A message from Bishop Kemme on “Value Them Both.”
Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I have always thought that among all the physical disabilities, being blind would be the worst. Consider how life would be so different and challenging, not being able to see in order to move freely and safely or to see the faces of the ones we love or the many beautiful things in creation, like a sunset or sunrise or a mountain or landscape. Life would be shapeless and colorless; our world would be darkness. Such was the case with the man in today’s Gospel, Bartimaeus, that is until the day the Lord passed his way. In this encounter, which we heard so clearly in the Gospel, Jesus cured his blindness, but even more than that gave him the light of faith, for having been given back his sight, he immediately followed him on the way. He became not just a man with restored sight, but a disciple, who spent the rest of his life no longer on the roadside as a beggar, but now a disciple on mission with Jesus. Like Bartimaeus, we too come to the Lord this day crying out, “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on us.” And “Master, I want to see.” Why? Because so many of us come with degrees of spiritual blindness, often unable to see the goodness of God in ourselves, in the world and in others. If we allow Jesus to touch us, as surely as he desires to, we will be restored to see the unmistakable presence of the Lord in our lives, in the Church he founded and in each other. But let me speak now of a particular blindness that grips so many in the world today, the blindness to the dignity of the human person, especially at his or her earliest stages, the life of the unborn. So many in our society are blind to the reality that the unborn child is just that, a person, one created in the image and likeness of God, with inalienable rights and inherent dignity. Many see the unborn child as problem to be fixed or a difficulty to be overcome. The abortion industry, the greatest evil of our world and the greatest enemy to God’s creation exists to eliminate this so-called problem by the willful killing of unwanted, unborn children, all to the number of nearly 1 million each year in the United States. So, we can see how blind so many are to this and the unspeakable loss of so much human life as a result.
Between now and next August, we here in the State of Kansas have an opportunity to do something about this by the passage of the Value Them Both Amendment to our state constitution. This is an incredibly important amendment that will restore much if not all of the pro-life legislation so many have worked so hard over the past five decades to get passed, legislation that for all intents and purposes has been rendered unconstitutional by the State Supreme Court’s 2019 decision enshrining the right to abortion virtually in all circumstances. While the passage of Value Them Both does not ban abortion completely, it does return the abortion industry in our State of Kansas to important oversight and regulation and will thus save thousands of children from being aborted and protect their mothers by ensuring such things as parental notification, clinic licensing, restrictions in the second and third trimester and informed consent. These are critically important protections that save lives.
As your bishop, I am asking each of you and all people of good will to prayerfully reflect and consider the Value Them Both Amendment. We need each of you to get involved and to speak to family, friends, neighbors and co-workers about this amendment. We need all of you who are eligible to vote to go the primaries next August and vote YES to Value Them Both. And we need your financial support between now and then so that all the pro-life organizations including the Kansas Catholic Conference can continue this important work of getting Value Them Both passed. You should have all received an appeal letter from me this past week. I hope you will join me in being extra-generous so that we will have the necessary funds to combat the abortion industry which will bring far greater resources to defeat this amendment. St. Maximilian Kolbe, the martyr of the concentration camp Auschwitz in Poland during World War II once said, “The deadliest poison of our time is indifference.” Indifference is a kind of willful blindness of some that refuses to see what is clearly in front of them. I pray that in this life changing and life saving effort, Value Them Both, none of us will be indifferent or blind to the needs of the unborn and their mothers, but that we will see them as our brothers and sisters and use our voices and our votes to help them survive the evils of the abortion industry in our society. We can do this! All we need is a simple majority to vote Yes to Value Them Both. Will you join me in this effort? Thank you!
My Dear Parishioners of All Saints,
Blessings from our God be with you all. Please know that all the saints in heaven are praying for us until we are all in heaven with God. We give thanks to God for the unconditional love of the Blessed Virgin Mary and all the holy martyrs and saints. May we live daily with them praising God.
