I am a little pencil in the hands of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world. St. Teresa of Calcutta
The Little Pencil
Issue No. 18   Summer 2018

Human Rights Office Newsletter

Dear Friends,
A special thanks to all our volunteers, parishes and local Catholic partners who spend countless hours sharing your unique set of God-given talents in the service of others. You are following Christ's command to live out the Gospel in a social contast and to be a witness to the inherent dignity of every person - a core tenent of our Catholic faith.
Blessings and peace to you as our summer comes to a close and another school year begins.

In Christ's service, Laurie Jo
            Melba & Charles
Volunteers play a vital role in the Human Rights Ministry, working alongside staff members, other volunteers and the community to jointly achieve our goal to uphold the dignity of human life. Each newsletter, we select a volunteer who makes the world a better place. Please contact us if you'd like to nominate someone to be featured in a future edition of 
The Little Pencil.

Our featured volunteers,  Charles and Melba Mercier, have been members of St Sabina since fleeing New Orleans after the destruction of Hurricane Katrina. I n the Belton/Raymore area, Lord of Love Lutheran Church partners with area churches to provide a weekly meal to anyone in need on Wednesday evenings.  St. Sabina staffs the volunteers on the third Wednesday of each month.  Charles and Melba are very faithful volunteers, helping with the cooking and serving of these meals, not only on St. Sabina's Wednesdays, but other Wednesdays as well.  They are very valued members of this team, sharing both their time and their talents.  Charles, although now retired, was a chef, and Melba also, is a wonderful cook.  Charles mentioned that he served for four years in the US Coast Guard cooking on tug boats and oil rigs. Both Charles and Melba agree that they receive their reward in the smiling appreciative faces of those they serve.
Last year Charles and Melba were in charge of all the cooking at a Cajun Dinner hosted by St. Sabina's Knights of Columbus Council. They used their talents at this dinner to raise money for the 11 university students whom St Sabina sponsors in Cinquera, El Salvador.  Charles and Melba serve the parish as Sacristans and Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist. They lead prayer services on a regular basis at a nursing homes in Raymore.  
Kris Larkey, Business Manager of St. Sabina added, "They are friendly, helpful people who help in so many ways. Our parish is blessed to have them as members."  

Charles and Melba:  WAY TO GO glorifying God through your actions as a way of life! Richard, you are a living example of Catholic Social Teaching in action for others to follow. Thank you!
Humanae Vitae at age 50

Please click on this link  to see Bishop Johnston's Column in The Catholic Key: Addressing Anarchy: Humanae Vitae At 50.  Read the full text of Humanea Vitae here.

Immigration - Migration - Refugee Ministry
Walking With the World Vigil

Parishioners from several churches in the area joined together in prayer for the Lamentation with Prayers Vigil on July19.

After a processional from Concourse Park to St. Anthony Parish, attendees gathered inside for a short prayer service  where six brave people from different areas around the world shared their immigration stories.

Young Kevin Mendez-Ramirez placed his white  flower and candle at the altar in the courtyard on the south side of the St. Anthony Parish at the conclusion of the Walking with the World Vigil.  MORE
Immigration & Refugee Ministry Program Coordinator

The Human Rights Office currently has an open position within the VIA Immigration & Refugee Ministry.  For additional information, please click here or contact francis@diocesekcsj.org.
Pastoral Migratoria at our Diocese

Click on picture to learn more
MAX Diocesan Prison & Jail Ministry

Prison presents many challenges to us Catholic faithful, and you can help us with those challenges.

Thank you to our volunteers for giving of your time and sharing your unique gifts of talent, skill and knowledge.

How often have you supported your brothers and sisters who are incarcerated?
Each month we receive requests from prisoners and prison chaplain seeking donations of bibles, catechisms, RCIA books and other items such as sewing and gardening tools for the Restorative Justice projects. This past month our office received a request for 20 copies of the Wisdom Journals from Ascension Press to help prisoners in their faith journey and learning more about God's plan for them. Thank you to the many faithful parishioners who prayerfully consider partnering with us in sending life-changing materials by making a financial contribution to the diocesan MAX Jail & Prison Ministry Fund for Prisoners! Your generosity helps offset the costs of inventory and shipping so that more prisoners will have access to faith-forming and life-skill materials. You are a blessing to our ministry!

The many "thank you" letters from offenders and their families in appreciation for not only the time we spend visiting in prison and jail, but for the Catholic bibles and other materials provided by our faithful parishioners are a treasure.
Thank you for your support!
Volunteer in Prayer Ministry

People who volunteer in this ministry lift up prayers wherever they are. James 5:16 says it best: "The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective."  That's why I'm asking you to consider becoming a prayer warrior for prisoners and their families.  Our VIP Program can do nothing outside of God's power. But when you lift the needs of lost and broken souls to our Father in heaven, miracles start to happen. Families are reconciled... communities begin to heal. And hardened prisoners become passionate Christ followers.

Click here to read a sample of this week's prayer requests.
For more information:  Contact VIP Coordinator, 
Jeannine Arens (kjadjm@att.net)
Laurie Jo Holmes  (holmes@diocesekcsj.org)
Prison Pen Pal Ministry

This ministry is to provide encouragement and good-will towards those individuals in local correctional institutions by developing a friendly relationship through routine letter correspondence. 

