Center for mercy and charity to open in Jefferson City as part of Catholic Church’s social services

JEFFERSON CITY – A health and social services center for the Diocese of Jefferson City will find a home in a former Catholic seminary building, following an agreement of terms between the Jefferson City Housing Authority and Catholic Charities of Central and Northern Missouri (CCCNMO). The agreement allows the purchase and renovation of the Shikles Auditorium, 1210 Linden Drive in Jefferson City. The building formerly housed the chapel and gymnasium of a seminary for the Missionaries of La Salette, a Catholic religious order for men.

“This new center will provide a place of mercy in an area of our city in great need of the healing of Jesus Christ,” explained Bishop Shawn McKnight. “Whenever we give food to the hungry, drink to the thirsty, shelter to the homeless; whenever we defend the weak and vulnerable, provide medicine and care to the sick, comfort to the grief-stricken, and hope to those in time of despair, we bring glad tidings to the poor and announce the Kingdom of God.”

The center will be part of the services of Catholic Charities of Central and Northern Missouri, the social outreach arm of the Diocese of Jefferson City. The purchase is being funded through a generous grant of the SSM Health St. Mary’s Foundation – Jefferson City.

“Through partnerships with Helias Catholic High School, SSM Health, our local parishes, and other faith based and secular social service providers, we know we can make a real difference in the community,” said Dan Lester, executive director of Catholic Charities. “We are thrilled with this new opportunity to expand our services, especially in such a central location that will allow easy access for so many of our neighbors.”

Catholic Charities will be seeking community input regarding the type of services being offered. “We will be scheduling a series of open forums where residents can provide suggestions as to what they believe would be most helpful,” Lester said. “Ultimately, our goal is to provide compassionate health and social services that will improve the welfare of some of the most vulnerable members of our community.”

Catholic Charities will take possession of the building after the lease of the current tenants expires on Dec. 31, 2019. It is expected the center will open after renovations are completed in 2020.

Catholic Charities of Central and Northern Missouri provides a variety of services to residents in need throughout the 38-county Diocese of Jefferson City. Inspired by the Gospel of the Beatitudes as proclaimed by Jesus Christ, Catholic Charities of Central and Northern Missouri is committed to providing care and creating hope for the lives of the vulnerable through compassionate social services that respect the dignity of each person and engage the local community in our mission.