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Parish 5 Day Outlook

Tuesday, December 1st

Scholastic Book Orders go home
Wednesday, December 2nd

Teacher Meeting • 3:40pm - 4:40pm
Thursday, December 3rd

5th grade Starbase CAMP
Mrs. Jackie Loecker's Birthday
Friday, December 4th

Baptism Mass • 8:05am - 8:45am
Saturday, December 5th

CYM Babysitting • 5:00pm - 9:00pm
Weekly Message from Father Print
Written by Father Hien Nguyen   
Wednesday, 18 November 2015 10:25

Stewardship Message from Bishop Kemme

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I am honored to greet each of you as you gather for Mass on this commitment weekend for the annual renewal of Stewardship in the Diocese of Wichita.  This year’s theme is: “Once one chooses to become a disciple of Christ… Stewardship is not an option.” I hope this is as much a thought provoking and inspiring theme for you as it is for me.

God has blessed each of us with the call to be a disciple of Christ.   Each of us has to answer that call.  But when we do so, there is no turning back.  The decision to follow and serve the Lord is to be lived out each day in our own respective vocations, many as married persons, parents, siblings, some as priests and religious and still others as single persons in the world.  The call is the same for all of us; it is lived out in different ways.  The living out of that call is stewardship.  And that is not an option.

Over a year ago, I was called to be your bishop and on May 1, 2014, I prostrated myself on the floor of our beautiful cathedral as the choir sang the Litany of the Saints and it immediately came to my mind and heart that now there is no turning back.  I am here and I now need to live out this ministry each day until the Lord calls me home.  This is what it means for me to be a steward of the gift of ministry as your bishop.  This is what the Lord is asking of me in order to share in everlasting life.  It is now not an option, but a commitment I have made.  God help me if I fail in keeping it.

There are many Gospel stories that reflect this very well, but none more so than the call of the rich young man.  A rich young man came to Jesus with an honest and indeed good question:  What must I do to share in everlasting life?   When Jesus answered him by saying that he must keep the commandments, which he had done since his childhood, he felt that there was still something missing.  Jesus then invited him to give away all his wealth and to come and follow him.  He was invited to radical discipleship.  The man’s face fell and he walked away sad, for he refused to do that one thing more.   One may well wonder if he regretted his decision for the rest of his life or what God had in mind for him had he given his whole life into the hands of Jesus.  Contrast this scene with the scene of today’s gospel on the Solemnity of Christ the King.  Jesus, the Son of God is before Pontius Pilate.  He has stripped himself of all earthly security and power and yet no one is more in control of himself than Jesus, no one more certain of his mission and destiny.  This is what happens whenever we let go of those things that we think make us secure and live a life truly centered in God.

The 19th century German painter, Heinrich Hoffman painted the scene of Jesus’s encounter with the rich young man in a dramatic way.  The eyes of Jesus I think speak the loudest.  His eyes are full of love and longing.  He desired the heart and soul of this young man.  He wanted him to be among his closest followers, but his possessions stood in the way of that call.  He could not let go of his material and earthly security in favor of the far more satisfying treasure of everlasting life.  Who was sadder that day, the young man who walked away from salvation or Jesus who lost a true companion disciple?

Jesus looks upon each of us with that same love and longing as we dare to ask: what more must I do to be saved?  That more is different for each of us but it is always something:  I beg you to ask the Lord what more you must do to inherit eternal life as I must ask the Lord myself.  And when we have our answer, may we be given the grace to respond courageously, without hesitation and with great love.

