Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri (CCSOMO) is accepting donations to fill two box trucks with needed supplies for the tornado-devastated region of Moore, OK. One box truck is located on the parking lot of Hobby Lobby, 1535 E. Battlefield, in Springfield. Another truck is located in Joplin at the Wal-Mart on Rangeline Road.
Catholic Charities is accepting only new items, including shovels, tools, work gloves, cleaning supplies, personal hygiene items, diapers, wipes, and canned food items. Plastic storage containers are greatly needed. Many survivors also need binders and file folders for holding insurance and FEMA paperwork. Read more
The story of my call to religious life began with an unconscious longing. As I started my search to satisfy that unconscious longing, I had opportunities to be with people and created things of this world. But they only filled me with more emptiness. One day the Creator planted in me a seed–the thought of giving Him a chance to journey with me in this life and to experience His love through religious life. At that time I thought to myself: “Me? A Religious Sister? Impossible!”
The seed kept growing and I asked myself, “Why do I want to become a Sister, what would I do?” And there were many other questions for both myself and for God. But, I did not get any answers. “Come and see” was all I got! Read more
Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri (CCSOMO) has been selected to participate in a mission-based leadership program cosponsored by the University of Notre Dame and Catholic Charities USA. The program consists of two oncampus modules held at the University of Notre Dame and an indepth project which will be developed over the course of the year. The local team consisted of Executive Director Maura Taylor and Greg Stark, Director of Accounting, as well as CCSOMO board members Linda Decker and Bill Hennessey. The CCSOMO team joined teams from nine other Catholic Charities organizations from throughout the nation. Read more
The Springfield Missouri Chapter of National Life Runners is celebrating its first anniversary and invites pro-life runners and walkers to consider membership! Life Runners is part of a National Life Runners organization that encourages pro-life runners and walkers of all levels and ages to pray for and witness to the right to life of all God’s people (from conception to natural death) through walks and runs. Read more
In 1882, a young parish priest named Fr. Michael J. McGivney, was faced with the hardships of the families in his parish whenever a husband would die at an early age. Fr. McGivney was determined to help those widows and children, as well as to combat the bigotry and poverty which he saw in his community. He also wanted to deepen the faith of the men in his parish and instill a sense of pride in their heritage as Catholic Americans. In the basement of St. Mary Church in New Haven, CT, he called the men of the parish together and discussed his ideas. Together these men, along with Fr. McGivney, formed the Knights of Columbus (K of C). The title Knights is a tribute to the Knights of the middle ages: full of faith, courage, strength, and patriotism. They selected as their patron, Christopher Columbus, the Catholic explorer who brought the faith to the New World, to emphasize their pride as Catholic Americans. Read more
The theme for the 2013 observance of National Catholic Schools Week is “Catholic Schools Raise the Standards.” The annual week-long event starts the last Sunday in January and runs Jan. 27 to Feb. 2 this year. Schools typically celebrate Catholic Schools Week with Masses, open houses, and various other fun-filled activities for students, families, parishioners, and the community at large. All of the diocesan Catholic schools in the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau have a host of activities planned. Read more
Bp. James V. Johnston threw out the first pitch for Catholic Night at the Springfield Cardinals held on Aug. 3, 2012. Very well-attended despite the heat, Fr. Hector Navalo, CMF, pastor of Sacred Heart Parish, Springfield, even won the musical chairs competition during the Seventh Inning Stretch. (Photos by Sarah Pittman and Katie Newton)
First-year event lauds $12,000 for St. Mary Catholic School
On Mon., April 16, the first annual Everybody Loves Raymond golf tournament took place at Hickory Hills Country Club, Springfield. Twenty-five teams from the Springfield and surrounding area came together to celebrate Msgr. Raymond Orf’s 57th anniversary as a priest in the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau and to raise money for St. Mary Catholic School in Joplin, MO.
