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What was the one thing Father Drew's mom wanted to know on the night of his Ordination that still brings tears to his eyes? Tea With Father, getting to know our Pastor.

Great strides have been made in reaching our goal of $1.6 million. Watch this video for more details! 


May the Lord give you peace! That greeting originated with St. Francis of Assisi, (1181-1226). I had the opportunity to visit Assisi on four different occasions during my sabbatical. I love visiting Assisi as it such a space of spiritual nourishment and refreshment. Also, the town is incredibly interesting dating back to several centuries before the birth of Christ.

Another reason that I have such an affinity for St. Francis is because my dad’s name is Francis and my middle name is Francis. Another devotional connection for me is the fact that Francis’ baptismal name was John (Giovanni). Francis (Francesco) was a nickname given to Francis by his father, Pietro, and refers to “the little French-speaking one”. Francis’ mother, Pica, was from France and Pietro used to travel to France as a cloth merchant. That makes St. Francis’ name John Francis and that, my friends, is my name. Okay, now that I have finished my mental gymnastics to establish my devotional relationship with St. Francis, I will share a bit about the tagline, “May the Lord give you peace!”

The Lord revealed to St. Francis that he and the brothers were to greet everyone they met with the words, “May the Lord give you peace!” He said not to be embarrassed by addressing these words to others and that the Lord would greatly bless the brothers for it. When I read the story in the legend of St. Francis, I thought, wow, I could do that and I should do that! Normally, I send an e-mail beginning with a salutation such as Good morning or Good afternoon, but wouldn’t it be a better greeting to pray the Lord’s peace onto the recipient, especially during a time when there is so much conflict in people’s hearts. Peace is what every heart is seeking. The world is impotent to satisfy this desire. We are seeking evangelical peace, in other words, the peace of Christ. The blessing of evangelical peace permeates the Mass. Think of the greeting, “Grace to you and peace from God our Father”; and, the dismissal, “Go in peace glorifying the Lord by your life.” And, don’t forget the exchange of the sign of peace before Holy Communion to mention a few occurrences.

So if you wonder why I am now opening my written addresses with the words from St. Francis, “May the Lord give you peace,” it is because there is a great need for this gift.

It’s great to be back with you again. I love my Blessed Sacrament family.

To conclude, my other tagline from St. Ignatius, of course:

Ad majorem Dei gloriam,

Fr. John F. Jirak, Pastor 


May we BORROW any of these items for the Altar Society Dinner on Tuesday:
****Fondue pots - any color size 
****Lava lamp
****DOC Martins in 7 1/2 Women's or larger
****World War 2 memorabilia, wartime photos of Parishioners or family members.  (Will be used on a food table as a centerpiece but they will be put in frames or scanned so that the originals won’t be exposed.) 

We would love to borrow any of the above by Monday evening. If you text/call Gretchen at 316.207.5107 she would gladly get them from you. All items will be returned after the event. 

We always do our very best to take care and protect all of the items that you lend us. However, if the item is a family heirloom or would break your heart if something was to happen to it, then, we would rather you not lend it to us because if there is an uforeseen accident we don't want you to lose a precious piece of your family's history. 

I would like to take this opportunity to introduce our new Eucharistic Adoration Lead, Angie Holladay:

“I am Angie Holladay and my family have been members of this parish since we married in 1983. Both my kids attended Blessed Sacrament and KMC; they are now married and living outside of the state, but Mike and I continue to call Blessed Sacrament ‘home’. Fr. Jirak asked me to lead this important ministry as Rose Kuhlman, who has led it for over 20 yrs, would like to take a step back. She did a marvelous job and I have big shoes to fill! Rose will continue as Day Coordinator on  Thursdays.”

In addition to our scheduled adorers, Angie pointed out to me that many parishioners are taking advantage of the adoration chapel by stopping in from time to time to pray before the Blessed Sacrament. This wonderful!

