Kansas wins over Indian priest

Father Marianand Mendem incardinated into the archdiocese


by Kara Hansen

BURLINGTON — When Father Marianand Mendem first came to the archdiocese in 2002, he had no intention of staying.

But it didn’t take long for Kansas Catholics to win him over.

Father Mendem refers to his decision to become an archdiocesan priest here as “a call within a call.” And in order to answer that call, on May 15, Father Mendem was incardinated into the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas. That means he left the religious order to which he belonged — the Congregation of the Missionaries of St. Francis de Sales — and officially joined the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas as a diocesan priest.

Father Mendem started his career in the archdiocese with a summer ministry rotation at Prince of Peace Parish in Olathe — a requirement of his doctorate program. He then returned to Rome to continue his doctoral studies.

Starting in 2003, however, he came back for brief stints of service at Curé of Ars Parish in Leawood, St. Leo in Horton, and St. Mary in Purcell. Finally, while preparing to defend his doctoral dissertation, he was appointed associate pastor of St. Agnes Parish in Roeland Park in 2005.

During the course of those various assignments, said Father Mendem, he began to see a different path opening up before him.

“I slowly fell in love with the people, parishes and the archdiocese, and realized there was more of a need for priests here than in India,” said Father Mendem. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to serve people.”

And serve he has.

Since 2006, Father Mendem has been pastor of St. Francis Xavier,

Burlington; St. Joseph, Waverly; St. Teresa, Westphalia; and St. Patrick, Emerald.

Father Mendem received a little bit of encouragement along the way from Msgr. Charles McGlinn, when Father Mendem briefly served at Curé of Ars, and from Archbishop Emeritus James P. Keleher.

“They really encouraged me and helped initiate this process, which Archbishop Naumann helped complete,” said Father Mendem.

The process of incardination, which essentially means a priest is transferred from the jurisdiction of one bishop and diocese to another, took about four years for Father Mendem. He says the process was a lot of paperwork combined with a great deal of prayer and discernment.

“It is not easy to be so far away from my country and family. But the wonderful archbishop, the presbyterate and the loving people make it possible for me,” said Father Mendem.

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