Funds from diocesan campaign will bolster local parish outreach

A brief video message from Bishop Carl A. Kemme about the One Family Fully Alive in Christ! Capital Campaign.

Caring for those in need lies at the heart of the Church’s mission. Here in the Diocese of Wichita, we have a long history of reaching out to the poor and vulnerable – our brothers and sisters in Christ – in our communities. We are blessed with many outreach ministries that serve those who are hungry and homeless, expecting mothers, the unemployed and underemployed, families struggling to make ends meet and so many others.

Service to the poor is an important way for us to live our shared mission to “go forth faithfully to preach the Gospel to all of God’s children and to evangelize today’s culture.” For this reason, our diocesan campaign, One Family, Fully Alive in Christ!, will direct 10% of all funds raised to establish the new In Love of God and Neighbor Fund. Money from this new fund will be disbursed each year to bolster local and regional outreach efforts in parishes and organizations across the diocese.

We must serve the poor

“It is a Gospel truth that as we work for ourselves, we also need to look out for and maintain the poor. Caring for the poor is one of the works that we must do,” said Fr. Curtis Hecker, pastor of St. Peter Parish, Schulte. “I’m excited to see that is where we are moving and that we have not forgotten the poor in this campaign.”

The $5 million fund will be managed with the discipline of a true endowment, meaning that the money will be invested and grants will be awarded to parishes and outreach ministries each year from the interest the fund generates. Once the fund is established, an estimated $200,000 in annual grants will be available to bolster these ministries.

Fund allows flexibility

In addition, the fund will allow the diocese some flexibility to make larger investments in regional community outreach and social service ministries as new opportunities arise. This may include additional support for mental health services, help for the homeless, food and utility assistance, support for mothers in need and so much more.

“This fund will play a significant role in expanding outreach ministries in parishes across the diocese,” said Michael Wescott, director of Development and Planned Giving for the diocese. “It is our hope that annual grants from this new fund will support parish food pantries, soup kitchens, Society of St. Vincent de Paul Councils, and similar ministries serving their communities.”

Serving our neighbors

“It’s all about neighbors serving neighbors,” said Fr. Schibi, pastor of Holy Name Parish, Coffeyville. “Here in Coffeyville, we have many needs. Our parish food pantry provides many families with essential items every week, but we run out of supplies every month. Our parishioners replenish the pantry, but it has been very difficult to keep up with the needs of the community.

“This new fund will help us better serve and support those who rely on pantry and help even more people in the coming years!”

Our stewardship way of life calls us to a higher standard of living and giving. Just as every Catholic family across the diocese is asked to tithe a portion of their income, the diocese and this campaign are committed to sharing 10% of funds raised with those most in need. The name of the new fund will serve as a great reminder of our collective commitment to “recognize and receive God’s gifts and share them in love of God and neighbor.”

To learn more about the In Love of God and Neighbor Fund and the other priorities of the diocesan One Family, Fully Alive in Christ! Campaign, please visit