However, I would like to challenge all parishioners to sign up for an hour of adoration each week. It is a pillar of our Parish Priority Plan, here at the Church of the Blessed Sacrament, to Cultivate the Spiritual Life. Making a commitment to an hour praying before the Blessed Sacrament would definitely help you, in Fr. Jirak’s words, to take your spiritual life to the next level! You do not need to be any kind of spiritual expert to have an adoration hour. I know this from experience, as I was somewhat forced to take an adoration hour in college. I didn’t have any direction as to what to do, but I just took that time to speak to the Lord and in a few weeks my relationship with the Lord became much stronger and very personal. When you sign up for an hour you are setting an appointment with God, blocking out time in your week that is just for Him. Trust me, God can use your commitment of time in adoration to bestow the gifts of faith and peace in abundance.

Angie also wanted me to mention that by signing up for an hour, it neither means that you can no longer visit at-will, nor that you can never take a vacation. We have a list of substitutes who are willing to step in when needed. So I challenge you once again to sign up for one hour of adoration each week. Of specific consideration are the multiple hours that have only one assigned adorer. These hours include the very early morning hours, daytime hours, and Saturdays.

To sign up for an hour, please call Angie Holladay at 316-633-6776 or speak to one of the day coordinators listed in this bulletin. God bless, Fr. Adam Grelinger

God bless, Fr. Adam Grelinger


I leave this Sunday for my sabbatical in Rome, Italy.  I am very excited for this opportunity to learn more about my Catholic faith and to dive deeper into the spiritual life.  My pastoral approach to ministry has always been that the minister must first be alive with the faith before he is able to pass it on to others.  Fire comes from fire.  I often quote St. Bernard of Clarvoix teaching to those seeking to do good things for God, “If you are wise, you will be reservoirs and not channels.” We have many channels in the Church today but very few reservoirs.  My purpose for the sabbatical is solely for the benefit of filling my reservoir that I may come back to you spilling over with water for the furthering of your spiritual life.

While I am gone, Fr. Adam and Fr. Andrew will be in charge of the parish.  I have been super impressed with these young men.  They are both wise beyond their years, full of learning, committed to the life of prayer and passionate about exercising their priestly ministry.  They will be assisted by our outstanding parish staff who many of you know very well.  

Before Fr. Adam and Fr. Andrew were assigned to Blessed Sacrament, the Bishop called me into his office to discuss the prospect of Fr. Curtis serving as chaplain to Kapaun and Blessed Sacrament being assigned two new priests.  He shared with me that he knows some people will find it problematic to send two brand new priests to a large parish where the pastor is leaving for a three-month sabbatical, but if there is a parish and staff that can handle it just fine, it is Blessed Sacrament.  That was a great compliment to both our parish staff and our wonderful parishioners!  

During my sabbatical, the Bishop has asked me to keep a low profile in order to focus on drinking in the many blessings of this sacred time.  I feel that I am very fortunate to have this time away to enrich and enhance my priesthood.  I am passionate about being a priest and I am more than grateful to be your pastor.  

Please pray for me during these three months as I will certainly pray for you.  And, I will see you on the first weekend of Advent!

Ad majorem Dei gloriam,

Rev. John F. Jirak



The recent resurgence of racial tension in the wake of the Charlottesville protest is cause for us to reflect once again on the dignity of each human person.

Human dignity is neither based on any law, nor any merit earned by a person, nor any benchmark of intelligence, nor any party or religious affiliation, nor any country of origin, nor any skin color. Human dignity is inherent in all people. It is a result of nothing other than God loving us into existence and designing us in His image and likeness. Every single person is a masterpiece of the Divine Artist. Every single person is a witness to the image of God in a unique and unrepeatable way. Thus, in every single person, God reveals Himself to us. In the words of Pope St. John Paul II, “We are the sum of our Father’s love for us, and our real capacity to become the image of his Son.”  It is hard for us to even fathom the heights and depths of a single person’s dignity!

