Nothland Catholic Voices had its third presentation entitled, “Building a Prophetic Community in the Northland,” at St. Charles Parish in Gladstone, Missouri on January 29th. This is a social justice effort of seven parishes in the Northland of the Kansas City Metro area which include:  St. Patrick Church, St. Gabriel Church, St. Therese Church, St. James Church, St. Charles Church, Annunciation Church, and Holy Family Church. We are working under the direction of Communities Creating Opportunity (CCO) whose office is in Kansas City, MO. CCO exists to discover, develop and direct the power of people of faith to build a better quality of life for their families. Working in over 100 congregations throughout the Kansas City Metro, they seek to empower a radical reawakening of faith through the leadership development of congregants and the cultivation of prophetic witness. The Northland Catholic Voices have been committed to building relationships among people in our seven parishes interested in social justice. Our first two gatherings were especially for that purpose. This recent third gathering was about moving us into social action. We encouraged those in attendance to get involved in three social justice issues:  Engaging Missouri Legislature to Pass Medicaid Expansion, Petitioning to Support Early Voting to Promote Faithful Citizenship, and Supporting Low-Wage Workers in Their Campaign for a Living Wage.
I am grateful to be on the leadership team of Northland Catholic Voices with Precious Blood Companions, Kathy Keary and Pam Demasi. The mission of CCO mentioned earlier is clearly in line with Precious Blood spirituality and our charism of renewal of the Church. Part of our third program presented at St. Charles Church involved promoting the message of Pope Francis and “The Joy of the Gospel.” Pope Francis’ message calls us to break away from individualism into a unified voice in community. This is what Northland Catholic Voices wants to promote. We want to preach the Gospel beyond our comfort zones. We are motivated by Pope Francis’ words, “The dignity of the human person and the common good rank higher than the comfort of those who refuse to renounce their privileges. The individualism of our postmodern and globalized era favors a lifestyle which weakens the development and stability of personal relationships and distorts family bonds.” My hope is that CCO helps our parishes in the Northland to build personal relationships and strengthen family bonds.