If you have never been to a Catholic church, or if you are new to our area of Kansas City, welcome!
If you and your family have been away from the Catholic Church for some time, welcome back! If you are an active member of our family at St. John Francis Regis, welcome! In short, we are glad you are here.
Come and join us for Holy Mass and be transformed by God’s grace. Participate, go out “into the deep”— get involved. We are truly blessed to have such a Christ-centered, faith-filled community. We invite you to join us and experience this great gift of God. Learn ways you can get involved at St. John Francis Regis by browsing our site, our bulletin, or our Facebook page. Take advantage of the various links and videos and contemplate anew the splendor of our faith alive in our age.
I invite you to consider becoming a registered member of our parish so you can grow in abundant love of God and neighbor. We look forward to seeing you, and may God richly bless you!
St Regis Feast Day
Please consider joining the Memorial Committee in observance of St. John Francis Regis Sainthood and remembrance of deceased parishioners and parishioner's loved one's who are deceased and join us at the celebration of Mass at 4:30pm on June 15, 2019 and 8:30 am and 10:30 am on June 16,2019 at St. Regis Church.
A lighting display will be available at all masses of deceased parishioners in the last 12 months.
Following Mass, there will be Refreshments and Beverages for a social hour in our Parish Gathering Space.
We look forward to you and your family members attendance on this special occasion to also celebrate our Patron Saint, St. John Francis Regis Sainthood date.
- 1 of 6
Vatican City, Jul 16, 2019 / 08:27 am (CNA).- That the working document for October’s Synod of Bishops calls the Amazon region a source of revelation is a “false teaching,” Cardinal Gerhard Mueller said Tuesday.
If in the Instrumentum laboris of the Amazon synod, “a certain territory is being declared to be a ‘particular source of God’s Revelation,’ then one has to state that this is a false teaching,” the German cardinal said.
“For 2,000 years, the Catholic Church has infallibly taught that Holy Scripture and Apostolic Tradition are the only sources of Revelation and that no further Revelation can be added in the course of history,” he clarified.
Mueller’s statement was simultaneously provided to CNA’s sister agency CNA Deutsch and several other German news outlets, July 16. The working document for the special assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazonian region, which will take place in October, was published June 17.
In his seven-page response, Mueller said he believes in the goodwill and intention to promote the Catholic faith of those who prepared the Instrumentum laboris, but underlined what he sees as weaknesses in both form and content.
He referenced paragraph 19 of the document, which says the Amazon, or another indigenous territory, is not only a geographical space, but “a quid or a what, a place of meaning for faith or the experience of God in history.”
“Thus,” the paragraph continues, “territory is a theological place where faith is lived, and also a particular source of God’s revelation: epiphanic places where the reserve of life and wisdom for the planet is manifest, a life and wisdom that speaks of God.”
Mueller compared this comment to what it says in Dei Verbum, Vatican II’s dogmatic constitution on divine revelation, that “we now await no further new public revelation.” He added that “Holy Scripture and Tradition are the only sources of Revelation.”
The cardinal said his main concern with the document is what he sees as an ambivalence in the definition of key terms and their general overuse. He lists, as examples, integral development, synodal path, and a Church reaching out.
Mueller also criticized the document’s reference to “Theologia indigena and the eco-theology.”
Theology is “the understanding of God’s revelation in His Word and in the Faith-Profession of the Church,” he said, not the “continuously new mixture of world feelings and world views…”
The Church should not, he argued, abandon the knowledge of classical and modern philosophy, of the Church Fathers, of modern theology, and of the Church Councils for the “Amazonian cosmovision.”
On the idea of inculturation of the liturgy in particular, Mueller warned of the importance of sacramental integrity. Inculturation can help “ingrain in culture the Sacraments,” but the sacramental signs themselves cannot be changed, he said. “That would not be inculturation, but an inadmissible interference with the will of Jesus as founder of the Church.”
Mueller said he believes every Catholic will agree with the pre-synod document’s desire for the men and women of the Amazon to not remain the object of colonialism and neo-colonialism.
“It is clear in Church, society, and state,” he said, “that the people who are living there – especially our Catholic brothers and sisters – are equal and free agents in their lives and work, their Faith and their morality, and this in our common responsibility before God.”
What he believes the Instrumentum laboris is missing, however, is “a clear witness to the self-communication of God in the verbum incarnatum, to the sacramentality of the Church, to the Sacraments as objective means of Grace instead of mere self-referential symbols…”
That “the integrity of man does not only consist of the unity with a bio-nature, but in the Divine Sonship and in the grace-filled communion with the Holy Trinity,” he explained, “not only with the environment and our shared world.”
