Fully Alive! campaign set to kick off in Wave One parishes

We need your help. Name the new campground.
The Diocese of Wichita recently purchased a camp property in Reno County with support from the One Family, Fully Alive in Christ! campaign. This new camp will be the permanent home for Camp Totus Tuus and will be available for use by parishes, schools, and ministry groups throughout the year. Have a great name for the campground? Visit https://CatholicDioceseOfWichita.org/camp-name/ to submit your ideas, along with a brief explanation of why you are suggesting that name. Submissions are due by May 1, and the name will be announced later this year.

In the coming weeks, Bishop Carl A. Kemme will be sharing exciting news and updates about the diocesan-wide campaign, One Family, Fully Alive in Christ! Over the past several months, he and members of the Campaign Cabinet have been busy visiting many of the diocese’s most engaged and generous benefactors, and the early response has been strong.

“It has been a great joy and honor to visit personally with so many people about this campaign,” Bishop Kemme said. “I have loved sharing our vision for the future of the diocese, and I am humbled by the remarkable generosity we’ve seen already.”

Silent phase last fall

Active fundraising for the campaign kicked off last fall with a “silent phase,” during which the campaign team and volunteers worked to secure gifts from diocesan ministry leaders, members of the clergy, campaign volunteers, and lead donors from across the diocese.

To date, the campaign has achieved 100% participation from the Campaign Steering Committee, Clergy Committee, General Chairs, and Cabinet. More than two-thirds of “silent phase” families have responded, with more visits scheduled in the coming weeks. The priests of the diocese have also supported the effort in a major way, with nearly 75% of clergy participating so far contributing more than $550,000.

“We are blessed with outstanding leadership for this campaign,” the bishop said. “We have five wonderful chair couples, 12 cabinet members, and 22 honorary chairs from all parts of the diocese. Their joyful and prayerful leadership has been critical to the early success of this effort – I could not do this without them.”

Looking ahead to parish waves

Now, with most silent phase visits complete, the Fully Alive! campaign will begin to roll out in parishes across the diocese. Parishes will participate in one of three parish waves. The first will begin in April and the last will conclude in June 2025. Over that time, every Catholic family will be asked to make an extraordinary gift or pledge to support the five priorities: salary enhancements for Catholic school teachers, the development of a family and youth camp, restoration work at the Cathedral, support for Individual Parish Needs, and additional funding to serve the poor and vulnerable in our communities.

“We are going to see both physical and spiritual things built with this campaign,” said Patrick Goebel, campaign chair and St. Catherine parishioner. “There is something that should inspire everybody to give. Our gifts to the campaign will have a real and lasting impact on every parish, school, and ministry in our diocese.”

Campaign more than raising funds

From early on, Bishop Kemme has emphasized that this campaign is about much more than raising funds. It is about building stronger relationships, energizing parishes, and taking bold steps to advance and extend the mission of our diocesan church.

“My ministry in this diocese has been centered on cultivating apostolic courage and boldness,” Bishop Kemme said. “We are embracing the call to move from ‘maintenance to mission,’ to become more fully alive in Christ. That’s what this campaign is all about.”

“That’s my great hope… that this campaign energizes this diocese, and the diocese sees disciples coming forward from it,” said Fr. Drew Hoffman, chaplain of St. Paul Catholic Student Center at Wichita State University and member of the Campaign Clergy Committee. “I believe this campaign will only increase a desire for stewardship because we will want to continue the beautiful things that this campaign will help make possible.”

Wave One parishes set to kickoff

One focus of the diocesan-wide campaign is strong participation at every level. For this reason, every parish – during their parish wave – will work with the campaign team to recruit volunteer leaders, reach out personally to many of their families, follow up to secure gifts and pledges, and celebrate their success along the way.

“During our last diocesan campaign, we took a different approach that did not involve pastors and parishes as much,” said Mike Wescott, diocesan director of Development and Planned Giving. “This time, Bishop Kemme wants us to show our strength and unity as one family of faith – every parish and every family can do something, and every gift will make a difference.”

“To have a portion of the funds coming back directly to our parishes tells the story that this is OUR campaign, and we are raising money for everyone,” said Frances Mitchelson, campaign chair and Our Lady of Lourdes, Pittsburg, parishioner. “We have to do this together…we are asking not just for extraordinary gifts. We are asking everyone to participate in a way that is meaningful for them.”

Those parishes assigned to Wave One have been busy working with the campaign team to prepare to kick off active appeals after Easter. They have worked to recruit volunteer leaders, update mailing lists, prepare campaign materials, publish communications, and host events and meetings ahead of campaign kickoff.

Momentum is growing

“It’s exciting to see momentum building in our Wave One parishes,” Wescott said. “We are so grateful for the strong leadership of our pastors and parish chairs, along with all the parish volunteers who have stepped up to help.”

“Over the last few months, I have been encouraging my parishioners to learn more about the campaign, pray for its success, consider volunteering, and to respond generously when the time comes,” said Fr. H. Setter, pastor of St. Anthony, Garden Plain, and St. Mary, Aleppo. “We have a great group of volunteers, and our parishioners are excited to see the impact this will have on our local community and the broader church.”

More details about the campaign – including the current fundraising total – will be shared in the upcoming Catholic Advance. Visit OneFamilyFullyAlive.org to learn more about the One Family, Fully Alive in Christ! campaign.