I was glad that all the priests of the diocese with our bishop were together last week for the first time since the pandemic started. Yes, we were socializing, learning, and especially worshiping at Holy Mass. We needed our time together to encourage and to support each other in our difficult and challenging ministries. The pandemic distanced us from one another and created much stress for all priests, many of whom were sick with covid and are still suffering from it. The saddest part of our time together was during our last Mass. We remembered our seven brother priests who passed to eternal life in 2020. Personally, I knew them all because I have been in the diocese with them for over 36 years. We prayed for each one of them by name with the words “eternal life grant onto him, oh Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him.”
My dear parishioners, please live daily for God and for the salvation of one another. In this month of November, we’re to remember all those who have died among our families, friends, and from our church family at All Saints, especially in every Mass. You might want to attend an extra Mass, such as a daily Mass for a deceased person you loved. If you wish, you may write their names in the Book of Remembrance, available in the foyer. You can also have Masses said for them. All Souls Mass envelopes are available in the pews. All the names in the Book of Remembrance and in these envelopes will be prayed for at every Mass in November. 100 percent of your donations in these envelopes will go to our building fund for the necessary maintenance of our buildings.
Finally, due to All Saints Day falling on a Monday this year, it’s not obligated; however, we will have an optional bi-lingual Mass at 6:30pm. The Vietnamese choir will sing; the readings will be in Vietnamese, everything else will be in English. Remember that God reads the hearts and not the lips. All Saints, pray for us, your parishioners---Fr. Hien
My Dear Parishioners,
Blessings from our Lord be with you all. Please know that I love you and Mother Mary loves you and your loved ones too. Please never give up on your family but always pray for them. This is your best way of loving them, by giving them the gift of heavenly love and blessings from God. My goal in life is for me, my family, friends, and all of us to make it to heaven. Heaven is our eternal home with the perfect joy, happiness, peace with oneself and with one another, including with God and all the holy angels. Although I have not been to heaven, I always believe that heaven is there for me. I believe that God made me and you for heaven, to be with Him eternally. I hope that you love heaven too, so that you and I will be there after our earthly life is ended. Of course, I love my life since the day I was conceived to this day and of course when tomorrow comes, I will love it too. I do want to live here with you, my family and with everyone as long as I possibly can according to God's time. That's why I try to take good care of myself. I try to eat healthy, do plenty of physical work, sleep well every night, and pray daily for the salvation of our souls, mine included. I live to do God's will for me. I desire nothing more than to be blessed by God with the life in heaven. Daily, I admit that I was conceived, born, and live, a sinner; however, I trust God's divine love for me is greater than all my sins. I believe that His mercy endures forever. His eternal love will destroy all sins and death in you and me. I know that Jesus' prayer for me will be true, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do."
Finally, please know that I am at the diocesan clergy conference, and I have been praying for you all; for you are my treasures from God. Love you all, Fr. Hien
My Dear Parishioners,
Jesus summoned the twelve and said to them, "You know that those who are recognized as rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones make their authority over them felt. But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all. For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many." My brothers and sisters in Christ, God created each and everyone of us so that we may know how much God truly loves us. He loves us so much that He wants all of us to live now and eternally in heaven with each other and with Him. For these reasons, He humbled Himself and became like us in all things but sin, so that He could save us from our sins and eternal death, from the consequences of the sins we personally committed, such as the sins of laziness, sins of greed, sins of hate, sins of failing to worship God, etc...... or deadly sins of breaking the 10 commandments. However, no sin is too big for God to forgive; for He came from heaven to serve and to save us all. To be saved by God, we all must accept His sacrificial love for us by living daily with God, for God, and for the salvation of one another. What are we doing today, especially as parents and grandparents? Are we living to help our families and friends be saved? Jesus reminded us that it's easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for those who are rich, living for worldly things, to enter the kingdom of heaven. May we not live to eat, to drink and for worldly goods, but may we live daily to love and to be loved by others because of our attributes, virtues, and holiness. We ought to live joyfully, happily, thankfully and lovingly every day. It is possible, for God is with us.