The genesis of the tournament came to Jim Hennessy and Larry Jansen in September of last year during a golf game with Msgr. Orf. Hennessy got a hole in one, and Msgr. Orf expressed his disappointment that in all of his years of golf, he has never gotten a hole in one. The idea of the golf tournament was born surrounding the idea that in a day’s time, Msgr. Orf would be given 25 chances at a hole in one … at the same hole. As Jansen and Hennessy became serious about planning the event, Msgr. Orf chose St. Mary Catholic School in Joplin as its beneficiary. The school was destroyed by the Joplin EF-5 tornado in May of 2011.
The idea exploded within Immaculate Conception Parish, where Msgr. Orf, although retired, is visible in ministry, even teaching religion in Immaculate Conception School.
Many people were involved in the planning of the event and its subsequent festivites, including David Pomerenke, who provided all the signage, and Tom Wamsley who championed the process. Silent action items included gift cards from various local restaurants, a hot-air balloon ride from RE/MAX House of Brokers, Springfield Cardinals merchandise, and an autographed Payne Stewart golf ball. Servicemaster donated a special golf cart for use by Msgr. Orf that was named the “Pope Mobile”.
All 25 teams had a chance to golf with Monsignor on the #2 Hole, as he tried to finally make his hole in one.
Teams included one team from Joplin and others included various diocesan staff and lay people. Both Bp. James V. Johnston and Bp.-Emeritus John J. Leibrecht came out to show appreciation for Monsignor and support St. Mary School. The two bishops were named “Cardinals For a Day” by event planners.
The day of the tournament was “blessed with beautiful weather,” beamed Msgr. Orf.
Mayor of Springfield, James O’Neal, designated April 16, 2012 “Monsignor Raymond V. Orf Day.” The official proclamation was presented to a surprised Msgr. Orf in a leather-bound binder.
“It greatly humbles me with all that they did [event planners],” Msgr. Orf said. “It was a tremendous day and very pleasant to meet all the golfers.”
Ordained a priest in 1955, a year before the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau was established, Msgr. Orf has been in the Church of Southern Missouri since the beginning.
“It is a great pride to be a priest and serve the great people of Southern Missouri,” Msgr. Orf said.
“It’s been a challenge at times, but I have enjoyed every minute of it,” the Flinthill Missouri native said. “Being at Immaculate Conception now is just great.”
Msgr. Orf served a broad area of the Diocese before retiring in 2002: West Plains, White Church, Willow Springs, Mansfield, Ava, Advance, Glennon, Branson, Kimberling City, Forsyth, Kelso, Carthage, and Lebanon. Like many of retired priests in the Diocese, he continues to be active in ministry.
“I’m retired,” he said, “but I haven’t found out what retirement is yet!”
The event has raised over $12,000 for St. Mary Catholic School. Renee Motazedi, Development Director for Joplin Area Catholic Schools (JACS), joined the effort at the tournament.
“It was a gorgeous day and we are so grateful for the great turnout and commitment from everyone from the planning committee to the teams and volunteers,” Motazedi said. While the decision about how the money will be spent remains undecided, “It is wonderful to know it is there to be used to help us rebuild our school system.”
Students from St. Mary School sent hand-written thank you letters to all the businesses that contributed to the event.
Did Msgr. Orf get his hole in one? He came very close, hitting the pin.
Mark your calendars now: Msgr. Orf will continue his quest for the elusive hole in one on April 22, 2013, the date of next year’s tournament.
Health organization provides much-needed funding to vital community projects
Whether it’s much needed funds for domestic violence shelters, teen moms, families in crisis or counseling for those still suffering from the devastating effects of last year’s EF-5 tornado in Joplin, Mercy continues to respond to the needs of the communities it serves.
Beginning in 1988, Mercy has awarded Caritas grants each year–today totaling $9 million to communities across Mercy. This year, a total of $600,000 was awarded to almost two dozen community programs across five states. The grants include a handful of programs in Springfield and the regional area.
“When our Founder Catherine McAuley opened the first House of Mercy in Dublin, Ireland, in 1827, the needs were great,” said Lynn Britton, president and CEO of Mercy across seven states. “The needs today in the communities we serve across the Midwest continue to grow, and we continue to find ways to serve those needs. It’s in our DNA to serve those who are economically poor and to work for change on their behalf.”