Further, in Christ Jesus, we find our true unity. As St. Paul teaches us, “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus” (Gal 3:28). In the Body of Christ, we are all are children of God and brothers and sisters to each other. God has united humanity again into one family through Jesus.

Any act of violence against a human person, be it abortion, racism, abuse, etc. are all grave offenses against a person’s infinite dignity, and an offense against God who loves that person more than we can ever know. Concerning racism, in particular, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops says, “Racism is a sin: a sin that divides the human family, blots out the image of God among specific members of that family, and violates the fundamental human dignity of those called to be children of the same Father.”

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God” (Mt 5:9). As followers of Christ, let us continue to be salt and light in our community by being peacemakers and defenders of human dignity, wherever it is attacked. Let us also pray for the victims of racial discrimination, for the conversion of those who fuel racism, and for peaceful unity in our nation.

God bless,

Fr. Adam Grelinger



Since beginning at Blessed Sacrament in June of 2010, I have become ever more convinced of the importance of the first pillar of stewardship, hospitality.  It was Bishop Gerber some 30 plus years ago that decided that hospitality must come before any of the other pillars even though the other pillars may be more important.  Such an arrangement is analogous to the sacraments.  We believe the Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life.  It is the greatest of all of the sacraments. Yet, the Eucharist is not the first sacrament.  The first sacrament is baptism.  Without baptism, a person is unable to validly receive the Eucharist.  The official law of the Catholic Church in the Code of Canon Law states: “Baptism, the gateway to the sacraments . . .”  In a real way, we can say that hospitality is the gateway to the stewardship pillars of prayer, formation, and service.  

Hospitality is based on a root word which means “guest.”  And for us Catholics, not just any guest.  We take up the spirit of St. Benedict who states, “Let all guests who arrive be received as Christ.”  Hospitality is a “gate” that welcomes all into the community of Christ.  However, as we know from the Gospels, a shepherd is always assigned to the “gate” for there are those who would walk through only to hurt and destroy.  This is true both morally and physically.  

In regards to the physical protection and safety of our parishioners at Blessed Sacrament, especially the most vulnerable, our youth and elders, this summer we have worked hard to review and improve the safety of our entire school and church campus. 

In order to sustain our parish’s magnanimous spirit of hospitality, while assuring the safety and security of our house of worship and campus, I am introducing the following protocol to address loitering on the parish grounds. 

In consultation with the WPD, we have been advised to be consistent in our treatment of those loitering on church property, as well as those who express financial and/or other needs. I ask parishioners when on parish property, to direct people requesting assistance to contact the parish office directly between the hours of 8:30 and 5:00 Monday through Friday. Outside of the stated hours please dial the Sacramental Emergency Line at 316-361-6015. The parish office staff will either assist them directly, connect them with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, another appropriate parish ministry or other resources available in Wichita.

I am also happy to announce that over the summer we installed new security cameras and enhanced security on doors, specifically those doors extending access from the church to the school, the east side of the church, and through the tunnel from Bishops Hall to the school cafeteria. 

Ad majorem Dei gloriam,

Rev. John F. Jirak

God’s promises: now or later? Well, the answer is both. The Christian maxim of already but not yet is the scope of the Christian life. For example, when we read the words from this Sunday’s first reading, “O my people, I will open your graves and have you rise from them and bring you back to the land of Israel”, is this promise to be fulfilled at the end of time or now? The answer is both. We know at the final judgment, Christ’s resurrected life will resurrect our own from the grave. At the same time, His resurrected life is already operative so that we experience now, for a moment, as Pope Benedict XVI states, “ahead of time something that will constitute the happiness of paradise.”

God’s promise to “open your grave” and to have us “rise from them” is happening here and now! Of the graves that grieve many of us is the cemetery of dead faith among non-practicing and ex-Catholics. Every week, I hear at least several stories of grieving family members whose children have abandoned the Catholic faith. Most of these children attended our own Catholic schools. The temptation is discouragement and I have certainly succumbed at times. However, the invitation from the prophet Ezekiel is hope. God promises to resurrect these souls. I believe whole-heartedly that the New Evangelization is the Holy Spirit’s effort to have our lost brothers and sisters “rise” from the graves of the cemetery of dead faith and to bring them “back to the land of the Israel” in the Catholic Church.

