by Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann
I have been overwhelmed by the many kind expressions of condolence, support and prayers following the death of my mother.
I am grateful for the prayerful support that my family has received from so many members of the archdiocese during this time of the loss of our matriarch, the Queen Mother!
One of the best decisions that my brother and I made was to move Mom from St. Louis during late June to Villa St. Francis in Olathe. I cannot express adequately my gratitude for the outstanding care my mother received from the staffs of both Villa St. Francis in Olathe and Catholic Community Hospice.
In my responsibilities as archbishop, I have participated annually in meeting with the governing board of Villa St. Francis. For the past 15 years, I have received reports on the high quality of care that Villa St. Francis strives to provide to each of its residents.
The reports painted a positive picture of the personal care that each resident receives from Villa St. Francis’ dedicated and highly skilled staff. However, these reports were not nearly as impressive and compelling as witnessing firsthand the actual care my mother received.
I have always believed in the importance of the ministry to our elderly provided by the medical and support staff of Villa St. Francis.
I am proud of the number of Medicaid- funded residents Villa St. Francis is able to serve. For the last three months, my mother, one of the Medicaid-funded patients, received outstanding, high-quality care. This experience has increased significantly my gratitude.
Villa St. Francis is one of the principal recipients of the funding generated from our One Faith, One Family, One Future in Christ campaign.
If our campaign reaches fully our goal, we will be able to allocate $10 million for the purchase, renovation and upgrading of the Villa St. Francis facility.
After the allocations for evangelization and the priests retirement residence, Villa St. Francis is our next highest priority within the campaign case statement.
The One Faith campaign, like so many other endeavors, has been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and the fallout from the economic shutdown.
When our parishes were closed in mid-March, we suspended all campaign activities. We had come close to completing the second cohort of parishes, but the third cohort (containing almost half of our parishes) was just about to begin when everything shut down.
In the late summer and early fall, the third cohort parishes began conducting the campaign. The campaign has raised in pledges and cash collected over $41,600,000 (65%) of our $65 million goal. Almost $26 million has been received thus far, and parishes have received already more than $5.5 million to assist with their local projects.
With the economic impact of Covid-19 on many of our parishioners, it has become more challenging to reach our goal.
At the same time, I have been amazed and edified by the generosity of the people of the archdiocese to both Call to Share, our annual campaign, and to the One Faith, One Family, One Future in Christ capital campaign. While it will be even more challenging, it is still possible for us to reach our goal.
I am grateful to our pastors and parish lay leaders who are the main reasons for our success thus far. I ask our clergy and lay leaders to continue to do your best.
Invite every parishioner to participate by making a sacrificial gift. Many of those impacted negatively by Covid-19 may not be able to give.
We understand your circumstances, but we do need and depend on your prayers. The One Faith campaign is not about raising dollars but it is about what we can do with those dollars.
Many people have rightly expressed gratitude to me for the amazing leadership and service of our priests during the pandemic.
One concrete way that you can show gratitude to all of our priests is by a sacrificial gift to the One Faith campaign. Next to our parishes, the biggest beneficiary of the One Faith campaign are the retirement resources available for our priests.
I have already mentioned the impact the campaign will have upon Villa St. Francis and its residents. I also hope that we will be able to achieve our goal so that we can make Savior Pastoral Center physically accessible to all, renew its infrastructure and make the facility and grounds an even more welcoming and beautiful place for the many retreats, conferences and groups that utilize this amazing facility.
For the campaign to reach its goal, it will require those of us who have remained very blessed during the pandemic to step up and be even more generous.
All things are possible with God. My mother’s experience at Villa St. Francis underscores the importance of the One Faith, One Family, One Future in Christ campaign.
It is amazing what God can accomplish when we pool our resources and embrace his call to heroic love.