests, the pope said the crisis must lead to a time of “ecclesial purification” that “makes us realize that without [God] we are simply dust.” With the revelations of abuse and cover-up, he said, God “is rescuing us from hypocrisy, from the spirituality of appearances. He is breathing forth his spirit in order to restore the beauty of

his bride, caught in adultery.” The abuse crisis is not the only scandal Pope Francis has been forced to confront in an ongoing manner since his election in 2013. Vatican financial scandals continue to hit the news, but Pope Francis said the latest scandal shows corrective measures put in place by Pope Benedict XVI and strengthened over the past six years are working. At the beginning of October, Vatican police conducted a raid on offices in the Secretariat of State and in the Vatican financial oversight office following complaints of financial mismanagement. Five employees were suspended and, as the year ended, an official investigation was ongoing. The case, flagged by the Vatican bank, involves a loan requested by the Secretariat of State to finance a property development in London. Pope Francis told reporters in November that the entire incident shows that the controls now in place to flag suspicious financial activity and possible corruption are working. At the beginning of the year, dealing with another case of questionable financial practices, Pope Francis has placed the Sistine Chapel Choir under the direct supervision of the office of papal liturgical ceremonies and appointed an archbishop as financial officer.

Catholic By Carol Zimmermann Catholic News Service


ASHINGTON (CNS) — Amid the multiple mass shootings that took place in the U.S. during 2019, Catholic leaders spoke out against them, urged legislators to make changes to put a stop to these actions and asked Catholics to pray and work toward possible solutions. Some of the year’s major shootings included: • The Aug. 3 shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, which killed 22 people and wounded at least 24. • An Aug. 4 shooting in Dayton, Ohio, which left nine people dead and another 27 injured. • An Aug. 31 drive-by shooting spree in Odessa and Midland, Texas, killing seven people and wounding 24. • A May 31 shooting in a municipal building in Virginia Beach, Virginia, where a former city employee killed 12 people and wounded four. During the summer, Bishop Edward K. Braxton of Belleville, Illinois, decried “a crisis of gun violence” in the United States and asked Catholics in his diocese to come together and think of ideas to stop these tragedies from recurring. “The crisis is caused, in part, by a small number of gun owners who abuse the firearms that are readily available to them and by the lack of consensus on the part of the American people and their elected representatives,” Bishop Braxton said in a message, issued Aug. 6, days after the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton. In his reflection, “A National Crisis: A Pastoral Reflection on the Deadly Epidemic of Gun Violence in the United States,” he asked Catholic leaders — clergy, religious and lay — to establish opportunities to pray for an end to gun violence and to search for solutions. He also acknowledged that answers have been hard to come by, noting that many Catholics have told him they “feel helpless, even paralyzed,” to respond to the

Bishops take


ASHINGTON (CNS) — The clergy sexual abuse crisis continued to command a large amount of attention and action from the U.S. bishops throughout 2019. The year was headlined by actions during the bishops’ spring general assembly during which they approved a plan to implement Pope Francis’ “motu proprio” on addressing abuse. The pope issued his document, “Vos Estis Lux Mundi” (“You are the light of the world”), in May to help the Catholic Church safeguard its members from abuse and hold its leaders accountable. The “motu proprio” was one of the measures that came out of a February Vatican summit on clergy sexual abuse attended by the presidents of the world’s bishops’ conferences. The U.S. bishops’ implementation plan passed 281-1 with two abstentions. “Vos Estis Lux Mundi” established procedures for reporting allegations of sexual abuse of minors or of vulnerable





c leaders decry shootings, urge policy changes


A memorial in El Paso, Texas, is seen near the site of the Aug. 3, 2019, Walmart mass shooting during a visit by U.S. bishops and others Sept. 26. Amid the multiple mass shootings that took place in the U.S. during 2019, Catholic leaders spoke out against them, urged legislators to make changes to put a stop to these actions and asked Catholics to pray and work toward possible solutions. ongoing violence, a frustration that he said he equally shares. Bishop Mark J. Seitz of El Paso, Texas, similarly addressed not only the gun violence but its racist undertones in a pastoral letter “Night Will Be No More” issued Oct. 13. The letter began and ended with a focus on the Aug. 3 shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, where authorities believe the gunman targeted Latinos. He wrote: “Hate visited our community and Latino blood was spilled in sacrifice to the false god of white supremacy” and said the shooting rampage was an example of the racism toward

Latinos that has reached “a dangerous fever pitch” in the nation. The bishop also urged authorities to spare the life of accused shooter Patrick Crusius, 21, who is said to have left messages on social media saying he was carrying out the shooting because of the “Hispanic invasion of Texas.” Texas prosecutors have said they will ask for the death penalty if he’s convicted. Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, then president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, then chairman of the bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and

Human Development, spoke out against many of the shootings during the year. After the shootings in El Paso and Ohio, they said in a statement: “We can never again believe that mass shootings are an isolated exception. They are an epidemic against life that we must, in justice, face.” After the Aug. 31 shooting in Texas, which occurred as a gunman sped along highways in Odessa and Midland, Bishop Michael J. Sis of San Angelo committed diocesan parishes to assisting the community in its healing. “There are no easy answers as to how to end this epidemic of gun violence in

our state and in our country. I ask the Lord to enlighten all of our hearts and minds, especially our government leaders, so that we can have the insight and the courage to move from a culture of death to a culture of life,” the bishop said. Cardinal Blase J. Cupich of Chicago said the Chicago Archdiocese “mourns and prays” for the victims of the shootings in El Paso and Dayton, but it also stands “with their loved ones demanding an end to this deadly status quo.” The archbishop, who lives in a city that has seen its share of gun violence in recent years, emphasized that an end to tragedies that occurred in Dayton and El Paso “begins with holding accountable our elected officials who have done nothing to address gun violence.” He also said it requires holding others accountable, “including some leaders who fuel these violent acts by dividing humanity through hateful rhetoric. This must stop — along with the silence of our elected officials who have failed to condemn hate speech, for they are the very ones who have sworn to keep our nation safe.” Pope Francis joined U.S. Catholic leaders in expressing sorrow for back-to-back mass shootings in Texas and Ohio Aug. 3 and 4. After the Aug. 4 Angelus in St. Peter’s Square, he said he wanted to convey his spiritual closeness to the victims, the wounded and the families affected by the attacks. He also included those who died a weekend earlier during a shooting at a festival in Gilroy, California. “I am spiritually close to the victims of the episodes of violence that these days have bloodied Texas, California and Ohio, in the United States, affecting defenseless people,” he said. Cardinal DiNardo and Bishop Dewane said in their Aug. 4 statement that the bishops’ conference has long advocated for responsible gun laws and increased resources for addressing the root causes of violence and called upon the president and congress to set aside political interests “and find ways to better protect innocent life.”