Living the New Evangelization is one of our three parish priorities. This is certainly appropriate as St. John Paul II himself stated already in 1990, “I sense the moment has come to commit all of the Church’s energy to a new evangelization.” And, of course, Pope Francis, “In all its activities the parish encourages and trains its members to be evangelizers.”  There are many New Evangelization efforts happening at Blessed Sacrament and I pray that they multiply. We have created a new page on the parish website to keep everyone engaged with our parish efforts in the New Evangelization. You can check out the page by clicking on the Parish Priority Plan tab on the parish website or going directly here.

Before concluding, I am happy to announce that Becky Meyer will be working part-time at the parish office as our Assistant Stewardship Coordinator. The growth of our parish stewardship has been wonderful, but we are in need of more infrastructure to sustain and continue our growth. A fun fact, Renee Riter, our Stewardship Coordinator, (along with many other responsibilities) met with over 200 families last year! Becky will be serving our parishioners in many ways by assisting Renee in meeting with new families and school families as well as with serving our stewards in leadership positions and assisting ministries in their particular needs.

Ad majorem Dei gloriam, Rev. John F. Jirak





Praised be Jesus Christ!

In 1917, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared six times to three shepherd children; Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta; between May 13 and October 13, in the little village of Fatima, Portugal. Mary came to the children with an urgent message of warning and hope for the whole world. Pope Saint John Paul II had a great devotion to Our Lady of Fatima and strongly encouraged the spread of the devotion to our Lady of Fatima stating: the message of Fatima is more relevant and more urgent today, than when Our Lady first appeared.  

Pope Francis also has a strong devotion to Our Lady of Fatima, and has recently announced that he will visit Fatima on May 12-13 of this year to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first apparition of Mary. During this Jubilee Year, Pope Francis has granted a plenary indulgence to  anyone who either a) makes a pilgrimage to the Shrine during this year; b) visits a statue of Our Lady of Fatima that is set up for public veneration in a Church or some similar place and asks for Mary’s intercession; or c) for the elderly and infirm who are unable to attend a public veneration, to at least pray in front of a statue of Our Lady of Fatima and unite themselves spiritually to the jubilee celebrations from home. Of course, this indulgence also requires that one fulfill the ordinary obligations of a plenary indulgence (going to confession and communion, to be interiorly detached from sin, and to pray for the intentions of the Holy Father).

We at Blessed Sacrament want to take full advantage of this extraordinary year and the graces that are being offered. I am very happy and excited to announce that I am going to be the chaplain of a pilgrimage to Fatima, as well as Lourdes, France; and Santiago, Avila, and Madrid, Spain this summer from June 26-July 10! The tour company that is organizing the trip, Journeys of Faith, was founded by Bob and Penny Lord who were regular television hosts on EWTN. My trip is called “The Many Faces of Mary” pilgrimage #626. There are still plenty of spaces available for this pilgrimage, would you consider joining me on this journey? You can find more information about this trip by going to and clicking on the pilgrimages link. Or you can contact the parish office.

If a pilgrimage to Europe is not possible for you, we also have an amazing opportunity to make a pilgrimage right here at Blessed Sacrament. On Monday, May 8th we will host the world-famous International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima, which has been traveling all over the globe since 1947. This statue is currently on a historic two-year journey across America, from March 2016 – December 2017; visiting more than 100 dioceses in 50 states. It will only be in our parish for one day, so we plan to make the most of its visit by having devotions throughout the day, as well as a special Mass in the evening. Look for more details on this event in the coming weeks. 

I pray that during this jubilee year we all may grow closer to the Immaculate Heart of Our Mother Mary, who always guides us closer to the Sacred Heart of Our Lord, Jesus.

