Most Reverend Carl A. Kemme

Most Reverend Carl A. Kemme is the son of Donald and Marita (Kortte) Kemme. He has four brothers and one sister and grew up on a small family farm in rural Shumway, Ill. His family attended and his parents are still members of the Church of the Annunciation Parish there. He was a student at Shumway Elementary School and Beecher City High School and then attended St. Henry’s Preparatory Seminary in Belleville where he received his high school diploma. He entered the diocesan seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield in 1978, and then graduated from Cardinal Glennon College and Kenrick Seminary in St. Louis, Mo., where he earned a bachelor of arts and a master of divinity degree. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 10, 1986, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield, Ill.

After his ordination, he served as parochial vicar at St. Patrick, Decatur; Ss. Peter and Paul, Collinsville; and Blessed Sacrament, Springfield. He has served as pastor of St. Mary, Brussels, St. Joseph, Meppen, and St. Barbara, Batchtown (1992-1996); Holy Family, Decatur (1996-2002); St. Peter, Petersburg (2002-2005); and St. John Vianney, Sherman (2005-2012).

In 2002, he was appointed vicar general/moderator of the curia by then-Bishop George J. Lucas, and additionally served as diocesan chancellor from January to June 2005. When Bishop Lucas was named head of the Archdiocese of Omaha in June 2009, Msgr. Kemme served as diocesan administrator until June 2010 when Bishop Paprocki was installed for the Springfield see. Msgr. Kemme has continued to serve as vicar general/moderator of the curia for Bishop Paprocki.

On Aug. 23, 2002, he was named a Prelate of Honor with the title Monsignor by Blessed John Paul II. Msgr. Kemme is a fourth Degree Knight of Columbus and a Knight of the Holy Sepulcher. He is chaplain for the Courage Apostolate in the diocese.

His Holiness, Pope Francis, named Msgr. Carl A. Kemme, vicar general and moderator of the curia for the Catholic Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, to be the 11th bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Wichita, Kansas. The appointment was announced Feb. 20 in Washington, D.C., by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Bishop Kemme was ordained to the fullness of the priesthood on Thursday, May 1, 2014 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Wichita.

 

 

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DEACON HAROLD BURKE-SIVERS

Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers - known around the world as the “Dynamic Deacon” - is one of the most sought-after speakers in the Church today. He is a powerful and passionate evangelist and preacher whose no-nonsense approach to living and proclaiming the Catholic faith is sure to challenge and inspire.

Deacon Harold travels across the United States and around the world speaking at conferences, workshops, parish missions, retreats, high schools and young adult events - in short, to people of all ages and from all walks of life who desire to know Jesus intimately and enjoy a deeper personal relationship with Him.

His areas of expertise include marriage and family life, discerning the will of God, the sacraments, the Church’s vocational choices and how they are lived out, male spirituality, pro-life issues, evangelization, prayer, and many others.

Deacon Harold holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics and Business Administration from the University of Notre Dame, and a Master of Theological Studies from the University of Dallas.

His work has appeared in Envoy Magazine, The Catholic World Report and The National Catholic Register. He hosts his own weekly broadcast, “From the Rooftops,” every Wednesday on Radio Maria, and has appeared as a guest on numerous other national and international radio programs, including “Catholic Answers Live,” “Catholic Connection,” “Kresta in the Afternoon” and “Vocation Boom Radio.” In addition, he is the host or co-host of several popular series on EWTN television, including “Behold the Man: Spirituality for Men,” Made in His Image: Family Life Today,” “Christ the Servant: The Vocation of Deacons,” “Authentically Free at Last” and “Priests and Deacons: Ministers of Mercy.”

Deacon Harold is featured on The Greatest Commandments: A 40-Week Spiritual Journey for Married Couples,a vibrant marriage-enrichment program rooted in biblical values and designed to help husbands and wives know God better, trust Him fully and love Him completely throughout the course of their married lives.

