Last week was quite the eventful week with our nation and the world. From fires in the west to hurricanes in the east and south, to earthquakes in Mexico, we had natural disasters that affected many people. Catholic Charities, the Red Cross, and the Knights of Columbus are just a few of the charitable organizations that are helping in the recovery effort. It seems like the worst of things can bring out the best in many. There was a news story I heard about a boy who insisted, with his mom, to take down a truck load of diapers and other supplies for children in the Houston area. Little things can be the hope that someone needs to put one foot in front of the other. We have the capacity to do great things and in these events let us never forget our own blessings. What we think we can’t live without, these folks will be living without for now and in the immediate future. When asked “What do we need?” by a reporter, someone answered, “We need gas, food, and water.” Things we have access to at a moment’s notice are now precious resources to many.
Also, I can’t help but bring up a life-changing event like 9-11. Fr. Don’s heartfelt homily was a terrific tribute to how we can process such a tragedy. I still recall the emptiness I felt that day as I watched those images unfold on TV. The helplessness was overwhelming as I stared in disbelief as those buildings kept coming down. Then, the unknown news of the plane in Pennsylvania came up and the uncertainty of not knowing whether there were more. My immediate reaction for days afterwards was to pay back whoever did this! Hunt them down! But the hate, anger, and feelings of revenge were not going to bring back the lives of those who were lost. It was not going to take away the pain of being invaded.
The only remedy through all this destruction is what Jesus ordered his disciples in this weekend’s Gospel. The path to true peace is found through forgiveness. Not easy! And we can’t expect our humanity to do this immediately. It is a process and a tough one. I will admit that I have a heck of a time when it comes to that, especially with something of this magnitude. But I am a disciple and will continue to learn how to embrace this difficult teaching.
~ Dcn Wayne Talbot
Join us Wednesday, Sept 20
during your child's Religious Ed. Session
for a meeting to review the curriculum, answer questions, and visit your child's class.
In the Gospel readings of the last two Sundays, Peter represents the Church in two distinct ways. First, he proclaims the truth that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, and Jesus calls him “rock.” In the second, he becomes a stumbling block (rock) to the building of that very Church.
Peter was a man of contradictions, and so is the Church. Isn’t it amazing that Jesus entrusts his Risen Body, his continued presence on earth, to such weak and inconsistent people as us? We must be careful not to put unrealistic expectations on the Church. It is a sign of the Kingdom and an instrument of salvation, sharing in the very ministry of Christ himself; yet it often gets in the way of that very progress that we call the building of the Kingdom.
Throughout the Church’s history, there have been great lights: the martyrs, the doctors, the mystics, and millions of ordinary saints who lived holy lives within the circumstances in which they found themselves. But there has been darkness as well: weak leaders, heresies, religious wars and persecutions, and many ordinary people who failed to live up to their potential and caused scandal for others.
Disappointing? Frustrating? Yes, but reality consists of both light and dark. Pure light is blinding, and one cannot see anything. Vision happens when the shadows give shape to the light. The Paschal Mystery is holding both the death and resurrection together. The path of descent is the path of ascent. Christians must own the darkness of the Church as a reality not to be denied but to be redeemed. The sexism, persecution of outsiders, pedophilia, and other sins of the Church are actually signs of God’s amazing love for a humanity that God has embraced in the Son. God took those sins on Jesus’ shoulders and carried them to the cross.
If this is true of the Church, Peter, then it is also true of us as individuals. God accepts our darkness and bathes it in light, gently and gradually. We must not deny our darkness or expect to be totally rid of it; rather, we must trust in the mercy of God who heals us and brings us gradually into the full light of the Kingdom.
~ Fr. Frank Coady
President Trump’s decision to end the DACA, (Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals) program is a matter of grave concern. The immigrants in question were brought to the United States at such a young age that a great many have no memory or experience of any home but America. These “DACA youth” currently live and work among us as contributing members of American society. While DACA was never a permanent solution it did provide as many as 800,000 innocent people with a measure of relief from the constant fear of deportation, oftentimes to a foreign country where they have no family, no support, and no personal history. Along with the bishops of our Nation, I stand in solidarity with these youth who have committed no personal crime and are now in grave peril of deportation to a foreign country.
I believe we must acknowledge that immigration has become one of the most contentious issues in American politics. However, many of our Nation’s greatest moments have been revealed when we have risen above contention and chosen the path of justice tempered with mercy. It is in these moments that we have been a bright light for the rest of the world. I believe in America, and I believe in our legislators’ ability to carve out a just protection for these very vulnerable young people. While consensus on many aspects of a comprehensive immigration policy remains elusive, it is my hope that people of different perspectives can agree that immigrants brought to America as children should not be deported and sent back to a place they may have no memory of. It is prudent for us to call to mind the teaching of our Savior, “what you do to the least of my brothers, you do to me.”
