13 November 2023

Making Connections: The Church and World Peace

The Most Reverend W. Shawn McKnight has published a new Making Connections column. The column was printed in The Catholic Missourian and is also available online in both English and Spanish.

During a recent trip to the Republic of Korea (South Korea), I visited a cemetery located high on a hill overlooking a river valley. Standing amid the graves on this hill, one could see into North Korea where U.S. Army Chaplain Fr. Emil Kapaun, Servant of God, was captured before giving his life in service to fellow prisoners of war. The cemetery was intentionally built this way, facing north toward the land long seen as hostile enemy territory. 

Many people buried there were North Koreans who had fled to the south during the decades-long war. Never able to return home, they died in exile.

The exiled North Koreans were reverently buried on this north-facing hill so that they could spiritually gaze upon their homeland in death.

This experience was a solemn reminder of the awful effects of war, especially how conflicts can leave families divided — loved ones never to be seen again.

I had been invited to travel to Asia for a conference held at the Peace and Unity Center in Paju, South Korea and at the Memorial Cathedral in Hiroshima, Japan. The conference, held in late October, was convened to discuss the role of the Church in the promotion of peace and reconciliation on the Korean peninsula and in Northeast Asia. It was my first time in South Korea and Japan, and I learned a lot about their cultures, the state of the Catholic Church in each country, the historical and present impact of war in Northeast Asia, and the importance of the Korean peninsula for achieving peace throughout the whole world.  

Read the full message from Bishop McKnight at this link.

2024 Open Enrollment for All Diocesan Benefit Eligible Employees

This is the last week of Open Enrollment for all diocesan benefit eligible employees with enrollment closing at 5:00 p.m. Friday, November 17. Benefits will become effective January 1, 2024. Employees should have received a complete Benefit Enrollment Guide via their personal email address from Please read the intro letter and instructions carefully. As a reminder, FSA and Dependent FSA elections must be made each calendar year.

If you have not received an email yet, please review the Benefit Enrollment Guide that is available in your parish or school office. Enrollment can be completed through the self-serve online option (please see the benefit enrollment guide for directions) or by contacting the enrollment center at 1-877-338-6311.

If you do not wish to make any changes, no action is necessary, and your current elections will remain the same for 2024, except for FSA and Dependent FSA as noted above.

We cannot accept any changes after November 17.

Catholic Stewardship Renewal resources

As our parishes continue the Catholic Stewardship Renewal, the Diocese of Jefferson City is providing a number of resources that help explain the spirituality of stewardship and the call to commit ourselves to our parishes at this time. In addition, click here to read about the Catholic Stewardship Renewal in the latest issue of The Catholic Missourian.

Trish Lutz to serve as Director of Stewardship

With the reassignment of Father Stephen Jones to pastor of the Cathedral of St. Joseph, Patricia (Trish) Lutz will assume the role as Director of Stewardship effective November 13, 2023.  Mrs. Lutz has served as the Associate Director of Stewardship for the past 2+ years.  Please do not hesitate to contact Trish in the Office of Stewardship at 573-635-9127 x230 or  

Save the date: April 13 Diocesan Stewardship Conference

Working with Catholic Stewardship Consultants, the Diocese of Jefferson City will host a diocesan-wide Stewardship Conference in April of 2024.

This one-day conference will feature speakers from around the country who will present on
various aspects of the stewardship way of life aimed at showing the faithful and clergy of our
diocese the importance and benefits of embracing and living the fullness of Christian

We are encouraging participation from leaders from across the diocese, including clergy, stewardship council members, school leadership, pastoral council members, finance council members and others.

  • When: Saturday April 13, 2024
  • Where: The Cathedral of St Joseph – Cana Hall
  • Time: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. (tentative)

Freeze warning and checklist

It is a good time to look over the Pre-Winter Checklist and make sure you have protected your parish property from the freezing temps that are coming soon. Click here for more information.

Imposter priest

There are reports of a scheme in other parts of the country where a thief poses as a visiting priest in order to gain access to rectories or other private church areas where money and valuables are stored. 

There no current reports of these crimes happening our diocese. However, all parishes should be vigilant and make sure to verify the credentials of any unrecognized person seeking unescorted access to secure parish facilities. 

Click here to read a memo from the Diocese of Sacramento with more information.