e new actions to hold themselves accountable for abuse persons by clerics, including bishops, or members of religious orders. The document also holds church leaders accountable for actions or omissions relating to the handling of abuse reports. In line with the plan, the bishops in June approved a third-party reporting system to field sexual misconduct allegations against bishops. Such a system could be in place by the end of February, Anthony Picarello, associate general secretary of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, reported during the bishops’ fall general assembly in November. The precise date a toll-free hotline will be activated and links on diocesan and eparchial websites and the USCCB website will go live will depend on how quickly each diocese or eparchy can implement the program, he said. In another action in June, the bishops approved the document “Affirming Our Episcopal Commitments” and promised to hold themselves accountable to the commitments of the “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People,” including a zero-tolerance

policy for abuse. The document said any codes of conduct in their respective dioceses regarding clergy apply to bishops as well. In addition, the bishops approved a “protocol regarding available nonpenal restrictions on bishops,” which outlines what canonical options are available to bishops when a retired bishop resigns or is removed “due to sexual misconduct with adults or grave negligence of office, or where subsequent to his resignation he was found to have so acted or failed to act.” That protocol was cited in October by Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of HoustonGalveston, then-USCCB president. Throughout the year, the situation surrounding former U.S. Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick continued to linger over the U.S. church. McCarrick was dismissed by the Vatican from the clerical state in February following an investigation of accusations that he had abused children early on in his career of more than 60 years as a cleric, and that he also had abused seminarians as a bishop.


Bishops pray before the Blessed Sacrament in the chapel during a day of prayer Nov. 12, 2018, before hearing from abuse survivors at the fall general assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore. The clergy sexual abuse crisis continued to command a large amount of attention and action from the U.S. bishops throughout 2019.





When it comes to the pope, social media comments don’t always reflect reality By Dennis Sadowski Catholic News Service


ASHINGTON (CNS) — Throughout his papacy, Pope Francis has welcomed dialogue that has led to often candid assessments from clergy and papal advisers about the path he is charting for the Catholic Church. From discussions during the recent Synod of Bishops on the Amazon about the possibility of allowing married clergy to his handling of the clergy sexual abuse crisis around the world, the pope has not backed down from hearing people out — the good and the bad. In some segments of the modern-day media, however, the emerging dialogue has been portrayed as a church reeling in conflict. Further, some outspoken church observers have angrily criticized the pope as misguided in his ways and even as an “apostate.” Disagreeing with the pope is fine, Catholic communication professionals told Catholic News Service as 2019 drew to a close. What concerns them is how disagreement is expressed because it creates uncertainty among Catholics in the pews. The professionals voiced particular concern for “the megaphone” of social media and its no-holds-barred comments and opinions that in the nottoo-distant past would have stayed in the classroom or the rectory or an occasional journal. “We are in a place where people use social media really as a bully pulpit,” said Helen Osman, president of Signis, an international association of lay Catholic communication professionals. “The conversations I’ve had with fellow Catholic communicators is people are worried about how social media are being used to create disunity or divisiveness. . . . It does give the perception that we are a church internally in tension and maybe even in division.” Kim Daniels, associate director of the Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life at Georgetown University and a consultant to the Vatican’s Dicastery for Communications, finds the level of disparaging disagreement unfortunate. “Instead of a family of faith, we sound like political partisans, and too often we let that drive our faith rather than the other way around,” she told CNS. While David Gibson, director of the Center on Religion and Culture at Fordham University, described the number of papal critics as “much smaller than we think,” he said they are well-organized


Pope Francis greets journalists aboard his flight from Rome to Maputo, Mozambique, Sept. 4, 2019. While facing sometimes angry criticism in social media, the pope repeatedly has encouraged journalists to “unmask” destructive news, guard against reporting “fake news” and to undertake their important work with humility in the search for truth. and well-placed to create a stir. “They [are] influential in many cases because they have connections in powerful places in the Vatican, in universities and in media,” he said. The vitriol and at times misleading and even false statements from critics have not escaped Pope Francis’ attention. At least three times in 2019, he took the opportunity to advise journalists, urging them to “unmask” destructive news, guard against reporting “fake news” and to undertake their important work with humility in the search for truth. “At a time when many spread fake news, humility keeps you from peddling food spoiled by disinformation and invites you to offer the good bread of truth,” the pope told the Foreign Press Association of Italy May 18. “The humble journalist is a free journalist, free from pressures, free from biases.” Aboard the papal flight from Madagascar to Rome Sept. 10, the pope told reporters that while the future of the news media is unknown, it will have no future if reporters and the public cannot distinguish between facts and fiction. Less than two weeks later, he met with Italian Catholic Union of the Press members at the Vatican, urging them to “unmask words that are false

and destructive” and to ensure that their sources are credible while offering the correct context, interpretation and importance of events. U.S. bishops making their “ad limina” visits to Rome in recent weeks have dismissed attempts by some media commenters and church observers to promote a wide divide between them and the pope. “Some people, and it’s a small group of people, are focusing in on him in these horrible attacks,” said Bishop Richard F. Stika of Knoxville, Tennessee, one of 37 bishops who met with the pope Dec. 3. He charged that the pope’s detractors hide behind Twitter accounts, “affiliated with the church sometimes, and they spew out this opinion that is hate-filled.” Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki of Milwaukee told a CNS reporter in Rome it would be impossible for church leaders to “come together to move forward” if every issue being discussed is seen to be polarizing because of differing thoughts. “Open and frank discussions and occasionally proper . . . criticism, not attacks, but criticism, are healthy for the church,” he said. “Then . . . this is the dialogue that moves forward. My sense is that this is what Pope Francis wants to do. He wants that open dialogue and he welcomes it. But in welcoming it,

there’s others who are going to interpret that as polarization.” While the pope repeatedly has addressed the role of journalists in covering the church, social media poses new challenges because it can be disruptive, explained Jesuit Father Paul Soukup, professor of communication at Santa Clara University. “What sells is more the fistpounding views and what’s going to get attention,” he said. Father Soukup compared the widening usage of social media to a nonnative species of animal or plant that disrupts an ecosystem. He pointed to other disruptive forces in history, such as the development of the printing press that allowed for the widespread distribution of Martin Luther’s “95 Theses” in the 16th century and the growth of daily newspapers in the mid19th century. “We are dealing with a new communication form. We haven’t developed rules for it. It’s disrupting politics the same way,” Father Soukup said of social media. In response to the disruption, the communicators contacted by CNS all suggested the faithful in the pews step back for a moment when reviewing critical comments about the pope and consider who is making them before outright accepting them as the truth.