Finally, there will be no daily Masses next week, except Friday as all the priest of the diocese are required to attend the clergy conference with our bishop. We will be praying for you all, Fr Hien
My Dear Parishioners,
The celebration of Fr. Kapaun's funeral was so beautiful that it's still in me and I am sure it would be in you too. Like I shared with you at Mass last weekend, my brother priests and I were all in tears, joyful and loving tears for Kr. Kapaun. His life, love, and service to God and to others was so beautiful that we all must imitate him, to keep his legacy alive and to make us all more like him, saintly people to one another. Please make every effort to attend Mass at the Cathedral, the mother church of our diocese or to make a visit, to pray before the tomb of Fr. Kapaun in our Cathedral. He is our diocesan saintly priest, and he would love to help and intercede for all of us. Another way to honor him is to read his story. Many books have been written about him, his ministry and his service. Fr. Emil Kapaun, we love you and please pray for us all.
Please join me in thanking God for the gift of All Saints Catholic School children, teachers, volunteers, and parish staff. Everyone has been amazing, and I love to be with them, especially at Holy Mass. Our students love to pray in their classrooms as well as in church. The are growing in their Catholic faith because of your faithful stewardship to our parish. Please know that it takes your daily prayer and financial sacrifices to educate our children. By next week, they will finish their first quarter of education. May our Lord keep them safe, healthy, young at heart, while having tons of fun everyday learning and being with their friends and above all, loving Jesus more than ever before. Let us always appreciate our dedicated teachers, volunteers, and staff for their ministry of forming and educating our children. Please don't be afraid to write and to share with them your appreciation and love. God bless them all on earth, and in heaven,--Fr. Hien
My Dear Parishioners,
Are you ready for October? Yes, October is one of the most beautiful months of the year. In this month, we will see the changes in nature due to the cooler temperatures. Please enjoy God's creation and see His work in it too. Spiritually, throughout this month, everyone is to give our devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mother, Mother of Jesus and our spiritual Mother. As you know, Mary will pray for all of us until we are all in heaven with her. For this reason, I have been encouraging everyone to pray daily, especially one hail Mary for each person in your family. To my surprise, I have heard from many people, including people of Marion and McPherson County, that they have been practicing what I suggested they do for their loved ones--one hail Mary a day for each person in their families. I was so happy when I heard that, I trust that with one hail Mary every day, God will save everyone's soul from eternal death. Please remember that when you pray for someone, it's not about expecting a change in that person, but rather to put your love for them into your heart. To love someone dearly is to accept them the way they are and to pray for them, especially when he/she is in trouble. Please don't judge them or throw a rock at them, you will only make them madder and more disappointed in you, So put your faith in Mary, and trust that she will do countless favors for you without expecting any payment from you. God made Mary so that we all can be loved by her, like Jesus was loved by her. Now she is in heaven with Jesus to intercede for us all until we are all in heaven with God. We are super, super, and super blessed, thanks be to God for Blessed Mother Mary.
How beautiful it was for us to be with Fr. Kapaun's remains and to celebrate his life, love, and service to God and to others this week. We are so blessed to have Fr. Kapaun as our diocesan priest and saintly man. I wish everyone who knew Fr. Kapaun or heard of him will be like him, to be people who love God and truly love others. He didn't live to hate anyone, including his enemy, the communist. He lived to love and to serve unconditionally. No one in America should hate another person or discriminate against them because of their nationality, including those not fully developed, the unborn. From conception to natural death, everyone deserves to be loved by their parents, families, presidents, doctors, nurses, friends, neighbors, etc.... Fr. Kapaun has shown us the way, may we all imitate his holiness and love.
