From Despair to Hope: Your Lenten Generosity Transforms Lives

Encounter at Catholic Charities


As the Executive Director of Catholic Charities of Central and Northern Missouri, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the countless individuals and families who have stepped forward with open hearts and generous hands to support our Lenten Appeal this year.

Imagine the despair etched on the face of Jessica (not her real name), a single mother of two struggling to pay a title loan at an exorbitant 304% interest rate.

Initially, she borrowed $1,320, facing monthly payments of $440 — an overwhelming financial burden.

Yet, a few months later, her face lit up with joy upon learning her $1,800 loan balance had been refinanced over 18 months with a manageable $109 monthly payment. Catholic Charities facilitated this significant relief through its predatory lending refinance program.

Stories like Jessica’s are a testament to the transformative power of compassion and its positive impact on people’s lives.

For over a decade, Catholic Charities has served as a cornerstone of support for our community’s most vulnerable members.

We offer a lifeline to those in need, with a wide range of services designed to empower and uplift.

From providing immediate relief through our client-choice food pantry to offering long-term programs that foster self-sufficiency, such as Financial Wellness, we strive not just to alleviate burdens, but also to equip individuals with the tools they need to build brighter futures.

Embracing the spirit of Matthew 25:31-40, your generosity becomes the very embodiment of serving Christ in our midst.

Visualize shelves brimming with sustenance in our food pantry, a direct testament to your giving spirit — truly, when I was hungry, you gave me something to eat.

Consider the profound peace imparted during a counseling session, your support manifesting as solace and direction for those weighed down by life’s storms — when I was troubled, you were there to comfort me.

Contemplate the new beginnings afforded to families uprooted by conflict, finding solace and a fresh chapter in our embrace through our refugee resettlement program — when I was a stranger, you welcomed me.

Each act of kindness you show to our neighbors is a gift to God, and we are forever grateful.

Jessica’s story is just one among many illustrating how your generosity transforms lives.

Your contributions didn’t just help her survive — they put her on the path to financial stability, allowing her to thrive and create a brighter future for her children.

This is the ripple effect of your compassion; it extends far beyond the initial act of giving, creating a wave of hope that strengthens families and uplifts our entire community.

At Catholic Charities, our commitment to stewardship is guided by a profound sense of responsibility for the trust our community places in us.

We take great care in assessing the needs of the people we serve, identifying any gaps in services, and ensuring that our programs remain relevant and impactful.

This means we always strive to find new ways to provide compassionate care and empower those we serve to create sustainable futures for themselves and their families.

Our mission would not be possible without the dedication of two incredible groups: our volunteers and donors.

Our volunteers, the backbone of our organization, selflessly share their time and talents.

However, they can only operate with the financial resources generously provided by our donors.

Your combined efforts form a powerful force for good in the heart of Missouri, and we are deeply grateful for your continued support.

The spirit of Easter constantly reminds us of our call to serve those in need.

Every act of kindness, whether volunteering your time or donating to a worthy cause, fuels our mission of love and service.

As we move forward, we humbly ask for your continued support.

No action is too small, and no contribution is insignificant.

At Catholic Charities, we are grateful for your compassion and generosity every day.

You are the embodiment of the Easter spirit, spreading hope and love throughout our diocese.

May the joy of this season fill your hearts as you reflect on the incredible impact you’ve made.

Litz Main is executive director of Catholic Charities of Central and Northeast Missouri. For more information, visit or call 573-635-7719.