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Our club president, Ed Connolly, passed away on August 8th.  Ed is survived by his wife of 52 years, Linda Connolly, daughter Mary Hornbeck, sons Brandon and Patrick, twelve grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.  Visitation, 9-11 am Monday August 12th with Mass of Christian Burial following at 11:30, at Cure' of Ars Church in Leawood.

Memorial gifts to Serra Club of Kansas City in Kansas  should be sent to:  Serra Club KC in KS, 6501 Outlook Dr., Mission, KS 66202.

THIS IS TEPEYAC HILL, worship site of Tonantzin Coatlaxopeuh, an earth goddess of the Aztecs;  human sacrifice, cannibalism, misery.  In 1531, an Aztec peon, Juan Diego and convert, was passing this site when a lady appeared before him.  Just as an angel had appeared to her all those years ago,  when emperors still ruled.  The lady asked him to take word to the bishop.  She wanted a shrine built on this most unholy of spots.  Juan Diego went to the bishop, who refused.  He wanted a sign.  Three days later the Lady appeared again.  Juan Diego told her of the bishops request.  She directed him to special roses that did not grow in this season.  He did and took them to the lady.

Father Michael Van Lian of the Chin Burmese Community requested and received aid from the club, courtesy of Jack Lawrence.  They held a three day celebration of parenting over the weekend of July 26-28.  Over 300 children from the local Burmese diocese attended.  Our cardboard clergy cutouts were immense hits.  Burmese community is composed of religious refugees from the former nation of Burma. Their story for those who made it here is a happy ending.  

The Eucharist—Corpus Christi Procession, Churchill Downs, Louisville, Kentucky

June can be very hot especially if you are an Altar boy wearing a wool cassock in the sun at a Corpus Christi procession. We had to be perfectly still in our kneeling. It was very hot and humid. The Nuns saw to it that there was no movement or talking except for singing or saying prayers. The temperature had to be 99 degrees!  Then it happened—the server to my right and one row away fell face down in the infield and did not move! He was immediately taken away for treatment.  I remember thinking what the heck are we doing here anyway? My 10 year old mind thought what is the big deal? 

Father Giani Baggio, C.S. caused me to think of this during his homily last Sunday at St. Pauls.  Of course “the big deal” was and is the Eucharist. Now I have a different view and understanding of Corpus Christi and the presence of Christ. Taking an hour each week to spend in Adoration with God is something I cherish and when It is not possible to be there I am disappointed.  My time in Adoration is an opportunity to be in the real presence of God and The Holy Trinity.  I guard those moments. I cherish those moments.  

 With the addition of the 17 men who were ordained by Archbishop Naumann in June 2017, we now have 40 permanent deacons in active ministry serving the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas.

 We have at least one deacon serving in 30 of our parishes, and even more our deacons are making their presence—and in a deeper sense the Church’s presence—felt in prisons and jails, hospitals and nursing homes, and really anywhere the mercy of God is most needed. We are proud of the growth of the diaconate in the Archdiocese, and I’ve frequently heard the Archbishop praise our formation program.

 As I reflect on all this, I truly believe that the growth of the diaconate in our Archdiocese is a singular grace given to us at this time. It also reflects the gifts of our Archdiocese at this moment in our local Church’s history.

 For example, each month our deacon candidates receive phenomenal instruction from professors from Benedictine College in Atchison. Very few deacons programs in the United States have a Catholic college within their boundaries with such a cadre of exceptional teachers of the faith.

Their eyes were opened and they recognized him. (Luke 24:31).

 It had been a long day of walking, but Cleopas and his friend wanted more time with their traveling companion. The mysterious stranger seemed ignorant of the turmoil of the past few days, but he could explain the Scriptures like no one they had ever heard before. Wanting to hear more, they urged, “Stay with us” (Luke 24:29). So he stayed and shared a meal. Then, with a simple gesture and a simple prayer, he broke bread and gave it to them. And suddenly, their eyes were opened: they recognized their broken Lord, their risen Lord.

