My Dear Parishioners,
It was so good to be with my brother priests & our bishop for our annual conference from Oct 15-18 at the Spiritual Life Center. I think everyone from All Saints would say that I am a young priest but comparing myself with half the priests in our diocese, I am no longer qualified to be called young. In the last two years alone, there were 20 young priests ordained & I am sure that most of them or all of them are under 30 years old. I am 46-1/2 , I consider myself old, don’t you think? Thank you for your Catholic faith & for always praying for our priests. May God continue to bless our diocese with many vocations to the priesthood and religious life. If you or someone you know has an interest in these vocations, please let me know.
Wow, the month of November is coming so soon. Please make plans to attend the Holy Mass of Obligation on All Saints’ Day. Mass schedule is Thursday, November 1st at 8am, 12 noon & 6:30pm. There will be a collection at each Mass. On Friday, we will remember all the faithful departed among our families, friends, our church family & all souls. Please remember them each day throughout this month of November, especially when you are at Holy Mass. We are never to forget those who have done great things for us, especially our parents, grandparents, good friends & faithful parishioners of our church families who have passed to eternal life. God bless them with the everlasting life of heaven. In the gathering area of our church, there will be envelopes for you to write the names of those who have died so that we can pray for them. Praying for them will be my top spiritual priority this month.
Lights in church: They look so nice & have brightened our church, statues & Stations of the Cross. Also, we are blessed with two new, hand-painted statues of adoring angels for our church. I hope that these angels will help everyone entering our church with their prayers & love. They are also to remind us to always give our hearts, minds & souls to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament & in the Holy Eucharist. Please do not talk or visit in church at any time. All conversation should be outside of our worship area. Thank you to our All Saints Altar Society for the gift of these beautiful angel statues.
House renovation: The floor for the garage was paved & the contractor should be working on building the garage. Thanks to Jim Wiesen Roofing for donating the roof for the garage. If you need work for your home or business, Jim can take care of you, of course for a cost.
Celebrate All Saints Parish Feast Day: Our church family will come together next Sat, Nov 3rd to celebrate our feast day at our 4pm Holy Mass, followed by our multi-cultural dinner in the Fischer Center West. I can’t wait to see so many people and to enjoy the love and friendship from everyone. Please come and join us whether you can bring food or not. Your presence is most important to those who have planned this event and to me. Let us be a happy church family by being with each other.
Finally, I hope that every family has received a special letter in the mail & shared it with your family members. We need your financial help to pay for the newly bought house/rectory, to pay for the lights in the church, the new parking lot for the new adoration chapel, etc... I hope & pray that every family in our parish will trust in God & be willing to help our church’s family with your financial contribution. No amount is too small. Every penny counts! Again, please forgive me if I asked too much of your family.
God bless you all, Fr. Hien
My Dear Parishioners,
We give thanks to God for the life, ministry and love shown to us by Bishop Eugene Gerber. His funeral Mass was beautiful & well attended even though the weather was cold & rainy that day. I was so happy to see my brother priests of our diocese & some from the Dodge City diocese who were there for Bishop Gerber’s funeral. I also got to talk with the bishops who were first ordained priests in our diocese & now they are bishops in other dioceses. I know them all for I have been in the diocese since 1986 & I am so happy for them. Moreover, from Mon, Oct 15th to Thu, Oct 18th, all the priests in our diocese are attending our annual clergy conference at the Spiritual Life Center. Please know that I have been praying for you & enjoying my time with my brother priests. Please pray for us, too.
As I am writing this letter, I am hoping that the workers are done fixing & adding new lights in our church. Due to the age of the light fixtures, since the church was built in the 60’s, one light fixture fell from the celling about a year ago & the rest of them look very fragile & might fall down as well. As a church family, we cannot allow them to fall on anyone, so we must fix them all. I was told that prior to my arrival in June, the parish did look into replacing these light fixtures but due to the high cost, about $70,000, it was never done.
What we are doing is repairing these light fixtures to preserve the history of our church. We replaced all the electrical wires, installed LED bulbs & installed chains to secure the fixtures to the ceiling. Do you know how many bulbs there were and how many watts were used in these fixtures? There were 9 bulbs in each fixture, six to light the stained glass & three halogen bulbs - up to 250 watts each - to light the pews. Now there is only one 15 watt LED bulb to light the stained glass & many cans with LED bulbs, 15 watts each, to light all the pews & the altar area, Stations of the Cross, statues, etc.… Personally, I can’t believe we waited this long to fix the dangerous light fixtures. The day I came to our parish was the day I prayed during Mass that they would not fall down & hurt anyone. Now they are all fixed, thanks be to God.
The construction on the newly bought house is going very slowly due to recent rain, removing the dead/diseased trees and removing their stumps. Since we don’t have much money, I have been trying to get volunteers and those who can donate their time, talent or treasure from Catholics and non-Catholics alike.
All Saints Multi-Cultural Dinner: Please save Sat, Nov 3rd for our parish special Holy Mass at 4pm to celebrate our feast day of All Saints. After Mass, everyone is invited to our special multi-cultural dinner as a church family. Please feel free to bring any dish you would like to share, & enjoy one another in the Fisher Center-West. In the future, at a special event like this, I would like to see our parishioners show their heritage & the cultures where they came from such as native music, dancing & decorations. We are a God-given church family with people from all different parts of the world with one faith and love for God and one another.
