Life & Justice Newsletter
We're here with you to defend the sanctity of human life and the dignity of the person.
Thank you for being a part of this important ministry!
Congratulations to the 2021
Life & Justice Grant Recipients!

These fifteen local organizations, each in their own unique way, is dedicated to defending the dignity of the person and the sanctity of human life.   

Thanks to all who support their good works through the Life & Justice campaign!

“Lord, when did we see you hungry…thirsty…
a stranger…naked…sick…in prison?”
A Simple House is an inner-city Catholic mission of befriending the homeless and poor. The missionaries living at the house participate in daily Mass, communal prayer, and voluntary poverty, spend their days visiting the poor and homeless where they are…much like Christ did. They offer kindness, prayer, encouragement, and assistance with life skills and related needs where appropriate. 

"Peace out winter!
It has been so great to be able to enjoy this warmer weather with ministry friends. Last week Tristan took her friend to lunch and sat in the park for a while afterward!"

Founded by our faithful and fearless friend, Melissa Ohden, the mission of this organization is this...

"To create a world where the incidence of failed abortions and the lives of survivors is openly discussed and accepted, and survivors and their families are supported and healed."

This organization is doing this and so much more for the Pro-Life cause!

Anchor Her is a faith-centered ministry based in the Greater Kansas City area. Their mission is to embrace, empower, ignite, and advocate for women impacted by incarceration, domestic violence, and addiction, providing hope. They share the love of Christ through weekly support groups, group life coaching, one-on-one mentoring, and quarterly events/retreats. They match women who are incarcerated or in the justice system with other women to serve as mentors, coaches or helpers. They distribute Bibles, journals and Christian literature inside county jails, shelters and juvenile detention centers.

CareKit KC
Working through Visitation Parish's Social Concerns Committee, CareKit KC provides
bags of necessities, such as water, snacks, toiletries, socks, etc., to people in need.
The process of collecting donations and having packing events gets people involved
from the beginning all the way to the point of sharing with the person in need. Their first drive collected enough supplies for almost 200 personal care kits, and they've been going strong ever since!

Family United Transportation
Their mission is to provide transportation for families to visit their loved ones incarcerated in Missouri and Kansas correctional facilities. They believe in family unity and putting families first.

In addition to 'Keeping Families Connected,' they also offer transportation services to senior citizens and others for personal needs... truly a help to those they serve!
Seeking to put God's love into action, Habitat for Humanity of Kansas City brings people together to build homes, communities, and hope.

They work toward a world where everyone has a decent place to live. What a difference this can make in the lives of individuals and families!

Their mission is... "To equip and motivate parents and grandparents to teach the Ten Commandments to their children and grandchildren."

Unfortunately, society has largely discarded the Commandments and the divine wisdom they offer. As a result, choices are often made based on worldly wisdom, such as greed and pleasure causing physical, mental and spiritual suffering. Using adultery as an example, children of single parent families, often due to sex outside of marriage, are statistically much more vulnerable to poverty, incarceration and oppression. 

If you are planning a parish mission, faith formation classes, RCIA classes or group event, consider an eye-opening presentation on the Commandments! You can find free resources on their website, including a booklet, God's Recipe for a Wonderful Life. Their vision is that individuals, families and the world to enjoy the genuine freedom and joy promised in the Ten Commandments. 
Interfaith Community Services, Inc. ~ InterServ
As a faith based social services organization, InterServ provides needed support for all people of Northwest Missouri. Programming at InterServ offers assistance and opportunities to anyone in need, throughout the lifespan.

Social Services are implemented over five primary departments: Children and Youth Services, Individual and Family Services, In-Home Services, Senior Nutrition, and Volunteer Services. Services include nutritional support through Food Pantry and Meals on Wheels, financial assistance for housing needs, counseling support to seniors, immigration status assistance, and independent living aids. Early child education, after school programming and fitness training programs focus on youth needs.

