The public is invited to the blessing of the new adoration chapel at Central Kansas Medical Center where Bishop John Brungardt will conduct a brief ceremony and visit with participants. Bishop Brungardt was installed in February in the Catholic Diocese of Dodge City.
The Bishop’s blessing is set for 3 p.m. Saturday, April 2, on the first floor at CKMC, just next to the Gifts from the Heart gift shop in the main lobby. A reception will follow the blessing.
The chapel relocation is the result of upcoming changes at CKMC, which on May 1 will be known as St. Rose Ambulatory and Surgery Center. Currently, the adoration chapel is on the fifth floor.
"Even though the location will change, our chapel will still be open to anyone anytime," said Mary Klinge, executive director of mission integration. "We have always encouraged the community to use this quiet place of adoration and meditation. And that certainly will not change."
Another thing that will not change is the daily adoration provided by a group of volunteers who have continuously visited the chapel for the last 16 years. The 125-member coalition ensures that one of its members is on-site for up to about 15 hours a day, said Mary Lou Weiser, a coordinator.
"We are committed to this chapel because the Blessed Sacrament is exposed," Weiser said. "All of us are very grateful to CKMC for allowing us to use their chapel for this adoration. The relationship will continue when the name changes to St. Rose."
Most of the volunteers are from Great Bend’s Prince of Peace Parish; a few come from surrounding communities.
"The chapel has a monstrance, which is a tall, ornate vessel with a window," Weiser commented. "The white host in the window has been blessed and consecrated by a priest at Mass.
"Once the host is consecrated, we believe it to be the Body of Christ," Weiser continued. "This means the Lord is in our presence."
Each volunteer spends an hour a week at the chapel. In the beginning, this group collaborated with Father Dermot Tighe of St. Patrick’s and Father Charles Mazouch of St. Rose.
"They gave us great support," Weiser said. "They helped us get this important ministry off the ground."
Now the churches are united as Prince of Peace Parish, and the group works with Father Reggie Urban and Father Peter Fernandez.
CKMC’s Mary Klinge noted the hospital is grateful to the parish volunteers and encouraged the public to use the chapel.
"We are so grateful to Mary Lou and all the other volunteers," Klinge said. "All of us hope the community will use this new chapel, which will be conveniently located on the first floor. People can come in 24/7. If you are out taking a walk, feel free to visit."