Bishop Weisenburger makes his first visit to Motherhouse

August 20, 2012 by

In what could have been a perfunctory courtesy call, the new Bishop of Salina spent much of today (Monday) visiting the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia.

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But formality gave way to warmth as Bishop Edward Weisenburger “got schooled” (his phrase) by Sister Rose Marie Dwyer on ministering in rural Brazil, exchanged stories about his mother’s hometown in Ellis County, received a “prayer cloth” knit by one of the women who visits the Neighbor to Neighbor center and ate cookies that he conceded were not allowed on his diet.

In February, the Vatican announced that then-Monsignor Weisenburger, rector of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Oklahoma City, would succeed Bishop Paul Coakley as head of the Diocese of Salina. On May 1, he was ordained a bishop in ceremonies at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Salina.

Since then he has been getting to know the diocese. But this was his first opportunity to visit the Sisters of St. Joseph and the only Motherhouse within the Salina diocese.

In addition to celebrating Mass Monday morning, with the assistance of the Motherhouse chaplain, Father Jim Hoover, he also toured the historic landmark building and had dinner with the sisters who live there.

Sister Rose Marie Dwyer, who served for almost 40 years in Brazil and who is today retired from active ministry and living at the Motherhouse, took the opportunity to tell Bishop Weisenburger about life on a foreign mission.

“The bishop got schooled by the sister,” he said, laughing.

Later in the day, Sister Marcia Allen, president of the Concordia congregation, took the bishop to the sisters’ administrative offices and then to the Neighbor to Neighbor center and Manna House of Prayer.

At Neighbor to Neighbor, the center for women operated by the Sisters of St. Joseph, Bishop Weisenburger had the chance to meet several of the women who visit.

Ann Barnett of Concordia offered him a “Prayer Cloth,” which she knits and makes available for free, as reminders of “the comfort in faith and prayer.” Bishop Weisenburger picked a blue cloth and said he would keep it in his pocket. “We can all use prayer,” he told Barnett.


2 Responses to “Bishop Weisenburger makes his first visit to Motherhouse”

  1. Anne M. Reinert on August 20th, 2012 8:40 pm

    S.Margaret Ann, requested of me to walk with her to the Bishop, after dinner, so I was the beneficiary, of a beautiful story of shared friends of the Bishop and S.Margaret Ann, he shared with her the Oklahoma fires were controlled just a quarter of a mile from the land of their friends, I am sharing their “good news”. S.Anne

  2. Loretta A. Jasper, csj on August 20th, 2012 7:07 pm

    What a wonderful way to extend hospitality to Bishop Weisenburger: at home, engaged in homey discussions, with women filled with the Mission and spirit of the CSJ’s.

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