Economic upheaval and job cuts have made for hard times in northeast Kansas.
Parish offices across the archdiocese, from the metro to the farmlands, have seen a dramatic increase in the number of people walking in to ask for help. These requests pose a dilemma for parish staff: Helping the poor is at the core of the Gospel mission, yet rectories are rarely equipped to adequately help with emergency assistance.
“The Archbishop’s Call to Share (ACTS) enables the people of God to address issues that are difficult to deal with at the parish level. That’s why the archdiocesan office for social justice hosted a series of Poor at Your Door sessions to collaborate with parish staff to confront the challenges of ministering to people who walk in asking for help,” said Bill Scholl, consultant for the social justice office.
That office, part of the department of parish ministries, is funded entirely by ACTS. These sessions brought Catholic Charities and parishes together to facilitate referrals and to empower parish staff to use the excellent resources already available.
“As Christians, we are all called to help the poor. But just like you need to know when to do first aid and when to send someone to the hospital, we all need to know how to utilize our Catholic Charities,” said Scholl.
After a recent training, a grateful Maureen Leiker of St. Mathew Parish in Topeka said, “I came away with many new ideas and helpful recommendations to help us here at St. Matthew’s.”