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THELEAVEN.ORG | VOL. 40, NO. 39 | MAY 24, 2019



Father Shawn Tunink, from parochial vicar of St. Michael the Archangel Parish, Leawood, to parochial vicar of St. Patrick Parish, Kansas City, Kansas, and continuing as a judge of the metropolitan marriage tribunal.

ather John Riley, chancellor, announces the following appointments made by Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, effective July 3:

Retirements Father Harold Schneider, from pastor of the Cathedral of St. Peter, Kansas City, Kansas, to retirement from parish administrative responsibilities.

Pastors/parochial administrators

Father Gerard Alba

Father Ashmore

Father Bakyor

Father Blaha

Father Clem

Father Coronado

Father Francis

Father Guastello

Father Haganey

Father Hamilton

Father Francis Bakyor, from pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Wathena, St. Benedict Parish in Bendena and St. Charles Parish, Troy, to pastor of St. Joseph-St. Lawrence Parish, Easton. Father J. Nicholas Blaha, from chaplain/director of the Didde Catholic Campus Center, Emporia State University, and pastor of St. Catherine Parish, Emporia, to pastor of Blessed Sacrament, Our Lady & St. Rose and Christ the King parishes, Kansas City, Kansas. Father Daniel Coronado, from parochial vicar at Good Shepherd Parish, Shawnee, to pastor of St. Catherine Parish, Emporia, and St. Joseph Parish, Olpe. Father Mathew Francis, from parochial administrator of Mother Teresa of Calcutta Parish, Topeka, to pastor of St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Onaga, St. Patrick Parish in Corning and St. Bede Parish, Kelly. Father Michael Guastello, from parochial vicar at Church of the Ascension, Overland Park, to pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Wathena, St. Benedict Parish in Bendena and St. Charles Parish, Troy. Father Mark Mertes, from pastor of Blessed Sacrament, Our Lady & St. Rose and Christ the King parishes, Kansas City, Kansas, to pastor of St. Patrick Parish, Kansas City, Kansas. Father Matthew Nagle, from parochial vicar at St. Michael the Archangel Parish, Leawood, and chaplain of St. Thomas Aquinas High School, Overland Park, to chaplain/director of the Didde Catholic Campus Center, Emporia State University, and pastor of St. Mary Parish, Hartford.

Father Daniel Weger, from completion of seminary formation and ordination to the priesthood on May 25, to parochial vicar of St. Michael the Archangel Parish, Leawood, and chaplain of St. Thomas Aquinas High School, Overland Park. Father Phillip Winkelbauer, from senior parochial vicar in residence at Prince of Peace Parish, Olathe, to senior parochial vicar in residence at Most Pure Heart of Mary Parish, Topeka.  

Father Haug

Father Kuukole

Father Llamas

Father Martinez

Father Mertes

Father Nagle

Father Nannam

Father Narisetty

Father Nguyen

Father Ostrowski

Father Ouellette

Father Schneider

Father Pinzón

Father Reynolds

Father Sundeme

Parochial vicars/chaplains Father Gerard Alba, from parochial vicar of Holy Trinity Parish, Lenexa, to parochial vicar of Church of the Nativity, Leawood. Father Nicholas Ashmore, from completion of seminary formation and ordination to the priesthood on May 25, to parochial vicar of Good Shepherd Parish, Shawnee.

Father Tunink

Father Colin Haganey, from completion of seminary formation and ordination to the priesthood on May 25, to parochial vicar of Curé of Ars Parish, Leawood. Father Justin Hamilton, from parochial vicar of Curé of Ars Parish, Leawood, to parochial vicar of St. Joseph Parish, Shawnee, and continuing as chaplain of Bishop Miege High School, Roeland Park.

Father Oswaldo Sandoval, to pastor of Cathedral of St. Peter, Kansas City, Kansas, and continuing as pastor of All Saints Parish, Kansas City, Kansas.

Father Kenneth Clem, from completion of seminary formation and ordination to the priesthood on May 25, to parochial vicar of Prince of Peace Parish, Olathe.

Father Joel Haug, AVI, from completion of seminary formation and ordination to the priesthood on May 25, to part-time parochial vicar of the Cathedral of St. Peter, Kansas City, Kansas, and living the charism of the Apostles of the Interior Life.

Father Hughes Sundeme, from completion of a Master of Business Administration at Benedictine College, Atchison, to parochial administrator of St. Ann Parish in Effingham, St. Louis Parish in Good Intent and St. Mary Parish, Purcell.

Father Salvador Llamas, MNM, from parochial vicar of All Saints Parish, Kansas City, Kansas, to parochial vicar of Holy Cross Parish, Overland Park, with continued residence with religious community.

Father Agustin Martinez, from parochial vicar of St. Patrick Parish, Kansas City, Kansas, and chaplain of Bishop Ward High School, Kansas City, Kansas, to parochial vicar of St. Paul Parish, Olathe.

Father Riley

Father Weger

Father Sandoval

Father Winkelbauer

Father Ratna Swamy Nannam, MSFS, from sacramental assistance at St. Joseph Parish, Olpe, and St. Mary Parish, Hartford, to parochial vicar of Most Pure Heart of Mary Parish, Topeka. Father Viet Nguyen, from parochial vicar at Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish, Shawnee, and chaplain of St. James Academy, Lenexa, to parochial vicar of Church of the Ascension, Overland Park. Father Mark Ostrowski, from diaconal ministry at St. Michael the Archangel Parish, Leawood, completion of seminary formation and ordination to the priesthood on May 25, to parochial vicar of Holy Trinity Parish, Lenexa, and chaplain of St. James Academy, Lenexa. Father Hernán Pinzón Palacio, from ministry in the Diocese of Zipaquirá, Colombia, to parochial vicar of Our Lady of Unity and Blessed Sacrament parishes, Kansas City, Kansas, with residence at Blessed Sacrament.


Father Beyuo Kuukole, from campus ministry at Bishop Ward High School, Kansas City, Kansas, to chaplain of Providence Medical Center/St. John Hospital (Kansas City, Kansas/ Leavenworth) with residence at Christ the King Parish, Kansas City, Kansas, and sacramental assistance to Blessed Sacrament, Our Lady & St. Rose and Christ the King parishes, Kansas City, Kansas, effective immediately. Father Anthony Ouellette, to chaplain of Bishop Ward High School, Kansas City, Kansas, and continuing as pastor of Holy Name Parish, Kansas City, Kansas, and spiritual moderator of the archdiocesan charismatic renewal. Father John Reynolds, from sacramental assistance at Cathedral of St. Peter, Kansas City, Kansas, with residence at Blessed Sacrament Parish, Kansas City, Kansas, to sacramental assistance and residence at St. Patrick Parish, Kansas City, Kansas. Father Gova Showraiah Narisetty, MSFS, from parochial administrator of St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Onaga, St. Patrick Parish in Corning and St. Bede Parish, Kelly, to returning to ministry outside of the archdiocese. Father John Riley, from parochial administrator of St. Patrick Parish, Kansas City, Kansas, to sacramental assistance at Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish, Shawnee, and continuing as chancellor.

Leaven begins summer schedule

The Leaven is now on its summer schedule and will publish every other week. The next issue will be on June 7.




Kansans need constitutional amendments to protect unborn


dvocates for legalized abortion are becoming unhinged by their fear that the U.S. Supreme Court might reverse its 1973 decisions (Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton) that essentially made abortion legal for all nine months of pregnancy, denying states the ability to limit meaningfully — much less prohibit — abortion. The meltdown over their fear of the loss of ownership of our nation’s highest court has motivated them to propose extreme state statutes like the one passed recently in New York authorizing the killing of unborn children throughout pregnancy and opening the door to infanticide. In states like Kansas, where abortion advocates had no hope of passing similar statutes, they are using the same playbook on the state level that they employed in 1973 at the federal level. They are bringing cases before state supreme courts to argue that there are previously hidden rights to abortion in state constitutions. Tragically, the Kansas Supreme Court was only too eager to invent a right to abortion out of legal thin air. Panic attacks by supporters of abortion have become more acute in the wake of legislatures in Georgia, Missouri and

Archbishop Naumann

LIFE WILL BE VICTORIOUS ARCHBISHOP JOSEPH F. NAUMANN Alabama enacting laws prohibiting most abortions. These states, anticipating the high probability of federal court challenges to these new statutes, are hoping the U.S. Supreme Court will choose their case as the vehicle to overturn Roe v. Wade, returning the power of the elected members of legislatures to determine abortion public policy in their states. Pro-abortion entertainment celebrities, considering themselves the protectors of American moral values, have engaged in economic bullying, threatening to boycott states with laws attempting to protect the innocent lives of unborn children. Actress Alyssa Milano is so disturbed by these efforts to protect the most fundamental of all rights — the right to life

— she has announced a personal sex strike and invited others to follow her example. Milano is refusing to have sex unless she is guaranteed the right to kill any child conceived by her sexual activities. Apparently, she did not bother to consult with other pro-abortion feminists, many of whom vigorously oppose her proposal. They dislike her drawing attention to the fact that one of the natural possible results of sexual intercourse is conceiving a baby. They also find troubling that her proposed strike makes clear the inconvenient truth that the real choice afforded to women and men is the decision to engage or not engage in sexual activity. For those who are prolife, we are at a crucial moment in our efforts to restore legal protections to unborn children, as well as to protect women and men from the negative consequences of abortion. We must step up our educational efforts

May 24 Holy Hour for those to be ordained, social and dinner — Church of the Ascension, Overland Park May 25 Priesthood ordination — Ascension May 26 Mass and cemetery building blessing — Annunciation, Baldwin City 25th anniversary Mass for Father Arul Carasala — Sts. Peter & Paul, Seneca May 28 Quarterly retired priests meeting May 30 Annual Serra golf and dinner with priests, deacons and seminarians — St. Patrick, Kansas City, Kansas May 31 Retreat with Apostles of the Interior Life (AVI)

informing people about the humanity of the unborn, as well as the inevitable emotional and spiritual scars experienced by adults who participate in abortions. We also need to help restore in our culture a respect and love for the virtue of chastity. While, like the practice of any virtue it is not always easy, it is the path to freedom, joy and authentic love.