With this letter my thoughts go to the value each of you represent to our Club, Seminarians, Priests and Religious. Sometimes we go about our responsibilities without fully appreciating the extent to which we are accomplishing objectives including growing in spirituality. We influence by actions, words and just being therefor seminarians. We are examples to the men as they discern their futures, commitments to faith, themselves and God.

 There are many examples of the responsibilities we make in time, dollars and achievements. A recent example is the Al Bukaty Golf Outing and Famous George Gorman Dinner. For those of you who played, fun was the operative word for the day. Stories followed and developed and drives got longer and putts straighter as the day wore on. These embellishments carried on to the Dinner.

 The dinner consisted of huge portions of meat, baked potato, salad and bread with all the condiments. The steak alone is worth the price of admission!

 Fellow Serrans,

What a wonderful time of the year. Spring is upon us and there is a beautiful array of colors in the trees and green, plush lawns. What a welcome sight. Likewise, we have finished the journey into Easter, and now celebrate the most beautiful and meaningful part of our faith; the resurrection, and the promise of forgiveness, hope, and love. And we get to share these gifts with our family, friends, and with everyone. Hope you all have a great Easter season.

As you know, May is when we transition to our new officers and board members. For this upcoming year, we are blessed to have a complete slate of board members, very capable of directing our club into the future. We welcome incoming President Ed Connolly and President-Elect Lee Crutchfield, as well as new trustees Pat McAnany, John Gillcrist, Dave Jones, and Rich Leyden. We extend our best wishes and support for them for this coming year.

Peter approached Jesus and asked him,”Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him? As many as seven times? Jesus answered, “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times.”

Many of us pray The Our Father almost daily. Yet do we really forgive those that hurt us in some way?

I am familiar with something that occurred many years ago. A woman and her accomplice took money from an old man who could not afford that theft. For awhile the theft went unnoticed. When the theft became public years later the woman pleaded for forgiveness. She had developed cancer and her survival was doubtful. In spite of her repeated efforts she was not forgiven by the family. She eventually died and the family prayed for her.

But she was gone and forgiving her could only be done after the fact of her passing.

Regular visitors to our website will notice some changes.  There are some things that will look familiar to you and some that will look or act a bit differently. 

Our club is indebted to Dr. Bob Luchi for his tireless efforts to develop and maintain such a great website.  He set a very high bar for us to achieve.  Thanks Dr. Bob.

SPRING! Ahhh Spring! How sweet it is to see some sunshine, warmer temps,the trees budding and plants sprouting after a long and cold winter. We can watch the transformation of buds into leaves, sprouts into colorful flowers, grass turning greener, and finally get to hang up those heavy coats. This is a visible sign for us during Lent, to go from our ordinary lives into a short 40 day journey of self evaluation to make personal commitments and changes that strengthen our character and deepen our faith. The joy comes from watching spring grow into something beautiful, but also allowing Lent to grow into the joy of the Risen Lord. Easter is thholiest and most incredibly season of our year and well worth the journey.

Fellow Serrans,

Well as the old saying says, “if March comes in like a lion, it goes out like a lamb.” Let’s hope so, but so far the lion has arrived. The good thing is that the Lamb has also arrived in the form of Lent. We begin the holiest season of the liturgical year, a Lenten journey of reflections, prayer, renewal, and a deepened spiritual change.

Lenten Retreat for all Serrans and GuestsMonsignor Michael Mullen will be leading our Serran Lenten Retreat at Savior Pastoral Center on Saturday March 23, 2019 from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The Retreat Topic will be on the Beatitudes. Mass will be at 11:15. AM.  Continental Breakfast and Lunch are included in the fee of $30 for the Retreat.  All Serrans and their guests are encouraged to attend.  See the calendar for registration.