Knights’ efforts to help dioceses provide aid to migrants By Rhina Guidos Catholic News Service


ASHINGTON (CNS) — A border divides them, but when it comes to helping the men, women and children caught in the immigration drama playing out in the area that straddles Mexico and the United States, Catholic dioceses are acting as one humanitarian body. And for the second time this year, the Catholic fraternal organization Knights of Columbus is playing a hand in carrying out that mission. Just days before Christmas, on Dec. 13, the Knights of Columbus delivered more than $50,000 worth of supplies to a shelter in the border town of Matamoros in Mexico, where stranded migrants have been unable to secure food and supplies. Bishop Eugenio Andres Lira Rugarcia of the Diocese of Matamoros, Mexico, during a joint event with Bishop Daniel E. Flores and Auxiliary Bishop Mario Aviles of the Diocese of Brownsville, Texas, thanked the Knights for their help. “This is an expression of the solidarity between the church in the United States and in Mexico, seeking to fulfill the humanitarian necessities of immigrants,” said Bishop Flores to a group of reporters. The supplies delivered included food, water and medicine, said a Dec. 17


Members of the Knights of Columbus distribute supplies in Matamoros, Mexico. The Knights have spent nearly $300,000 since August to help meet the humanitarian needs of migrants at the border. release from the organization, explaining that the Knights had earlier in the year set a goal of donating humanitarian aid at the border. By September, the organization already had donated $100,000 to the Diocese of El Paso’s newly formed Border Refugee Fund and $50,000 to the Diocese of Laredo, Texas. The December effort brought the donations to $272,000 for humanitarian needs at the border, the organization said in its news release. “We’re thankful for the effort by the Knights of Columbus, who have

organized themselves so well in offering this signal of Christian charity in the perennial search of justice,” Bishop Flores said during a meeting with reporters that aired on Facebook Live. Bishop Lira, of Matamoros, said the Knights were carrying out the lesson that Jesus taught: “to treat others the way we would want to be treated.” “They’re trying to help others, particularly migrants who are experiencing difficult situations, in the way they would want to be treated. . . . The pope has pointed out, ‘Jesus acted, and not

just with words,’ and the Knights of Columbus are showing love and solidarity.” In addition to the materials, the Knights’ Terry Simonton, Supreme Director to Texas, also handed Bishop Flores and Bishop Lira donations. “Instead of rejecting [the migrants], let’s see what we can do for them,” said Bishop Lira. “Let’s put our grain of sand so that this world can offer each person the necessary conditions to develop, succeed, and live in peace.” During the organization’s convention in Minneapolis in August, Supreme Knight Carl Anderson told those gathered that the effort was not political. “As Catholic men and family men, we are all deeply concerned for the plight of the refugees who have fled their homelands into ours. Their need is great — but the compassion of our Brother Knights is greater still,” Anderson said. At the shelter in Matamoros, Bishop Flores said the main concern as a church is the well-being of humanity. He urged others to see migrants as people, and not to reject them. “People are not statistics, they are not a phenomenon, they are people, they are families, they have children and have left grandparents behind,” he said. “We have to look at each case, each family has its hopes, and also its joys, sorrows. Let’s not lose that focus on life. Let’s treat each person as a person, not as a problem, a statistic, a number without identity — that identity we all have because God has given it as sons and daughters of God.”



EMPLOYMENT Director of human resources - The Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas is seeking qualified candidates to fill the position of director of human resources. The archdiocese provides shared services for 120 associated organizations. Services include: benefits administration; Workers’ Compensation; retirement plans; and a standardized payroll process. Applicants must be a practicing Catholic in good standing and an active and faithful steward in their parish. Applicants must have expertise in creating and implementing HR policies and processes; client employee services and support; legal compliance; HRIS and data management; and employee benefit management and administration; Workers’ Compensation, leave management and related processes; employee relations and performance management; and employer/employee communications. This position manages a staff of three HR professionals; is the chief human resources consultant to parishes, schools and other archdiocesan organizations; and manages all human resource functions at the chancery. The successful candidate will have expertise in multiple HR disciplines, demonstrated skill with innovation and process improvement, and have excellent people skills. For a complete job description and to download the job application, go online to: archkck. org/jobs. Send cover letter of recommendation from your pastor and resume to: Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas, attn.: Carla Mills, Chief Financial Officer, 12615 Parallel Parkway, Kansas City, KS 66109; or email to: cmills@archkck.org with subject line HR Director. Application deadline is Jan. 17. Bus drivers - With multiple locations in Johnson County, Special Beginnings Early Learning Center provides high quality early childhood education in a safe, loving, Christian environment. With a balanced curriculum of preacademics and social-emotional development, children grow with us, build confidence, and a strong self-esteem. At Special Beginnings, we believe providing the right environment will give children the foundation to be successful in life. Special Beginnings Early Learning Center is seeking a part-time bus driver (15-20 hrs/week; no weekend hours) of a 15-passenger bus to drive children to school and/or pick them up after school. Duties include: safely transport children to and/or from school following ALL safety & security procedures; safely transport children to and from field trips and other off-site activities; follow a planned route on a time schedule; help children get on and off the bus; ensure children stay in their seat at all times; follow traffic laws and state and federal transit regulations; carefully navigate roads and watch for ice, debris or slippery spots; report accidents immediately; maintain “clean” driving record during off hours. We require the following: driver must be at least 25 years old (due to insurance requirements) with a “clean” driving record for at least 2 years; pass a background check; must maintain and practice safe driving and have a “clean” driving record; have patience and understanding when working with children ages 5-12 years old; enjoy working in a child friendly environment. Benefits: competitive benefit package; excellent support and training from an experienced leadership/management team; pay: $11-15/hour depending on experience. Community assistants - L’Arche Heartland of Overland Park serves adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities in day program support services and in residential services. We are seeking assistants who are looking for a unique opportunity in a faith-based organization. We are in immediate need of day service assistants to work in our day program serving 30 adults. We have a recycling program and community activities. Our core members participate in distributing for Meals on Wheels and Rise Against Hunger. They also attend community events such as the library, movies, bowling and going to parks. We also have a need for live-in and live-out assistants in our five residential homes. If interested, contact Jamie Henderson, community leader, by email at: jamie@larcheks.org. Part-time administrative assistant for general counsel - The Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas is seeking qualified candidates to fill the position of administrative assistant for our in-house legal counsel; part-time flexible schedule working 20 – 25 hours per week with the possibility of increased hours in the future. The office is located in the northern Overland Park area. Qualified applicants must have experience handling reception duties; ordering office supplies and managing vendor relationships; must be proficient using the Microsoft Office Suite of products (including Word, Excel and PowerPoint), internet and the ability to learn other software and online systems as required; file management of both paper and electronic files. Applicants must be a practicing Catholic in good standing and an active and faithful steward in their parish. Previous experience working in a legal office is preferred but not required. The successful candidate must also have a valid driver’s license and the ability to pick up and deliver documents to various courthouses, chancery offices and other law offices. For a complete job description and to download the job application, go online to: archkck.org/jobs. Completed application and resume/cover letter can be emailed to: jobs@archkck.org. Application deadline is Jan. 24. Career opportunity – Due to the success and growth of the Knights of Columbus, we are adding a financial representative in the Kansas City, Kansas, and Missouri metro areas, St. Joseph, Mo., and Maryville, Mo. This is ideal for a determined, high energy, high expectation, professional, self-disciplined, independent individual, who desires to serve others yet earn a better than average income. We provide top-rated financial products to our members and their families, and will provide excellent benefits and training. This is a full-time position. For more information or an interview, please contact John A. Mahon, General Agent, 1275 S.W. Topeka Blvd., Topeka, KS 66612; call (855) 3564849; or email: mahonagencymail2@kofc.org.

