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International Projects and Opportunities in the Diocese of Lexington Compiled by Maggie Ringe March 2007.

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Presentation on theme: "International Projects and Opportunities in the Diocese of Lexington Compiled by Maggie Ringe March 2007."— Presentation transcript:

1 International Projects and Opportunities in the Diocese of Lexington Compiled by Maggie Ringe March 2007

2 Compassion Across Continents “ We know our brothers and sisters across the globe have a claim on us, because we constitute one human family. And we must respond to their needs. The principle of solidarity recognizes that loving your neighbor has global dimensions in an interdependent world.” -Catholic Conference of Kentucky “Solidarity” in Economic Justice in 21 st Century Kentucky: Holding Ourselves Accountable

3 This presentation is designed to highlight the International Projects that dedicated people in our Diocese do and to inspire you to get involved. Maybe you want to participate in or contribute to a project that already exists, maybe you want to create your own. In either case this presentation will teach you about our locally-based Catholic international projects and mission work and suggest ways you can get involved.

4 The projects and missions you are about to see have occurred within the past 2 years and many of them are ongoing. The order in which they are presented is completely arbitrary, and should not be interpreted as a ranking according to merit. These are all very excellent projects which truly show what it means to live out the Gospel message.

5 St. Leo and Sr. Amelie Through the mysterious ways of providence, Fr. Dan of St. Leo met Sr. Amelie. He had her come to St. Leo to preach and the parishioners there, inspired by her work with refugees in South Africa, set up a website to collect funds for her: Through their generosity, Sr. Amelie is able to make the lives of countless men, women and children better.

6 Mother of Good Counsel and Karen Kimsey Karen Kimsey, who works in Hazard’s free clinic, organizes an annual mission trip to Jamaica in which small groups from the parish and community go to Riverton, a slum outside of Kingston, and offer their service and support to the poor living there. Some parishioners help with basic medical procedures, others bring food and medicine to the elderly, still others work with a preschool; the group tries to fill any need they see. Anyone who wants to go on this mission trip is welcome; no special experience is needed.

7 International Habitat for Humanity Most of us are aware of Habitat for Humanity programs in our own community, but there is also an international program. Several member of our Diocese, including Fr. Tobias of St. William and Tom Johnson of St. John the Evangelist, participated in International Habitat for Humanity helping rebuild homes after the tsunami.

8 Catholic Heart Work Camp Catholic Heart Work Camp is a service opportunity for youth groups. Although they have locations throughout the US, they also have programs in Jamaica and Trinidad. Christ the King’s Youth Group went to Jamaica in 2005 and had the opportunity to serve the community there. Meghan Leiningher gets her hair braided by some new friends.

9 Monica Ruscitto’s Romanian Mission Trip Every year Monica (l) and a group of volunteers, with the support of St Mildred in Somerset, travel to Romania to volunteer in a small impoverished town. They participate in various building projects, work with orphans and handicapped children, teach skills such as sewing, bring food and clothing, distribute Bibles and run a Bible Camp for children.

10 Missionaries from our Diocese Several people within the Diocese have made personal mission trips. Currently Joe Sandman (pictured) and his family are working in Brazil with Maryknoll Missionaries. Rich Mier and his wife are currently in Ecuador working with a medical clinic. Dr. Dan Jones and Dr. Joan Cabreros will be leaving for a 3 year medical mission in June, 2007.

11 How Can I Get Involved? Now That You’ve Learned About a Few of the International Projects Within the Diocese, Learn How You Can Get Involved!

12 Ways Individuals Can Get Involved Pray for the missionaries in our Diocese. Get involved with advocacy. Writing to your legistlator lets him/her know what issues are important to you. A great resource for advocacy is which provides information on what bills are coming before Congress and how to contact your representative.

13 Ways Individuals Can Get Involved Make a point of using Fair Trade Goods and Products. Search for chocolate/coffee/ etc. labeled “Fair Trade.” Although you may not feel that you are doing much, this assures farmers have been paid a fair price for their labor and crops and contributes to the Church’s mission of social justice. A great website for fair trade products is, which not only has food products but gifts and crafts.

14 Ways Individuals Can Get Involved Consider becoming a missionary. Mission trips can range from a couple of week to several years, but there are many programs and you are sure to find one to fit your needs. Here are some programs and resources: –Habitat for Humanity Global Village –Maryknoll Lay Missioners –The Vincent Pallotti Center This website has a large list of mission opportunities, ranging from several weeks in the US to several years in a Third World Country.

