Passion for the Mission
By CHUCK WEBER
Executive Director, Kansas Catholic Conference
The smile of a newly ordained priest is unforgettable. His eagerness to face worldly and spiritual challenges is unmistakable. Saving souls for Christ is now his sacred mission of service. A steadfast reliance on the Catholic Faith, the Sacraments and the time-tested wisdom of Mother Church will see him through.
Newly ordained priests (in fact, all priests, Consecrated Religious and lay servants of the Catholic Church) inspire and energize me as I embark on my own mission—serving as Executive Director of the Kansas Catholic Conference (KCC).
The KCC is the “public policy voice” of the Catholic Bishops of Kansas, including a man I have long known and admired, Bishop John Brungardt of the Dodge City Diocese.
Understandably, few Catholics in the pew are aware of the KCC mission. Much of our work takes place at the Statehouse in Topeka. The KCC supports and promotes legislation that respects the dignity of the human person and serves the common good. It happens in the spirit of the Beatitudes and in accord with the teachings of the Catholic Church. Bills signed into law—or defeated—impact our daily lives.
Protecting human life, defending religious liberty and preserving traditional marriage and the family, are foundational Catholic principles. The Catholic Church in Kansas has been and will continue to be at the forefront of these “hot button” issues. Other concerns, including school choice, healthcare, immigration, and the welfare of the poor, elderly and disabled are always under our watchful eye.
As a husband and father of five children—including a son with Down syndrome and my elderly mother under our care—I hope to bring my own life experiences to bear in working with elected officials. My experience as a former state legislator will also be helpful.
In the weeks and months ahead please look to the Southwest Kansas Catholic and the Kansas Catholic Conference website and Facebook page for updates and analysis on the issues facing Kansas Catholics. I promise to communicate with you about what’s happening, including an initiative to make prayer a central theme in all that we do. Please let me know what is on your mind.
Like a newly ordained priest setting off on a new, exciting journey, your support and prayers will be crucial to the success of our common mission. It is one thing to win a cultural debate—or even a vote. It is quite another to seek a servant’s temperament, win over a heart and bring someone closer to Our Redeemer.
Thank you for the privilege of serving you in this way.