Help needed - Senior citizen needs help with preparation of meals, serving and dish cleanup for breakfast and lunch. Looking for a nonsmoker, healthy person with a peaceful nature. Please call (913) 648-4437. Principal - Our Lady of the Presentation, a dynamic and growing parish located in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, seeks a faith-filled principal with proven leadership skills and a commitment to Catholic education. Our Lady of the Presentation is an accredited, nationally recognized Blue Ribbon elementary school that strives to educate the whole child. Qualified candidates must be a practicing Catholic with administrative certification or the ability to become certified. Candidates must also have teaching and administration experience. Applications close on Jan. 15, 2020. Applications may be made to the Catholic schools office on the website at: careers.hireology. com/thecatholicdioceseofkansascitystjoseph and scroll down to “Principal - Our Lady of the Presentation.” Construction field technician - Looking to hire construction field technician to do light delivery and trim carpentry work. Experience is great but willing to train the right person. Also willing to train to install custom window coverings. Includes delivery van for use to job sites. Clean driving record required. Position available PT or FT. Call Laura at Gallery Design (913) 782-6000. Administrative assistant, office of evangelization - The Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas is seeking qualified candidates to fill a full-time position of administrative assistant for the office of evangelization. Qualified applicants must have experience handling general office duties; assisting with travel arrangements; creating and maintaining databases; using software platforms to create fliers and promotional materials; must be proficient using the Microsoft Suite of office products (including Word, Excel and PowerPoint), internet and the ability to learn other software and social media as required; file management of both paper and electronic files; must be a practicing Catholic in good standing and an active and faithful steward in their parish. Must have a high school diploma or equivalent plus a minimum of three years’ prior experience working in a professional office environment. Must have strong writing and creativity skills. Must be self-motivated with the ability to work independently as well as part of a team. For a complete job description and to download the job application, go online to: archkck.org/jobs. Completed application and resume/cover letter can be emailed to: jobs@archkck. org. Application deadline is Jan. 17. Administrative assistant - Looking for something new? Use your administrative skills to help a developmental optometrist change people’s lives. The hours are: T/W/TH from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.; summer hours vary. No health benefits. Need to know basic bookkeeping skills. Background needed in Work, Excel and QuickBooks. Customer service and medical office experience helpful. Send resume to: Dr. Beth Bazin, 13600 Washington, Kansas City, MO 64145 or send via email to: bbazin@visiondevelop.com. Drivers - Assisted Transportation is now hiring caring and reliable drivers to transport K-12 students to and from school and other activities in company minivans. Positions are now available in Olathe, Overland Park and Kansas City, Kansas. Competitive wages and flexible schedules. CDL not required. Retirees encouraged to apply. Call (913) 262-3100 or apply online at: Assisted Transportation.com. EEO. Full- and part-time teaching positions - St. Joseph Early Education Center is currently looking for candidates for openings for a full-time teacher and a parttime teacher who can support at multiple levels at our center. These candidates are for our infant and toddler rooms in hopes of expanding our ability to care for the children on our waiting lists. The salary is at or above the norm and benefits are excellent. Please contact us if you are interested by calling the school secretary, Ms. Patricia, at (913) 248-4588; the general number at (913) 631-0004; or by sending an email to: pfraley@stjoe shawnee.org. Summer camp coordinator - Coordinator needed to begin in May. Summer camp begins with the children the Tuesday after Memorial Day, May 26. If interested, call Ms. Theresa at (913) 248-4589.

HOME IMPROVEMENT 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) 579-1835. Email: smokeycabin@hotmail.com. Member of Holy Trinity, Lenexa. Interior painting - Renew your ceiling and walls with a fresh coat of paint. replace drywall or plaster repaired with no mess!! 25 years of experience. Call anytime. Jerry (913) 206-1144. 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. NELSON CREATION’S L.L.C. Affordable home remodeling: Kitchens, baths, basements and room additions. All interior and exterior work. Honest, dependable, experienced and family owned. Licensed and insured. Member St. Joseph Parish, Shawnee. (913) 927-5240 or nelsport@everestkc.net

Sheetrock repaired - We can repair your ceilings and walls and can retexture with popcorn or knockdown ceilings. We can repaint old yellowed ceilings. Interior painting for 25 years with no mess!! Call Jerry at (913) 206-1144. 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. 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 www.windowservicesoverlandpark.com drcconswindows@gmail.com Concrete construction - Tear out and replace amped, 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: dandeeconst@aol.com. Local handyman - Painting int. and ext., wood rot, power washing, staining, masonry (chimney repair, patio’s) gutter cleaning, water heaters, junk removal, lawn mowing, window cleaning, honey - do list and more!! Member of Holy Angels Parish, Basehor. Call Billy at (913)927-4118. 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!! www.elsolylatierra.com Call Lupe at (816) 935-0176

CAREGIVING 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, www.benefits ofhome.com or call (913) 422-1591. 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.