15 Ways Individuals Can Get Involved Resources for potential missionaries cont.: –Monica Ruscitto (606) 423-4052 Her Romanian mission is usually in early summer and is always looking for volunteers. –Karen Kimsey (606) 439-1030 Her Jamaican mission goes at different times of the year and is also looking for volunteers. Although it is a medical mission, no medical training is required. –Mary Ellen and Kirby Neill (859) 293-2265 They have done extensive work in Guatemala and are willing to talk to anyone interested about their experience and what it’s like to be a missionary.

16 Ways Individuals Can Get Involved The Sandman Family who are working in Brazil as missioners with Maryknoll are returning to Lexington in January 2008. Unfortunately, their readjustment fund has been significantly decreased due to some financial difficulties in the resettlement The Sandaman Family signs their recommitment contracts program. When they get back they will be searching for house, jobs, a place to stay, winter clothing, etc. and will have very little money with which to do this. If you can help them with any of this, please let them know. Their email is

17 Ways Individuals Can Get Involved Keep learning about global issues and social justice. The better informed you are, the better decisions you make. A great resources is A Kinder and Gentler Tyranny: Illusions of a New World Order by the Rivage- Seuls, who teach at Berea College. You can find copies on or at the libraries of Berea College and Lexington Theological Seminary.

18 Ways Parishes Can Get Involved Organize a Mission Trip to the Third World –Fr. Jay Von Handorf (606) 784- 4392 is willing to help parishes or groups of individuals set up mission trips to Colombia, Mexico or Nigeria (he has contacts in these countries). This would provide an opportunity to witness first hand the poverty of the Third World and to develop an individualized international parish project with a direct connection to the people you’re serving.

19 Ways Parishes Can Get Involved Our Lady of Hope Home in Cartago, Costa Rica is an AIDS clinic run by Capuchin fathers. The clinic cares for 19 patients with full-blown AIDS as well as 40 patients who are still in the incipient stages of it. However, they are very short of funding. They have asked diocesan priest, Fr. Art Molina, to see if anyone in our community is willing to help. If your parish is interested, you can reach Fr. Molina at (859) 271-7626

20 Ways Parishes Can Get Involved Many parishes in the Diocese already use The Society for the Propagation of the Faith as a resource. Through this program they recruit mission speakers and make contributions to Third World Missions. aith/prop_home.html aith/prop_home.html

21 Ways Parishes Can Get Involved Parish Twining Program of the Americas (PTPA) pairs parishes in the US with ones in Haiti. The US parish supports their sister parish in Haiti, making whatever donations they can. PTPA arranges mission trips to meet the sister parish in Haiti if the US parish wants to go, and sends donated goods/money to Haiti. The Haitian parishes send photos and letters back to the US parish showing how they are using the contributions that they are receiving. If you are interested in learning more, contact Theresa Patterson, Executive Director, (615) 356-5999 or

22 Ways Parishes Can Get Involved Sponsor a Refugee Family –This is actually an easy way to get more involved. Sponsoring a Refugee Family means welcoming them and adopting them into your parish community and having members of the parish help them with the basic needs they have when first arriving in the US, such as getting around, finding a place to live, a job, weather- appropriate clothing, and learning how to navigate a Super Wal- Mart, etc. With just a few willing volunteers, you can make a big difference to a refugee family struggling to adapt to US culture. If you are interested, please call Debbie Goonan of Christ the King’s Outreach Program (859) 269-3771

23 Ways Schools and Youth Groups Can Get Involved If you have a mature group of young adults, consider doing a mission project with them through Catholic Heart Work Camp. This can either be within the US or to a Third World country, but either way it teaches the value of service. To find out more check out their website: or talk to the Diocesan Youth Director, Joan Root, (859) 253-1993 ext

24 Ways Schools and Youth Groups Can Get Involved Donate used textbooks to the International Book Project. Based in Lexington, this group takes donated textbooks and sends them to needy schools in the Third World. They especially prefer to have multiple copies, so when you replace a textbook with a new edition or different book, donate the old ones. More information about the International Book Project can be found at

25 Contacts To find out more about any of these projects or about other projects and opportunities, go to :

26 Contacts Ruslyn Case-Compton Secretary for Social Services Diocese of Lexington (859) 253-1993 ext.215

27 Contacts Simone Blanchard Catholic Relief Services Southeast Regional Program Coordinator (404) 790-3977

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