Truly Fr. Kapaun's funeral was a lifetime experience for me. I am glad to be born and to be here in Wichita to know and to love Fr. Kapaun. I am sure that he loves me a hundred times more that I can ever love him. I have been praying for his sainthood for years. I pray that my Catholic faith will continue to grow within me so that I can become like Fr. Kapaun, little by little, in his service to God and neighbor. I pray that when my earthly journey is ended, I will join Fr. Kapaun in heaven. I am an imitator of Fr. Kapaun, I hope you are too. May God help us all, especially all priests, to be like Fr. Kapaun in word and in deed with Jesus's eternal love for all of us. Fr. Kapaun, pray for us --Fr. Hien
My Dear Parishioners of All Saints,
Are you ready to celebrate the life, love, and service of Father Emil Kapaun to God and to others? Yes, our beloved Fr. Kapaun is our Kansas and American hero. He was a saintly Catholic man, priest, chaplain, and fellow American. He was born to be God's hands, feet, and love to all people through his skills, talents, and sacrifices. His Catholic faith grew in him as he lived his life, even when he was captured and imprisoned in North Korea. It was in the prison camp that his faith was most radiant to others in the manner of his life--prayers, teachings and sacrificing. He didn't live to hate anyone, including his enemy, the communist. He lived to love and to serve unconditionally.
You and I are called to join thousands of people in our diocese and throughout the country to honor and to pray for the sainthood of Fr. Kapaun. His funeral Mass will be this Wednesday, September 29th at the Hartman Arena. There will be no 8:00am daily mass at All Saints on this day. I will pray for his sainthood, and also for his intercession for all of us, the people of All Saints so that we too will be like him in words and in deeds in our daily lives. Our Catholic faith must grow within us like Fr. Kapaun's. I pray that when our earthly journey is ended, we will join Fr. Kapaun in heaven. God made us all so that we may live on earth, and also in heaven, with God and all the angels and saints We all will do so if today we would imitate Fr. Kapaun as he too imitated Jesus.
Parishioners of All Saints, I strongly encourage everyone to pray the canonization prayer of Fr. Kapaun as often as you can for his sainthood. I trust that he too will pray for you until you are in heaven with him. If you have any special needs and intentions that you need Father Kapaun's help with, don't be afraid to pray for his help, his intercession. Many miracles have happened through the prayer of Fr. Kapaun. May God help us all, especially all priests, to be like Fr. Kapaun in words and in deeds with Jesus's eternal love to one another. Fr. Kapaun, we love you and thank you for being our saintly Kansan, Fr. Hien
My Dear Parishioners,
How are you doing? I hope that you and your family are well and COVID free. I am doing well. Thanks be to God. God is the one who is in charge of every one of us, including our life and salvation. Let us love God, trust in God, and always give thanks to God.
Autumn is coming and I am excited for the cooler weather with less allergies and bugs. The saddest part of cold weather is to see our garden, flowers, and plants dying and winterizing. Let everything that is about to happen in nature be a reminder to us that we too will be eventually suffer and die; therefore, we must live for God today for us to have the perfect eternal life of heaven tomorrow.
