WORKS OF MERCY
For more than 50 years, Catholic Social Service, now Catholic Charities of Southwest Kansas, has quietly served the most vulnerable among us, helping people experience hope and fulfillment in their lives. Every year, Catholic Charities helps nearly 4,000 people adopt children, recover from addictions, form healthy relationships, give birth to healthy babies, feed the hungry, move from homelessness into housing, take classes, get jobs and achieve goals.
|Read how Catholic Charities helped one teen mom in hardship|
It’s a ministry of honoring human potential through service, advocacy and invitation, in the spirit of the Gospel. The Vibrant Ministries Appeal will help Catholic Charities expand its services and respond to Jesus’ call to help “the least among us.”
Another priority of the Diocese is to form and strengthen healthy marriages by ministering to couples through Engaged Encounters, marriage preparation, Natural Family Planning education, and marriage enrichment opportunities.
“Our role is to help men and women find Christ present in their marriage relationship so they may grow in holiness together. FR. TED SKALSKY, Moderator of Marriage, Family Life and NFP.
Sarah became pregnant in high school. With the help of our Pregnancy Support Services and our Teen Moms Program, Sarah began raising her child. She finished high school and went on to college. She later graduated with a law degree and passed the bar. Now a practicing attorney, Sarah has given back as a volunteer mentor for a teen mom in the program. DEBBIE SNAPP, Executive Director, Catholic Charities of Southwest Kansas
FAITH FORMATION The spiritual and academic growth of our Catholic faith is important. Enhancements to the faith formation program will focus on promoting adult formation and the Pastoral Ministry Formation Program in English and Spanish; Parish School of Religion programs and Catholic schools; continuing formation for catechists, Catholic school teachers and Diocesan staff; and strengthening ministry to youth and young adults.
|Vibrant Ministries Prayer|
PASTORAL MINISTRY FORMATION PROGRAM Inviting, encouraging and motivating adults to deepen their knowledge of Christ so they may be models of Gospel living. We have offered over 90 courses through an interactive television network (ITV) and have more than 800 individuals and parish leaders who have received training. Additionally, 45 individuals and parish ministers have completed the four-year pastoral ministry degree program. Support from the Vibrant Ministries Appeal will help expand the degree program in Spanish.
PARISH SCHOOL OF RELIGION Parishes assist parents in becoming “the first teachers of their child in the ways of faith [and] … also the best of teachers.” The Vibrant Ministries Appeal will provide the best resources available to teach more than 2,500 children annually.
CATHOLIC SCHOOLS Establish a tuition assistance fund to encourage Catholic school enrollment of children whose families cannot afford the full tuition. Also, funds raised will support the work of the Office of the Superintendent of Schools.
CONTINUING FORMATION FOR CATECHISTS, SCHOOL TEACHERS AND DIOCESAN STAFF To support the 250 parish catechists who teach our children, the Vibrant Ministries Appeal will help establish a catechist coaching program. Future coaches will serve as mentors and partners to our catechists.
YOUTH AND YOUNG ADULTS Strengthening the faith of our youth and young adults is vital to the growth of our Church through programs such as Prayer and Action service projects for high school and college students to personally experience Jesus’ call to care for those in need throughout our 28 counties. Connecting teens with major events such as Teens Encounter Christ, junior and high school rallies, Totus Tuus and the National Catholic Youth Conference. Supporting and assisting parish youth ministry. Reaching out to the young adults attending our five community colleges around the Diocese.
There’s a real need for someone to be present with and reach out to students and young adults. Just to be there with them is the first step. Then I can invite them to our events. This ministry of presence drives me and is really fulfilling.” GENTRY HEIMERMAN Director of Young Adult Ministry
PRIESTLY VOCATIONS Our priests dedicate their lives in service to the Lord and to our Church. We are blessed by their ministry as they share their gifts with us. We are called to support their ongoing formation, and care for the needs of our priests throughout their retirement years. Additionally, we are called to provide support for the missionary and international priests who serve in our parishes, and our seminarians preparing for the priesthood.
|Read the stories of how our priests are moved to ministry|
ONGOING FORMATION Ongoing formation for priests includes support for language studies, retreats,advanced education and leadership programs.
CARE FOR RETIRED PRIESTS Currently, there are 11 retired priests and two retired bishops whom we support with retirement benefits including pensions, health coverage, and long-term care coverage. With an additional 9 active Diocesan priests over the age 60, the need to continue these benefits, including an estimated cost of $1.3 million for future longterm care, is an important priority.
MISSIONARY PRIESTS Support agreements exist with dioceses and religious orders that share their priests in service to our Diocese. There are presently 15 priests from 9 dioceses and religious orders receiving support and retirement benefits funding of approximately $90,000 per year.
SEMINARIANS We currently have six seminarians in formation at an annual cost of $38,000 per seminarian per year. With no seminary collection in the Diocese, seminarian education is being funded from a $1.4 million reserve.
|Without further support the reserve will soon be depleted. We believe all the various ministries of the appeal are equally important. They each touch on a distinct area of need in the Diocese.|
|FARREL AND MARY ELLEN BLEUMER, Honorary Co-Chairs|
|If we help people, even when we think it’s not convenient, things will work out and we may have a few surprises along the way. The church is the people and the more people that come to know and benefit by participating, the better things will be. Not my will, but thy will be done.
|THELMA C. ‘TOKE’ HEIMAN, Honorary Co-Chair|
|We support the Vibrant Ministries Appeal because it will give our Diocese more vitality and enthusiasm to encounter a vibrant church in our present time and to carry our Diocese into the future for generations to come.|
|JOSE M. AND MARIA I. SANCHEZ, Co-Chair, Executive|
|Committee As I work and travel throughout southwest Kansas, I come in contact with people in our communities with multiple needs, and observe how the Catholic Church supports their needs through faith in Jesus Christ. Our support of the Vibrant Ministries Appeal is a testament of our own faith as disciples of Christ.|
|RON EAKES, Co-Chair, Executive Committee|