Mass, AVI profession consecrated virgins — Holy Trinity (stone chapel), Lenexa June 2 Archdiocesan 50th wedding anniversary Mass and reception — 2 p.m., Church of the Nativity, Leawood June 3 Priests retreat begins St. Lawrence board meeting Meeting with Sisters of St. Anne superior general Mother Anthony June 4-5 Priests retreat June 6 Priests retreat concludes Religious Alliance Against Pornography conference call U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Administrative Committee conference call

We need to step up our support for our pregnancy resource centers that surround with love and practical assistance those in the midst of a difficult pregnancy. We need to do our best to make certain that no one in Kansas has cause to feel that abortion is their only choice when facing an untimely pregnancy. Finally, for all prolife Kansans, we have the challenge to pass a

June 7 Catholic Foundation of Northeast Kansas continuing education program Mass — Savior Pastoral Center U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Pro-Life Activities conference call June 8 U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage conference call Archdiocesan Adult confirmation — Cathedral of St. Peter, Kansas City, Kansas June 9 Legion of Mary Mass — St. Philip Neri, Osawatomie

Archbishop Keleher May 25 Priesthood ordination — Ascension

constitutional amendment to undo the damage done by the Kansas Supreme Court. Constitutional amendments are designed not to be easy. It will take the prayer and commitment of all Kansans of good will to reclaim the ability of the citizens of Kansas to protect the right to life of the most innocent and vulnerable members of our society.

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STAKING THEIR LIVES ON THE GOSPEL Two ordained to the transitional diaconate

By Marc and Julie Anderson


VERLAND PARK — It wasn’t exactly the sound of a “strong driving wind,” and no tongues of fire appeared (cf. Acts 2:2-3). But the resounding clamor of the church’s smoke alarms set off by the incense made for a climactic end nonetheless to the ordination of the archdiocese’s two newest transitional deacons at Holy Spirit Church here on May 18. Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann did invoke the power of the Holy Spirit during the prayer of consecration, however, as, through the laying on of hands, he ordained Travis Mecum and Anthony Mersmann to the transitional diaconate. “Send forth upon them, Lord, we pray,” he said, “the Holy Spirit, that they may be strengthened by the gift of your sevenfold grace for the faithful carrying out of the work of the ministry.” Both deacons then knelt before the archbishop and promised obedience to him and his successors. The new deacons were then vested, with the assistance of Deacon Todd Brower and Deacon Dana Nearmyer, with the dalmatic and a stole symbolizing their new office. Finally, as a symbol of their duty to proclaim the Gospel and instruct the faithful, both men received the Book of Gospels from the archbishop as he said, “Receive the Gospel of Christ whose herald you have become. Believe what you read, teach what you believe, and practice what you teach.” In his homily, Archbishop Naumann thanked the soon-to-be deacons for their willingness to stake their lives on the Gospel of Jesus Christ and thanked them for “committing yourself to a life of serving God and his people.” “Celibate bishops, priests and deacons,” he said, “are called in a special way to be at the service of married couples and families. We are called to strive, to the best of our ability, to provide married couples the spiritual nourishment they need from God’s word and sacraments of mercy, love and life to live their vocation of heroic love and self-sacrificing love.” The vocation of celibate priesthood and Christian marriage, he suggested, “complement one another.” Later, Archbishop Naumann exhorted the deacons to live as men of integrity, because men and women expect ordained ministers “to be who they say they are.” “The reality of your life must correspond, as best you can, to the Gospel,” he said. “Make your lives correspond to your words and to love both selflessly and passionately.” The archbishop concluded by instructing the candidates to lose their lives in search of “the complete joy that only Jesus Christ can provide.” After Mass, the new deacons greeted the congregation, offering their first


From left, Deacon Dana Nearmyer vests Deacon Anthony Mersmann, while Deacon Todd Brower vests Deacon Travis Mecum on the occasion of the men’s ordination to the transitional diaconate May 18 at Holy Spirit Church in Overland Park.


Archbishop Naumann presents Deacon Anthony Mersmann with the Book of the Gospels. “Receive the Gospel of Christ whose herald you have become. Believe what you read, teach what you believe, and practice what you teach,” the archbishop said.

blessings as deacons to family and friends. In the receiving line, Deacon Mecum was asked to describe his thoughts. “I don’t know,” he admitted, adding, “It really hasn’t sunk in yet.” The past month has been “a whirlwind of activity” for him with finals at Pope St. John XXIII Seminary in Boston, driving back the 1,500 miles to Kansas City and closing Masses.

“Then you get home and you’re getting everything ready for the ordination,” he added, “and then the day comes and it just kind of sneaks up on you. “But being up on the altar next to [the] archbishop as the deacon of the Eucharist — I’ve never done that before. I’ve seen it a thousand times, but it was the first time I’d ever done it. It was so incredible. It was amazing.”

President Most Rev. Joseph F. Naumann

Publication No. (ISSN0194-9799)


Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann congratulates Deacon Travis Mecum on his ordination to the transitional diaconate.

Editor Rev. Mark Goldasich, stl

Managing Editor Anita McSorley

Senior Reporter Joe Bollig

Reporter Olivia Martin

Production Manager Todd Habiger

Advertising Coordinator Beth Blankenship

Social Media Editor Moira Cullings

Expressing similar sentiments, Deacon Mersmann said that if he had to pick one word to describe his emotions, thoughts and feelings, it would be, without a doubt, gratitude. “Gratitude is the biggest [feeling right now] and joy and fulfillment,” he said. He felt, he said, “incredibly well prepared and fortified. “I’m ready to serve God and his church.” Published weekly September through May, excepting the Friday the week after Thanksgiving, and the Friday after Christmas; biweekly June through August. Address communications to: The Leaven, 12615 Parallel Pkwy., Kansas City, KS 66109. Phone: (913) 721-1570; fax: (913) 721-5276; or e-mail at: Postmaster: Send address changes to The Leaven, 12615 Parallel Pkwy., Kansas City, KS 66109. For change of address, provide old and new address and parish. Subscriptions $21/year. Periodicals postage paid at Kansas City, KS 66109.




Sister Susan Pryor, SCL


May is National Foster Care Month and there are many easy ways that people can make life easier for a foster child or foster family.

Make a difference in the life of a fostered child — even if you can’t foster one yourself By Patti Fisher Special to The Leaven


ay is National Foster Care Month. It’s a time to recognize that we each can play a part in enhancing the lives of children and youth in foster care. Though the number of kids and their needs are immense, many of the solutions are small. All you have to do is think of helping just one kid. Here are some easy ways to help make a difference in the life of a foster child and for the family caring for that child. Pray for these children, their foster and biological families. Pray for the workers who put in long hours and face difficult barriers. Pray for the courts and policy makers. Pray that you might be used by God to show love, fill a need or bring a smile. Clothing. When a child comes into care, they often come to a strange new home with nothing but the clothes on their backs. We, like many other foster families, have extra hand-me-downs sorted by size and gender. However, we have also gotten kids that are different age/gender than the clothing we have on hand. We have recently been able to go to Lawrence Sunshine Foundation, the local clothes closet, instead of making a mad and expensive dash to the store. This is only possible because others have donated. Yes, even gently used clothing can benefit children in care. Meals. No one thinks twice about taking a meal to the parents of a newborn. It isn’t as common to think of taking a meal to a family

with a new placement. Honestly, even having a simple meal delivered to us is appreciated. It is one less detail we have to worry about in the midst of new kids adjusting to a place, our family adjusting to them, and social worker and doctor appointments. Offer to bring a foster family a meal during the first week of a new placement, and I guarantee you will not be turned away! Well, if the dish you’re offering is liver and onions, you might be turned away. Appointments. These kids have a lot more appointments than the average kiddo! In one week, I may be taking them to the doctor, have a home visit from my family’s support worker, their support worker, take them to a visit with one or both parents, and have a court hearing. There are people who volunteer with their local agency to pick kids up and drive them to some of these appointments when their foster parents can’t, usually because of work obligations. Contact a local social work agency and see if you could volunteer one morning or afternoon a week. Baby-sitting. All baby-sitters for foster kids have to pass a background check with the foster family’s licensing agency. This means one additional hurdle for the parents to plan anything like a night out or even attend required training. Tell your friends who are foster parents that you would be glad to submit to the background check and keep the kids once a month for a couple of hours. Believe me, having a night out, even just for dinner or a movie, can really recharge the parents spending all their time and energy pouring into these kids.

Give. Donate to foster care causes. From welcome boxes, gift cards or backpacks and school supplies, you can help provide needed items to foster children and families. Designate a foster care agency to benefit from your United Way donation, day of service or Amazon Smile donation. Have your child’s youth group collect carbon monoxide detectors, smoke detectors or first aid kits to donate to an agency. Provide activity books and crayons to an agency to help kids pass the time waiting for appointments. Talk to your friends who are foster parents and ask them what specific things they need — they might be things you would never guess. (We have neighbors who walk our dogs, freeing our time for the kids.) They may want help with chores or errands. Even better than asking in a general way is offering specific help. Use the National Foster Care and Adoption Directory to find a local agency to partner with to help children in foster care. Ask how you can help; maybe they need your party planning skills for their next foster parent appreciation event. If you have read this far, you might be the person I should ask to open your home in addition to your heart. Consider becoming a respite home, taking placements according to your schedule (often on the weekends). Don’t let the fact that you are uncertain how to help keep you from action. A great first step is to reach out to a foster family or agency. You can be part of God’s plan for a child in care. Patti Fisher is a member of St. John the Evangelist Parish in Lawrence.