SERVICES Custom countertops - Laminates installed within five days. Cambria, granite and solid surface. Competitive prices, dependable work. Call the Top Shop, Inc., at (913) 962-5058. Members of St. Joseph, Shawnee. Win disability benefits - Disabled and no longer able to work? Get help winning Social Security disability benefits. Free consultation. Eight years’ experience. No fee unless you win. Call (785) 331-6452 or send an email to: montemace2000@yahoo.com or visit montemacedisability.com. Tree trimming/landscaping Free estimates licensed/insured/references (913) 620-6063 Cleaning lady - Reasonable rates; references provided. Call (913) 940-2959. 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@mikehammermoving.com. Garage Door Repair New Garage Doors Platinum Amarr dealer, Elite Home Advisor top rating. Call Joe, mention The Leaven discount. A Total Door (913) 236-6440. Handyman - Furloughed railroader trying to keep the bills paid for my family. I advertised here as Father and Son Home Exteriors and Remodeling for 13 years previously. I can do carpentry, windows, doors, trim, siding and decks. Also paint, sheetrock and tiling. No project too big or too small. Give me a call and ask for Josh at (913) 709-7230. 8 to Your IdealWeight Get Real, Get Healthy, Get Empowered. Release your weight and restore your power in 8 weeks! http://8toyouridealweight.com/coach/kathi/ Clutter getting you down? - Organize, fix, assemble, install! “Kevin of all trades” your professional organizer and “Honey-do” specialist. Call or email me today for a free consultation at (913) 271-5055 or KOATorganizing@ gmail.com. Insured. References.


Memory quilts - Preserve your memories in a keepsake quality quilt, pillows, etc. Custom designed from your T-shirt collection, baby clothes, sports memorabilia, neckties . . . Quilted Memories. (913) 649-2704. HARCO Exteriors LLC Your Kansas City fencing specialists Family owned and operated (913) 815-4817 www.harcoexteriorsllc.com Loving marital mediation - Retired Catholic lawyer and certified mediator will mediate your marriage to MEND IT - NOT END IT. Mary Ellen Rose. (913) 381-6400. Speedy Guzman Moving and delivery Licensed and insured Anytime (816) 935-0176 Quality work - Kitchens, bathrooms, painting and home repairs. Nothing too big or too small. Insured. Call Jimmy at (913) 206-4524. Rodman Lawn Care Lawn mowing, aeration, verticutting, mulching, Hedge trimming, leaf removal, gutter cleaning Fully insured and free estimates John Rodman (913) 548-3002 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: tkidd@ kc.rr.com; or visit the website at: www.teresakiddlawyer. com. Please do not wait until life seems hopeless before getting good quality legal advice that may solve your financial stress.

REAL ESTATE We buy houses and whole estates - We are local and family-owned, and will make you a fair cash offer. We buy houses in any condition. No fees or commissions and can close on the date of your choice. Selling your house as is never felt so good. Jon & Stacy Bichelmeyer (913) 599-5000. 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: www.wholeestates.com. WE SELL HOMES - Looking to sell? This is a seller’s market. Call for a free consultation detailing the steps to selling your home. Ask about our 39-day sales guarantee. Mention this ad for a special offer. Call Jim Blaufuss, Re/Max Realty Suburban, at (913) 226-7442. Jimblaufuss@remax.net.

FOR SALE 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) For sale - Two spaces in St. Joseph Cemetery, Shawnee, in the St. Joseph Garden, lot 13, section B, spaces 3 and 4. $3600 for both. Call (913) 631-9539. For sale - Two spaces at Mt. Calvary Cemetery, Topeka, lot 844, west-east graves in Vallely addition. Tombstone headstones. Buyer pays transfer. $2000 per space or best offer. Call (410) 948-2173.

WANTED TO BUY Wanted to buy - Antique/vintage jewelry, paintings, pottery, sterling, etc. Single pieces or estate. Renee Maderak, (913) 475-7393. St. Joseph Parish, Shawnee. 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 - Old cars or hot rods. Uncompleted project cars in any condition, with or without titles. Cash buyer. Call (913) 980-3559.


CALENDAR KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS CHRISTMAS PARTY Cinzetti’s Restaurant 7201 W. 91st St., Overland Park Jan. 11 at 7 p.m.

The Divine Mercy Knights of Columbus invite parishioners to join them for their Christmas party. There will be a “Switch, Steal or Unwrap” gift exchange, so bring a wrapped gift to exchange ($20 limit). For reservations, call BJ Newell at (913) 6208476 or send an email to: bjnewit8@yahoo. com. Tickets are $35 per couple and include a meal and private dining room.

SACRED HEART BREAKFAST Sacred Heart Parish (hall) 106 Exchange St., Emporia Jan. 12 from 8 - 11 a.m.

Join the Knights of Columbus for breakfast. The suggested donation is a freewill offering.

ROSARY RALLY IN HONOR OF OUR BLESSED MOTHER AND OUR LADY OF FATIMA St. Mary/St. Anthony Parish 615 N. 7th St., Kansas City, Kansas Jan. 12 from 3 - 4:15 p.m.

We will pray the joyful, sorrowful and glorious mysteries of the rosary. Benediction will follow, as well as an opportunity for attendees to enroll in the brown scapular. For more information, visit the website at: www. rosaryrallieskc.org.

BREAKFAST WITH THE KNIGHTS Divine Mercy Parish Christian Formation Center 555 W. Main St., Gardner Jan. 12 from 7:30 - 10 a.m.

Join the fun and fellowship and enjoy a hot and hearty breakfast. The cost for a meal of pancakes, sausage, eggs, and biscuits and gravy is: $6 for adults; $3 for kids 6 - 12; and free for kids 5 and under.