I urge the people of the Salina Diocese to call upon our representatives in the United States Senate and House of Representatives to seek a solution that is both fair and generous—a solution that does not punish innocent children for the actions of their parents, but rather one that upholds America’s founding values and highest ideals.
Bishop Edward J. Weisenburger
September 6, 2017
It’s football season! Youth Ministry collects a $5 per car free-will donation for people choosing to park in our lot and walk to home KSU football games. It’s a great fundraiser that helps support the youth of our parish. We appreciate your patience and support!
One tricky aspect of parking is that K-State cannot set most kickoff times until only 7 days prior due to television schedules. This can make it hard for all of us to plan and prepare! Game times sometimes coincide with weddings, confessions, and 4:30 Mass. Our RCPD officers wisely block off all traffic going toward the stadium at the end of games. We appreciate your patience and support!
If you are coming to a wedding, confession, or Mass, you do NOT need to pay to park. We never “force” anyone to pay; it is a free-will donation. Just smile, wave, and drive on in; we don’t issue tickets or call a tow truck! On certain occasions when game times have coincided with parish events (particularly weddings), we have actually considered NOT collecting a donation to park. But we realized that many fans will likely park here anyway, so we may as well continue to collect donations, not only to realize revenue, but more importantly to monitor the lot and see that those parking for the parish event have priority. We appreciate your patience and support!
Go cats! Go STM! Go Parking!
~ Rick Smith, Youth Minister
This Wednesday, 44 people will attend Catechist Orientation at St. Thomas More. These 44 people have agreed to share their faith with the children of our parish and teach them what it means to be a Catholic Christian. I attended a conference several years ago where Archbishop Michael Jackels was the featured speaker. He said, “The ministry of catechesis is the root of all other ministries in the church. The children we teach today become the extraordinary ministers, lectors, musicians, and the people who choose religious vocations tomorrow. It all begins with what we do.”
Catechesis is not only an important job, but a time consuming one as well. It requires a minimum of 3 hours of volunteer time a week, between lesson planning, gathering materials, and actually teaching in the classroom. Catechists who volunteer rarely see the results of their efforts. They plant seeds that will, hopefully, bear fruit at a much later date. So why volunteer for such a difficult ministry?
Rose Marie Harris, who has taught 2nd grade for 27 years, says, “I love the children! I love sharing their faith journey to help them know and love Jesus and to become his best friend. Each year, I am as excited for them to receive the Eucharist as they are excited, anticipating receiving their 1st Holy Communion. It is very rewarding!”
Hannah Calgren, a college student who is starting her fourth year of volunteering, said, “It reminds me that I am a part of a community that is bigger than me. Just as I was helped and reminded of God’s love for me from teachers, now I have the opportunity to teach the next generation about God. These kiddos are great, and there is no greater reward than seeing the awe on their faces when they learn about how awesome our God is (and it’s a good reminder for all of us ‘big kids’ to remember how awe-inspiring and incredible our God really is, too!)”
Kristy Garrett, who has taught both her children and will teach her daughter this year, says, “I teach religious education to help share God’s love and the life and teachings of Jesus with my students. My favorite part of our lessons is when our students remember past lessons or something they heard at Mass or at home with their parents to relate to our discussion.”
In K-6, our goal is to teach the children about God’s laws, the traditions of the church, and the specialness of being God’s child. We want to give the children “roots” in our Catholicism. As adults, we want our faith tradition to give us “wings,” to lead us into something greater, allowing us to participate in and with God, to help us transition toward an even deeper union with God and all things. STM is offering some wonderful adult classes this fall to help you grow you “wings”: Oremus; From Nothing to Cosmos: God & Science; US Catechism; Men’s Bible Study, Thom’s Moms’ Bible Study, ITV: Worship & Faith (Fr. Frank), and ITV: Reformation. See the InforMore for additional information on these classes.
I encourage you to make time for your own faith formation. We have only one life—one chance to get this right. As Fr. Richard Rohr says, “For a few years, we dance around on the stage of life and have the chance to reflect a little bit of God’s glory. As a human, I’m just a tiny moment of consciousness, a tiny part of creation, a particle that reflects only a fragment of God’s love and beauty. And yet that’s enough. And then we return to where we started—in the heart of God. Everything in between is a school of love.”
~ Sherry Watts, K-6 Coordinator