I can see why Dorothy said, “there’s no place like home” – I arrived a couple of days ago in Kansas City and I’m loving it! No twisters yet, but the family I’m staying with have a couple of dogs remarkably like Toto…
From Pentecost, we wind down in the parish, so I’m using some of the summer this year to come to Kansas City Archdiocese, to their evangelisation and catechesis department, and check out what they do.
Soon after the arrangements had been made, I discovered that the parish of William O’Leary (from Catechesis in the Third Millennium) is also in Kansas City, so I will be meeting him later in the month too. Right now, in a somewhat ironic turn of events, he is at Maryvale!
So, over the next few weeks, there is quite a bit planned: this week, I am hanging out at the diocesan offices, helping out a little bit. This weekend, I’m heading to the ranch (yes, they have a ranch!) for part of the archdiocesan summer camp. Then, next week, as Kansas is home to a Maryvale Centre, there will be an Art, Beauty and Inspiration course, here in the pastoral centre. Next we head to Ohio for the Bosco conference. Finally, we will spend the last week back in the diocese.
Yesterday, I met everyone from maintenance men to HR staff to vicar generals. This is a super friendly place. I love how there are sweets on every reception desk in America🙂
It is really great to come ‘across the pond’ to discover the many exciting initiatives this archdiocese has going on in the areas of evangelisation and catechesis, and I’ll do my best to share a little bit on the blog of everything I experience over the next few weeks.
Hearing about the projects for the Year of Faith alone blew me away. As well as the countless evangelisation and formation programmes that are being offered, and the brilliant resources that are being made available to people in the archdiocese, they are also working with St Paul’s Outreach to reach young adults and college students. I hadn’t heard of it before, but I had the chance to chat to one of the directors about it on Skype yesterday. A really exciting initiative.
In the UK, people often say we don’t have the people or the resources to do things as well as they are done over here. But, in this evangelisation and catechesis department, there are only three staff members. With real passion and vision, they are managing to make some terrific things happen. It goes to show what can be achieved with some good planning and drive.
The fruits can be seen: Catholic life seems to be really alive around here; it is amazing to see the number of people at 6.30am daily Mass. Back at home, we have a 6.45am Mass which people think is crazy, but 6.30am! These people are brilliant (I’m told that’s a very English word…)
Tomorrow I’ll be spending 4th July with the wonderful family I’m staying with, enjoying hot dogs and fireworks. More coming soon…