Contributors Yes to the call

Start ‘giving the big bill’ this Lent

Bill Maloney is the executive director of the archdiocesan office of stewardship and development. You can email him at:

by Bill Maloney

As I was preparing to write this column, I asked the archdiocesan stewardship and development office team what they thought I should write about. One of them jokingly said to tell everyone not to “give up giving to Archbishop’s Call to Share.”

Well, there is a little truth in every joke. During Lent, we are encouraged to focus more on almsgiving. Almsgiving is one of the three pillars of the Lenten practice. It is “a witness to fraternal charity” and “a work of justice pleasing to God” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2462).

There are many opportunities for almsgiving throughout the archdiocese.

There are countless ways to offer your time, talent and treasure to individuals or organizations. We have many organizations that support the poor and vulnerable in almost every community throughout northeast Kansas. This Lent, please make it a point to support one of these organizations.

Another way to give alms is by helping another individual. I recently heard a homily by Father Mike Schmitz that suggests that being generous or giving alms is simply giving something we already have. He said the easiest thing to give is to be present to another person. He suggests looking someone in the eye and smiling at someone. Let others know you love them. Your smile may be the best almsgiving you can do.

Father Schmitz shared another story that hit home with me. The story is about a man who encourages people to “give the big bill” when you are standing in front of someone in need. After hearing this, I thought of all the times I have been in this situation and decided to give the $1 bill in my wallet. Father Schmitz shared that many people have said their lives have changed since they started giving away the “big bill.”

Our world needs the light of Christ to shine brightly. Giving alms is a great way to shine the Lord’s light in your community. Giving alms is a great way to follow the commandment to love your neighbor as yourself.

What if we Catholics started genuinely loving our neighbor to this level? What if we considered everyone who crosses our path as important to God as we are? We have the ability to change the world if we just follow this commandment.

So, this Lent, let’s take my co-worker’s advice and not give up “giving.” The Archbishop’s Call to Share is an excellent opportunity to make a gift that impacts people’s lives throughout our archdiocese. To make a gift, visit the archdiocesan website at:, and click the “Donate” button.

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Bill Maloney

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