Stewardship in the Diocese of Wichita is not about program that has a beginning and an end, but a way of life that finds its completion in heaven.  Jesus offers us a way to live that frees us from our attachments, but also promises us eternal happiness.  May we respond to that invitation this commitment weekend, but indeed every day by stretching ourselves beyond where we are.   For once we choose to become a disciple of Christ, stewardship is not an option.  God bless you, Bishop Carl Kemme

Weekly Message from Father Print
Written by Father Hien Nguyen   
Wednesday, 11 November 2015 11:40

My Dear Parishioners,

Blessings from our Lord Jesus, the Blessed Virgin Mary and all the Saints in heaven be with you all.  I am glad to be home and it was so good to see you at Holy Mass last weekend.  Throughout this month of November, let us remember all those who have died and pray for their souls so that soon they may be with our Lord in heaven.  It would be a great mistake for anyone to think that when an adult person dies, he or she would automatically be in heaven.  Let us not forget that every one of us was born a sinner; and more likely we also will die a sinner, for the times we failed to love God with all our hearts, mind and souls; for the times that we failed to keep God’s holy commandments; for the times that we failed to be honest, true, loving and kind to others, etc.… Not to mention that we often fail to ask one another for forgiveness as well as asking God for His forgiveness.  All the sins we commit in this life must be cleansed either in this life or in purgatory after we die.  No one could enter heaven with sins on his/her soul.  For this reason, Jesus established His Holy Catholic Church and entrusted to her the 7 Holy Sacraments so that we may live to give thanks and praise to God for the blessings He has bestowed upon us, our family and our nation & world.  We are also to ask God for His mercy and forgiveness upon us, our family & friends and also upon all those who have died.  May the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace.  Amen.

As a church family, let us extend our prayers and sympathy to the family of Sandy Huber.  Sandy recently passed away at the young age of 49 due to cancer.  Let us pray for the repose of her soul.  May our Lord look upon her with His eternal love and bless her with eternal life in heaven.  May our Lord also be with her family and friends in this difficult time of great sorrow.  I was blessed to be with Sandy’s family and many friends, and prayed with them for Sandy.  She was put to rest on Friday, November 6th at the Empire Cemetery, rural Galva, Kansas.


This Saturday, November 14th, at 5:30pm Mass, our Knights of Columbus will celebrate their annual K of C Memorial Mass for all of their deceased brother knights, especially those who died this year.

On Sunday, November 15th, at 9am Mass, our St. Joseph’s children choir will lead us in singing at Holy Mass.  Everyone is also invited to our K of C breakfast after Mass in the parish hall.

On Saturday, November 21st, everyone is invited to the parish Thanksgiving dinner after 5:30pm Holy Mass.  Please read the bulletin for more information.

Debt Reduction: Once you have prayed and consulted with your family, please make a sacrificial contribution to help our parish reduce our debt.  Thank you to those who have sent in their donations.  We are truly grateful for your financial contribution.  Please know that any amount counts just like the poor woman in the Gospel:  Jesus says, "Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the other contributors to the treasury.  For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had, her whole livelihood."

Finally, are you aware that we are coming to the end of the 2015 liturgical year?  This coming Sunday will be the last weekend in ordinary time; the next Sunday, November 22nd, is the Solemnity Our Lord Jesus Christ, then we will enter into the first Sunday of Advent.  Let us live to love and thank God for all the blessings He bestowed upon us, our family, our church and our nation.  Let us continue being God’s faithful disciples and stewards of His many gifts of time, talent and treasure entrusted to us.  God loves you and I love you too, Fr. Hien

Weekly Message from Father Print
Written by Father Hien Nguyen   
Wednesday, 04 November 2015 10:54

My Dear Parishioners,

Peace, joy and love from our Lord be with you all.  It’s Tuesday morning, November 3rd and it’s the feast day of St. Martin de Porres, one of my favorite saints.  I love him much because I believe that he helped my family and I escape from Vietnam 30 years ago in a small boat.  Without God’s blessings, I would not be living today nor be in this beautiful, wonderful and free country.  Let us give thanks and praise to God for the continuous prayers from all the saints in heaven.  They will pray for us until we are all in heaven with them.  We pray also for our beloved deceased family, friends and parishioners every day throughout this November, especially at Holy Mass so that they too will be among the saints in heaven.  Please also try to visit your deceased ones at the cemetery sometime this month and say a prayer for them and also for all those who have died.  Believe me, when they make it to heaven, they will be praying for us.  It’s a win-win situation.