EAVENWORTH — Sister Susan Pryor, 88, a Sister of Charity of Leavenworth for almost 69 years, died on May 10 at the motherhouse here. A teacher and school principal for 33 years, Sister Susan loved children. She was equally devoted to her ministries of pastoral care to the elderly and managing the residence for two archbishops of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas. Born in Pittsburg, Mary Sue was the first child of James and Elizabeth (Quinn) Pryor. A brother, twin sisters and another brother followed. Mary Sue graduated from grade school and high school in Oswego. After attending Girls State at the University of Kansas, she set her sights on college in Lawrence. However, her mom insisted on Saint Mary College, Leavenworth, to further nurture her daughter’s faith. Following a bout of homesickness, Mary Sue grew to love the college; she also recognized her call to religious life. She entered the Sisters of Charity community on Aug. 18, 1950. She professed vows as Sister James on Aug. 15, 1952, and later returned to her baptismal name, Sister Mary Susan. From August 1952 through August 1968, Sister Susan had 15 assignments in 16 years — most involved teaching firstand second-graders. She spent the next 18 years at Our Lady & St. Rose Parish in Kansas City, Kansas, as a teacher, principal and then pastoral associate. Sister Susan then transitioned from working with young children to ministering to older adults and shut-ins. She continued this pastoral ministry at Marian Hall, a residence for the elderly. Over an 11-year period there, she became manager and then administrator. Her educational achievements included a bachelor’s degree, two master’s degrees and a license in adult care home administration. Her next ministry placed Sister Susan as a secretary and aide to Archbishop Ignatius J. Strecker. She enjoyed working with the archbishop on his book, “The Story of the Church in Kansas.” Sister Susan became lasting friends with the archbishop and the Strecker family. She continued her ministry to the archdiocesan church assisting Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann. She retired from active ministry in July 2014. She moved to the motherhouse in August 2016. Her Irish roots, her values and prayer were her guiding lights through all her years.

Scout earns Eagle Jarod David Frederick, a member of Church of the Ascension, Overland Park, and Boy Scout Troop 92, will receive his Eagle Scout award on June 2 at a Court of Honor. For his Eagle project, Frederick built permanent fencing at the Troop 1 camping area at the Boy Scout Rotary Camp for disabled Scouts in Lee’s Summit, Missouri.

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Technology might be fueling fertility crisis By Olivia Martin


TCHISON — “Technology is not just changing our understanding of the human person,” began Patrick Herrick, a medical doctor in Olathe and member of St. John Paul II Parish. “It’s actually changing man himself.” Though it sounds dramatic, Herrick’s statement is becoming increasingly intriguing, especially to those in the medical field. Herrick and Tricia Sprouse, a doctor of bioengineering and St. Benedict parishioner in Atchison, gave a presentation on the male endocrine crisis at Benedictine College’s eighth annual Symposium for Advancing the New Evangelization March 29-30. This year’s theme was: “Technology and the Human Person.” Herrick and Sprouse, both members of Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann’s ethics advisory council, highlighted four concrete ways in which men are changing: in fertility, virility, anatomy and behavior. And it may be due to one of the most common prescription drugs out there: the pill. “We thought it was really important to raise awareness of the possibility that contraceptive hormones are having a significant impact on the environment, perhaps even on humans,” said Sprouse. “Considering its potency and persistence . . . it is important that the question be addressed before the problems get much worse.”

Four concerns Citing information from Niels Skakkebaek, a Danish endocrinologist (a medical professional specializing in hormone and gland functions), 20 to 30% of young men today have sperm concentration below 40 million — a fact that is associated with reduced fertility. “In the United States in 1940, the average sperm count was 118 million,” said Herrick, “and, in 1990, it was 66 million.” This phenomenon is coupled with an increase in male fertility procedures and, therefore, male infertility in Western countries — and only Western countries. “There’s a personal impact of this,”

said Herrick. “It’s childlessness.” Next, the bombardment of countless testosterone supplement ads on TV and radio is written off by some as just another indication of an oversexed society. But Herrick suggested there may be something real beneath increased testosterone marketing: a lack in virility. “There is a trend over time that the later you’re born, the lower will be your testosterone level, at least in the United States,” said Herrick. “[Since World War I,] there has been a generational decline in testosterone levels.” Anatomical changes, Herrick said, include a rise in hypospadias, a condition in which male genitalia more closely resembles that of females, and cryptorchidism. Cryptorchidism is a condition in which the male reproductive organs remain housed within the abdomen. It classically is present at birth. However, Herrick has seen multiple cases in which a patient displayed no abnormalities at birth but, during adolescence, displayed cryptorchidism — something that has only been a reported phenomenon within the last 25 years. This finding is concerning because cryptorchidism indicates a more femalelike anatomy in males and the condition makes men more susceptible to testicular cancer. Next, Herrick cited data on changes in male behavior he managed to locate. Data on male behavior is difficult to find, but Herrick cited the few he encountered. Fact tank Pew Research Center has determined over the last six years that the rate of homosexuality has risen due to undetermined causes. And other studies cited that a fetus’ exposure to the wrong hormone, such as too much estrogen, can make animals and humans act sexually discordant to their genes. In other words, hormones can trigger homosexual behavior. And knowing that leads to the hypothesis that perhaps behavioral changes in males are due to estrogens in the environment acting on fetuses.

What’s technology have to do with it? So, how do all four developments coincide with an exploding use of technology?

Because the facts are clear: The male endocrine crisis appears to be environmental and affect only Western countries. “Fertility has decreased in the West and not elsewhere; virility is low in modern and not previous time,” said Herrick. And animal and human studies provide plausible links between fetal estrogen exposure and homosexual behavior. These facts suggest an environmental cause and a window of vulnerability in the womb. So, what is in the West’s environment that isn’t in other parts of the world? For one, said Herrick, there is a dangerous amount of EE2, a synthetic estrogen used in the formulation of oral birth control, which is released into the environment daily, affecting crops and drinking water. “This isn’t proof that contraceptives are causing problems we see in men,” said Sprouse, “but the comparison, the similarities, suggest raising the question.”

What now? To Sprouse and Herrick, the correlation between the male endocrine crisis and contraceptives provides a way forward. “In some circles, it’s assumed that everything we see in gender ideology and homosexual behavior is a choice and a problem of society,” said Herrick. “But if what we’ve presented is true,” he continued, “then there’s something physical to it, too.” Future study, he said, is called for. And if the male endocrine crisis is somehow related to artificial contraception, that study might reveal solutions as well as the connection. Practical ways to counteract the issues that the presenters fear are contributing to the crisis include: using charcoal filters on drinking water to block high levels of EE2; refraining from the use of oral contraceptives; and advocating for research into endocrine disruptors. More information can be found by viewing the entire presentation on YouTube by searching: Contra Environment.

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Tom and Rhonda Kay Cure, members of Church of the Ascension in Overland Park, will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary on May 31. The couple was married on May 31, 1969, at St. Augustine Church, Washington. They are planning a family vacation to Silverthorne, Colorado, this summer with their three children — Brad Cure, Chad Cure and Angie Wooldridge — and their spouses along with their six grandchildren. Barbara (Grosko) and Dave Palcher, members of St. John the Baptist Parish, Kansas City, Kansas, will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary on June 7. The couple was married on June 7, 1969. Their children are: Brian Palcher and Jenny (Palcher) Yankovich. They also have four grandchildren. Roy and Brenda (Eckstein) Conrardy, members of Divine Mercy Parish, Gardner, will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary on June 2 with a marriage blessing followed by a celebration with family and friends. The couple was married on June 7, 1969, at Nativity of Mary Church, Independence, Missouri. Their children are: Sandra Parks, Amber Bright and Tara Payton. They also have seven grandchildren. Carol (Swenson) and Mark Boyer, members of Church of the N a t i v i t y, Leawood, will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary on June 6. The couple was married on June 6, 1959, at Sacred Heart Cathedral, Salina. They will celebrate with a dinner. Their children are: Laurie Kloepper, Chris Boyer, Natasha Boyer and John Boyer. They also have two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Klara (Ketter) and Ben Meseke, members of St. Paul Parish, Olathe, will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary on June 7. The couple was married on June 7, 1969, at St. James Church, Wetmore. Their children are: Thad Meseke, Lenexa; Shelly Good, Olathe; Rick Meseke, Topeka; and David Meseke, Topeka. They also have 11 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. They plan to celebrate with a family cruise and later with a reception.

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Give your children the gift Mr. Rogers gave us: time By Deacon Tony Zimmerman Special to The Leaven


ome years ago, during a trip back East to visit family, my wife decided to call the public television station in Pittsburgh, which was the home to “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” She asked if an episode of the show was being filmed that day, hoping that our young daughters could meet Mr. Rogers. She was told that there was no producTOOLS FOR tion that day. HowevFAMILIES er, we could bring the Growing as children and they could Disciples of see where the show Jesus was produced. Upon our arrival, we were surprised to hear that Mr. Rogers had called in and that he came in to visit our children. Soon he appeared with the trademark cardigan sweater and the tennis shoes he wore on every show. He brought out all the puppets and began conversing with our children in each puppet’s voice. He gave us a tour of the set. There was no hurry in the visit. Each child left with pictures and a treasured childhood memory. His message of the importance and specialness of each person was lived out in making time to come and visit with us that day. My wife and I left the television station with a valuable example and challenge for our family life: Look for ways to affirm the unique and special gift that God has given each family member. As we all begin the summer and vacation season, consider

these possible ways to affirm the goodness in your children: 1. Plan to be spontaneous and open to moments when your child comes into your presence. Being willing to put aside all the usual distractions and spend time with them says to your child: “You are special and important to us.” 2. Learn how to “play.” Whether it’s a tea

party with dolls, a card game, a game of catch, a walk around the neighborhood, or water fights with a Super Soaker, do what gives your child delight. Revel in the laughter and squeals of delight. 3. While it might be messy, invite your children to help prepare waffles or pancakes for a weekend breakfast. 4. Even time spent lying in the grass and

imagining what each cloud seems to resemble is time well spent. 5. As you end the day with bedtime prayers, ask each person to remember and thank God for one thing that gave them joy that day. Don’t be surprised if, in later years, you see these moments of family joy repeated in your children’s families.

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King Clinton gets a strenuous workout in the boxing ring at the Police Athletic League of Kansas City, Kansas (PAL). The PAL is a free program designed to build mentoring relationships in an athletic environment between police officers and underprivileged youth. It is housed in the old St. Mary Church in Kansas City, Kansas.

Retired boxer gives back to the urban neighborhood that gave to him

Story and photos by

Jill Ragar Esfeld Open house If you’d like to see PAL KCK for yourself, the community is having a Fiesta Open House on May 25 from 1-4 p.m. at 5th St. and Ann Ave. in Kansas City, Kansas. Father Peter Jaramillo will give a blessing at 2 p.m.