Thousands of people and I, including people in our diocese and throughout the country, especially those who served in the military, are very excited to welcome the remains of Fr. Emil Kapaun as he comes home to us with his funeral procession and Mass on Wednesday, September 29th at Hartman Arena. I will attend the funeral Mass while many of you can watch it online. Father is our true hero through his service to God and neighbor. He is my brother priest and the diocese's hero. I have learned a lot from him by reading his story. I also lived in his parish for 7 years, 2005-2012. We need heroes like him among us. We all can be like him if we would put our faith into practice, "Love one another as I have loved you, said Jesus." That was what Fr. Kapaun did. He practiced what he preached and believed. Fr. Kapaun, pray for us. Last Sunday, I was in Marion and Pilsen to celebrate Holy Masses for them. The pastor of the parish has been sick, and they had to cancel their Masses the weekend before. Since I was their pastor for seven years, 2005-2012, I volunteered to come down and celebrate Masses for them. I left Marion County to serve in McPherson County for six years before coming to All Saints. It has been so long since I was in Marion County; so it was good for me to see the parishioner again. Thank you to Fr. Hung Pham, who celebrated our Masses here on Sunday in English and Vietnamese. Fr. Pham is a retired priest of the diocese. May God help all priests to be like Fr. Kapaun-- with love, Fr. Hien
How was your Labor Day weekend? Did you enjoy your family and friends? Please remember that each day of our lives is a gift from God. We are all called to be thankful to God for one another, especially this weekend as we celebrate grandparents' weekend. We all know that without our grandparents, our moms and dads, none of us would be here. It was God who chose to give us our families, and one another, so that we may love them as God loves us. One thing that gets in the way of loving and showing our respect to our elders, especially to our grandparents, is that we tend to think that we know more than they do and that they need to listen to us. That's just wrong. God never made them to listen to us but rather, we are to listen to one another, and in most cases, we are to listen to their advice and wisdom. It's God's fourth commandment that we are to honor and respect our parents, especially our grandparents this weekend.
As we are gathering in church this weekend to worship God, may we all pray especially for our families, especially for our parents and grandparents, whether they are alive or deceased. If you parents or grandparents are still alive, please stay connected with them and let them know you love them. Of course, everyone of us has different ways of showing our love for others. Some people love to give gifts such as flowers and money, others love to do things such as cook for them, many others love to stay around and visit with them, etc.... Please know that if you have good intentions to show your love and respect to your elders, they will know, and they will repay you more than you can ever give it back to them, To be a family, we must love one another unconditionally, especially through the gift of life--birth and salvation by passing on our Catholic faith to everyone in our family.
Lastly, I would like to remind everyone of our church's family mission that has been in our parish forever: All Saints is a diverse Roman Catholic community, centered in the Eucharist, guided by the Holy Spirit, nurturing one another through friendship, prayer, education, service, and stewardship, on the journey with Christ to the Father. Let us be good parishioners of All Saints by becoming one with Jesus and helping others come to Jesus for love, life, and salvation. Fr. Hien
Happy Labor Day Everyone,
God bless America and all those who live in it, including the new Afghanistan refugees, those who rely on America for life, freedom, peace, food, and shelter, etc.... Happy Labor Day weekend to everyone. Let us give thanks to God for all the work of our human hands that have been the life-giving source to us, our families, communities, country, and the whole world. America is a God-blessed nation because of all the good we have done for one another locally and worldwide. May we continue to grow in our faith in God, and "In God We Trust," so that everyone, born and yet-to-be-born, will be proud Americians. America is our beautiful homeland for she has so much to offer everyone. God's continuous blessings upon our country and all those who live in it.
Sadly, Covid has not been slowing down here in America nor in all places of the world. I have been staying connected with my relatives in Vietnam. Sad to learn that Covid is horrible over there. Many people have been sick with it and the entire country has shut down. People are not allowed to go out in the street unless they have a permit to go out to buy food. In some areas, food can only be brought to their homes. How blessed we are living in America; even during the worst time, all we have to do is wear a mask and we can go almost anywhere we would like. We have never been locked down. Let us be thankful to the Lord and to all those who are sacrificing their lives to save lives and to make our country a better place for everyone. Today, let us be grateful for the many blessings that our country is giving us; even if we were to get sick from Covid, more likely we would not die from it because we have the world's best technologies, doctors, health care systems, etc.... Don't live in fear but live for God alone!
I would like to remind everyone of our parish's mission that has been in our parish forever: All Saints is a diverse Roman Catholic community, centered in the Eucharist, guided by the Holy Spirit, nurturing one another through friendship, prayer, education, service, and stewardship, on the journey with Christ to the Father. Let us be good parishioners of All Saints by becoming one with Jesus and helping others come to Jesus for love, live, and salvation. Fr. Hien
Father Hien Nguyen