PERMANENT COMMUNITY MEMBERS
permanent community registration form (online version) available below
It all started when...
the Diocese of Wichita, in 1949, had begun a systematic program for fellowship and faith formation for Wichita State University college students.
As the Catholic community at Wichita State University grew, and a growing Permanent Community was present around campus, an University Parish was created by Bishop David Maloney on February 10, 1970 to care for the spiritual welfare of the blossoming community!
Although a college parish, the Permanent Community Members at St. Paul are certainly pillars of the St. Paul faith community. Due to the fact that the primary parish base is constructed of college students, who typically move on after graduation, the Permanent Community Members provide a degree of much-needed stability in a college parish, and for that we are so grateful.
What is a personal parish? It may seem like hair-splitting, but understanding the difference between a personal parish and the typical territorial parish is very important. In fact, St. Paul is the only personal parish in the Diocese of Wichita. One becomes a parishioner at St. Paul through deliberate registration (such as Permanent Community Members wishing to join the parish), but mostly through association with the university (such as our college students, both graduate, undergraduate, and faculty/staff). Since the greatest number of our parishioners are college students, our parish is not funded in the traditional way through our parishioners. Therefore, St. Paul relies almost entirely upon extraordinary giving, or development to meet our annual operating budget of $700,000. Our Sunday collections generate about 33% of our overall operating budget, and after the diocesan support received, St. Paul still must raise about $450,000 each year to meet expenses for college student center programming. Thanks to our generous benefactors who understand the vital importance of college ministry for the future of the Catholic Church (both local and universal), we are able to offer an incredibly diverse and systematic college ministry program that is touching the hearts of hundreds and hundreds of Catholics and non-Catholics alike on campus.
We hope that you will consider becoming a part of this vibrant parish community, which seeks to grow in Christian discipleship through hospitality, prayer, formation and service. Our university parish family is centered around the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy, specifically the Eucharist. St. Paul has a unique and precious mission to support and serve the youth at a particularly important time in their life, and because we believe as the Fathers of the Church taught that our prayer shapes our belief and our belief shapes our life, careful attention is given to the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy, particularly the Eucharist, so that the splendor of Catholicism might be evident and the encounter with Christ made more readily accessible. St. Paul focuses a great amount of energy in preparing the Sunday Liturgies and in the celebration of all the Sacraments, but most especially the Eucharist and Reconciliation. This is why we provide four Sunday masses, with Reconciliation available prior to each Mass (except before the 9 pm).