This month, we had the opportunity to sit down with Father Mike Roach with St. James Catholic Church in Liberty, one of our Partners in Hope. As we found our way past the brand-new development of shopping and eateries just north of St. James, we were reminded of the growth that our Liberty community has enjoyed for the past several years.
As we sat with Father Mike, he shared that this growth and vibrancy is reflected in the life of St. James. As a parish of over 1800 families, St. James serves not just Liberty, but a number of surrounding communities as well. Father Mike described the congregation as welcoming and giving. “I believe that people are looking for ways to give. People are generous. We tell the story of a need and our congregation meets it. We love to provide the opportunity so that families can give of themselves and show their children the value and importance of generosity.”
One incredible example of this commitment to generosity is the level of support the parish provides in funding to St. James Catholic School, serving preschool through 8th grade. This school, accredited by the state, offers exemplary education both in academics and in the Christian faith. This school’s provision is a direct reflection of the dedication of the parish to the ministry of education here.
Yet, this parish’s generosity does not just remain with the walls of the church, but extends to the community. “Our mission is to be a witness to all of the presence of Christ among us,” shared Father Roach. From Lenten Friday Fish Fries and Soup Dinners, to BBQ competitions and the Advent Giving Tree, St. James plays an active role is serving the people around them, not just among them. They are the sole church providing a service on the William Jewell College Campus.
“We strive to be a church who is proud of our efforts in the community, efforts that make a real difference, not just in our hearts but for those we are serving.” This is why their generosity plays a role with Love INC (In the Name of Christ), In As Much Ministries, Immaculata Manor and more. “Our families-whatever your family may look like-are the heart of St. James. There is a place for everyone, welcoming all, and providing a place for people’s gifts to be used.”
We are so blessed to call St. James partners in service to our community and the families we serve at Hillcrest Hope.