“Due to the substantial unity of body and soul, man stands at the intersection of the fabric of spirit and matter,” he explained. “But the contemplation of the cosmos is only the occasion for the glorification of God and His wonderful work in nature and history. The cosmos, however, is not to be adored like God, but only the Creator Himself.”
“Instead of presenting an ambiguous approach with a vague religiosity and the futile attempt to turn Christianity into a science of salvation by sacralizing the cosmos and the biodiverse nature and ecology, it is about looking to the center and origin of our Faith,” he said, the Incarnation.
Brownsville, Texas, Jul 16, 2019 / 03:34 am (CNA).- The heat index in McAllen, Texas was 125 degrees on Saturday, but that did not stop members of the pro-life movement from delivering a semi-truck full of supplies and thousands of dollars in aid to respite centers at the border of the United States and Mexico.
The #BottlestotheBorder campaign, launched by New Wave Feminists in partnership with And Then There Were None (ATTWN), collected more than $120,000 worth of supplies and donated more than $70,000 in aid funding to multiple respite centers, where migrants who are legally in the U.S. are temporarily housed and cared for while they connect with family members and figure out their next steps.
“We were unloading what feels like a million cases of water, and it’s heavy and it’s hot and it’s exhausting, but you look at these families, and especially the children in this center, and you just realize that it’s worth it,” Johnson told CNA, “and you can’t even complain about how hot it is or how tired you are or how sore your arms are going to be, because these children, they need this food, they need these diapers, they need these wipes.”
According to numbers from New Wave Feminists, led by Destiny Herndon-De La Rosa, the groups were able to deliver 121,072 diapers, 30,700 pairs of shoelaces, 13,230 bottles of water, 6,660 pull-ups, 3,100 backpacks, 16,172 ounces of formula, 9,720 maxi pads, 750 rosaries, and $72,000 of funds to respite centers in Texas over the weekend.
Johnson said that the material items were donated to Catholic Charities in McAllen, Texas, which has a warehouse large enough to store the donated items. The monetary donations went to other respite centers in the area that are in need but do not have the storage space to handle large amounts of items at one time.
A fellow church-goer of one of ATTWN staff members had heard about the initiative and, as the owner of a trucking company, offered to drive an 18-wheeler to the border for the group, Johnson said. The catch: the truck had to be full.
“We did the first registry and filled that up in a couple of days, like in 48 hours it was full,” Johnson said. The first registry filled about half of the truck, so New Wave Feminists and ATTWN launched another registry.
“By the end it was completely packed full of supplies,” Johnson said.
While Johnson could not complain about the hard work that it took to unload thousands of boxes of supplies in the searing Texas heat, there was one frustrating part of the day, before the unloading even got started, she added. A press conference of about a dozen members of Congress had closed down the streets around the center, delaying the unloading of supplies.
“And it was really infuriating for me because here we are with no cameras, we weren’t like, ‘Hey media, come watch us unload this truck,’ because it wasn’t about us. It was about getting these supplies to these people,” Johnson said.
Johnson “busted up” the press conference and invited the members of Congress to help unload the truck instead of just doing a photo-op at the center.
“I said, ‘You know we’ve got an 18-wheeler full of supplies that will be here in 20 minutes, and if you really want to help these migrants and their families, you’ll stick around and help us unload this truck.’”
“And they smirked at me and rolled their eyes and said, ‘Well we only have 10 minutes, we can only give you 10 minutes, because we have another press opportunity that we need to get to.”
“So you just see how these people (migrants) are being used by our government, by these Congress people,” Johnson said.
The politics behind the border crisis are frustrating to Johnson, she said, because they often dehumanize migrants and distract people from doing something concrete to help the situation.
She said people have asked her if her efforts to bring supplies to migrants means that she supports an open-border policy. She doesn’t.
“No I don’t support lawlessness, I don’t support an open border, I support legal immigration, doing it the right way, but the bottom line is I don’t have the answer, I don’t know the answer,” she said, “but I can deliver these wipes so that babies’ butts are clean and they’re not getting infections. And I know how to make sure that a baby can get fed, and that’s really what this is about. And that’s what it is to be the Church, to meet the needs that are right in front of us.”
Johnson converted to Catholicism several years after leaving the abortion industry in 2009.
Another frustrating aspect of the weekend was that on the same day that Johnson, Herndon-De La Rosa and their team were unloading their supplies, TruthOut.org published an opinion piece entitled: “The ‘Pro-Life’ Movement Is Silent About Children Dying at the Border.”