In Christ through Mary,
Fr. Curtis 


In 1994, members of the Hutu tribe in Rwanda took up arms against the Tutsi tribe.  In 100 days, the Hutu tribe slaughtered over 800,000 Tutsis using only spears, clubs and machetes.  It was genocide, and few Tutsis survived.  Immaculee Ilibagiza was one of the few, but most all of her family and friends were killed.


In the years since the genocide, Immaculee has come to grips with what happened, and what she can do about it.  She has written a book, Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Genocide, and has been telling her story around the world. Immaculee is regarded as one of world's leading speakers on peace, faith, and forgiveness and she will share her message through a retreat at The Church of the Blessed Sacrament, 124 N. Roosevelt, Wichita Kansas. It begins Friday evening, July 14th, (4:30-9:00) and concludes Saturday morning, July 15th, (8:30-12:30).


Members of Blessed Sacrament who register early have been generously blessed with $20.00 off of their registration.  A single registration will cost $37.00 and registration for two will cost $56.00. You may register by filling out one of the early registration cards available in the parish office and turning it in on or before Friday, March 17, 2017. After Friday, March 17th the retreat will be promoted and open to the Diocese of Wichita with regular registration prices. If you have any questions, please contact Bev Gipson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (316-708-1326) or Machelle Good at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (316-390-3655).


We look forward to having you join us for this wonderful retreat opportunity.



A friend of mine expressed to me his angst about not being able to remember people’s names as well as when he was younger. In fact, he presently feels a pronounced lag in recalling names. The loss or diminishment of one’s memory is a great fear for many people who are aging. One hears, “take anything, but not my memory.” There is almost an instinctual sense that in losing one’s memory a person ceases to exist and this triggers great fear. Memory is essential to the human psyche as we draw from it in everything that we do. Those of us who have had family members with dementia know this fact only all too clear. 

My grandfather Jim passed away in 2007. Grandpa was a very good athlete in his day—I got my wheels from him. I recall reminiscing with grandpa about football. He, too, had played football as a youth. I laughed when he told me that after practice he would fold up his helmet and put it in his pocket. About five years before his death Grandpa began to suffer from Alzheimer’s. During this time he struggled greatly. He fell into fits of anger at time, which was not normal for him; was often disoriented and many times fearful. All the result of losing his memory.

As bad as it is to lose one’s memory, it is much worse to lose one’s spiritual memory. Psalm 103 from this Sunday’s Responsorial Psalm speaks of the need to actively engage our memory in recalling God many works lest we forget. King David exhorts himself, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.” This Psalm teaches us that we have to stir ourselves to remember what God has done lest we fall into a sort of spiritual dementia. The result of spiritual dementia, like its neurological counterpart, includes disorientation about finding happiness, great fear and, interestingly, bursts of anger. Hmm, this seems to capture the spirit of many hearts in our day and age. People have short fuses, fear is prevalent and there is a hopeless groping for meaning. Maybe the Psalmist is offering the remedy, right here, right now: Remember, “forget not” all his kindnesses!

The hopeful thing about spiritual dementia is that it can absolutely be avoided. We merely need to recall often the many benefits that we have received and to “praise the Lord, O my soul.” Frequently, this will mean giving thanks to God when we don’t feel grateful. In other words, don’t wait for the spontaneous feeling to give praise to God. We will have to exhort ourselves and stir our souls like King David in Psalm 103.

St. Robert Bellarmine comments that David recognizes that because of weakness, he must command himself to give thanks:, “due to our human frailty, a consciousness of human infirmity, that is very apt to cool in matters that do not come under cognizance of the senses, especially such as God, “who dwelleth in light inaccessible” he (King David), therefore, adds, “and never forget all he hath done for thee.”

“Bless the Lord, O my soul. And forget not all his benefits.”

Ad majorem Dei gloriam,


Fr. John F. Jirak, Pastor