Please consider signing up to be a prisoner pen pal. Applications may be found on the MAX Prison Ministry page of the Human Rights Office website.
For more information, contact the Human Rights Office
Laurie Jo Holmes  (holmes@diocesekcsj.org)
Prison Volunteer Openings

Our office was notified about a few volunteer openings in the Missouri Department of Corrections. Please keep in mind that most of the state prisons in our diocese are on the north side of the river...
  • GED Volunteer who assists and monitor the prisoners
  • Garden Volunteers available to be outside in the garden with the prisoners
  • Volunteers willing to visit one-on-one with prisoners sharing about the Catholic faith
  • Film Discussion Group Leaders 
  • AA and NA Group Leaders
  • Jail Ministry Communion Service Assistants
We appreciate your generosity and are grateful for your support of prison ministry in our diocese. Thank you! Contact Laurie Jo Holmes for more information.
Way to Go!

In May, I learned of Rockhurst University's announcement about their partnership with the women's prison in our diocese, the Chillicothe Correctional Center.  

I was excited to read about the project and am thrilled for the 20 incarcerated women as well as the 10 staff members who are benefiting from the program. READ MORE here...

The Life & Justice Campaign promotes the fight against injustice toward the dignity of the person and sanctity of human life.
PARISH 2nd COLLECTION - August 18 & 19

The Life & Justice Campaign is a program co-sponsored by the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph Human Rights and Respect Life Offices through which our faithful have the opportunity to support local organizations dedicated to defending the dignity of the person and the sanctity of human life.   Your 2nd Collection Envelope donations make it possible for worthy organizations to receive Life  & Justice grants.

Congratulations to the 14 praiseworthy grant recipients who reach out to help the poor, the vulnerable and the struggling.

Amethyst Place, AngelEyes Maternity Home, CareKit KC, Community Services League, Family United Transportation Service, KC CAN! Legal Aid of Western Missouri, Missourians for the Alternative to the Death Penalty, Morning Glory Ministries, NCMBF, Uplift Organization, Sheffield Place, Sisters of St. Francis, and The Tamale Kitchen .


Could your pro-life, pro-human dignity ministry benefit from a 
Life & Justice Campaign Grant? 

See if your group qualifies:  visit  www.lifeandjusticekcsj.org.
Applications accepted through December 31
In This Issue
Quick Links
Catholic Relief Services
Thank you 
for your participation in the annual CRS Rice Bowl Campaign. Our diocese collected nearly
$10,000 this year.

We appreciate you for putting your faith in action and responding to the needs of the poor in God's family throughout the world. Your partnership continues to play a very important role in our mission to serve the poor and vulnerable.  

Your CRS Partnership  newsletter is now online offering you updates on CRS global emergencies around the world, 
programming and news from CRS partners in the U.S.

September 22, 2018

The Northwest Winefest is a major fundraiser for Northwest Missouri Enterprise Facilitation.
Patron Saint for our diocesan MAX Prison Ministry is 
St. Maximilian Kolbe.

U.S. Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking is a collaborative, faith-based national network that offers education, supports access to survivor services, and engages in advocacy in an effort to eradicate modern-day slavery.
Knights of Columbus
Faith in Action

The Knights of Columbus Faith in Action program seeks to balance the priorities of the Order - Faith, Family, Community and Life - and offer Knights meaningful opportunities to serve those in need within our parishes and communities.

Click here to learn more
Based on Christ's example of love for the poor, Holy Rosary Credit Union has proudly shared in the Church's efforts to abolish poverty in our diocese by extending developmental and financial education services to low-income and vulnerable populations.
Since 1943

Many happy customers are thrilled to share their testimonials in thanksgiving for the generosity and fair business practices given by the employees at the Holy Rosary Credit Union.

Read more and
Visit their website
2018 MCC
Annual Assembly

Join us for the 2018 
Annual Assembly on 
Saturday, Oct 6 at 
Helias High School 
in Jefferson City.

The diocesan bus will pick up pilgrims at St. Charles Borromeo and St. Mark's parishes. Please join us!

Keynote speaker is Bishop Joseph Perry from the Archdiocese of Chicago

Religious Freedom 
European Christian 
Refugee Crisis
In addition to its humanitarian and resettlement efforts in Europe and the Middle East, the Church is actively involved in advocating on behalf of Syrian refugees here in the United States.

  Click here 
To learn what you can do

October 4, 2018

Guardian Angels Parish
1310 Westport Road
KCMO 64111

For all those who work for environmental sustainability and anyone who cares for
"Our Common Home"

The Dignity of Work and the
Rights of Workers

The  economy must serve people, not the other way around. Work is more than a way to make a living; it is a form of continuing participation in Gods creation. If the dignity of work is to be protected, then the basic rights of workers must be respected--the right to productive work, to decent and fair wages, to the organization and joining of unions, to private property, and to economic initiative.

Click  here  for related Scripture verses more on the Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers.

20 W 9th Street
Kansas City, MO 64105