Jerusalem Farm strives to transform the lives of their members and the lives of those around them through the four cornerstones of Prayer, Community, Service and Simplicity as well as Catholic Social Teaching.

Specifically, Jerusalem Farm is directly involved in two areas. They address the home-repair needs of their neighbors in the Historic Northeast neighborhoods of Kansas City, Missouri. Many families and individuals including single mothers, elderly, and disabled persons are on fixed incomes which barely provide for their necessities and when extra expenses come up, such as fixing a leaking roof, installing a handicap accessible shower or other home repair needs, they cannot afford them.

Secondly, they host week-long retreats for high-school and college students that are focused on forming participants in their faith and in loving each other and God more fully.

"Our master carpenter, Jordan Sunny Hamrick, fixing the siding on Tina's house." #homerepair #kcmo #celebrateservice #safehousing

KC Can is a social and environmental enterprise. Their mission is to provide Kansas City with an organized, clean, and easy method for managing food and other organic waste.

At the same time, they educate and train formerly homeless, incarcerated or others experiencing difficult barriers to employment, with skills in comprehensive environmental literacy and green industry job training. "Two goods, one solution."
Legal Aid's mission is to improve the lives of those in need through quality legal assistance. With offices in Kansas City, Joplin, St. Joseph, and Warrensburg, they serve a 40-county area where 295,000 people live in poverty. Legal Aid is the 9th largest law firm in the Kansas City area and the only organization in western Missouri exclusively providing such a wide range of free, holistic legal services to low-income clients. In civil cases, a person is not guaranteed an attorney.

They make it possible for many people, who are unable to afford a private attorney, to have equal access to the justice system by providing legal representation, advice and counsel, and education. They serve some of our community's most vulnerable populations. 
Founded in 1987, Mother’s Refuge shelters and educates homeless, pregnant and parenting young women by providing comprehensive services that empower them to make successful life decisions for themselves and their babies. Their young moms are between the ages of 12 and 21 years old. They can enter the program at any point of their pregnancy and remain up to one year post-partum.

Once mothers graduate the residential program, they are enrolled in our Aftercare Program where they can receive continued support and services. Truly, this is a HOME... a place of comfort, support, hope and love. They have been such for over 1500 young moms and their babies!
Roots and Rounds
Roots and Rounds bridges the wisdom and energy of all ages in communities and workplaces through improved intergenerational communications and leadership. Its purposes are research, education, and promotion of these skills in the growth of prosperity and alleviation of age discrimination.

They work with organizational leadership, development, and learning consultants to deliver trainings, retreats, and coaching to clients in northwestern Missouri.

Sheffield Place opened its doors in February 1991 as a community response to the growing population of homeless mothers and their children in the Kansas City area. Since then, Sheffield Place has assisted more than 1200 families in making the difficult journey from homelessness to self-sufficiency. They serve families with multiple barriers to success (mental health, addiction, and domestic violence backgrounds, low educational attainment, and felony convictions among others). The agency embraces Trauma Informed Care (TIC) and trauma recovery as the first step in healing and provides intensive mental health and addiction recovery services delivered by licensed, master’s level therapists and experienced case managers.

Once families stabilize and transition to permanent housing in the community, they receive ongoing case management, therapy, and other supportive services for as long as needed. 
In addition, Sheffield Place purchases and rehabs housing in the neighborhood. Families may rent these houses based on a sliding scale. The families continue to receive case management and other services and may stay in the houses for as long as they desire.
What a positive difference they are making in so many lives!
Located in St. Joseph, Sisters of Solace is a community of hospitality and healing for women survivors of trauma and addiction who have no place to call home. They offer a comprehensive long term program to heal and empower the women they serve.

In addition to healing of body, mind and spirit the home places a strong emphasis on employment. With work comes dignity. For this reason, they have become a mission with a business that offers employment within the home. The sisters learn to work together, make something beautiful and earn a paycheck... all good!

Thank you for supporting these worthy organizations
through your gifts to the Life & Justice campaign!

