ACTS supports vocations, deaf and evangelization efforts

by The Leaven

Thousands of people across northeast Kansas — Catholics and non-Catholics alike — depend on the local church every day.

Those who support the Archbishop’s Call to Share appeal help fund more than 40 ministries and services that reach people in parishes, schools and communities throughout the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas. Their generosity helps the archdiocese minister to people of all abilities, encourages young people to discover Christ’s call and empowers families searching for ways to grow in faith and virtue.

Reaching out to people who are deaf

Deaf ministry outreach provided by the archdiocese seeks to ensure that people with hearing impairments can reach their full capacity in their faith life through religious education, retreats, sacramental preparation and other programs tailored for their unique needs.

“There are large deaf communities in Olathe and Topeka, so we offer deaf-only Masses, confession and faith formation,” said Katie Locus, consultant for deaf ministry, through an interpreter. “We want all people — especially those with special needs — to know that they are welcome and to know that they are a part of our family.”

There are several priests in the archdiocese who know American Sign Language (ASL), and some seminarians for the archdiocese are also learning ASL. Support from the Archbishop’s Call to Share helps to fund sacramental preparation, retreats and workshops tailored for people who are deaf, as well as programs and events to reach out to young adults with special needs.

Encouraging the young to follow Christ’s call

The archdiocesan office of vocations, funded in part by the Archbishop’s Call to Share appeal, works to encourage all people to think about God’s call for them and how they can cooperate with the mission of the church. Vocation director Father Scott Wallisch leads efforts to help parishes, schools and ministries encourage young people to find their unique vocations.

“I try to help young people open themselves to God’s will and cooperate with his plan,” said Father Wallisch. “We are working to cultivate vocations to the priesthood and religious life so that more people can be impacted by the work of the church in northeast Kansas.”

The Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas currently has 31 seminarians studying for the priesthood at several different seminaries throughout the country. There are also many young men and women considering a call to the religious life. “We couldn’t do what we do without the generosity of the Archbishop’s Call to Share donors,” Father Wallisch said.

Spreading the good news of Jesus

The office of evangelization aims to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ to individuals and families in parishes throughout our archdiocese — to help Catholics rely more fully on God and live out their baptismal vows. A new initiative, the School of Faith program, provides courses on discipleship and formation that help people understand how to pass on their Catholic faith.

“Many Catholics believe that faith is a private thing. We are helping people establish stronger relationships with God and inviting them to share their faith with others,” said Deacon Dana Nearmyer, evangelization division secretary.

The office of evangelization also focuses on strengthening families and providing pastors with additional resources and training to help people grow in faith and love.

“We empower families to find ways to bask in the Holy Spirit — to set aside time to spend time together, tell stories, enjoy meals together and pray together,” Deacon Nearmyer explained.

“The generosity of the people in this archdiocese is really legendary,” said Deacon Nearmyer. “We are incredibly grateful to families, priests and parish leaders for their support. God is really big, and he loves when we work together to solve giant problems and bring his light and love into the world.”

The 2017 Archbishop’s Call to Share appeal recently kicked off in all parishes with a message from Archbishop Naumann. You are invited to pledge your prayers and financial support to strengthen these ministries and many others. To learn how your gift will help those in need in our community, visit the website at: calltoshare.org.

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