BLOOD DRIVE Good Shepherd Parish 12800 W. 75th St., Shawnee Jan. 13 from 1 - 6 p.m.

Schedule appointments online at: www. savealifenow.org using the sponsor group code: 2U, or call Jack Carson at (816) 2252789. Walk-in donors are welcome but appointments help in staffing. A Chiefs T-shirt or Chiefs hat will be given to each donor.

HOPE FOR YOU AND YOUR LOVED ONES AFTER DEATH BY SUICIDE St. Joseph Parish 11311 Johnson Dr., Shawnee Jan. 14 and 21 from 7 - 8:30 p.m.

Fully Alive is a new integrated mind-body-

Announcement Joseph A. Butler & Son Funeral Home has re-opened as

soul wellness program that will begin with a two-week session about after-suicide support using the book, “After Suicide: There is Hope for You and Them.” The evening will begin with Mass, followed by small group discussion facilitated by Catholic counselors. The evening will end with prayer. Adults and teens, accompanied by a parent, are welcome. RSVP with number attending to Tom Racunas, special-needs ministry, by calling (913) 647-3054 or by sending an email to: tracunas@archkck.org. It is not necessary to give your name when you respond.

SYMPTO-THERMAL METHOD OF NATURAL FAMILY PLANNING DURING THE POSTPARTUM PERIOD St. John the Evangelist School 1208 Kentucky St., Lawrence Class begins Jan. 22 at 6:30 p.m.

TAKE-A-LOOK THURSDAY Holy Spirit School 11300 W. 103rd St., Overland Park Jan. 16 from 9 - 11 a.m.

HELP FOR HURTING MARRIAGES Kansas City, Kansas Jan. 24 - 26

DAUGHTERS OF ISABELLA Christ the King Parish (Yadrich Hall) 5972 S.W. 25th St., Topeka Jan. 26 at 12:45 p.m.

KANSAS MARCH FOR LIFE AND IGNITE PRO-LIFE YOUTH RALLY Topeka Performing Arts Center 214 S.E. 8th Ave., Topeka Jan. 22

OUR LADY’S MONTESSORI SCHOOL JOY OF MUSIC CONCERT Visitation Parish 5141 Main St., Kansas City, Missouri Jan. 26 at 3 p.m.

Come join us for information, tours of the school and refreshments. Choose a learning environment that is welcoming and Christ-centered. For more information, call Anita Pauls at (913) 492-2582 or email her at: apauls@hscatholic.org.

CALLING ALL MARRIAGE ENCOUNTER COUPLES Precious Blood Renewal Center 2130 Saint Gasper Way, Liberty, Missouri Jan. 18 from 1 - 4:15 p.m.

Worldwide Marriage Encounter is offering an afternoon of enrichment for any couple that has experienced a Marriage Encounter Weekend. The afternoon, “Lighting the Way Together — Castles to Lighthouses,” will reinvigorate your communication and rekindle the love in your relationship. Mass will be celebrated at 4:30 p.m. with a freewill offering to defray the program costs. For more information or to RSVP, send an email to Rich and Wendy Lorenz at: wendyteach3@yahoo. com by Jan. 10.

MARTIN LUTHER KING CELEBRATION Reardon Civic Center 520 Minnesota Ave., Kansas City, Kansas Jan. 20: Formal program begins at 11 a.m. Pre-service events at 10:30 a.m.

The theme of the program is: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” (Martin Luther King). Msgr. Stuart Swetland, president of Donnelly College in Kansas City, Kansas, will be the keynote speaker. Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann will celebrate Mass at Blessed Sacrament Parish, 2203 Parallel Ave., Kansas City, Kansas, at 9 a.m. before the King celebration begins.

WIDOWED WOMEN OF FAITH Perkins Restaurant and Bakery (Back Room) 1720 S.W. Wanamaker Rd., Topeka Jan. 21 from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Join other women of faith for lunch and companionship. No RSVP is needed. We can help each other ease the pain and get through this time in life. For more information, send an email to: WidowedWomenofFaith@gmail.com.

is affiliated with Warren-McElwain Mortuary, Lawrence, KS “Locally Owned and Operated Since 1904”

1844 Minnesota Ave. Kansas City, Kansas 913-371-7000 “Dignified and Affordable Without Compromise”


Jim Larkin

Sam Garcia

A reasonable course fee is charged and preregistration is required at: www.ccli.org. For more information about this class or other self-paced online classes, call Shannon or John Rasmussen at (785) 749-1015.

Have you thought about separation or divorce? Have you stopped sharing how you feel? Retrouvaille is a lifeline for hurting marraiges. For more information, contact the KC registration team at (800) 470-2230 or visit the website at: www.helpourmarriage.com.

Come for a day of prayer for the legal protection of unborn children and to acknowledge the 47th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision. This event is presented by the pro-life office of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas. For more information, visit the website at: archkck.org/prolife. The event is free and open to all. Register groups at: www.archkck.org/ignite.

JOURNEY TO JOY Church of the Nativity 3800 W. 119th St., Leawood Jan. 25 from 8:15 a.m. - noon

All women are invited to this mini-retreat. It will begin with Mass, followed by a light breakfast. The retreat will be given by Sonja Corbitt. The cost to attend is $20. Register online at: www.kcnativity.org/journey-tojoy. Contact Susan Vogliardo by email at: suesues6@hotmail.com or by phone at (816) 215-0189 with questions.

TASTE OF KCK Resurrection Catholic School 425 N. 15th St., Kansas City, Kansas Jan. 25 at 6 p.m.

Taste of KCK is an evening of food, culture and community. Enjoy a social hour with live music, an ethnic buffet dinner and a program. There will be a speech by Father Mark Goldasich and we will honor the Church of the Nativity for its support. We will also recognize Father Harry Schneider for his lifetime of service. Proceeds support students at Resurrection School. Tickets are $70 and can be purchased online at: rcskck.org or by mailing a check to: Resurrection, 425 N. 15th St., Kansas City, KS 66102. Sponsorships are available.

BINGO AND PASTA DINNER Sacred Heart Parish 1100 West St., Tonganoxie Jan. 25 from 5:30 - 9:30 p.m.

The cost for an all-you-can-eat pasta dinner is: $6 for adults; $4 for kids ages 5 - 10; and free for kids under 4. Pasta will be served until 6:45 p.m. Bingo begins at 7 p.m. with the blackout game at 9:15 p.m. There will also be a silent auction and a 50/50 raffle.