Upcoming events...
from EL SALVADOR – May 14-15
The government of El Salvador is offering a Mobile Consulate event on May 14 & 15, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., at Iglesia Jesucristo el Buen Pastor, 4925 St. John Ave., Kansas City, MO 64125 (across the street from Holy Cross Parish). The event will be led by Pastors Leonardo and Zoe Cabrera. All those from El Salvador needing to update their ID's or passports, or to register their children born in the U.S. are invited to this event. For more information, or contact Raiza at [email protected] or 816.756.1850, x521.
Gabriel Project ~ Exciting News!
St. Mary's Home for Mothers
Open House ~ Saturday, May 22,
Address: 23615 NE 100th Street,
Liberty, MO 64068

Our dreams are coming true. A former convent in Liberty was purchased by a generous benefactor on March 31st to house pregnant mothers and their children! It is on 13.71 acres and has 18 bedrooms and 10 bathrooms.

We are so grateful for the many people who have come together to make this happen, especially our Deacons Kevin Cummings and Doug Hemke who had the vision and brought the right people together to make it a reality.  On behalf of the Deacons and Matt Loehr, the Interim Executive Director for the project, we invite you to visit the new St. Mary's Home for Mothers. This inspiring project is still in the planning stages, and there will be opportunities for everyone, including our Gabriel Project volunteers, to share their time, talent, and treasure to make it all come together. This is an outreach of Christ's love to those in need, and you can be a part of it. Come and check it out!

To learn more contact Teresa at [email protected] or 816.714.2375.

"Life in Bloom"
with Missouri Right to Life ~ Western Region
Saturday, June 5th from 5:00-9:00pm

Attention Ladies! Help defend the rights of the unborn, and have a wonderful evening while you're at it. There will be appetizers and deserts, prizes, trivia, a silent auction, and you'll even have the opportunity to create some flower art!
Call a friend and plan to attend this special event, which will be held at Lee’s Summit Community Church, 1440 SW Jefferson, Lee’s Summit, MO 64086. Visit to sign up under the "Events" tab or call (816) 353-4113. Space is limited - register by May 29! If you are unable to attend but would still like to support the cause for the unborn, you might consider being a sponsor for this event. They will greatly appreciate everyone's support!

From our friends at Parkville Women's Clinic...
Introducing Y'ALL ~ Young Adults Loving Life!

A Special Event with Ryan Lefebvre
Thursday, JUNE 17 ~ 6 pm
at iWerx, 1520 Clay St, North KCMO 64116

Parkville Women's Clinic is launching their 2021 Young Adults Loving Life (Y'ALL) with a fun and informative gathering. Y'ALL aims to bring together supporters of life under the age of 35ish to learn more about working together to help build strong families in our area. Ryan will share an inspiring message you won't want to miss!
So wear your favorite baseball gear (ie - it's casual) and get in the game! Baseball fare and drinks provided. No cost but underwriters and/or donations toward the cause are appreciated. The venue seats 300, so while they have a special message for the under 35 crowd, they have extra seating for everyone! Registration requested at:

If you would like to help sponsor this exciting initiative, please contact Carla for details at [email protected] or 816.719.2680. Remember ~ Missouri residents are now eligible for a 70% tax credit!
Project Rachel ~ Project Joseph

Unfailing Mercy ~ 2021 Retreats

June 11-13 ~ Weekend Retreat
September 17-19 ~ Weekend Retreat
November 6 ~ 1-Day Retreat

Our retreats offer a special experience of God's mercy, an intensive time wherein God often brings about profound healing.

+ You will be met with care and compassion.
+ No judging, just gentle guidance from trained facilitators.
+ Strict confidentiality – This is a private retreat.
+ Hear stories of healing after abortion.
+ Scriptural stories of Christ’s healing love.
+ Peaceful retreat setting. Small groups, limited to 10.
+ Resources for further study.
+ This is a ministry of the Catholic Church offered at no cost to people of all faiths.