God bless you all, Fr. Hien
My Dear Parishioners,
Eternal rest grant unto our beloved Bishop Emeritus Eugene Gerber and to all our deceased families, friends and parishioners. Bishop Gerber was the 8th bishop of our diocese. He was retired in 2001. God called him to eternal life on Saturday, Sept. 29th, at the age of 87. His funeral Mass was held last Tuesday at the Cathedral. He was put to rest at Ascension Cemetery.
Bishop was born in Kingman on April 30, 1931. His parents were Cornelius and Lena Tiesmeyer Gerber. He was the fourth of seven children and they lived on a farm near Kingman. He was baptized Catholic. In 1945, he began high school studies at Conception Seminary in Missouri. Due to a football injury, he returned home and finished his high school education in Kingman. He graduated in 1949 and entered college at Wichita State University. He then studied for the priesthood at Conception Seminary in Missouri, and at St. Thomas Seminary in Denver, CO. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 19, 1959 by Bishop Mark Carroll.
As a priest, he served many years as an associate pastor at many churches in Wichita before he became a pastor. He was a vice chancellor in 1961 and a chancellor in 1975. He then taught religion at Mt. Carmel Academy. He also served as business manager for the Catholic Advance. Bishop Maloney sent him to study theology and scripture in Rome where he received his licentiate in theology.
At the age of 45, he was appointed the third bishop of the Dodge City diocese in 1976. He was the first native of Kansas to lead this diocese. After six years in Dodge City, he was appointed bishop of the Wichita diocese and was installed on Feb. 9, 1983. He was best known for his oversight of the stewardship way of life, and the establishment of The Lord’s Diner that has served over 5 million meals to the poor in our diocese. Bishop Gerber loves the poor and may he now enjoy their friendship with our Lord in heaven among all the angels and saints. “… And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is My disciple, truly I tell you, he will never lose his reward,” Matthew 10:42.
God bless his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, Fr. Hien
PS1: Have you registered with our parish yet? Forms are available in the pews, in the gathering area and online waiting for you. We would love to have you and your family with us.
PS2: Please be sure to pick a day and time to have your family picture taken for our church’s picture directory and for your family photos. Make your reservations after Mass and online at any time. Dates and times are available, first come first serve.
PS3: Please don’t be late to Mass so that we can count/click everyone entering church for our weekend Masses. This is a request from the diocese. Thank you for your cooperation!
PS4: Have you noticed our new parking lot west of our church? There will be six stalls for parking for those who will be coming for adoration and for daily Mass (more details coming). The new concrete needs about a week to cure before we can use it.
My Dear Parishioners,
Glory and praise to God our heavenly Father. God gives us the Blessed Virgin Mary as our spiritual Mother. Mary prays for us and all people until we are in heaven with God and with all the angels and saints. Throughout this month of October, we are to give greater devotion to the Holy Rosary, to pray for the eternal life of those who have died, and for the greater love and faith in God for those who are still alive. I would encourage everyone, old and young, to pray one Hail Mary for each person in your family everyday throughout this month of the Holy Rosary. Also, I would encourage everyone to come to church early, about 20 minutes before Mass, to join our church family in praying the rosary for your loved ones and for our church family, etc.… Also, we need volunteers to lead the rosary before every Mass. You can lead the rosary by yourself, with your spouse or with your entire family. You can lead the rosary in your pew or by the cantor’s microphone. Your Sunday will be more pleasing to God if you put God first and help others lift their hearts, minds and souls to God. As a pastor, I also would like to pray with everyone during Mass three Hail Mary’s for the intention of our bishop and Holy Father, Pope Francis. When you pray, please know that God is with you and in your heart, mind and soul. Holy Mary, pray for us sinners until we are all in heaven with you.
Sunday Mass Counts: The diocese is requesting Mass attendance count throughout this month. I need volunteers to click people as they are entering the church. Two people are needed at every weekend Mass, one for the west doors and one for the east doors. Please visit with me about 20 minutes before Mass and I can show you how to use the clicker. Last year, our average Mass attendance for a weekend was 1,017 people.
New Parish Picture Directory: The last parish directory was done in 2015. It’s time for a new one so that we can update our membership. Registration for the dates and times to have your picture taken is now available in the gathering area after every weekend Mass or please visit our website to register online. I would like to see every family have their picture taken for our parish and for their family. Your family will receive a free 8x10 professional picture sent to you before Christmas. You also will receive a free picture directory from our parish. If you have not registered with our parish yet, we would love to have you. The registration form is available in the back of the church and in the pews for your convenience. Please know that only when you are registered with our parish can you share all the benefits of our parish such as using our facilities at lower rates. Also, I cannot give any recommendation for you or for your family members, such as to be godparents or permission to receive a sacrament in another parish, unless you and your family members are registered with our parish. Of course, no priest should allow anyone to receive a sacrament in their church without that person registering with their parish or in another parish, unless it’s an emergency. So, please know that registration is required for every Catholic family and please be sure that your children living at home or attending college are also included on the form. Thank you for your cooperation!
Finally, the schedule for Bishop Gerber’s funeral at the Cathedral are visitation on Monday, October 8, at 6:30 p.m. with the recitation of the Office of the Dead, follow by all night rosary starting at 8:30pm. His funeral Mass is on Tuesday at 10:00am, follow by a luncheon and burial service. Everyone is invited.
Holy Mary, pray for us sinners, Fr. Hien