The rosary will be followed by a business meeting and a social. If anyone knows of a member or family member in need of the circle’s prayers, call Bobbie Graff-Hendrixson at (785) 271-0145. If you are interested in or would like more information about the Daughters of Isabella, call Cindy Keen at (785) 228-9863.

Join us for a time of sacred and classical music that will bring joy to the heart. The program features duets by Felix Mendelssohn, Antonio Soler and Cesar Franck. All are welcome. Freewill donations will be accepted and will benefit Our Lady’s Montessori School, an apostate of the SOLT community and run by the SOLT Sisters.

SUDS AND SCHOLARSHIPS Boulevard Brewing Company 2501 Southwest Blvd., Kansas City, Missouri Jan. 30 from 6:30 - 9:30 p.m.

Join us at this Suds and Scholarship event as we celebrate the students and faculty at the Holy Name of Jesus School in Kansas City, Kansas. Jack Stack Barbecue will be available, and entertainment will be provided by The Hamptones. Have fun and help our students achieve their goals.

YOUTH GROUP FUNDRAISER Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish (hall) 27 Cottonwood St., Emporia Feb. 1 at 4 p.m.

The Sacred Heart Youth Group will be making and selling bierocks in the parish hall until they are sold out. The cost is $4 each or 10 for $35.

CALENDAR submissions CALENDAR submissions DEADLINE: Noon, Thursday, 10 days before the desired publication date. INCLUDE: time and date of event; street address; description of event. SEND SUBMISSIONS TO: beth. blankenship@theleaven.org.


COMMENTARY FIRST WEEK OF ORDINARY TIME Jan. 12 THE BAPTISM OF THE LORD Is 42: 1-4, 6-7 Ps 29: 1-4, 3, 9-10 Acts 10: 34-38 Mt 3: 13-17 Jan. 13 Hilary, bishop, doctor of the church 1 Sm 1: 1-8 Ps 116: 12-19 Mk 1: 14-20 Jan. 14 Tuesday 1 Sm 1: 9-20 (Ps) 1 Sm 2: 1, 4-8 Mk 1: 21-28 Jan. 15 Wednesday 1 Sm 3: 1-10, 19-20 Ps 40: 2, 5, 7-10 Mk 1: 29-39 Jan. 16 Thursday 1 Sm 4: 1-11 Ps 44: 10-11, 14-15, 24-25 Mk 1: 40-45 Jan. 17 Anthony, abbot 1 Sm 8: 4-7, 10-22a Ps 89: 16-19 Mk 2: 1-12 Jan. 18 Saturday 1 Sm 9: 1-4, 17-19, 10: 1a Ps 21: 2-7 Mk 2: 13-17




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Jump to answer when opportunity knocks

never imagined it would be the last time I’d see him. Four of us priests were gathered on Nov. 20 for lunch at Paolo and Bill Restaurant in Shawnee to celebrate November birthdays. Father Francis Hund, the minister to priests, was hosting us three honorees. It was a festive gathering that was captured on my iPhone right before dessert arrived. It’s a photo — and a lunch — that I’ll always treasure. Father Vince Huber, AVI, is in the center of the picture and to the right is Father Tom Dolezal. I would never have guessed that just a few weeks later, on Jan. 1, Tom would die. You can see his full obituary on page 3 of this issue. He looks so good in the photo. And he regaled us during the meal with stories of the pastors (read, “characters”) he served under in his early priesthood, as well as his thoughts and impressions of today’s church. He was sporting a full beard and looked every bit, as Father Frank Burger would say, “like a cross between Grizzly




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

Adams and St. John the Baptist.” At one point, the conversation moved to his health and I told Tom of a meme that said life rolls along smoothly until you hit your 50s and 60s, then your “check engine” light comes on. He said that his “check engine” light came on when he hit 70 . . . and stayed on. Tom’s death reminded me of one of my New Year’s resolutions: to not waste the opportunities that come my way.

Here’s a great story that illustrates what I mean: Many years ago, two friends took a ride out into the country. They drove off the main road and through groves of trees to a large uninhabited tract of land. There was not much there apart from a couple of horses and a few old shacks. Walter, one of the friends, started to describe in vivid detail to his friend Arthur all that he was going to build there. He invited Arthur to get in on this project on the ground floor. But Arthur thought to himself: Who in the world is going to drive 25 miles to get to this crazy place? The logistics of the venture were staggering. Walter explained

to his friend, “I can handle the main project myself. But it will take all my money. But the land bordering it, where we’re standing now, will, in just a couple of years, be jammed with hotels and restaurants and convention halls to accommodate the people who will come to spend their entire vacation here in my park. “I want you to have the first chance at the surrounding acreage, because in the next five years, it will increase in value several hundred times.” Arthur knew that his friend was wrong but wanted to let him down easy. So he said that unfortunately money was tight and he’d look into the whole thing a little later on. “Later on will be too late,” said Walter. “You’d better move on it right now.” And that’s how Art Linkletter turned down the opportunity to buy up all the land that surrounded what was to become Disneyland. His friend, Walt Disney, tried to talk him into it, but Art thought he was crazy. (Found in “Illustrations Unlimit-

ed,” edited by James S. Hewett.) A common theme in my funeral homilies is to encourage the congregation to make time in their busy lives to visit family and friends. Time seems to pass so quickly, and so often we let this treasured opportunity pass by and never act on our promises “to get together soon.” And while phone calls, emails and text messages are better than nothing, you honestly can’t replace being with the people you care about IRL — in real life. I would not trade that November birthday lunch for a mountain of riches. The Leaven lost a very good friend in Tom Dolezal. The jacket he wore to lunch even had The Leaven logo on it. It was a gift we gave him years ago when he built and maintained our first Leaven website. Tom, I trust that you’re now in the gentle hands of Jesus, where you’ll never have to worry about that “check engine” light again. Rest in peace, my friend.

Jesus’ baptism is pivotal for both him and the world

n the days before radio, TV and newspapers, government officials would make announcements by means of a town crier. He would walk through the streets, often while ringing a bell to get people’s attention, and shout out the announcements. In contrast, the servant of the Lord in Sunday’s first reading — Is 42:1-4, 6-7 — is described as “not crying out, not shouting, not making his voice heard in the street.” Gentleness marks this servant of the Lord: “A bruised reed he shall not break, and a smoldering wick he shall not quench.” Despite this gentleness, he shows great strength in carrying out


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

the massive task given to him. He is entrusted to do God’s work, “until he establishes justice on the earth.”