ANSAS CITY, Kan. — “It all started with this priest — Father Michael,” recalled former professional boxer Gerardo “Lalo” Robles. “He’s the one that helped me out a lot in my teenage years,” he added. Robles grew up in St. Joseph-St. Benedict Parish (now All Saints) in Kansas City, Kansas. It was Father Michael Hermes — who served first as associate, and then as pastor of the parish — he is referring to. Robles stayed out of trouble, he admits, because Father Michael kept him active — in youth groups, retreats and community service. “There were a lot of teachers involved in my life, too — coaches, other people who helped me,” he said. Robles eventually left his hometown and spent 14 successful years as a professional boxer on the West Coast. But now he’s back — and giving back. “All these people being part of my life, changed my life,” he said. “So, I wanted to do something to change kids’ lives like other people changed mine.” To that end, Robles accepted a position as the head boxing coach with the Police Athletic League of Kansas City, Kansas (PAL KCK), a new program transforming the lives of young people in his community. When it first launched this February, PAL KCK had 75 youth signed up. Three months later, it has almost 400.

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Coach Manuel Ruiz wears punching mitts to help a young girl work on her boxing skills.

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Building bonds through boxing The PAL is a free program designed to build mentoring relationships in an athletic environment between police officers and underprivileged youth. The purpose is to teach discipline and responsibility while improving community relations. More than 700 PALs operate throughout the country, and boxing is traditionally the centerpiece of programming. PAL KCK has found its home in the former St. Mary Church, the first Catholic church built in Wyandotte County. The beautiful Romanesque structure built in 1890 has sat vacant for many years; but now, every week night from 5-8 p.m., its doors are open. Instead of priests and pews, there are police officers and boxing bags. But the objective, said director Matt Tomasic, is the same. “I believe,” he said, “that although what we’re doing is totally different from what was done here 130 years ago, ultimately we’re making a place of refuge for people, we’re building community. “It’s the same mission.” When Tomasic first brought Robles to St. Mary and told him it would be the home of PAL KCK, Robles was inspired. “It kind of brought me flashbacks,” he said. “My old gym where I used to train in East L.A. was an old church. “I thought, ‘Wow, this is great, this is beautiful; it’s like it’s meant to be.’”

Serving the old neighborhood Tomasic is also from the neighborhood, growing up in St. John the Baptist Parish just a couple of blocks away. “I served a lot of funerals and weddings at St. Mary 40 years ago,” he said. “There were four boys in my family, and we lived close. “So, whenever they would have an altar boy cancel, the nun would call my mom and she would send one of us up.” Tomasic, still a parishioner of St. John the Baptist, served on the Kansas City, Missouri, police force for 23 years and worked closely with the PAL program there. “I saw firsthand the good work they do,” he said. “So, when I retired, we met with [Kansas City Kansas Police Chief Terry Zeigler] and talked about opening a PAL in Kansas City, Kansas.” The program is based on a nine-round boxing workout. “So, the kids will come in,” explained Tomasic, “and they’ll jump rope for three rounds or six minutes with a one-minute rest in between. “Then they’ll move to

Young boxers must complete lots of training — including shadow boxing, jumping rope and heavy bag work — before they ever see the ring. Natalia Castaneda, le shadow boxing, then they’ll move to hitting the heavy bags, and they kind of work a circuit. “The coaches go around and give pointers and critique.” Boxers putting in the time and effort will eventually advance to competing against one another in the ring. In addition to boxing, PAL KCK has a community garden that includes beekeeping and, in the future, chickens. Friday evenings the PAL provides art classes. Tomasic is hoping to expand the current programming this summer and add a football clinic. But for now, he’s waiting on broadband so he can turn the church balcony into a computer lab. “I think a statistic that was significant to me is that less than 30 percent of kids that live below the poverty level have access to the internet in their homes,” he said. Soon students will be able to complete homework before they start boxing. And those struggling in school will be required to spend time with a tutor.

A safe place to play Two full-time Kansas City, Kansas, police officers are assigned to the PAL. Officer P.J. Locke grew up in St. John the Baptist Parish and saw the opportunity to work with the PAL as a way to help improve his home community. He knows firsthand that PAL is vital to meeting that goal. “It’s free and it’s a perfect environment,” he said. “The kids get exercise, they get discipline, they learn responsibility. “And active hands with us are better than active hands out there on the street.” Tomasic agreed. “At the end of the day,” he said, “the boxing, the gardening, the beekeeping, that’s all great. “But the reason we’re doing it is to get the kids in the door to be mentored.” Tomasic often hears from parents in the community that they don’t want their children playing video games all day, but they’re afraid to send them outside in an area where crime is high.

PAL KCK is a perfect solution to that problem — nothing could be safer than a fitness program run by police officers. And it gives officers an opportunity to build trust within the community. “Because that’s what really solves crimes,” said Tomasic. “Good detective work is great, but without people trusting you and telling you what’s going on, you’re not going to get very far.”

Building trust In the short time the program has been running, officers have seen youth who were once guarded around them opening up. “Oh, for sure,” said Locke. “They know I’m a cop, because they’ve seen me in uniform up here. They see me carrying a gun up here. “But when they see me with them in a T-shirt and shorts, showing them how to punch, how to run, how to do jumping jacks, they start loosening up. “They start feeling more comfortable with me.”

Jane Ruiz works on her technique and f full-time Kansas City, Kansas, police offi The positive results are already apparent. “Every problem they’ve had here,” said Locke, “they’ve come up and told us about so we can stop it immediately,

Instead of priests and pews in old St. Mary Church, there are police officers and boxing bags. The Romanesque structure built in 1890 sat vacant for many years. Now, every weeknight from 5-8 p.m., its doors are open as part of the Police Athletic League of Kansas City, Kansas.

eft, blocks a jab from Janette Molina as the two put their boxing skills to use.

Nasir Clinton works on his punches and reflexes as part of his nine-round workout. As the PAL gym becomes known throughout this neighborhood, it’s bonding the community in support of its youth and its police officers.

PAL KCK needs your help

Olivia Lainez, left, gets tips on her form from head coach Lalo Robles. Robles spent 14 successful years as a professional boxer on the West Coast before returning to Kansas City to give back to the community.

form with coach Manuel Ruiz. PAL is free and offers a safe environment with two ficers assigned to it. which is nice. “We’ve had kids talk about their problems at school, too, and talk about their problems at home. “And we’ve been able to

steer them in the right direction.” Many of the children participating in the program don’t have father figures and the guidance that often provides.

“We’re able to mentor them and guide them,” said Locke. “And not just as a police officer guiding them in the right direction, but we need to guide them spiritually also.” Of course, PAL KCK is mostly about the sport of boxing — and positive results have already been seen in that area as well. One of the PAL participants recently qualified for the 2019 USA Boxing’s National Junior Olympics, one of USA Boxing’s

most prestigious national tournaments. He’ll head to Wisconsin with Robles to compete next month. “And he’ll be the first one representing PAL KCK,” said Robles. “He doesn’t have a lot of fights, but he has a good trainer. “I’ve been there and done that.” As the PAL gym becomes known throughout this neighborhood, it’s bonding the community in support of its youth

All activities at PAL KCK are free, and all donations go toward those activities. Because of the unexpected volume of interest, more boxing gloves had to be purchased, as well as other equipment. The program is in need of donations and volunteers. “We need a lot of things,” said head boxing coach Lalo Robles, “but we also want parents and people to volunteer. “They don’t need to know how to box. I can teach them the basics. And that’s all we need, because the kids will learn the basics first.” For more information or to make a donation, visit the website at:

and its police officers. “I’m surprised,” said Locke. “It’s grown exponentially faster than I expected. “Clearly, people want it. And it’s working!”




Funeral pays tribute to homeless man By Sean Gallagher Catholic News Service


Janet O’Grady, a parishioner of Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Vienna, Va., makes an Elsa wig from “Frozen” May 9, 2019, for a child experiencing hair loss.

Virginia woman makes whimsical wigs for children experiencing hair loss By Zoey Maraist Catholic News Service


IENNA, Va. (CNS) — When her friend’s daughter was diagnosed with cancer, Holly Christensen, an Alaskan mother and oncology nurse, decided to make the little girl something pretty to wear. She created a Rapunzel-style wig made of soft yellow yarn with flowers strewn throughout the long braid. The gift was a hit. “[My friend] was able to see her daughter just be a little girl again, twirling around in a dress with her Rapunzel braid and having fun — this little girl who had previously been lost in this painful, scary world of cancer,” said Christensen in a video about the project. “One of the things I’ve learned is that I can’t do everything, but I can do something.” Christensen converted her onecar garage into a wig-making workshop and invited her friends to help. In just a few years, the Magic Yarn Project has sent more than 16,500 yarn wigs to children experiencing hair loss. Crocheters from around the world volunteer their time and

yarn to make the princess wigs and superhero beanies, which then are given for free to ailing kids. Janet O’Grady, a crafter from Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Vienna, was looking for a pattern online when she stumbled across the website. “I was very absorbed by it,” she told the Arlington Catholic Herald, newspaper of the Diocese of Arlington. “I was thinking about children when they lose their hair, especially little girls, and how horrible that would be for them. A wig like this can make them feel pretty.” O’Grady knits with the parish prayer shawl ministry and enjoys quilting but hadn’t crocheted until she started making the wigs. She watched some of the newer princess and superhero movies to learn more about the characters that inspire the handmade headgear. “I had to,” she said laughing. “Merida (from “Brave”) is my absolute favorite. I [have] Scottish heritage and her wild hair — I just love it.” When there’s a craft store sale, she’ll buy bunches of acrylic yarn for the wigs. “I have enough yarn to make 70 wigs right now, so it should get me through the year,” she said. Then she crochets a simple kid-

sized beanie. Strands of yarn are threaded through the edge of the beanie and tightly knotted. “One of the really important things we try to do is get these things in there nice and firmly because obviously the child is already suffering from hair loss. We don’t want them to end up with a wig [that loses hair],” said O’Grady. Then she styles the strands based on the character, often adding something extra, such as a tiara for Anna, a starfish for Ariel or ringlets for Belle. Of the many options listed on the Magic Yarn Project website, boys often choose the Captain Jack Sparrow wig, Spider-Man beanie or Teenage Mutant Turtle mask. Once the wigs and beanies are complete, she ships a batch to her regional leader to distribute. She loves hearing how the wigs have impacted the children, but feels she’d be too emotional to witness a child receiving one. “I picture the smile on a child’s face when they get it,” said O’Grady. “When I’m having a bad hair day, when it doesn’t go exactly as planned, I always stop and think, ‘You know what? I want it to be nice for that child.’”