“It came out the same day that we were in McAllen, and I was like really? Pro-life people don’t care about people at the border? Tell me more about that, you know, as I’m sweating and disgusting and hot and gross,” Johnson said.
The author has since reached out to Johnson and Herndon-De La Rosa for follow-up interviews, and admitted on Twitter that she had not heard of the #Bottles2TheBorder campaign when she wrote the piece.
But Johnson said that the pro-life movement, at least in some circles, still has a problem with the way they speak about the issue of immigration. She said that sometimes on social media, she will get comments from people in ultra-conservative groups who use “dehumanizing language” when discussing migrants.
“I don’t know if they identify strongly as pro-life, but they are conservative, and they’re coming on my page saying, ‘Well we need to help Americans first, and Americans need to take priority,’” she recalled.
“And I’m thinking, well why can’t we just work to help everybody? Why do we have to pick and choose? Because when God creates all of us, he doesn’t create Americans with more dignity and worth than he does Mexicans,” she said. “We’re all created in the likeness of Christ, we’re all created with that same inherent dignity and worth at the moment of conception.”
Johnson said the border crisis presents an opportunity to the pro-life movement to step up and prove that they are supportive of life from the moment of conception to the moment of natural death.
“This is an opportunity to make that known and to show it, and to actually be that pro-life. There are respite centers all along the border that are providing respite to immigrants who have come through a port of entry legally, and they need support, they need rest, they need a shower, they need clean diapers, they need food, and this is an opportunity for us to provide that,” she said.
While the current #Bottles2TheBorder campaign has ended, the campaign’s website includes a link to a list of respite centers along the border to which people can donate directly.
Philadelphia, Pa., Jul 16, 2019 / 12:23 am (CNA).- A federal appeals court on Friday unanimously blocked Department of Health and Human Services rules that would have exempted employers who want to opt out of coverage for artificial contraception for moral or religious reasons.
The Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia upheld a district court’s January decision to block the planned rules, which the Trump administration first announced in October 2017.
“The State’s financial injury outweighs any purported injury to religious exercise...A nationwide injunction is necessary to provide the States complete relief,” Circuit Judge Patty Schwartz wrote in the court’s majority opinion.
Judge Haywood Gilliam of the U.S. District Court for Northern California had issued a preliminary injunction January 13 that affects 13 states plus the District of Columbia in the case State of California v. HHS.
However, Gillam declined to issue the nationwide injunction requested by the plaintiffs, the attorneys general of several states led by California.
U.S. District Judge Wendy Beetlestone then issued a nationwide injunction blocking the same rule in her decision for the case Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Trump.
HHS is expected to appeal Friday’s decision to the Supreme Court.
The original contraception mandate, introduced during the Obama administration, had drawn lawsuits from hundreds of plaintiffs who argued that it failed to allow for their free exercise of religion. In June 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the government must allow exceptions to the mandate in some cases. Last year, hundreds of employers won an injunction against the mandate.
In a separate effort by HHS, the “Protecting Statutory Conscience Rights in Health Care; Delegations of Authority rule”, announced May 2 and published May 21 in the Federal Register, is intended to strengthen a series of laws intended to protect the conscience rights of doctors and nurses.
The Department of Health and Human Services had announced earlier this month that the rule’s implementation would be delayed until November, due to the amount of litigation surrounding the rule.
The rule mandates that institutions receiving federal money be certified for compliance with more than two dozen laws protecting conscience and religious freedom rights.
The court estimated that between 70,500 and 124,400 women nationwide would lose access to contraception under the new rules, and that it could lead to higher expenditures at the state level.
Under existing law, medical providers may opt out of direct participation, as well as having to refer patients to other providers who will perform procedures to which they object, such as abortion and sterilization.
New York had led a suit against the rule unveiled in May, with co-plaintiffs Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin, as well as the District of Columbia, Chicago, New York City, and Cook County, Ill.
California filed a separate lawsuit May 21 against the rule, saying it “impedes access to basic care” and “encourages discrimination against vulnerable patients.” Planned Parenthood has also filed a lawsuit.
The plaintiffs had argued that the rule would force some healthcare facilities to hire more staff in case there are too many conscientious objectors to provide requested procedures.
HHS had responded to concerned comments that the new rule would prevent some patients from being treated in an emergency, replying in the Federal Register that federal law mandating that “certain hospitals treat and stabilize patients who present in an emergency does not conflict with Federal conscience and anti-discrimination laws.”
In addition, HHS contended that religiously affiliated hospitals, including Catholic hospitals, “play a major role in the delivery of health care to residents of the United States, including to underserved or underprivileged communities in particular, and are motivated by their beliefs to serve such communities.”
