Each year, the Archbishop’s Call to Share appeal helps fund ministries and services that reach the poor, sick and vulnerable throughout the archdiocese. Thousands of people at every stage of life depend on our local church every day. Through ministries like the pro-life office, Catholic Charities and Villa St. Francis in Olathe, we respond to their needs and build up a culture of life in our community.
Enlivening pro-life efforts
The archdiocesan pro-life office offers a bold witness of the “Gospel of Life.” Pro-life efforts reach women and men in need of physical and spiritual support. The office speaks out in defense of unborn children and helps young mothers and fathers choose life for their children.
The Wyandotte Pregnancy Clinic in Kansas City, Kansas, an interfaith clinic serving more than 400 patients each year, provides medical care and support to help young mothers choose life and to uphold them in that decision. For those who have had an abortion, spiritual support and healing are available through Project Rachel.
“Project Rachel helps heal the wounds that result from an abortion,” said Ron Kelsey, director of the pro-life office. “It’s an important way for people to receive the support they need to overcome their pain and to experience Christ’s mercy and peace.”
The pro-life office also works to build awareness about public policy relating to pro-life issues.
“We encourage everyone to take their values into the public square and the voting booth,” said Kelsey. “People of all faiths look up to the Catholic Church as a fearless defender of human life.”
Reaching the poor through Catholic Charities
Many people in our archdiocese receive assistance through Catholic Charities. The organization promotes a culture of life by serving hundreds of thousands of people each year. Immigrants, the poor, the chronically homeless and the unemployed turn to Catholic Charities for help. The organization responds through its nine food pantries, in-home support programs, retail thrift stores and transitional housing support. In 2015 alone, its food pantries served more than 147,000 meals.
“We lead with food,” said Kelly Kearney, vice president of development. “Food brings people through the door, then we can help them with employment, housing, health care and many other services to move them toward a healthy, productive life.”
Catholic Charities has made great strides in the fight against homelessness and poverty, but the need continues to grow.
“If poverty were a city in Johnson County,” Kearney continued, “it would be the fifth largest and fastest growing city in the area. I wish I could say that more people are getting up out of poverty, but we still have a lot of work to do.”
Serving people in their senior years
Villa St. Francis promotes the “Gospel of Life” by serving seniors with love, compassion and respect. The skilled-nursing facility boasts a team of dedicated health care professionals who offer top-notch medical care in a faith-filled, comfortable setting. Villa provides skilled care, memory care, short-term rehab and spiritual support for its residents.
While high quality medical care is a top priority, what really sets Villa St. Francis apart is its Catholic mission and identity. Two orders of religious Sisters — many of whom are registered nurses — work at Villa St. Francis. An entire wing is dedicated as a residence for retired priests, and Mass is celebrated daily.
“Many of our residents attended daily Mass in their parishes for years,” said Rodney Whittington, CFO. “It means everything to them to have morning Mass, prayer and religious Sisters caring for them. With your support, Villa St. Francis can continue to offer a home for seniors where physical and spiritual needs are met every day.”
Pope Francis recently proclaimed, “All life has inestimable value. Even the weakest and most vulnerable, the sick, the old, the unborn and the poor are masterpieces of God’s creation.” Through your support of the Archbishop’s Call to Share appeal, you share Christ’s mercy with those in need and strengthen our mission to uphold the dignity of human life at every stage.