Tag Archives: Kansas City

Year of Faith

Beautiful Kansas

In Kansas City, it was almost cool enough to be outside yesterday. It rained a couple of nights ago for the first time in weeks and weeks, and the baked earth gave off heat and a lovely, sweet smell. I love being in Kansas right now; it is a beautiful place to be.

It’s also a great hub of activity in the midst of the Year of Faith preparations. The plans are being organised under three headings: Love It, Live It, Learn It. The Love It plans are to do with liturgy, prayer, and spiritual formation. The Live It plans concern living your faith in the workplace, in marriage, in the public square, and through service of the community. The Learn It plans are to do with evangelisation and catechesis.

The plans are pretty impressive. For the Learn It section, 20 parishes will have a course on the Catechism of the Catholic Church; great resources such as The Great Adventure Bible Timeline and the Catholicism series are going to be available to parishes to show them; there will be a big series of lectures on the four constitutions of the Vatican Council, which will be streamed live into homes around the diocese – people will be encouraged to watch together in small groups. Parishes will be also be trained, with the help of Evangelical Catholic, to form adult small groups that multiply, as an evangelisation initiative for parishes.

At the same time, completely separate from the Year of Faith, we’ve been putting together a promotions strategy for the Maryvale courses – Kansas is a Maryvale Centre and offers Maryvale formation for all their catechists. The plans and ideas for reaching a large number of people for the next cohorts are really exciting.

Olympics Opening Ceremony

And also – I am watching the live stream of the Olympics opening ceremony 🙂 Albeit the streaming comes in and out as there is no US channel broadcasting it live, but, seeing the Queen, London sights, Mary Poppins, James Bond et al… is making me miss my home land! Don’t worry, England, I am coming home to you on Sunday!


The Catholic Parish

Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to meet for the first time William O’Leary, Director of Religious Education at Ascension Parish in Kansas City. I have known William through Catechesis in the Third Millennium for about a year now, so it was great to meet him in real life. It goes to show – even in this enormous country, there is a myriad of links connecting Catholics – Dorian at the Art and Beauty Course happened to know William too!

When I get stressed out back home in my parish, I need to remember Ascension. They literally have hundreds of children in their catechetical programmes. When I visited, the summer formation programme was in full swing, and nearly 200 kids were coming in every day for two weeks of catechesis. Parents can choose whether to take the year-round option, or the summer-intensive option. So I got to help out with first-graders, take part in a music session, and see a fifth-grade class too.

These programmes need an army of catechists and helpers, as you can imagine, and William has done an incredible job in preparing the programme, manuals for each grade, and providing catechist formation. Every catechist had created a sacred space in their classroom.

Ultimately, it’s encouraging and exciting to see how truly ‘universal’ the Church is – how universal human nature is, too (we encounter all the same problems they do… how refreshing). How wonderful to be a Catholic and come and experience a parish thousands of miles away, with the same, universal vision for catechesis, and the same passion in implementing it. May we continue to journey together, learning from each other.