‘We want to get our hands dirty’

Henry Hodes works in Community Health and Partnerships at Blue KC (Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Kansas City) and is a parishioner at St. Ann Catholic Church in Prairie Village. LEAVEN PHOTO BY JAY SOLDNER

Henry Hodes

Age: 30

Parish: St. Ann, Prairie Village

Occupation: Community Health and Partnerships at Blue KC (Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Kansas City)

What’s in your toolkit? I’ve been blessed with parents, grandparents, parishes, schools and friends that have helped me grow in my faith, and I’m driven to ensure everyone has those same opportunities.

What is your Catholic superpower/secret weapon? Pastoral listening and accompaniment

Before the convocation 

Henry Hodes isn’t fazed by the daunting issues that confront the church.

The key, he said, is “remaining hopeful in the face of it, and keeping some historical perspective about the fact that the church has gone through challenges many times in its 2000-year history.”

Before the “Enflame Our Hearts” convocation was even announced, Hodes was eager to get involved in the local church and its evangelization efforts.

He and his wife Emily who teaches theology and works in campus ministry at St. James Academy in Lenexa, recently married and belong to St. Ann Church in Prairie Village.

“Faith has always been a big part of our lives,” said Hodes.

When the opportunity to attend the convocation arose, Hodes was enthusiastic to volunteer as a delegate.

One of the problems his delegation recognized in preparation for the event is how to reach out to family members and friends who no longer practice their faith.

Another hurdle is “approaching this work with the disposition of hope and faith that current challenges we’re facing are going to be temporary,” said Hodes.

Fueled by an optimistic attitude, Hodes is excited to witness “the energy in the room among the laypeople [at the convocation]. We want to get involved. We want to get our hands dirty.”

His ultimate hope is that “the 1500 people leave fired up, and that we leave with a network of folks . . . committed to our faith and committed to evangelize.”

After the convocation

What was your most inspiring or impactful experience at the convocation?

The entire convocation was inspiring, but if I had to choose the most impactful moment, I’d highlight the prayer of repentance led by Deacon Dana and other pastors. It was cathartic and necessary and set the tone for the three days. Archbishop Naumann’s two homilies were also prophetic!

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