NDIANAPOLIS (CNS) — In his own way, William “Paco” Pryor never considered himself homeless during the more than 20 years that he lived behind Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis. Instead, he found his own version of what most people long for in a “home” — a place where he was welcomed and embraced by people who cared about him. On May 8, that embrace surrounded Pryor again during his funeral in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel of the cathedral. He died in a nursing home in Indianapolis April 3 at age 74. At the funeral, many of the dozens of people who came to say their final goodbyes to Pryor were current or former cathedral staff members and volunteers at its Cathedral Kitchen and Food Pantry, which regularly served food to Pryor and continues to do so daily for people in need in Indianapolis. People who minister at the Archbishop Edward T. O’Meara Catholic Center across the street from the cathedral also attended. Over the years, many of these people had tried to persuade Pryor to go to a homeless shelter and transition to more permanent housing, but he consistently refused, seeing his place behind the cathedral as his home. “No doubt, William’s life circumstances and his life choices helped lead him to this place, which was home for him for so many years,” said Deacon Nathan Schallert in a homily during the funeral. “He found people who cared. William landed in a place that had suitable shelter, great hot food, access to clothing. He found a place where he could live out life’s journey.” His time at the cathedral came to an end on a hot and humid day in June 2018 when Liza Crane, a registered nurse, found Pryor in shock from dehydration. As part of her work at Pedigo Health Clinic of Eskenazi Health in Indianapolis, Crane regularly drives around the city in a van to check on the health of homeless people. Crane knew that Pryor needed to be treated in a hospital, but he refused to go until convinced by Diana Hay, the cathedral parish’s executive assistant and events coordinator. She had known Pryor since coming to work at the cathedral parish in 1998. “He was a part of the cathedral,” Hay said. “All the parishioners were aware of him. He was such a presence, such an instrument of kindness for everybody. People would go out of their way to help him.”




El Salvador lays to rest another priest assassinated by gangs By Rhina Guidos Catholic News Service


ASHINGTON (CNS) — Thousands attended the May 20 funeral of a Salvadoran priest found by his parishioners in what some presume is a gang killing. Parishioners found Father Cecilio Perez Cruz, a 35-year-old priest and pastor of San Jose La Majada parish in Juayua, shot dead in his residence May 18 with a note nearby that said he had not paid “rent,” a euphemism for extortion money, according to preliminary reports from Salvadoran police. “He was a well-loved son of the Virgin (Mary) . . . a humble priest, simple, devoted to his people,” said Father Edwin Banos of the Diocese of Santa Ana, El Salvador, in a video posted May 18 on Facebook. “These have been difficult and sad moments since I found out,” said Father Banos, who told Catholic News Service May 20 that he had studied with Father Perez and that they had been friends for 10 years. “It hurts. It’s a whole human life truncated,” he told CNS via WhatsApp. “He is a brother and a priest-friend. From the first moment I found out, it’s been tears and pain over his death.” Father Banos, communications director for Catholic radio and newspaper Radio Fe y Vida y Periodico Digital Nuestra Iglesia in Santa Ana, attended the funeral in Sonzacate, where the slain priest’s parents live. Several bishops from throughout the country and


Priests carry the casket of Father Cecilio Perez Cruz during a May 20, 2019, funeral for the Salvadoran priest in Sonzacate, El Salvador. Parishioners found Father Perez dead in his residence in Juayua early May 18 with a note nearby that said he had not paid “rent,” a euphemism for extortion money. Preliminary Salvadoran police reports presume he was killed by gangs. Salvadoran Cardinal Gregorio Rosa Chavez also attended. “Today, we are suffering, and we ask the Lord and the Virgin Mary to give us peace, tranquility and serenity,” Father Banos said in his video message. “For Cecilio, I offer my care, my appreciation, my love and my hope that he is rejoicing in the eternal life and that you intercede for us . . . but I also want to manifest my message of conversion to these people who committed this abominable crime.”

In a statement, Bishop Constantino Barrera Morales of Sonsonate, the diocese to which the priest belonged, called on the national police and the justice department to find those guilty of “such an abominable crime” and demanded that they be brought to justice. In recent months, Catholic organizations and leaders in El Salvador, to no avail, have denounced the lack of justice in the country, including the “impunity” in the death of another Salvadoran priest killed in 2018 during Holy Week.

Father Walter Vasquez Jimenez was traveling with parishioners March 29, 2018, to officiate a Holy Thursday Mass in San Miguel when their car was stopped by an armed group wearing masks. The masked men dragged the priest out of the car and his lifeless body was found later. Authorities also blamed gangs in the killing but have not arrested anyone in the crime. “In this moment of profound pain and indignation because of this tragic happening, I want to let all priests, faithful and the people in general know that I energetically condemn this sacrilegious killing of Father Cecilio, and I want us to remain united in prayer and redoubling our measures of security before the great insecurity that reigns in our bloodstained country,” Bishop Barrera said in his statement. “The blood of our selfless pastor is now together with that of the thousands of Salvadorans that each year become victims of this terrible violence that remains for so many years out of control.” Father Banos said justice was one of the reasons Father Perez was killed, though he suggested that police look at various motives for the killing, including the priest’s denunciation of environmental problems in the area. “He was a priest seeking justice, he was very fraternal and denounced injustice,” he said in correspondence with CNS. “We believe that is the cause of his murder. He strongly denounced the cutting of trees in his area, and that touches the interests of high-ranking businesspeople.”

Montreal archbishop opposes Quebec’s secularism bill By Francois Gloutnay Catholic News Service


ONTREAL (CNS) — The archbishop of Montreal worries that Quebec’s secularism legislation will affect religious liberties in this Canadian province. A few hours before the last day of public hearings on Bill 21 May 16, Archbishop Christian Lepine of Montreal said he feared the new legislation “will be at the expense of individual freedoms.” Bill 21 is expected to be adopted at the Quebec’s National Assembly before the end of the parliamentary session in June. The Quebec government hopes the bill will end the debate about how religion should be handled in the public sphere by preventing many public servants, like judges, police officers, and public-school teachers, from wearing any religious symbol. Archbishop Lepine said true state neutrality should rather “demonstrate openness and acceptance toward all its citizens, both those professing no

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Archbishop Christian Lepine of Montreal is pictured in a 2017 photo. He worries that Quebec’s soon-to-be-adopted secularism bill will affect religious liberties in this Canadian province. particular beliefs as well as those professing various beliefs and religious practices.”

“How can one not see that the prohibition against wearing religious symbols is both an obstacle to upholding freedom of conscience and religion, as well as an attack on human dignity, since citizens would be required to conceal their religious identity in the name of a presumed neutrality?” he asked. “A state that claims to be neutral in this subjective fashion cannot really claim to respect the dignity of its citizens, because society and its diverse members are not neutral,” said Archbishop Lepine. He particularly regretted that the teaching staff in public schools will not be allowed to wear any religious symbol while at work. This provision is largely considered to be aimed at Muslim women wearing hijabs. “If teachers cannot wear religious signs at their discretion, the message given to children and youth is that religion has no place in the public sphere, thus relegating those adhering to their religious practice or tradition as second-class citizens,” added Archbishop Lepine, who noted that wearing such symbols is a fundamental right

recognized by Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. “We expect the Quebec government to respect this commitment and to guarantee this fundamental and unalterable right.” “Relativizing the individual freedoms of citizens in the name of establishing the separation of religion and state and of upholding religious neutrality is a dangerous drift toward a closed form of secularism that tends towards the gradual elimination of individual and collective public expressions of belonging to a religious or faith community,” warned Archbishop Lepine. No bishop, Catholic or Anglican, was invited to participate in the hearings on Bill 21. From May 7-16, 38 groups and individuals were invited to express their reactions and thoughts on the legislation. On the same day as Archbishop Lepine’s reaction, leaders from 40 religious congregations of men and women wrote to Simon Jolin-Barrette, minister of immigration, diversity and inclusion, to oppose many provisions of Bill 21.






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Lawn care - Do you know someone with ambition who is looking for a CAREER working in the outdoors? We are looking for smart, energetic people with high integrity who are motivated to learn our business and help us grow. You must be excited to work outside and interested in learning about lawns, pruning, tree care, landscaping and irrigation. Prior experience is not required; a college degree is strongly preferred. We call it “putting your degree to work, outdoors”! We are an employee-owned, nonsmoking company. New hires quickly make great friends with our quality staff. As a faith-based company, we are confident you won’t be disappointed referring a friend to RYAN. Apply online at: Chemistry/physics teacher - Maur Hill-Mount Academy Prep High School is seeking a full-time teaching position in chemistry/physics for the 2019-20 school year. Interested candidates must be able to secure a Kansas teacher’s license. To apply, forward a cover letter and resume to Monika King, Principal, Maur Hill-Mount Academy, 1000 Green St., Atchison, KS 66002, or email: Liturgist - St. Francis Xavier Jesuit Parish, Kansas City, Mo., seeks a liturgist. Primary requirements of the position are assisting the pastor in leading the overall liturgical life of the parish by promoting and coordinating the active participation of the parish community in liturgical prayer and music. A moderately flexible schedule is required to accommodate holy days, weddings and funerals. The liturgist reports to the pastor; the position is full-time, 25 - 30 hours during the week, plus weekends; eligible for benefits. For the full job description and to apply, go online to:, click on “Get Started,” scroll down to “Job Openings,” then click on “Click here to view and apply for current openings.” Youth minister - St. Thomas More Church in south Kansas City, Mo., seeks a full-time director of youth ministry for its parish and school of 1,500 families. Applicants should have a bachelor’s degree or higher, preferably in youth ministry, religious education or a comparable area. More information and application can be found at: citystjoseph; click on “Director of Youth Ministry Saint Thomas More Church.” 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: Housekeeper - Busy family looking for someone for a few hours per week to help with laundry, picking up and other household chores in west Shawnee. Schedule flexible. Call Kate at (913) 221-7063. Members of Sacred Heart Parish. Counselor - St. Gregory the Great School in Marysville is seeking a part-time school counselor. The applicant must hold a current Kansas license through the appropriate accrediting agency (licensed professional counselor, licensed master’s social worker, national certified counselor or licensed school counselor). Interested applicants need to complete the teacher application process online at: For details or questions about this position, send an email to principal Karen Farrell at: or call (785) 562-2831. Parish development consultant - Do you have sales experience? Are you well-networked in the local community? J.S. Paluch, a national publisher of church bulletins, has a full-time position to sell advertising space and service parishes. Base salary plus generous commission. BC/BS health insurance, plus other competitive benefits. Send resume by email to:

HOME IMPROVEMENT 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 Swalms organizing - downsizing - cleanout service - Reduce clutter – Any space organized. Shelving built on-site. Items hauled for recycling and donations. 20 years exp.; insured. Call Tillar at (913) 375-9115. WWW. SWALMSORGANIZING.COM.