~ Mass at the Church of Santo Spirito in Sassia
April 11, 2021 ~ Divine Mercy Sunday

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works,
which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Ephesians 2:10
Recent happenings and articles of interest...
Mobile consulate of El Salvador 

The Human Rights Office in collaboration with The Consulate of El Salvador in Chicago and the Salvadoran Association in Missouri (ASOSALMO) had the opportunity to assist 854 Salvadorans recently.

The event was held the weekend of April 9-11 at Sacred Heart - Guadalupe Church, 2544 Madison Avenue Kansas City Missouri 64108.
During this time frame we were able to collect information for 654 passports and delivered around 200 DUI (Salvadoran Identification Card). Those who were served came from Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, Oklahoma, and Nebraska.
Program Coordinator | Human Rights Office 
Raiza doing what she always does... lending a helping hand!
Midwest March for Life

The Midwest March for Life was held at the state capitol on April 14th. A beautiful day with friends old and new, it was an awesome witness to the sanctity of Life! Thanks to Kathy Forck, Becky Sander, and so many wonderful people who made this day possible. We were inspired by the speakers, we were inspired by the "Viable" play, and we were inspired by all of the joyful Pro-Life folks we met there!
The Awesome Power of Prayer...

With over 1 MILLION people praying with 40 Days for Life,
the world's largest grassroots movement to end abortion,
it is clear that God is listening.

18,816 lives have been saved,
110 abortion centers have closed,
and 221 abortion workers have quit.

Thanks be to God... and to you for your faithful prayers!

"... the most important thing in life (is) to protect and defend the sacred...
The two are intimately interconnected:
reverence for the sacred Eucharist and reverence for human life,
especially where it is most vulnerable and defenseless."
~ From Archbishop Cordileone's Homily

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you” (Jer 1:5).

A young Jeremiah heard the Lord speak these words to him over 2500 years ago. In these times in which we are living, the scourge of abortion ignores the reality that humans are made in the image of God, known and beloved by God. This pastoral letter addresses all Catholics, but especially Catholics in public life, calling for deep reflection on the evil of abortion and on the meaning of receiving Holy Communion, the Bread of Life.

There are four pivotal points to this letter:

1. The gravity of the evil of abortion

2. Cooperation in moral evil

3. The meaning of choosing to receive the Holy Eucharist

4. The responsibilities of Catholics in public life

We are all called to conversion, not only those Catholics who are prominent in public life. Let us understand what is at stake here and work together in building a culture of life. To those who need to hear this message clearly: Turn away from evil and return home to the fullness of your Catholic faith. We await you with open arms to welcome you back with joy.

~Most Reverend Salvatore Joseph Cordileone, Archbishop of San Francisco

Read full Executive Summary.
I Survived an Abortion. An Abortionist Tried to Kill Me, ...

Abortion survivors remain a mystery to most. Even if you've been involved in the pro-life movement for decades and have met a handful of us, we are still by and large a bit of an enigma outside of our own community. This is understandable,...

Read more
Your Pro-Life, Pro-Family voice is needed now more than ever!

Congress is trying to force Americans to pay for abortion.

The Hyde Amendment and similar laws have protected taxpayers from funding elective abortion for 45 years. Now, powerful members of Congress want to take away these laws that both Democrats and Republicans have supported for nearly half a century.

Billions of taxpayer dollars could be used to pay for abortion, and this would likely lead to many more lives lost through abortion.

Sign the petition to Congress!

Save Hyde. Save lives.
Taxpayer dollars should NOT pay for abortion. 
The majority of Americans agree with this - both Democrats and Republicans. 
The Hyde Amendment has saved nearly 2.5 million babies and mothers in difficult circumstances from the tragedy of abortion. 
We do not want to subsidize the taking of innocent life.
Be a voice for the voiceless.

