August 15 is the Holy Day of the Feast of the Assumption of Mary into heaven.We will have Masses at 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.
The Bishop wants your help to create a strategic plan for the diocese for the next 3-5 years. He wants to hear your responses to three questions:
1) As a diocese, what do we do well?
2) As a diocese what could we be doing better?
3) As a diocese what should our pastoral priorities be for the next three to five years?
There are a number of listening sessions that will be hosted in our area.
· Sunday, August 27 at 3:00 p.m., St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, Wichita
· Thursday, August 31 at 6:30 p.m., St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, Wichita
· Thursday, September 7 at 6:30 p.m., Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Wichita, (Spanish Language)
· Monday, September 11, at 7:00 p.m., The Loft at River City Brewery, Session for Young Adult Catholics
· Sunday, October 1 at 3:00 p.m. at Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Wichita, (English Language)
· Sunday, November 5 at 1:30 p.m. at St. Mary Parish, Derby
The session will be led by a facilitator and last approximately 90 minutes. It will provide opportunities for participants to discuss the three questions in small groups and to share responses with the Bishop and large group. All responses will be recorded and kept so that Bishop Kemme may refer back to them as he continues his work of establishing a vision and pastoral priorities for our diocese.
If you cannot attend and want to give your input online, go to the “Listening Session” link under “Find It Here” on the homepage of our diocesan website (www.catholicdioceseofwichita.org).
Faith Formation for All
Sign-ups for 1st Communion/Reconciliation will continue through August. We also will have sign-ups in August for Confirmation preparation (High School age) and Breakfast of Champions (Grades 3-5) as well as Kids Small Groups (Grades K-5).
The Kids Small Groups are a new program this year. They are for children in grades K-5. They will take place between the Sunday Masses twice a month. We believe friendships are key in passing on the faith for both adults and children. I remember the older pastors telling me years ago that the faith is not so much taught as caught. We want to create small groups for kids that foster friendship and an atmosphere where kids can learn from one another in a structured environment led by an adult mentor. The groups will be kept small so the kids can genuinely share their experience and stories with one another. They will not be classes although they will use materials and activities based on the Sunday readings. We will have sign-ups in August and we are still looking for adult mentors and responsible teens.
Breakfast of Champions takes place one Sunday a month between the 9 and 11:00 Masses and uses a Bible hero’s story and some hands-on activity to teach a faith lesson. It is for children in grades 3-5 and their families. It includes breakfast and takes place in the Ville. I have consistently heard great reviews from the families going to Breakfast of Champions. Sign-ups starting in August.
Confirmation preparation is for High School students that have not been confirmed. It takes place in small groups and uses the Decision Point program by Matthew Kelly. The combination of small groups and the Decision Point program creates a great opportunity for youth to grow in faith. We will be doing sign-ups for both students and adult leaders in August.
Our LIFE events for the whole family will continue once a month as they have in the past. They give the whole family and all adults an opportunity to grow in faith. We have sign-ups each month because we need fairly accurate numbers to plan for the meal.
Adult Small Groups also will be continuing in some cases and forming anew in other cases this fall. The small groups allow people to connect with community and learn based on their current interests. Adult small groups respect we are at different places on our spiritual journeys. They provide a variety of groups to meet the different needs people have. Sign-ups will take place in September.
If you have any questions about any of the above, contact the office for more information.
Our new 5:00 Saturday music leader will be Bryan Miller. He is the choir and band director at Kapaun Mt. Carmel High School and has led choirs in parishes for years. Bryan is a gifted vocalist and plays a wide variety of musical instruments. There are no plans to change the style of music although there will be the normal addition of new songs over time. We feel very blessed to welcome Bryan to the St. Vincent music ministry. He will be taking over in August.
I want to thank Austin Freeman who has led the music at 5:00 on Saturdays for the past few years. We will miss his musical gifts as well as how his heart and soul came out in his music. We also will miss Austin for all the ways he has shared his gifts behind the scenes and especially his expertise with audio and video equipment. He has been our troubleshooter for our most difficult audio and video problems. We wish Austin well as he moves to Orlando, Florida to continue his education.
Please welcome Fr. Babu Pinninti this weekend for the Diocesan Missionary Plan of Cooperation. Fr. Babu is a Missionary of St. Francis de Sales. There is no special collection since part of our gifts each week support the missions through our parish tithe to the diocese. The presence of Fr. Babu and others that speak about the missions allows us to connect our support of the missions to a person and community. I personally want to thank Fr. Babu for taking my place during my vacation.
Fundraiser reaction!!! I found out at least some people read my bulleting column about needing to cut back the number of fundraisers announced at Mass and taking place in the Gathering Space. A number of people have expressed their appreciation and look forward to hearing fewer fundraising appeals. I heard from at least one group that has examined their fundraising and plan to reduce their number of appeals to the parish. Other people have expressed a fear there will be no opportunity to have fundraisers to support worthy causes.
First, I am not suggesting we eliminate all fundraisers. However, we do need to reduce the number of fundraisers because the multiplication of requests dilutes the effectiveness of all requests as people tune out during announcements. In the end, all the groups end up working harder to receive less and less funds. I want people to first talk within their groups. Then come August 24th to a meeting and work with me to discern what kind of fundraising policies can help sort out what is worthwhile and what is only marginally effective. I especially challenge groups that have multiple fundraisers during the year to consider how they can reduce their appeals. I want us to tackle this problem together.
Finally, I once again want all groups to better tell the “Good News” of what you are doing. Write short inspiring stories of what you are doing to help people. Something also tells me those short inspiring stories will generate more income for your group than any fundraiser. Writing a 2 or 3 paragraph story is far easier than planning a fundraiser, yet it is seldom done.
You can make an appointment to meet with me during the first half of this week as I will be going on vacation after Mass on Friday.
Transportation help needed from Victoria Falls Assisted Living. One of the residents is very able to walk and travel and wants transportation to either weekend or daily Masses. Call Kathleen in the office if you are able to help.
We welcome the 16 candidates who are joining the Church and receiving the sacraments of Confirmation and Communion this weekend. We are blessed by your presence within our community. More Candidates will be joining at the Holy Saturday Night Vigil as well as several baptisms that night.
Palm Sunday is next weekend, March 19-20. We will begin Mass in the Gathering Space and process in to the Worship Space together.
Holy Week Services are Holy Thursday, March 24th at 7:00 PM; Good Friday Liturgy at 7:00 PM; and the Holy Saturday Vigil at 8:00 PM. The Easter Sunday Masses will be at 7:00, 9:00 and 11:00 AM. There will be no 5:00 Saturday Mass and no confessions on Saturday. There also will be Stations of the Cross on Friday at 3:00 PM.
Good Wine ministry is this Thursday, March 17th at 11:00 AM and will focus on a Gospel based way of approaching and praying with the Passion of Jesus Christ.
The 2016 Annual Fund: Youth will be calling today if you have not returned a pledge card. Please be kind to the callers. Once again, thank you for your generous support which allows us to accomplish these important projects. Please return your pledge cards today.
I got a bid for a polished concrete floor for the Ville. The bid was no more than the existing stained concrete and the hope is it will last longer. If you know something about the durability and upkeep of polished concrete floors, please give me a call. I would appreciate learning from your knowledge and experience.
Our last LIFE Event for the year is Sunday, April 3rd or Wednesday April, 6th. We will focus on Pope Francis’ first major Encyclical, Laudato Si—On Care for our Common Home. Pope Francis challenges us to care for the poor and to care for creation. Or as Pope Francis says, “Love God, Love Neighbor, Love Creation.” Sign up now because LIFE will be the week after Easter.