BLESSED IS THE ONE WHO TRUSTS IN THE LORD, WHOSE HOPE IS IN THE LORD.  HE IS LIKE A TREE PLANTED BESIDE THE WATERS THAT STRETCHES OUT ITS ROOTS TO THE STREAM. JEREMIAH 17:7-8

 Jeremiah was known as the Prophet among Prophets because he praised God’s word. He did not back off. As Bishop Robert Barron says, he was known for his upbraiding of the people for their idolatry. They worshipped the gods of the land rather than Yahweh. Jeremiah was a great conduit of God’s passion to set things right.

Jeremiah was humiliated and imprisoned because he continuously called out the Israelites for worshipping false gods.  In effect they left God behind. God realized when human beings worship something less than Him we lessen our own dignity.

We fit God in when it is convenient. We look at God as an inconvenience when we want to focus on something else. It may be our career, money or something else we choose to elevate.

 Can you remember a time in your lives when God was inconvenient?

 Fellow Serrans,

Here’s hoping you all survived the arctic blast we experienced recently. Burr !!   We can be thankful it didn’t last long and that it has warmed back up. It’s still winter in the Midwest and anything can happen.

February is a reminder that life goes on, a sense of ordinary time, to keep things going, hang in there, and to anticipate exciting things to come.

Late afternoon and evenings are the worst. There is something about the coming of darkness that produces a bit more sadness and anxiety. We are called to live in the light of Christ, not in the darkness that encompasses much of our world. Sometimes the light of Christ seems dimmed and far away while shadows creep in from all sides.

Fellow Serrans,HAPPY NEW YEAR !! As we close out 2018 and look forward to the year to come, we all have thoughts and hopes of good things to happen and to continue our good work as Serrans. A year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning, but a going on, a continuation of all the wisdom that experience has instilled in us.

Click here to see upcoming USAC Events and the current world-wide Serra membership

Thanks to people like the Pilgrims, Abraham Lincoln, and our mothers and fathers, I believe the America I was born into is worth fighting and dying for. But how do you do that? There is no one answer. But as Catholics we believe where sin abounds Grace abounds all the more (Romans 5:20) and this is where we can start.

I didn't retire until age 80 so my horizon for planning my post-retirement was not a great as some. The biggest decision was to cut off any formal relationship with medicine, not to teach from time to time in a Medical School and to cancel my subscriptions to my medical journals.

That decision was the result of prayer and seeing what other physicians had done post-retirement. Their path was not a path with which I was comfortable. That was the extent of my discernment.

I was on my own to start on a different discernment, a different career.

While I was still in practice my wife Jean was diagnosed with dementia of the Alzheimer type. Also she was quite functional in many ways it fell to me to be more of a "house husband", especially in food shopping and cooking, doing some cleaning and providing more companionship to her, more than I was able to do while active in medicine.

I also had a desire to do more for our Church and now had time to do so. Daily Mass was nearby and I had the opportunity to serve as Eucharistic Minister, Lector and Presider of Communion Services, all of which was fulfilling.

In the course of time I was invited to join the Serra Club of Kansas City in Kansas. I knew little about Serra Clubs, and, while in Houston, the Serra Club there had only a tangential, if any, effect on our son's discernment for the priesthood. So I demurred for several months, then accepted the invitation to attend a Wednesday meeting and with some hesitation agreed to join Serra KCK.

After a month or so I wasn't sure this was the place for me to serve the Church and I was thinking seriously of resigning. As a trustee, a bit at sea, I requested a meeting over coffee with Bob Vohs, then president of the Club. He suggested that I fill a pressing need by helping out with the Nun's Appreciation Day Event.

That involvement was critical to me remaining in the Club and led to other assignments the Newsletter editor;, VP, Communications Committee; President of the Club and eventually the website development and maintenance.

None of these duties has yet detracted from my essential post-retirement responsibilities as caregiver to Jean, the person most important in my life, although that may change with time. I am a better Catholic layman as a result of my association with Serra KCK and I feel that I have, in some small way, contributed to their holy ministry.

Robert Luchi