* Also, we need MASSIVE numbers of people contacting their members of Congress RIGHT AWAY on this issue! You can do so by clicking here. Taxpayer funding of abortion is not a winning position, and both parties know it. They need to hear from their constituents that we will hold them accountable.

* Please help to GET THE WORD OUT to as many people as you can!
Share this message and ask your family and friends to share it as well.

Title X Program

The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act

The "Equality Act"

In other news...

Great news! Pro-life budget items passed in FY2022 appropriations for Missouri  
Missouri’s budget for the upcoming fiscal year (FY2022, starting on July 1, 2021) was truly agreed to and finally passed on Friday, May 7, and sent to Governor Mike Parson for his approval.

Thanks to House Budget Chairman Cody Smith, Senate Appropriations Chairman Dan Hegeman and votes by a majority of the Missouri General Assembly, the budget includes appropriations of:

  • $6.46 million in HB 11 for Alternatives to Abortion services; and
  • $60.3 million in HB 11 for “Show-Me Healthy Babies” – the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for Unborn Children.

In addition, lawmakers again defunded pro-abortion organizations like Planned Parenthood in the state women’s health program (HB 10). (But we still need to pass permanent defunding of Planned Parenthood in statute, not just in the annual budget bills.)

What a blessing it is to have such a strong contingent of pro-life lawmakers serving in the Missouri legislature!
Samuel H. Lee
Campaign Life Missouri

“For me,” he said, “feeling oneself a sinner is one of the most beautiful things that can happen, if it leads to its ultimate consequences. … When a person becomes conscious that he is a sinner and is saved by Jesus, he proclaims this truth to himself and discovers the pearl of great price, the treasure buried in the field. He discovers the greatest thing in life: that there is someone who loves him profoundly, who gave his life for him.” 
~from Pope Francis: His Life in His Own Words

Whereas all things are good insofar as they are made by God, there is a deeper goodness, known as virtue, which requires a freedom from instinct, a freedom of the will to choose freely to do the good. An oak tree is good, as a work of divine art, but it is what it is. It can only be what an oak tree is and can only do what an oak tree is programmed or designed to do. It can do nothing else. It will do nothing else because it has no will with which to do it! 
Man, on the other hand, has a freedom to choose to be more fully whom he is meant to be, which is Godlike, or he can choose to refuse. To be more fully like God is to be good as God is good, to be true as God is true, and to be beautiful as God is beautiful. 

Join A Novena for Life
honoring the Feast of the Visitation
~ May 22-30 

Sign up at 

This month the Church celebrates the meeting of Mary and Elizabeth—and the infants in their wombs—in the Feast of the Visitation. The Gospel tells us that not only is Elizabeth overcome with joy at Mary’s greeting, but the unborn John the Baptist actually leaps for joy within her womb. Filled with the Holy Spirit, Elizabeth immediately recognizes the presence of the Lord concealed within his mother, as she cries out with the familiar words, “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb” (Lk 1:42). It is the same presence that leads the unborn John to leap for joy. 
This miraculous encounter beckons us to recognize the undeniable humanity of the infants hidden within the wombs of Mary and Elizabeth. Scripture also tells us that, following the Annunciation, Mary set out for the hill country in haste to visit Elizabeth, who is already six months pregnant. At the time of Mary’s arrival, she would have been in the earliest stages of her pregnancy, yet Christ was already fully present and incarnate. Both Mary and Elizabeth place their trust in the Lord, and in doing so, bear life into the world. As we also celebrate the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost this month, we pray that hearts will be opened to recognize the humanity of children in the womb. We also pray in thanksgiving for all mothers who give their own “yes” to God’s gift of human life.

Happy Mother's Day! Happy Father's Day!
This newsletter has been shared with you by the Respect Life & Human Rights Office of the Diocese of Kansas City - St. Joseph. If you have questions or comments, or if you have happenings from your parish that you would like to share through our newsletter, we'd love to hear from you. Please contact Teresa at [email protected] or (816) 714-2375.

Thank you and God bless!