EL SOL Y LA TIERRA *Commercial & residential * Lawn renovation *Mowing * Clean-up and hauling * Dirt grading/installation * Landscape design * Free estimates Hablamos y escribimos Ingles!! Call Lupe at (816) 935-0176 Interior painting - Renew your ceiling and walls with a fresh coat of paint. Replace drywall or plaster repaired with no mess!! 25 years experience. Call anytime. Jerry (913) 206-1144. Masonry work - Quality new or repair work. Brick, block and chimney/fireplace repair. Insured; second-generation bricklayer. Member of St. Paul Parish, Olathe. Call (913) 829-4336. 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.


Rodman Lawn Care Lawn mowing, aeration, verticutting, mulching, Hedge trimming, leaf removal, gutter cleaning Fully insured and free estimates John Rodman (913) 548-3002 Decked Out in KC - We repair, power wash and seal concrete drives, walkways, pool decks and more. Call Brian at (913) 952-5965. HARCO Exteriors LLC Your Kansas City fencing specialists Family owned and operated (913) 815-4817

WANTED TO BUY Will buy firearms and related accessories - One or a whole collection. Honest evaluation and top prices paid. Contact Tom at (913) 238-2473. Member of Sacred Heart Parish, Shawnee. Wanted to buy - Antique/vintage jewelry, paintings, pottery, sterling, etc. Single pieces or estate. Renee Maderak, (913) 475-7393. St. Joseph Parish, Shawnee.

Concrete construction - Tear out and replace stamped, stained or colored patios and drives. Retaining walls, footings, poured-in-place safe rooms, excavation and hauling. Asphalt drives and lots. Fully insured; references. Call Dan at (913) 207-4371 or send an email to:

Wanted to buy - Old cars or hot rods. Uncompleted project cars in any condition, with or without titles. Cash buyer. Call (913) 980-3559.

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: Member of Holy Trinity, Lenexa.

CASH FOR YOUR HOME (913) 980-4905 Any condition in the metro area Mark Edmondson - local parishioner

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. NELSON CREATION’S L.L.C. Home makeovers, kitchen, bath. All interior and exterior remodeling and repairs. Family owned, experienced, licensed and insured. Member St. Joseph, Shawnee. Kirk Nelson. (913) 927-5240;

SERVICES 8 to Your IdealWeight Get Real, Get Healthy, Get Empowered. Release your weight and restore your power in 8 weeks! Tutoring - Summer tutoring/enrichment for K - 12. Instructor has 17 years of experience and is degreed. For more information, call Kathleen at (913) 206-2151 or send an email to: Cleaning lady - Reasonable rates; references provided. Call (913) 940-2959. Tree Trimming Tree Trimming/Landscaping Insured/References Free Estimates/Local Parishioner Tony (913) 620-6063 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. Quilted memories - Your Kansas City Longarm shop Nolting Longarm machines, quilting supplies and machine quilting services. We specialize in memorial quilts - custom designed memory quilts from your T-shirt collections, photos, baby clothes, college memorabilia, neckties, etc. For information or to schedule a free consultation, call (913) 649-2704. Visit the website at: 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: 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@; 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.

Sheetrock repaired - We can repair your ceilings and walls and can retexture with popcorn or knockdown ceilings. We can repaint old yellowed ceiling. Interior painting for 24 years with no mess!! Call Jerry at (913) 206-1144.

MEDICARE - Just starting the process? Or would you like to review your current coverage? Local, licensed, independent and experienced Medicare advisor. Holy Cross Parishioner. Will shop your current rate or answer your Medicare questions. Contact Rhonda at (913) 579-3349.

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.

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@ Insured. References.


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: 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. Jimblau

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. or call (913) 422-1591. Caregiver - Reliable caregiver who is very knowledgeable handling a variety of emergency situations. Adept at meal preparation, respite, grocery shopping or running errands, assisting in the maintenance of a household and developing a strong rapport with client. Call Gina at (785) 521-8026. 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.

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 - One plot at Resurrection Cemetery in Lenexa. Best offer. Call Lori at (913) 515-0919. For sale - Inside tandem space for two traditional entombments. Mt. Calvary (Topeka) Mausoleum, Tier F, Holy Trinity. Last space available. Call (785) 215-9540 (785) 580-3928.

Wagner’s Mud-Jacking Co.

Specializing in Foundation Repairs Mud-jacking and Waterproofing. Serving Lawrence, Topeka and surrounding areas. Topeka (785) 233-3447 Lawrence (785) 749-1696 In business since 1963


CALENDAR ‘ALL THINGS UKRAINIAN’ Strawberry Hill Museum 720 N. 4th St., Kansas City, Kansas May, Saturdays and Sundays from noon - 5 p.m.

There will be an exhibit of “All Things Ukrainian” included in the museum’s guided tour. Ukrainian life will be displayed via photographs, woodwork, paintings, pottery and an assortment of crafts from the Ukraine. For more information, go online to the museum’s website at:

KCXL RADIO CELEBRATES Grain Valley Community Center 713 S. Main St., Grain Valley, Missouri May 26 at 1:30 p.m.

This event is a celebration of God, free speech, liberty and health. Speakers will be Catholic evangelist Jesse Romero, Terry Barber, Darrin Donahue and Ron Logan. This is a free event.

DAUGHTERS OF ISABELLA LITTLE FLOWER CIRCLE Christ the King Parish (Yadrich Hall) 5973 S.W. 29th St., Topeka May 26 at 12:30 p.m.

There will be a mother-daughter banquet and Birthright baby shower. Bring a covered dish to share and a baby gift to donate to Mary’s Choice. A business meeting will follow the luncheon. If anyone knows of a member or family in need of the circle’s prayers, call Theresa Smith-Lawton at (785) 640-1403. If you are interested in or would like more information about Daughters of Isabella, call Cindy Keen at (785) 228-9863.

GERMANFEST Sacred Heart-St. Joseph Parish 312 N.E. Freeman, Topeka June 1 at 4 p.m. June 2 from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

The Germanfest begins on June 1 with an outdoor Mass at 4 p.m. followed by Germanfest activities until 11 p.m. There will be German food, a Biergarten, booths and auctions, carnival games for kids and The Chardon Polka Band.

SUMMER FESTIVAL Sisters, Servants of Mary Convent 800 N. 18th St., Kansas City, Kansas June 2 from noon - 4 p.m.

There will be homemade tacos and tamales, Italian and Polish sausages, beef sandwiches, hot dogs, ice cream and Spanish desserts. There will also be games and prizes for children; raffles and booths with dolls and povitica; and a variety table. For more information, call (913) 371-3423.

APPARITIONS AT FATIMA St. Regis Parish 8941 James A Reed Rd., Kansas City, Missouri June 8 at 7:30 a.m.

The morning will begin with a rosary, followed by Mass at 8 a.m. After Mass, Deacon Bob Ellis from the national office of the World Apostolate of Fatima will speak on the apparitions at Fatima, including the devotion of the First Saturdays, the rosary and the triumph of the Immaculate Heart.

A Mass will be celebrated at St. Columbine Cemetery in remembrance of American soldiers who have died in military service. Following Mass, there will be a blessing at St. Columbia Cemetery, located at 159th and S. Moonlight Rd. in Gardner.

‘CREATION CARE: A CALL TO ACTION FOR PEOPLE OF FAITH’ Church of the Ascension (hall) 9510 W. 127th St., Overland Park May 29 at 7 p.m.

Msgr. Stuart Swetland, president of Donnelly College, will lead a discussion about how Catholics are called to respond to Pope Francis’ encyclical, “Laudato Si’,” with the threat of climate change increasingly in the news. Rockhurst biology professor Chad Scholes will discuss easy, practical ways people can help the environment in daily life.

BENEFIT TRAIL RIDE Melvern Lake (Eisenhower Park) Osage City, Kansas May 31 - June 1

Registration is May 1, 6 - 9 p.m. or June 1 from 7 - 8:30 a.m. Horseback riding will be from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Non-riders are welcome to join us for dinner and music at 6 p.m. The cost for dinner is $10 for adults; $5 for kids ages 6 - 12; and free for kids under 5. Proceeds go the parish building fund for St. Patrick Parish in Scranton. For more information, call Lori Mock at (785) 640-7262 or Rhonda Stark at (785) 633-3046.

GARAGE SALE Holy Spirit Parish 11300 W. 103rd St., Overland Park May 31 from 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. June 1 from 8 a.m. - 1 p.m.

There will be furniture, kitchen wares, clothing, baby items, toys, games, holiday items, books, art, home decor and more. Come shop and visit with friends. Net proceeds from the sale will benefit Holy Spirit School and the youth ministry’s trip to Steubenville.

invites you to join them for an 11 a.m. social hour/silent auction, 12:15 p.m. buffet, and 1:15 p.m. show. All proceeds benefit student scholarships. RSVP online by June 4 to Laura Caulfield (’69) at: lcaulfield@kc.rr. com or call (913) 491-1147.

PARISH PICNIC St. Malachy Parish 1012 Main St., Beattie June 9 at 5 p.m.