Retaining a deep love of Benedictine spirituality which he gained during his time discerning a call to that religious community, Deacon Harold is a Benedictine Oblate of Mt. Angel Abbey. He is also an associate member of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars, a member of the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy and a consultation team member for the National Conference of Catholic Bishops’ National Directory for Catechesis.

As the president and CEO of Servant Enterprises, Deacon Harold oversees that nonprofit organization’s endeavors, which include hosting an international institute for Catholic male spirituality, coordinating dynamic speaking tours and life-changing retreats, and developing products and services that support family life.

Most importantly, Deacon Harold is married to his lovely wife, Colleen, and they have four beautiful children. They live in Portland, Oregon, where Deacon Harold is assigned to Immaculate Heart Catholic Church.                                                                  

For more information on Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers please visit his website:                                                     

www.deaconharold.com

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JOSHUA BITTING

Joshua was born and raised in the Wichita area. While studying philosophy as an undergraduate at Southwestern College, Joshua encountered the living Christ in a transformative way and came into full communion with the Catholic Church on June 22, 2003, the Feast of Corpus Christi. Joshua and his wife Amanda are parishioners at Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Church. They have been married for nine years and have four children: John Augustine, Therese Marie, Elijah Paul, and Joseph Francis.

Joshua is Director of the Diocesan Office of Faith Formation, responsible for the catechetical formation of children, youth, and young adults, as well as the formation of catechists and youth ministry leaders. He has also served the Church in a variety of catechetical ministries including adult faith formation, RCIA, parish evangelization, Catholic "Welcome Home" programs, Catholic Scripture studies, and sacramental preparation.

Joshua attended Franciscan University of Steubenville where he earned his masters degree in Theology. He is currently pursuing a research doctorate in Catechesis and Family Ministry at the John Paul II Institute in Melbourne, Australia. He is passionate about learning the faith and communicating the beauty and richness of the Gospel.

Christopher J. Stravitsch

Christopher J. Stravitsch, DMin(Cand), LPC, LMFT is the Founding Vice President of the St. John Paul II Foundation. He has a passion for creating new ministries that meet today's most pressing needs, especially the pastoral needs of couples and families.

Mr. Stravitsch regularly publishes articles that reverence the dignity of the person and foster the good of marriage and family life. His articles have been published in Homiletic and Pastoral Review, the USCCB’s marriage apostolate website ForYourMarriage.orgFellowship of Catholic Scholars QuarterlyNew Oxford Review, The Cord: A Franciscan Spiritual ReviewLay WitnessLife Site NewsLife NewsTruth and Charity ForumSaint Austin Review, diocesan newspapers, and more.

Prior to co-founding the John Paul II Foundation, Mr. Stravitsch served eight years on the Formation Faculty of Assumption Seminary as Director of Collegians in San Antonio. There he worked with the faculty to develop the college formation program since its inception in 2006, in accord with the Program of Priestly Formation and John Paul II’s apostolic exhortation Pastores Dabo Vobis. Mr. Stravitsch still serves as an adjunct faculty member of the Institute for Priestly Formation in Omaha, Nebraska, where he teaches in the Spiritual Formation for Diocesan Seminarians summer program. He has a mandatum conferred by Most Reverend José H. Gomez, S.T.D.

Aside from his work with the St. John Paul II Foundation, Mr. Stravitsch is the Founding Executive Director of Rejoice Counseling Apostolate, an apostolate which now serves Catholic parishes throughout Houston and San Antonio by providing onsite Catholic counseling services for individuals, couples and families. Mr. Stravitsch is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, actively engaged in counseling in the greater Houston area. He earned a dual degree in Pastoral Counseling from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas, which consisted of a M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy (2006) and a M.A. in Pastoral Ministry (2007). He earned a B.A. in Psychology (2003) from Texas A&M University. Mr. Stravitsch is currently a Doctor of Ministry Candidate at The Catholic University of America in Washington D.C., where his research focuses on the spiritual formation of couples and families.

Mr. Stravitsch and his wife, Sarah, reside in Katy, Texas with their four children.