It is so wonderful for me to be back to our church and also to sleep in my own bed after two weeks of conferences in Wichita and in Atlanta.  I had a wonderful time in Atlanta eating a lot of Vietnamese food every day, visiting with so many priests and 5 bishops, and also learning a lot from the conference.  I got to see the Martin Luther King museum, the Coco Cola production center and also the CNN headquarters in Atlanta.  The weather in Atlanta was not as nice as the weather in Kansas.  It rained pretty much every day and was foggy.  The not-so-good part of the trip was the sharing of a hotel room with an 80 year old priest who hardly slept at night and also talked in his sleep.  We stayed at the Sheraton hotel and so we had to commute in a bus from the hotel to the conference center and also to all the tour places.  The day we had the tour, we were in the bus for many hours mainly because the bus driver missed the exit and didn’t realize it until one of the priests asked him, “Where are we going?”  He then realized that he had missed the turn about 30 minutes ago.  I didn’t care much for riding in the bus nor spending long hours every day from 7am to about 11:30pm in meetings; but other than that, everything was great and I am glad I went.  Please know that every one of you was in my heart and prayer every day.

After the conference in Atlanta, I drove to Huntsville to visit my uncle, his family and my aunt and her 4 children.  My uncle took me fishing and I caught the biggest striped bass in my life.  It was almost 13 pounds and 32 inches long.  I caught two more striped bass and they were a few inches shorter.  I also caught two big drums, about 15 pounds each, one white bass and one catfish.  It was a lot of fun pulling them in from about 100 feet away against the current below the dam.  My shoulder is hurting because I fished too much.  I got to eat the striped bass I caught, it was so good.  My uncle and his friend were telling me that I need to move to Alabama because they have everything to offer me, many fishing holes and hunting grounds.  They even told me that I need to go where there is a shortage of priests such as Huntsville.  They don’t have many priests and no Vietnamese priest in the whole city of Huntsville.  I said, “Sorry, Huntsville is not my home, Kansas is my home because it’s where my family is.  Maybe when I am retired, I would love to have a cabin on the top of a hill, to see God’s creation and mighty work every day.”

My brothers and sisters in Christ, I love God much because God has been so good to me, to my life, and to my family.  Please know that God has and will always be good to you as well.  He loves all of us.  He loves us more than we can ever understand and comprehend.  Put your complete trust in Him and love Him dearly and you will know God’s eternal love for you now.   I love you all, Fr. Hien

Weekly Message from Father Print
Written by Father Hien Nguyen   
Wednesday, 28 October 2015 12:14

St. Joseph Catholic Church Fund Raising 2015 Written By Fr. Hien

My Dear Parishioner of St. Joseph,

Blessings from our Lord be with you and your loved ones.  Please know that our Lord loves you unconditionally and you are also in my heart & prayer every day.  I am blessed to be here and also to serve our Lord with you.  I always enjoy seeing you, especially at Holy Mass.  Thank you so much for your great love and faith in God.  As a church family, I would like to share with you the following information so that you may take part in our parish life:

-There will be an Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion training at St. Joseph on Sat., Nov. 7th at 10 am for anyone who would like to be a Eucharistic minister for our church.  Also, if you would like to be a lector, please let Robin Elsasser know at 245-0374.

-You and your family are invited to our annual Thanksgiving dinner to be held after 5:30pm Mass on Sat., Nov. 21st in our parish hall.  The turkey, dressing, dessert, drink, and table service will be provided.  Please bring a side dish to share.

-Attached is your up to date financial contribution statement from what we can identify through direct online giving, collection envelopes or loose checks.  Thank you so much for your generosity and if you are behind in your tithe, please do all that you can to catch up, because your church needs you.