The cost for a supper of beef brisket or pork barbecue is $10 for adults; $5 for kids ages 4 10. There will also be games, bingo and a raffle. There will be an auction at 8 p.m.

CHICKEN DINNER Sacred Heart Parish 22298 Newbury Rd., Paxico June 9 from noon - 3 p.m.

Mass will be at 10:30 a.m. Chicken dinner will be served buffet-style following Mass. The cost for dinner will be: $10 for adults; $4 for kids 5 - 12; and kids 4 and under eat for free. There will also be games, bingo, raffles and a silent auction at the parish hall, 1.5 miles north of Paxico.

PICNIC AND AUCTION St. James Parish 306 5th St., Wetmore June 9 at 4:30 p.m.

The cost for a dinner of roast beef and ham served family style is: $10 for adults; $5 for kids ages 4 - 10; and free for kids 3 and under. There will be games for all ages, and bingo and card games in the church basement. The auction begins at 8 p.m. in the hall. Kiss the pig winner will be announced prior to the auction.

MEMORIAL DAY MASS AND BLESSING SERVICE Divine Mercy Parish (St. Columbine Cemetery) 207th St. and Dille Rd., Edgerton May 27 at 9 a.m.

BINGO NIGHT Sacred Heart Church 2646 S. 34th St., Kansas City, Kansas June 8 at 7 p.m.

Sacred Heart Knights of Columbus will be hosting bingo. There will be cash prizes. Concessions will be sold. For more information, call (913) 850-3348.

GARAGE SALE Holy Rosary, Wea 22705 Metcalf, Bucyrus June 8 from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. June 9 from 8 a.m. - noon

This will be a 700-family garage sale. On June 9, all items that fit in a trash bag will be $4 per bag, except furniture and certain tables.

HOLY TRINITY RETREAT Christ’s Peace House of Prayer 22131 Meagher Rd., Easton June 7 - 9

The retreat will begin at 5:30 p.m. with check-in, followed by supper at 6 p.m. There will be four or five talks with discussion, eucharistic adoration each day, Mass on Saturday and Sunday at the local parish and time for private prayer, walks and spiritual reading. The cost for three days is $170 for individuals and $250 for couples. For more information or to register, send an email to: info@ or call (913) 773-8255.

PANCAKE BREAKFAST Divine Mercy Parish (Christian Formation Center) 555 W. Main St., Gardner June 9 from 8 - 10 a.m.

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


‘MASSIVE’ GARAGE SALE Church of the Ascension 9510 W. 127th St., Overland Park June 12 from 3 - 7 p.m. (presale, $5 cover) June 13 from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. June 14 from 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. June 15 from 8 a.m. - noon

The garage sale helps fund the ministries that serve the parish and many ministries beyond the parish. There will be lots of treasures from clothing to stuffed zebras! On June 14, many items will be half price. On June 15, it will be “everything you can put in a bag” sale day. The cost will be either $5 or $10 per bag.

18TH ANNUAL GERMANFEST St. Joseph Parish 306 N. Broadway, Leavenworth June 15 from 4:30 - 9 p.m.

There will be a traditional German dinner served. The cost for dinner is $10 for adults; $4 for kids. There will also be a beer garden, wine, a raffle with cash and German prizes, and a silent auction. Outdoor music will be provided by the Festhaus Musikanten polka band. Betty Jo Simmon, accordionist, will provide music in the dining hall. For more information, call the parish office at (913) 682-3953 or go online to:

‘SPIRITUAL ENERGY’ Church of the Nativity 3800 W. 119th St., Leawood June 15 at 8:15 a.m. (Mass), 9:15 a.m. (meeting)

Come reflect on and share the topic of “Spiritual Energy” in the tradition of Salesian spirituality with the Daughters of St. Francis de Sales after Mass in the Magi Room. To attend, send an email to Ruth Owens at: rowens4853@ For additional information, visit the website at:

‘BUDDY - THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY’ New Theatre & Restaurant 9229 Foster St., Overland Park June 22 at 11 a.m.

The University of Mary KC Alumni Council

CATECHESIS OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD Sts. Peter and Paul Parish 411 Pioneer, Seneca June 6 - 9 and 20 - 23

This is adult formation for level 2, part 1, summer intensive. For more information or to register, call Angie Hammes at (785) 2940442 or send an email to: angiemhammes@

ART AND MUSIC SUMMER CAMP Our Lady’s Montessori School 3020 S. 7th St., Kansas City, Kansas June 3 - 6

Our Lady’s Montessori School for young children will offer an art and music camp. For more information and to enroll, send an email to: or call (913) 403-9550.

GOLF TOURNAMENT Sunflower Hills Golf Course 12200 Riverview Ave., Bonner Springs June 24 at 1 p.m.

There will be a shotgun start at 1 p.m. The cost to attend is $75 per person for a fourperson scramble. Send checks payable to: St. John the Baptist Altar Society, 708 N. 4th St., Kansas City, KS 66101 before June 17. For more information, send an email to: or call Carol Shomin at (913) 897-4833. The tournament is sponsored by the Strawberry Hill Altar Societies.

FAMILY SPECIAL-NEEDS SUMMER CAMP Prairie Star Ranch 1124 California Rd., Williamsburg June 28 - 30

This is a summer camp for families who have a loved one with special needs. For more information, go online to: specialneeds or contact Tom Racunas by email at: or call (913) 647-3054.

BEGINNING EXPERIENCE - A WEEKEND AWAY FOR A LIFETIME OF CHANGE Precious Blood Renewal Center 2120 St. Gaspar Way, Liberty, Missouri June 28 - 30

This is a weekend for those who are suffering the loss of a love relationship and may feel left out by their church, uneasy around married friends and unsure of themselves. For more information, visit: www.beginning; send an email to: register.; or call Michelle at (913) 709-3779.


May is Mental Health Awareness Month. As a faith community, we are called to support individuals and their families who have mental health concerns. If you would like more information about how to support people with mental illness and their families in your parish, call the special-needs ministry office of the archdiocese at (913) 647-3054 or send an email to: tracunas@

DIVORCED: CALLED TO LOVE AGAIN Church of the Ascension (St. Luke Room) 9510 W. 127th St., Overland Park 2nd and 4th Sundays from 7 - 8:30 p.m.

What’s next after divorce/annulment? Join us for a formation series on the gift of self, which helps us fulfill the call to love again. Various topics will be discussed. Visit our Facebook page at: giftofself143 or send an email to:


COMMENTARY SIXTH WEEK OF EASTER May 26 SIXTH SUNDAY OF EASTER Acts 15: 1-2, 22-29 Ps 67: 2-3, 5-6, 8 Rv 21: 10-14, 22-23 Jn 14: 23-29 May 27 Augustine of Canterbury, bishop Acts 16: 11-15 Ps 149: 1b-6a, 9b Jn 15:26 – 16:4a May 28 Tuesday Acts 16: 22-34 Ps 138: 1-3, 7c-8 Jn 16: 5-11 May 29 Wednesday Acts 17:15, 22 – 18:1 Ps 148: 1-2, 11-14 Jn 16: 12-15 May 30 Acts 18: 1-8 Ps 98: 1-4 Jn 16: 16-20 May 31 THE VISITATION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY Zep 3: 14-18a (Ps) Is 12: 2-3, 4bcd, 5-6 Lk 1: 39-56 June 1 Justin, martyr Acts 18: 23-28 Ps 47: 2-3, 8-10 Jn 16: 23b-28 SEVENTH WEEK OF EASTER June 2 THE ASCENSION OF THE LORD Acts 1: 1-11 Ps 47: 2-3, 6-9 Eph 1: 17-23 Lk 24: 46-53 June 3 Charles Lwanga and companions, martyrs Acts 19: 1-8 Ps 68: 2-7b Jn 16: 29-33 June 4 Tuesday Acts 20: 17-27 Ps 68: 10-11, 20-21 Jn 17: 1-11a June 5 Boniface, bishop, martyr Acts 20: 28-38 Ps 68: 29-30, 33-36c Jn 17: 11b-19 June 6 Norbert, bishop Acts 22: 30; 23: 6-11 Ps 16: 1-2a, 5, 7-11 Jn 17: 20-26 June 7 Friday Acts 25: 13b-21 Ps 103: 1-2, 11-12, 19-20ab Jn 21: 15-19 June 8 Acts 28: 16-20, 30-31 Ps 11: 4-5, 7 Jn 21: 20-25



Police, volunteers pull no punches in efforts to help kids

t was not my home parish, but I still have fond memories of St. Mary Church in Kansas City, Kansas. After its school closed in the ‘60s, the boys from my home parish of St. John the Baptist, about two blocks away, took over the duties of serving Mass at the parish. Two things stand out. One was of Father Leo Herken, the pastor there when I was a server. He was one of the kindest men I’ve ever met, but I hardly ever understood a word he said. He spoke with a kind of lilting, nasally drawl when giving instructions on serving. He always ended with, “You understand, boys?” We answered dutifully, “Yes, Father!” And as soon as he was out of earshot, we asked one another, “What did he say?!?” But the Lord saw that things always worked out. My second memory was serving for an


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

elderly priest at a daily noon Mass at St. Mary’s one Lent. On the Tuesday of Holy Week, he asked if I’d be there the next day because he had something for me. After Mass that day, he gave me a reward for serving so faithfully: a dime. It was like a treasure for him and I was humbled by his simple gesture and kept that coin for many years. Once the church

itself closed and was merged with St. Anthony Parish, St. Mary’s basement became the home for a food kitchen to provide for the poor and homeless. But the upstairs was slowing deteriorating. Each time I found myself on Strawberry Hill, St. Mary’s looked a little worse. But that’s no longer the case! In this season of Easter, there’s been a resurrection for the former St. Mary Church. Having undergone extensive renovation, it’s filled again with life, thanks to the Police Athletic League of Kansas City, Kansas. Be

sure to check out the story and photos on pages 7-9 of this issue. Seeing what they’re doing at the former church brought to mind this story. There was a teacher celebrating her 80th birthday. It was a marvelous occasion, highlighted by the presence of a great number of her former students. She had taught in one of the worst sections of Baltimore. Before she came to that school, there were repeated instances of juvenile crime and delinquency. Once she began her work, there came a change, which in time became noticeable with so many of her students turning out to be good citizens, men and women of good character. Some became doctors, lawyers, educators, ministers, craftsmen and technicians. It was no accident, therefore, that she was remembered with gratitude and love from her students, especially on this milestone birthday.

