Greetings to all who may read this short column. This is my first edition of “Blessings and Babble” and I thought I would use this moment to give a brief history of where I come from.
I was born in Seneca, KS on December 9th, 1977. I am the third of five sons to Thomas and Jeanne Heiman. Growing up, my family moved from time to time, living seven years in Olpe, KS and 16 years in Hill City, KS. It was in Hill City that I attended all but two years of my schooling, graduating in 1996.
From there, I attended Fort Hays State University majoring in Secondary Education Mathematics. While at FHSU, I became familiar with the Totus Tuus program, thus spending two summers traveling from parish to parish teaching the Catholic faith. As Totus Tuus comes to our parish, I fondly remember how those summers opened my heart and mind to the idea of giving my life to God as a priest. It was a month before my senior year of college that I decided to give seminary a try. My mom jokingly says I dropped out of college...to go to the seminary; I phrase it as changing majors which required a transfer.
For six more years, I studied many courses in the areas of philosophy and theology, grew in my prayer life and came to a deeper understanding of my strengths and weaknesses. On May 28, 2005, I was ordained to the priesthood. I have served as an associate priest at two Wichita parishes: St. Francis of Assisi for two years and the Cathedral for one. After the Cathedral, I became a pastor for the first time in Wellington, KS, serving at St. Anthony/St. Rose Catholic Church for three years. The next five years of my priesthood I was serving as pastor of two parishes in southeast Kansas: St. Andrew in Independence and St. Francis Xavier in Cherryvale. For the past 20 months, I have served as pastor of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Colwich. Though it was a short time, God blessed me with many graces and blessings in my time at Sacred Heart, like He did at my other assignments. Along with my pastor duties, for the past ten years I have given my time and talent to the Catholic Engaged Encounter community, helping to prepare couples for the Sacrament of Marriage. I currently serve as the priest moderator for that group.
Now that I am here at Blessed Sacrament, I know these graces and blessings will continue to grow through God’s goodness. I am honored to be your pastor and I hope it is God’s will that I will get to serve you for many years, helping each of you to become the saint God wants you to be.
In the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
Fr. Andrew Heiman