“This rule ensures that healthcare entities and professionals won’t be bullied out of the health care field because they decline to participate in actions that violate their conscience, including the taking of human life. Protecting conscience and religious freedom not only fosters greater diversity in healthcare, it’s the law,” Office of Civil Rights Director Roger Severino said May 2.
Washington D.C., Jul 15, 2019 / 05:56 pm (CNA).- The Trump administration announced Monday evening that parts of the Protect Life Rule, which prohibits recipients of Title X family planning funds to refer or provide abortion services, will go into effect immediately.
As of July 15, the Department of Health and Human Services informed Title X fund recipients that they will no longer be permitted to refer mothers for abortion services, and must keep finances separate from facilities that provide abortions.
As of March next year, abortion facilities will no longer be allowed to co-locate with clinics that receive Title X moneys. Clinics that provide “nondirective counseling” about abortion may still receive funds.
Title X is a federal program created in 1965 that subsidizes family-planning and preventative health services, including contraception, for low-income families. It has been frequently updated and subject to new regulations.
The Protect Life Rule will strip about $60 million in federal funding from Planned Parenthood, whose clinics both refer for abortion services and are co-located with abortion facilities. Planned Parenthood presently receives about one-fifth of the total amount of Title X funds distributed and serves about 40 percent of all clients who benefit from Title X.
Previously, abortion providers were ineligable to receive Title X funds, and the Supreme Court upheld this restriction in 1991. When President Bill Clinton took office in 1993, his administration changed the program to include abortion providers.
No money has been cut from Title X as a result of this change, and funds will still be available for eligible clinics.
The Protect Life Rule was formally announced by the Department of Health and Human Services in June 2018. Immediately after it was announced, the administration was sued by several states opposed to the changes. On Thursday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied a stay that would have blocked the rule from going into effect.
Planned Parenthood described the court’s decision as “devastating” and “crushing news,” though the organization remains eligible to receive $500 million in federal funding.
Last week, Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the pro-life organization Susan B. Anthony List, described the Protect Life Rule coming into force as “greatly encouraging.”
“Without reducing Title X funding by a dime, the Protect Life Rule simply draws a bright line between abortion and family planning, stopping abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood from treating Title X as their private slush fund.”
Orange, Calif., Jul 15, 2019 / 05:01 pm (CNA).- The Diocese of Orange will dedicate its Christ Cathedral July 17 after a seven-year, $77-million renovation process.
“I would pray and hope that it (the Christ Cathedral) will build on the heritage we have and help bring new life and commitment and joy in the age we live and that through here the diocese will have a focal point of unity where God will be known and loved,” Bishop Kevin Vann of Orange told CNA.
Christ Cathedral was formerly named the Crystal Cathedral. The property was purchased by the Orange diocese in February 2012 for $57.5 million from the Protestant community which founded it. The building with its campus was sold after the community, founded by Robert Schuller, filed for bankruptcy in October 2010 when some of its creditors sued for payment.
The architectural landmark is made from over 10,000 panes of glass, and its interior had to be renovated to make it suitable for Catholic worship. CNA reported in September 2014 that the cathedral's dedication was scheduled for 2017.
The Christ Cathedral campus consists of seven buildings on 34 acres.
EWTN opened a studio on the campus in May 2015. CNA was acquired by EWTN in 2014.
An architect who was in the office of the Crystal Cathedral’s original designer told CNA in 2013 that Schuller “wanted a building that was both a building and not a building, so that in a sense he could be in an enclosure, but it would be as if he were out of doors, which is where he began his ministry: so this building was an entire shell of glass.”
Under the purchase agreement, the diocese agreed to maintain the exterior of all the buildings, including the then-Crystal Cathedral.
But Tony Jennison, Vice President of Philanthropy for the Diocese of Orange, said the interior of the cathedral is now completely different.
“We took what was basically a used cathedral, that wasn’t a Catholic cathedral...it was really a television studio for his [Schuller’s] Hour of Power...and we turned it into a Catholic cathedral,” Jennison said. “It’s completely different other than the outside facade.”
Bishop Vann inherited the renovation of the Crystal Cathedral when he was appointed Bishop of Orange in September 2012.
The bishop remembers the first time he stepped foot inside the church.
“I guess I thought, ‘How are we going to do this? How are we going to make it a Catholic space?” he told CNA.
Now, seven years later, Bishop Vann believes they’ve succeeded.
“We’ve actually made a Catholic space out of all this, with a lot of good will, a lot of study, a lot of prayer, a lot of work, a lot of discussions, a lot of meetings.”