A newspaper sent a reporter to interview her. He asked for the secret that made her teaching so rewarding. She said, “Oh, I don’t know. When I look at the young teachers in our schools today, so well equipped with training and learning, I realize that I was ill prepared to teach. I had nothing to give but love.” (Adapted from Don E. McKenzie of Northway Christian Church in Dallas, found in “Illustrations Unlimited,” edited by James S. Hewett.) I’m sure there’s plenty of love still embedded in those walls of old St. Mary’s. It’s now seeping out in the efforts of all involved in PAL KCK. The essential ingredient to transforming lives doesn’t involve fancy equipment. Some boxing gloves, several heavy bags and a safe place to gather — sprinkled with lots of love — are a winning combination to knock out poverty’s punch.

Covenant of Noah invites early converts to Christianity


hy would anyone, except a vampire, be tempted to drink blood? Not many people would. In that case, why do the apostles prohibit it, along with several other practices? That is what Sunday’s first reading tells us in Acts 15:1-2, 22-29. It orders the Christians of Gentile origin “to abstain from meat sacrificed to idols, from blood, from meats of strangled animals, and from unlawful marriage.” This prohibition against consuming blood harkens back to Gn 9:3a, 4: “Every creature that is alive shall be yours to eat. . . . Only flesh with its lifeblood still in it you shall not eat.” In this passage, God


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

is speaking to Noah after the flood waters have subsided. God is establishing a covenant with Noah. The prohibition against consuming


blood forms part of that covenant. For the ancients, blood represented the life of the animal. That is why it is reserved to God. Life belongs to God. The Book of Deuteronomy confirms this, where it commands: “But make sure that you do not partake of the blood; for blood is life, and you shall not consume this seat of life

Pope Francis has invited young economists and entrepreneurs around the world to help create a “new and courageous culture” that finds new ways to do business, promote human dignity and protect the environment. “We need to correct models of growth incapable of guaranteeing respect for the environment, openness to life, concern for the family, social equality, the dignity of workers and the rights of future generations,” the pope said in a letter inviting young people to take part in a new initiative. The initiative, to be launched at an event in Assisi March 26-28, 2020, invites young men and women studying or working in the field of economics or

with the flesh” (12:23). When an animal was offered in sacrifice to God, its blood was often splashed on the altar as part of the offering: “Aaron’s sons, the priests, shall offer up its blood by splashing it on the sides of the altar” (Lv 1:5). In making a covenant between God and the people, the blood would also be sprinkled on the people as well as on the altar. In this way, the blood would create a bond between God and the people, a bond of blood. This covenant between God and Noah, in which the prohibition against consuming blood figures prominently, precedes that covenant between God and Abraham that gave origin to the people of Israel.

Entrance into the covenant of Abraham would require circumcision for the men. It would require observance of the Law of Moses. Gentile converts to Christianity ordinarily did not wish to go that route. Instead, they would settle for the covenant of Noah. That essentially is the requirement that the apostles are imposing in the message quoted in Sunday’s reading. The apostles realize that following Jesus Christ will already involve much hardship and sacrifice as it is. It is not necessary to make it more difficult. That is why they decide “not to place on you any burden beyond these necessities” stated in their letter.

business to join the pope and “enter into a ‘covenant’ to change today’s economy and to give a soul to the economy of tomorrow.” The aim is to build and promote a different kind of economy: “one that brings life not death, one that is inclusive and not exclusive, humane and not dehumanizing, one that cares for the environment and does not despoil it,” the pope said in the letter, released by the Vatican May 11. The letter, addressed to “young economists and entrepreneurs,” said that given “a need to ‘re-animate’ the economy,” there was no better place to launch the initiative than in Assisi, “which has for centuries eloquently symbolized a humanism of fraternity” and peace, and would be “a fitting place to inspire a new economy.” — CNS




Saint’s dedication to Potawatomi honored By Jill Ragar Esfeld


OUND CITY — There were two relics of St. Rose Philippine Duchesne at a Mass recently celebrated by Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann in the park here named for her. One was displayed in a monstrance beside the outdoor altar. The other was enclosed in the archbishop’s pectoral cross. St. Rose founded the first convents of the Society of the Sacred Heart in the United States. In 1841, she traveled to St. Mary’s Mission here in Kansas, where she ministered to Native Americans of the Potawatomi Tribe after they walked the famous Trail of Death. St. Philippine Duchesne Memorial Park is built on the site of the mission. The Mass was celebrated in honor of St. Rose at the completion of a two-day hiking pilgrimage made by young adults and members of the Community of the Lamb of the archdiocese. An altar was set up in front of crosses bearing the names of the 600 Potawatomi buried there. The lawn in front of the altar, which the archbishop referred to as the “green cathedral,” was filled with Brothers and Sisters of the Community of the Lamb, young adult pilgrims and parishioners of Sacred Heart Church in nearby Mound City. Father Barry Clayton, pastor of Sacred Heart, concelebrated, along with Little Brother Christophe. The Community of the Lamb, like St. Rose, has its home in France, and the Little Sisters prayed to the saint when discerning their move to Kansas. Archbishop Naumann has a unique bond with the community through a shared devotion to the saint. When the archbishop addressed the crowd in his homily, he recounted the story of his own relic of St. Rose. Referring to his cross he said, “The archbishop of St. Louis gave this to me at the time I was ordained.


Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann celebrates a Mass on May 5 in honor of St. Rose Philippine at the St. Philippine Duchesne Memorial Park at the completion of a two-day hiking pilgrimage made by young adults and members of the Community of the Lamb of the archdiocese. “It had a reliquary in it, but it didn’t have a relic.” The archbishop’s mother has always had a deep devotion to St. Rose. “As a child, she was instructed by Sisters from the Sacred Heart community,” he said. “That’s actually who taught her catechism. “After my father died, and she wanted to go back to school to become a teacher, she was given a St. Rose Philippine Duchesne Scholarship to go to college.” Louise Naumann attended Maryville College of St. Louis, where she received the relic now preserved in his pectoral cross. And she did become a teacher. As a matter of fact, she was the archbishop’s kindergarten teacher.

In 1988, the archbishop and his mother flew together to Rome to attend the canonization of St. Rose. When he assigned from St. Louis to this archdiocese, said the archbishop, he saw the hand of God at work. “One of the things I believe was very providential is that this is the one other place, besides the Archdiocese of St. Louis, where St. Rose Philippine Duchesne lived and ministered,” he said. Along with the Community of the Lamb and Sacred Heart parishioners, the archbishop has a deep appreciation for the memorial park “I’ve always felt it was a great blessing to be at this place,” he said. “And it is a blessing to have this special place here in the archdiocese.

“This is where St. Philippine Duchesne realized an ambition she had even before she came to the United States — this desire to preach the Gospel and share the good news of Jesus Christ with Native Americans.” Archbishop Naumann encouraged the audience, and especially the youth who just completed the pilgrimage, to continue in the footsteps of the park’s great namesake. “Let us pray,” he said, “that, just as these days you’ve walked with the Lord and you’ve made this pilgrimage with him and with one another, we will be faithful in this pilgrimage of life. “Pray that we will accept our mission to bring his love to the world and to witness to that love even when the cross is present in our lives.”

Getting down and dirty with the ‘Dirty Kanza’ bike race By Joe Bollig


MPORIA — There’s a reason the cross-country bicycle race here is called the “Dirty Kanza.” “You get dirty on the gravel roads,” said Father Nick Blaha, pastor of St. Catherine Parish and chaplain/director of the Didde Catholic Campus Center in Emporia. “You just get filthy. The roads are muddy, and you ride through runoff,” he said. “In fact, the dirt is one of the hazards of the race. You’ve got to keep your bike clean or you’ll have mechanical problems.” As a last hurrah before he leaves for an assignment to another parish, Father Blaha is participating in the 2019 Garmin Dirty Kanza on June 1. It’s an ultra-endurance challenge called a “gravel grinder,” and takes place on the public access gravel roads of the Flint Hills. The Kansas Cyclist website warns that “this is not an undertaking for the inexperienced bicyclist.” And, “If you have never completed a solo 24-hour bicycling event, you might want to think twice about participating.”


Father Nick Blaha, pastor of St. Catherine Parish and chaplain/director of the Didde Catholic Campus Center in Emporia, prepares for the 100-mile Dirty Kanza bike race. But it’s so popular that organizers have a lottery to limit the number of participants. Father Blaha won a coveted spot, but his friends didn’t. About 3,000 riders are expected to participate. Father Blaha began riding because it gave him the satisfaction running couldn’t. “I grew to love biking as a form of exercise,” he said. “I saved up and

purchased a bike that would fit these kinds of races, which I’ve heard about for years. “When in Emporia, do as the Emporians do.” In addition to riding a lot, his preparations have consisted of purchasing equipment, selecting his energy supplements and organizing a group of people to be his support team — because you don’t want to be left out on

the lone prairie. The longest he’s ever ridden in a single stretch is about 55 miles, but the race he’s signed up for is 100 miles. The race offers six riding distances. But he isn’t doing it just for the saddle sores and glory. Father Blaha is seeking sponsorships as a way to bring support and attention to the Didde Center, the Catholic campus ministry at Emporia State University. People can make a one-time pledge or pledge by the mile. Whether the pledge is for a quarter, a buck or even more a mile, all donations are appreciated and will go to benefit the campus ministry program. “I’ll shave my beard for $50,000!” he joked. “People hate the beard.” People who want to make pledges can do so by going to the campus ministry website at: events. The race begins at 6 a.m. Father Blaha isn’t making any predictions about placing, but he is incentivized to make good time. “My goal is to finish in a reasonable amount of time,” he said. “I have 6 p.m. confessions and 7 p.m. Mass that evening, so I better be there.”

Profile for The Leaven

05 24 19 Vol. 40 No. 39  

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

05 24 19 Vol. 40 No. 39  

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

Profile for theleaven