In proclaiming this a holy Year of Mercy, Pope Francis encourages believers everywhere to receive God’s abundant mercy so that we can “go out to every man and woman, bringing the goodness and tenderness of God.” Our world is in great need of forgiveness, hope and healing. The call to share Christ’s mercy with others lies at the heart of the church’s mission.
In our archdiocese, the Archbishop’s Call to Share echoes our Holy Father’s call by providing us an opportunity to extend compassion to those in need. The appeal kicks off in parishes this weekend, Jan. 16 and 17, with a message from Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann. The theme for this year’s appeal, “Rich in Mercy,” serves as a reminder of the many blessings we have received. But it also is a bold challenge for us to bring the goodness and tenderness of God to the poor, lonely and abandoned.
During this holy year, Catholics throughout the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas will be invited to support the Archbishop’s Call to Share appeal with their prayers and financial contributions. Their gifts will extend Christ’s mercy in our community by strengthening education programs, outreach services, the formation of clergy and seminarians, and pastoral work in parishes.
Each day, thousands of people turn to the archdiocese for help. Through our many ministries and apostolates, we respond to their pressing needs. In our outreach centers, we serve the hungry, the homeless and the vulnerable. Our priests and deacons ensure that our churches, schools, religious communities and hospitals remain vibrant places of sacrament and service. More than 100 parishes serve the spiritual needs of individuals and families throughout northeast Kansas. A network of Catholic schools supports growth and learning and forms children in the faith.
Further, families in 21 counties have access to food pantries through the Hope Distribution Center in Kansas City, Kansas, a ministry of Catholic Charities funded in part by the Archbishop’s Call to Share. Contributions to the appeal enliven Catholic education, offering tuition assistance at Catholic schools and colleges. Programs such as Perfect Wings provide children of all abilities the opportunity to learn in an environment that promotes faith and acceptance. Villa St. Francis provides assisted living to the elderly and those in need. Religious Sisters, who are registered nurses, and priests are available 24 hours a day. None of this good work is possible without the support of so many who make sacrificial gifts to the Archbishop’s Call to Share.
In simple moments and during times of extraordinary mercy, people experience Christ’s healing presence through the vibrant community of Catholics in northeast Kansas. The Archbishop’s Call to Share appeal is one important way we can alleviate suffering, comfort those in sorrow and bring healing where there is hardship, illness and affliction. It is an opportunity to respond to Pope Francis’ challenge to “never tire of extending mercy, and be ever patient in offering compassion and comfort.” We can begin right here in our community as witnesses to the whole world.
To learn more about the Archbishop’s Call to Share appeal and for a complete list of ACTS-funded ministries, visit the website at: www.calltoshare.org.