Newman University March 4 ‘Mission Talk’ will focus on Monsignor Leon McNeill the priest

Feb 19, 2015

Newman University will present “Monsignor Leon McNeill, the Priest,” as the third of four lectures in the 2014-15 series of “Mission Talks.” The event will take place from noon to 1 p.m., March 4 in the Tarcisia Roths, ASC Alumni Center, inside the Dugan Library and Campus Center on the Newman campus. The event is free and open to the public.

Lunch will be provided for the first 40 people who RSVP to Charlotte Rohrbach, ASC at [email protected] or 316-942-4291, ext. 2167 no later than noon, Monday March 2.

The date of the Mission Talk, March 4, is a special day on the Newman University campus, as it concludes Heritage Month, a new tradition celebrating the heritage of Newman’s founding and sponsoring order the Adorers of the Blood of Christ (ASC), its namesake Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman, and the university’s Catholic tradition. The closing date was selected because of its significance for the ASC: It is the day St. Maria De Mattias founded the ASC. The order is celebrating its 181st anniversary this year.

Numerous events related to the heritage of the university are held during these four weeks including Cardinal Newman Week and Homecoming Week. Heritage Month began on Feb. 4, 2015, which is the feast day of St. Maria De Mattias.

The Mission Talk will take a look at Monsignor Leon McNeill, the first president of Newman University, and his close relationship with the ASC. Father Dwight Birket, who is now retired after many years of service to both the Diocese of Wichita and the Diocese of Dodge City, will present the talk.

“The lecture will include a perspective of McNeill as a priest and the things he did as a priest for the diocese,” Birket said. “It’s a different dimension of the life of McNeill. I hope I can bring a different perspective than the other speakers have.”

Msgr. McNeill has been the subject of both last year’s and this year’s Mission Talks series at Newman. Each talk has focused on a period of McNeill’s journey, starting with his early days as a priest and educator. This year’s series continues to explore McNeill’s life and will conclude with a summary of his life. The remaining talk is set for April 7, 2015.