The servant of the Lord’s mission stands out in its universal quality. It is not limited to Israel, but extends to the nations: the nonIsraelites. Speaking about the servant, God says that “he shall bring forth justice to the nations.” And addressing the servant, God tells him that he has been set as “a light for the

Pope Francis prayed that people all over the world would end 2019 “in peace, peace in their hearts,” and that families would mark New Year’s by “communicating with one another.” Reciting the Angelus prayer Dec. 29, the feast of the Holy Family, Pope Francis entrusted to Mary, “Queen of the Family,” all the families of the world, “especially those experiencing suffering or distress, and we invoke upon them her maternal protection.” The holiness of the Holy Family is a gift of God, he said, but, at the same time, it is a result of their “free and responsible adherence to God’s plan.” Jesus, Mary and Joseph, he said, “represent a

nations.” The servant is commissioned “to open the eyes of the blind, to bring out prisoners from confinement, and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness.” Furthermore, the servant is told that God has formed him to be “a covenant of the people.” Centuries before, God had established a covenant with the people of Israel through Abraham and through Moses. Now, God will establish a covenant through this servant which will include the non-Israelite peoples as well. This covenant would establish a close relationship between God and all the peoples of the earth. It would include requirements for them to follow. But it would also promise

them many blessings. It would bind them together in love. This passage from the Book of Isaiah, which we hear as the first reading for the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, helps us to understand the mission that God was entrusting to Jesus Christ. We identify him as the servant of the Lord described in the reading. At the moment of Jesus’ baptism, this is made clear. God has entrusted Jesus with the mission to establish a new covenant, to bring justice to the world, to serve as a light for the nations. Jesus’ baptism is a turning point in his life . . . and a turning point for the history of the entire human race.

choral response to the will of the Father. The three members of this family helped each other discover God’s plan.” “They prayed, worked, communicated,” the pope said. “And I ask you: In your family, do you know how to communicate, or is yours like those with youngsters around the table, each one with their cellphone chatting?” When they are all on their phones playing, watching something or texting others, he said, there is no communication. Pope Francis also prayed that the Holy Family would be a model for parents and children learning “to support each other in adhering to the Gospel, which is the foundation of holiness in the family.” — CNS




Snow Ball gala supports mission of hope By Carol Cowdrey Special to The Leaven


VERLAND PARK — It began with a simple invitation to attend a parish initiative party for a Catholic Charities event. Now, five years later, Church of the Ascension parishioners Mike and Jo Kuckelman are serving as presidents of the 46th annual Snow Ball gala benefiting the Catholic Charities Foundation of Northeast Kansas. The event will be held Jan. 18 at the Overland Park Convention Center. “During the parish party, we had an opportunity to learn more about the programs and services offered by Catholic Charities. We really appreciated how they help anyone in need,” said Jo. That parish party not only led them to attend their first Snow Ball gala, but it inspired the Kuckelmans to get involved in other ways with the organization. One of the areas where they have experienced the greatest impact is in Mike’s hometown of Atchison. Although Mike and Jo live in Olathe, Atchison continues to hold a special place in their hearts. Mike’s family remains active in St. Benedict Parish, as well as the Atchison community, and are well-known for running the city’s popular local restaurant, Jerry’s Again. “As I was growing up, the monks at St. Benedict’s Abbey really impacted my life and desire to serve,” explained Mike. “They encouraged me to find roles where I could give back to the community.” Initially, Catholic Charities served Atchison through its Mobile Resource Bus. Recognizing the growing need for assistance, the Kuckelmans took steps to bring Catholic Charities to Atchison permanently. “We wanted to bring more consistent services to the Atchison community by helping provide a permanent office, instead of relying on the traveling bus for assistance,” said Mike. Thanks to their generous support, Catholic Charities now operates a Family Support Center in downtown Atchison. In addition to providing food,

Jo and Mike Kuckelman are serving as presidents of the 46th annual Snow Ball gala on Jan. 18 benefiting the Catholic Charities Foundation of Northeast Kansas. clothing and direct financial assistance, a case manager works with individuals and families to help them move toward self-sustainability through skills training, financial education and employment. “Through our Family Support Centers, we graciously attempt to mirror God’s mercy as we provide help to indi-

viduals in reoccurring need,” explained Lauren Solidum, Catholic Charities’ president and CEO. “We promote the sanctity of life,” she continued, “and we battle the root causes of poverty by providing the tools to fish for oneself.” In the months leading up to the Snow

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Ball, a record number of parish initiative parties was held to increase support and build awareness about the event’s impact on those served by Catholic Charities. Also, young professionals had the opportunity to support the gala and engage with the organization at the annual Snow Flake happy hour. Ninety-one cents of every dollar raised by Snow Ball supports the more than 20 innovative programs and solutions offered by Catholic Charities throughout 21 counties. “The Kansas Loan Pool Project (KLPP), which eliminates predatory lending, is a favorite of mine,” said Mike. “Seeing people go from a payday loan that enslaves them, to a loan that is affordable and builds credit, is rewarding.” Jo is fond of the New Roots for Refugees farming program because it teaches participants how to build and successfully operate a small business. She is also thankful for Catholic Community Hospice, a ministry of Catholic Charities that provided compassionate end-of-life care to her father, Marlin Kerby, a World War II veteran and prisoner of war. “All of the programs are essential,” said Jo. “It’s our love of Catholic Charities and the opportunity to advance its mission that led us to say yes when asked to be this year’s Snow Ball presidents.” Their yearlong journey as event presidents will end with a night of celebration. “It’s been a wonderful experience to meet so many people who help throughout all of the parishes,” said Jo. “We have enjoyed working with the amazing staff and hardworking volunteers working behind the scenes to make the event the success that it is.” It’s Catholic Charities’ commitment to moving people into more hopeful situations that keeps the Kuckelmans — and other donors — supporting the organization’s major fundraiser. “It’s a mission that we can all get behind,” said Mike. “While they will help anyone out of a crisis, Catholic Charities also helps the person avoid a future crisis. “It is truly a hand-up, rather than just a hand-out, mentality at Catholic Charities.”


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