Weekly meetings, to be exact. And Bishop Vann attended each of them.
“The bottom line was, I have to sign off on all these things,” he said. “It’s my responsibility before God to make sure we’re good stewards of what God has given us for the people of the diocese. So I really had to be vigilant and to really be involved in it.”
One of the most noticeable changes is the addition of an altar, crafted from stone and marble Bishop Vann selected in Italy.
Bishop Vann and the architects wanted the altar to be the major focal point of the space. Previously, the focal point was a massive, brown, wooden organ.
“We painted it (the organ) white so it would blend in,” Jennison said. “Your attention is drawn to the altar, which as Catholics that’s where it’s supposed to be.”
Underneath the altar is a bronze reliquary, designed by Brother William Woeger of the Archdiocese of Omaha. Bishop Vann will install relics of St. John Paul II and St. Junipero Serra, along with several Mexican, North American, Vietnamese, and Korean martyrs.
The relics will be available for veneration the evening before the cathedral’s dedication.
Another noticeable change is the addition of 11,000 “quatrefoils” to the glass panes that make up the walls and ceiling of the cathedral. Each quatrefoil is made of four triangles, situated at various angles to deflect UV rays and heat, help with acoustics, and disperse better the light from outside.
“From the inside, it filters the light. From the outside, it makes the structure look like a box of stars at night,” Jennison said.
The quatrefoils are a favorite feature of Christ Cathedral’s rector, Fr. Christopher Smith.
“I really think it’s kind of ethereal, I think it’s comforting, I think it’s peaceful, I think it lends itself to worship,” Fr. Smith said.
The quatrefoils cost the diocese about $6 million to install.
The diocese also permanently sealed two 90-foot glass doors Shuller would open to preach to people outside the church, and installed air conditioning.
Bishop Vann and the architects removed a fountain that ran down the middle of the original space, and installed a baptismal font in a baptistry connected to the main space, and near the campus’ nearly 1-acre ecumenical cemetery.
A 24-hour Adoration chapel sits on the opposite side of the baptistry. At the center of the round chapel is a tabernacle designed by the 20th-century German enamelist Egino Weinert and positioned on a pedestal of bronze that depicts images from the Gospels.
The interior of the Christ Cathedral is largely monochromatic, save for two pieces of artwork: a tapestry of the Pantocrator, and a mosaic of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The mosaic includes a crown that is removable for May crowning or other Marian celebrations.
There are also Stations of the Cross, designed by Bolivian-born sculptor Pablo Eduardo. The sculptor is currently working on artistic renditions of the manifestations of Christ’s divinity, which will be installed at a later date.
Also in the works is a shrine to Our Lady of La Vang, a Marian devotion from Vietnam. The shrine is located in the campus’ two-acre Marian Court, which will also include a rosary arden and space for other Marian shrines.
“It’s really a pilgrimage destination for all to come and really worship [sic] her [Mary],” said Michelle Dao, a major gift officer with the Orange Catholic Foundation.
The diocese added festal doors, which will open only on special occasions, including the July 17 dedication of the cathedral. The doors are made of blackened steel, and a bronze band depicting the creation spreads across the middle of the doors.
The narthex also has a bronze bar depicting the end of time, and portraits of saints.
When the property was purchased, a local parish and school, located eight blocks from the campus, were relocated.
“What that meant was that a parish community that had been there for 50 years, that had built the current parish church, was now going to have to leave...and not even have a real church for some years,” said Fr. Smith, who has served as pastor of St. Callistus on the Christ Cathedral campus.
The parish gathered for Mass in the Arboretum while the Christ Cathedral was under renovation.
They had 12 Masses in four languages, serving nearly 12,000 local Catholics, Fr. Smith said.
“We’ll literally see people from all over the world coming here,” he said. “They already do, but they’re really going to be coming here when the cathedral opens.”
Fr. Smith told CNA he’s excited for the dedication of the cathedral, because he’ll once again be able to focus on being a pastor.
He said he hopes the cathedral will help unite the diverse diocese.
“We want to build unity,” Fr. Smith said. “That’s a challenge, but it’s also beautiful when that unity takes place.”
“Cathedrals traditionally are like the downtown of the community,” he said. “Somebody once said Christ Cathedral is like the ‘downtown’ of the Diocese of Orange.”
“So if we can be a place like that, that not only offers worship, but also offers a place where the poor are cared for, where the arts are celebrated, where people are invited to pray together...I hope we can provide all that.”
Christ Cathedral will be open to the public every Sunday following the dedication. It will be open daily by early 2020.
In-text photos credit: Kate Veik / CNA.