The money will provide everything from counseling for academically at-risk students to volunteers for a medical home for uninsured adults, bus passes and birth certificates for the homeless to vaccinations for new Americans. The breakdown includes:
Isabel’s House, Springfield, MO–$25,500, equipment and counselors to assist families in crisis
Hope Connection–Community Partnership of the Ozarks, Springfield, MO–$2,450, birth certificates and bus passes for homeless individuals
Care to Learn, Lebanon, Mo., Springfield, MO–$9,600, purchase of hygiene supplies for school children.
Rural Food Pantries, Lebanon, MO; Mountain View, MO; Cassville, MO; Aurora, MO; and Berryville, AR–$50,000, food supplies for food pantries
Mercy Community Connections and Mercy Resilience Groups, Joplin, MO–$47,500, Skills for Psychological Recovery small group programs for those impacted by the 2011 tornado
Rural Medical Care, Berryville, AR; Eureka Springs, AR; and Mountain View, MO–$31,000, facility expansion and pharmaceuticals
Vaccines for New Americans, St. Louis, MO–$28,200, vaccines for new Americans
Volunteers in Medicine/Mercy Medical Home Collaboration, St. Louis, MO–$24,400, medical home for uninsured adults
Mercy Road to Home, St. Louis, MO–$35,100, supplies and services to transition homeless men into permanent housing
Medication Assistance and Transportation programs, Oklahoma City, OK; Washington, MO; Ardmore, OK; Lebanon, MO; Berryville, AR–$74,400, prescription medication and transportation assistance for underserved patients
ALIVE Nights of Safety Program, Washington, MO–$15,000, supplies for domestic violence shelter
Good Samaritan Clinic, Ft. Smith, AR–$43,500, medical supplies and laboratory tests for diabetes patients
Kornerstone, Berryville, AR–$9,350, services and supplies for teen moms
C/SARA Foundation, Ardmore, OK–$30,000, education, collaboration and victim advocacy for children and adults experiencing crisis around trauma or abuse
Good Shepherd Community Clinic, Ardmore, OK–$20,000, diabetes supplies for clinic and patients
Wheel Chair Ramps, Ardmore, OK–$19,000, purchase of 10 permanent and 20 portable wheelchair ramps
Comadre Program, Laredo, TX–$75,000, wellness screenings for women
Casa de Misericordia, Laredo, TX–$20,000, fees and supplies in domestic violence shelter
Mercy Learning Center, Metairie, LA–$40,000, tutoring and counseling for academically at-risk students
The Caritas grant–named after the Latin word “caritas”–means charity. The $100,000 Catherine McAuley Area of Greatest Need grant, which is funded by Mercy corporate co-worker donations each year, bears the name of Mercy Founder Catherine McAuley. Co-workers have donated $550,000 since the grant’s inception five years ago. This year, the $100,000 grant will provide tutoring and counseling services in Louisiana as well as food supplies in rural communities in Missouri and Arkansas.
“We remain true to the mission of our Sisters of Mercy who have cared for impoverished women, children and the sick for almost 200 years,” said Britton. “We want to improve access to health care and reach out to the economically disadvantaged. This is about Mercy supporting the communities we serve.”
Mercy Springfield Communities is comprised of Mercy Hospital Springfield, an 866-bed referral center; five regional hospitals in the Missouri communities of Lebanon, Aurora, Cassville, Mountain View, and Berryville, AR; Mercy Clinic, a 500-plus physician clinic with 70 locations throughout the region; and Mercy Health Plans, the largest managed care provider in the region.
Mercy is the eighth largest Catholic health care system in the US and serves more than 3 million people annually. Mercy includes 31 hospitals, more than 200 outpatient facilities, 38,000 co-workers and 1,500 integrated physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma. Mercy also has outreach ministries in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. For more about Mercy, visit www.mercy.net.