It’s fitting that Carl Kemme is hosting a luncheon at the Lord’s Diner before his ordination Thursday afternoon as the new bishop of Wichita. The diner reflects the humility and service that Kemme plans to emphasize and emulate.
Kemme will be ordained at a Mass beginning at 2 p.m. at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in downtown Wichita. He will become the 11th bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Wichita, which covers 25 counties in south-central and southeast Kansas.
Kemme comes from the Diocese of Springfield, Ill., where he was vicar general and was admired for his pastoral heart. He said he plans to take his cues from Pope Francis, and he has chosen “humilitas,” Latin for “humility,” as his motto.
The Lord’s Diner, a ministry of the diocese, puts that motto into action. The downtown diner opened 12 years ago and now has a second location in south Wichita. It also operates a food truck and plans to add a second truck next month.
On Saturday, the diner served its 2 millionth meal. The remarkable milestone shows both the extent of the need and the willingness of so many groups and volunteers to help meet that need.
In choosing to hold his luncheon at the diner, Kemme said he wanted “a simple meal that we can share in the same place where our brothers and sisters” receive their daily bread.
Pope Francis would approve.