Column: Doing ‘the Catholic dance’ in my heart

Lesle Knop is the executive director of the archdiocesan office of stewardship and development. You can email her at: lesleknop@archkck.org
Lesle Knop is the executive director of the archdiocesan office of stewardship and development. You can email her at: lesleknop@archkck.org

by Lesle Knop

My husband and I didn’t get much sleep the night before the Crosier Society Mass and brunch last month.

We had spent the evening before at the National Catholic Youth Conference’s closing ceremonies and Mass with about 25,000 young people, volunteers, youth leaders, religious and clergy who raised the roof at the Sprint Center and the nearby Grand Ballroom of Bartle Hall in Kansas City, Mo.

Still excited from the incredible NCYC experience, I greeted the warm, friendly members of the Crosier Society with my little version of “the Catholic dance” — a line dance that I had been taught the day before by a group of high school girls from Wisconsin whose joyful enthusiasm was contagious.

How could anyone resist the charm of bright young people wearing buttons and silly hats who wanted to teach “the Catholic dance” to passersby on 14th Street in Kansas City, Mo., near the Music Hall on a beautiful fall day?

Normally, a cautious middle-aged woman would say, “No, not today,” and move on.

Amid the joyful exuberance of Christian young people, however, a little strutting and hopping seemed like the most natural thing in the world.

At the Crosier Society brunch, where families who contribute one percent of their annual income or a minimum of $1,000 to the annual appeal share a meal with Archbishop Joseph Naumann, I reported the results of the Archbishop’s Call to Share 2009.

Despite global uncertainty, Catholics responded with sacrificial giving that exceeded our $4.1 million goal by more than $600,000. A record 34 percent of archdiocesan families participated — more than 21,000 households.

Our ministries, schools and social service agencies anticipate even greater needs next year. That’s why we plan to continue our trilogy of “Faith” and “Hope” — our themes in 2008 and 2009 — with “Love,” to meet our 2010 $4.2 million goal.

A report of past allocations should arrive in your mail soon. In January, consider a gift to the Archbishop’s Call to Share, especially those who have never given before. Online giving is possible by visiting the Web site at: www.calltoshare.org.

I can say with confidence that there is joyful satisfaction in helping the church in northeast Kansas to serve others — even if the donation is only equal to the cost of a cup of coffee. There is so much joy, in fact, that it will make you want to do “the Catholic dance” in your heart.

P.S. Merry Christmas!

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