-Please join me in thanking God for improvements done to our building and grounds recently.  We would like to thank our anonymous donors for the lovely statues outside that are surrounded by beautiful flowers, plants, decorative rocks and edging.  Thank you also for the new front entrance with a hand rail.  A special thank you to our St. Joseph PTO and many parishioners for the excellent job renovating the restrooms for our church & school.  All of these are blessings from the many generous donors and the hard working hands of many parishioners. THANK YOU! As you can see in our weekly bulletin, our church does not have the money for such needed improvements because we are about $97,000 short of budget.  As a result, we have not always been able to pay the diocese on our loan.  For this main reason, I am writing to you today for your financial help.

As you recall, in 2012, we raised about $118,000 to pay off our debt on the rectory.  We made ourselves debt free from one of the two debts we have.  In 2013, we raised over $160,000 to pay for the new air conditioners in church and also for the renovation cost of the parish hall.  Thankfully our debt has dropped to $1.45 million, which is the fruit of your weekly tithe and your generous donations in 2012 & 2013.  Since 2013, the parish has not had a fund raising because I believed that you have worked hard for your money and thus you needed it for your life and family.  Also, I did not want to stress you out financially.

Today, I’m writing to you because I believe that we can join our hands and hearts again to continue paying off our debt.  I did not hire a firm to conduct this fund raising because we would have to pay them a lot to do the work.  I personally don’t like tele-marketing so I would not do it to you.  Our goal is to raise $160,000 to pay for the remaining cost of our church office areas, which includes the main office with its restroom, two tutoring rooms, a computer server/file room, a staff work/lunch room, the principal & pastor offices, the parish meeting room, the Holy family room, the two restrooms, and of course the heating and air conditioning units to run these rooms.

Please forgive me if I am asking too much of you and your family for I don’t know your family’s financial circumstances.  However, if you can, please be generous to our parish for the love of God.  You may donate with a one-time sum or spread out your donations throughout the next year by completing the direct deposit form.   All of your donations are tax-deductible and 100% of it will go toward paying off our debt.  Please complete the pink-form and return it to me in the envelope provided for confidentiality.  I will be the only person viewing your donation and our bookkeeper, Linda Harger will deposit your gift.  Thank you so much for your generosity, your great love for God and your trust in me.  May God reward you with good health, heavenly happiness, and eternal life in heaven.  I love you all--Fr. Hien, pastor

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Architect Hired to Continue Expansion Project

On Thursday, June 25th, Fr. David, and three parish representatives--Farrell Pedreauville, John Holecek and Peggy Bahr--interviewed three candidates for the position of architect of St. Joseph's expansion project.  The candidates were a combined team of McPherson architect, Randy Clark, and Brett Prather of Architectural Innovations of Wichita, Dennis Smith of Law Kingdon Architects of Wichita, and Bob Faires of Howard and Helmer Architects of Wichita.

All three architects interviewed very well, and each would have served the project with their expertise. However, after hearing each presentation, the interviewing panel unanimously expressed a preference for Bob Faires of Howard and Helmer Architects.  Mr. Faires had most recently served as the lead architect for the following projects: the new grade school at Mary, Queen of the Angels Church in Ft. Scott, the new grade school and expansion of the high school at St. Mary's-Colgan schools in Pittsburg, KS, and the new Church of the Magdalen church and school in Wichita.  Along with the experience of these and many other projects, Mr. Faires also demonstrated an attention to detail in outlining his approach to the expansion and renovation work at St. Joseph's.

Moving ahead now, the goal is to finish the drawings and specifications begun, and over half way completed, by previous projectarchitect Andy Steffes.  Mr. Faires did acknowledge that this project will remain indebted to the talent and creativity of Andy Steffes and that his task will be to guide the work through to the completion of Andy's vision. Efforts will be made to put the project out to bid by
the end of August.  Please continue to make St. Joseph's expansion and renovation a regular intention of your daily prayers!


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