Upcoming Up & Comers

As part of a community or community of faith, part of a city or civic community, part of a family or group of friends, we’re always interested in what’s coming up, or when and where we might gather next, or how our attention will get redirected.  As adults, we’re also interested in youth and young children, those who’re up and comers, those to whom we’re passing along our faith, our wisdom, our experience, our hopes, and our world.

With the upcoming school year mere days away, I am happy to be associated with Saint Therese Little Flower Parish in Kansas City’s urban core that hosts the first Catholic elementary school to open in our diocese in nearly a quarter century.   The school will be sponsored by the Bright Future’s Program and operated by the Society of our Lady of the Holy Trinity (SOLT); it is called Our Lady’s Montessori and will follow the educational philosophy established by famed 20th century Italian physician, Maria Montessori. The SOLT community previously operated the school at two other sites in the Kansas City area on a small scale without diocesan sponsorship or outside assistance.

Bright Future’s schools in the Diocese of Kansas City-Saint Joseph are funded by generous donors who support Catholic education in economically poor regions and, like other diocesan schools, are blessed to be recipients of the Missouri Scholars tax credit program which allows students (K-12) to receive scholarships to pay for their education through taxpayers’ discretion and direction.  This academic institute targets children aged three through sixth grade.  Though, in its initial year on the Little Flower campus the small faculty and staff are recruiting only three years olds, I hope that it will soon expand to receive neighborhood children who’re ready to begin their formal education in kindergarten.

Despite our Catholic Church’s many faults, one area in which we excel is education.  We have been teaching children for many generations in this country with tremendous success and are honored to support young up and comers.  An up and comer is one who grows to maturity in a supportive way or is coming up successfully because of a good, encouraging, and hope-filled environment.  Strong education is the best remedy for intergenerational poverty and urban despair, and our city’s future will benefit greatly from these up and comer students as well as their dedicated teachers.

Also, upcoming soon is the annual Kansas City Irish Fest on Labor Day weekend at Crown Center.  This most popular ethnic celebration provides a wonderful venue for art, music, history, dancing, shopping, taste-testing, and rejoicing in the presence of one another.  The event provides education, entertainment, prayer, poetry, and exhibits; there are playgrounds, cafes, and seven stages for concerts, comedians, folk dancers, and unique performers.  At the Mass on Sunday morning, September 3, at 9:30, you will meet the SOLT sisters and children of Our Lady’s Montessori School, and at the coffee and donuts reception afterward you can visit with them to learn more about this wonderful new addition to our city’s academic offerings.  I am excited to join the Irish Fest to preside at Mass that day.  Parking at Crown Center on Sunday morning is accessible, and it is a perfect time to take advantage of all the great festivities that will begin immediately following our Sunday Eucharistic prayer together.

Mark your calendar—it is coming up in less than a month.  It’s the 21st year of the Kansas City Irish Fest.  Now that it has legally come of age, we can be proud of all the fabulous times shared there as it was “up and coming” during this century’s infancy.  To learn more about the 2023 Irish Fest click here or go to their website.  You can purchase tickets, sign up to volunteer, or just come by to join in the fun.  I look forward to seeing you there for another enjoyable time.