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RECENT POSTS:

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Awaiting Christmas with Grateful Hearts

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18d)

2022 was a year of transition for Catholic Charities of Central and Northern Missouri.  As we approach the end of the calendar, I am grateful for this opportunity to reflect on both the challenges and successes of another year providing care and creating hope for our neighbors in need.  This year, I am especially grateful for:

A hardworking, talented, professional, diverse, and committed team of staff at Catholic Charities.  We come from a variety of backgrounds, locations, and experiences but we are drawn together by the desire to serve and to work every day to make the world a kinder, safer, and more equitable place.  Together, we create a whole that is greater than the sum of our parts, and I am blessed to be surrounded by such a fine group of people.

Our volunteers, who have selflessly dedicated many hours of service this year alone.  From accompanying refugees to doctors’ appointments to stocking food pantry shelves to filing, answering phones, and taking care of all of the administrative tasks that keep an office functional, we could not do what we do without volunteers.  We cannot thank them enough for all they do to expand our capacity to serve those in need.

Donors who continue to support our work and see the value of giving to an organization that serves all, regardless of faith, culture, and situation.  The economic fluctuations of the last year have influenced both for profit and nonprofit business large and small, and Catholic Charities is no exception. We know that continuing to give can be challenging, and we will never take for granted the immense generosity of our community of donors. 

Finally, I am most grateful for those who come seeking help at Catholic Charities.  They provide us with the opportunity to serve, to live out our Gospel call to love our neighbors as ourselves, and to be reminded that to care for one another is the highest expression of God’s unending love for each of us.  Some highlights of our services in 2022:

 We continued to welcome Afghan allies and their families to mid-Missouri, and rejoiced as families built their lives anew in this supportive community.  We also began to connect with new neighbors fleeing the war in the Ukraine, many of whom came to join family and friends who had previously settled in Sedalia, MO.  We will continue to be there for all of our new friends in 2023 and beyond.

Our client choice food pantry opened in early 2022, and over the last year has provided healthy food to thousands of people who otherwise would go without.  Our model provides dignity and respect to those who come through our door, and we have built wonderful relationships with many of our neighbors who come to shop.  Our pantry is about more than food, it is about community.

2022 saw the launch of our payday loan relief program, assisting individuals and families seeking to escape the trap of predatory lending.  Through the program, participants can take back control of their financial lives, and set out on a path to financial freedom and success.  We are grateful for our partnership with Mid-America Bank to make this program a reality. 

Our efforts to assist those in our service area impacted by natural disasters continued unabated in 2022.  From flash flooding in Pettis County to the Wooldridge community wildfire in Cooper County, we continue to provide financial support and case management services for long-term recovery to survivors.  While the events many not get the attention of hurricanes and tornados, for those families impacted the results can be devastating.  We are proud to be one of the few providers committed to continuing to provide long-term assistance, regardless of the size of the disaster. 

These are just a few of the ways that Catholic Charities answered the call in 2022.  We are grateful for the opportunity to continue to share stories of our work in the Catholic Missourian, and look forward to continuing to provide care and create hope in 2023.  Blessings to you and your family from everyone at Catholic Charities of Central and Northern Missouri, we are grateful for the continued prayers and support of all people of good will throughout the Diocese of Jefferson City.

The above Advent Wreath is a gift of the Carmelites of the Diocese of Jefferson City created by Mother Therese for Catholic Charities of Central and Northern Missouri, and resides in the Central Office’s chapel for staff, volunteers, and visitors to pray with. Connect with Catholic Charities and learn more about our programs and services online at www.cccnmo.diojeffcity.org.