Generosity is a Core Trait of Our People

Generosity is a Core Trait of Our People

Articles, Come, And You Will See

I wish to thank all of the parents, teachers, and principals of both our PSR and parish Catholic schools for supporting the 2022 Lenten Youth Mission of Mercy. The financial support for this year’s project was directed to “Mother’s House,” an outreach center in Hayti, MO, for low-income women with young children. Glenmary Home Missionary Sr. Sharon Miller, GHMS, spearheads this program in Pemiscot County, in the Southeastern corner of the Bootheel So far, the donations are $21,667!

My curiosity led me to add up all the amounts over the past five Lenten Youth Missions of Mercy for 2018 – 2022 and, as I suspected, we topped the $100,000 mark! Altogether, the youth of our diocese have raised $126,229.51 for five Lenten projects, contributing an average of roughly $24,000 per project.

It takes the cooperation and coordination of so many people for this effort to be successful year after year. Again, I thank the principals and teachers who have to implement the fundraisers. I thank Lynn Melendez, Sr. Janine Tran, CMR, Kim Brayman, Leslie Eidson, Shasta Beckers, Debra Owensby, and Deacon Rob Huff from The Catholic Center for their organization, creativity, and support. It is amazing what we can do together.

The previous projects have been Eden Village, Springfield; Birthright, Cape Girardeau; Whole Kids Outreach, in Ellington; and Children’s Haven in Joplin. On Tue., April 26, I drove to Joplin to participate in the dedication of the Children’s Haven playground that we assisted in our 2021 effort! I am excited for what we will be able to do in the 2023 Lenten Youth Mission of Mercy!!


Another example of the generosity of our diocese is provided in the report for the Springfield – Cape Girardeau Diocesan Council of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. This Council consists of eight conferences: St. Mary Parish, Joplin; St. Joseph Parish, Billings; St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, Springfield; St. Agnes Cathedral, Springfield; Holy Trinity Parish, Springfield; Holy Trinity Parish, Marshfield; Sacred Heart Parish, Poplar Bluff, and St. Mary Cathedral, in Cape Girardeau. This Council has 142 active members with 84 associates. Donations to those in need of food, furniture, and clothing total $111,013. And, probably even more important, there were 12,662 visits to homes and hospitals to visit the elderly and the sick. That reflects 12,577 miles of driving and 11,942 hours of service.

These figures are just for the Diocesan Council of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. The other parishes of our diocese cooperate with other denominations in supporting food pantries and meal programs. While Catholics make up a small percentage of the general population (4-5%), we can be proud of our efforts throughout southern Missouri in reaching out to neighbors in need. To quote our Holy Father, Pope Francis, “May our acts of mercy never cease.”


As we enter into the Month of May, dedicated to Our Lady, I have devised a schedule to stop by and pray the rosary at grottos throughout the diocese. Please grab a lawn chair, bring your rosary, and join me! You do not have to be from the parish. People cross boundaries all the time. In case of bad weather, we will pray the rosary in the church rather than outdoors. I hope to do the same in October, the Month of the Rosary. So, if you have an outdoor grotto of the Sacred Heart or the Blessed Mother, please send an Email to Sarah at and based on my driving route, I will see which grottos I will be able to visit. The schedule can be found on this page of The Mirror and is on our social media platforms. Be assured of my continued prayers during the Easter Season.

To quote St. Augustine, “We are Easter people and Alleluia is our song.”

Photo Source: Getty Images


Bishop Edward M. Rice