Women’s ministry events

Parishes, help us spread the word about our upcoming women’s ministry events! We have informational meetings starting throughout the diocese in November and Advent Reflection nights the first week of December. These events are open to all parishes.

Christmas and Mary, Mother of God Masses

This year the Solemnity of Christmas falls on a Monday and is a holyday of obligation.  All the faithful are obligated to participate in two Masses, from the anticipated Mass of the 4th Sunday of Advent on Saturday evening Dec. 23 through the evening of Dec. 25.  In the “Universal Norms on the Liturgical Year and the Calendar,” no. 34 states, “The Vigil Mass of the Nativity is used on the evening of December 24, either before or after First Vespers (Evening Prayer I). On the day of the Nativity of the Lord, following ancient Roman tradition, Mass may be celebrated three times, that is, in the night, at dawn, and during the day.”

The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, falls on a Monday (Jan. 1) and so is NOT a holyday of obligation.  As a Solemnity, however, it still outranks the Feast of the Holy Family, which will be celebrated that Sunday Dec. 31.  Any Masses celebrated on the evening of Dec. 31 should be for Mary, Mother of God.

I hope this is helpful.  As always, please feel free to contact me if you have questions.

Peace and All Good,

Fr. Dan Merz
DLC Chair

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  • Date: Tuesday, Nov. 21st
  • Time: 6:30 – 7:30 PM
  • Where: Pleus Hall, Immaculate Conception Parish, Jefferson City

All parishioners and the faithful are invited to participate in immaculate conception’s first dialogue with dignity forum. These dialogues will discuss in christian charity alternative viewpoints on major issues facing our country. The goal is not a false or forced consensus but respectful consideration of different perspectives.

Former federal prosecutor and IC parishioner, Larry Miller, will review responses currently under consideration and answer questions of “How do we respond?” and

“Are there steps governments can take to protect us?” Followed by questions and comments from attendees facilitated by parishioner Mary Winter. Additionally, Fr. Matt will open with prayer and offer a Christian perspective, and Carolyn Saucier will close us in prayer.

Please join us at St. Thomas More Newman Center Parish on December 3 for the presentation; Biblical Healing, Then & Now by Dr. Mary Healy. Dr. Healy will guide us through this important topic before leading us in a Healing Service. Mass will follow at 5 PM.

Save the date for the upcoming Advent Nights of Reflection: December 4-8. There are four dates and four locations to choose from. Choose one and get it on your calendar now before the busy season gets in the way. For all you ladies who wished you had not missed our spring speaker, Patty Schneier, here is your chance to hear her a little closer to home. We hope to gather with you in prayer and fellowship this Advent!

MARRIAGE PREPARATION: Clergy & Marriage Prep Facilitators


Who: Priests, Deacons & Lay Certified Marriage Prep Facilitators (MPFs) who attended a training in 2021.

What: Practicum & Follow-Up Training on Prepare/Enrich (P/E) Couple Assessment Facilitation and Marriage Preparation Diocesan Process/Policy.

Description: Series of workshops that will focus on a review of P/E core concepts, how to interpret and provide feedback, the selection of the right exercises for the engaged couple, and best practices for assessment facilitators. Also, facilitation practice, small group work and Q&A.

When: Two options: February 23, 8:30pm-4:30pm& February 24, 8:30am-4:30pm

Where: Chancery Offices in Jefferson City.

Trainer: Teresita (Tere) Johnson, MA PS, CMF, from Prepare/Enrich and Stella Maris Center.

Cost: Free.


We ask pastors/priests to encourage permanent deacons and lay facilitators in your parish to attend this training. Important! New and not trained/certified facilitators are welcomed and encouraged to attend this training, but they should be trained prior to it.

For more information contact Jamie Schulte at 573-635-9127 or 

Eventos en Español

Retiro de Crecimiento: Escuela Sacred Heart, Sedalia (18 y 19 de noviembre)

Este retiro es para mujeres y hombres que ya vivieron el retiro de vida en el Espíritu. Es una experiencia de fortalecimiento y reencuentro con Jesús para renovar su compromiso bautismal. Así, los participantes pueden contribuir de una manera más comprometida en la misión de la Iglesia compartiendo sus dones y talentos en sus comunidades. Para más información contacte a Ilsi Palacios al (316) 530-1004 o por correo electrónico a

Retiro Parroquial de ‘Buena Administración’: St. Vincent de Paul | Parroquia San Vicente de Paúl, Sedalia (16 de deciembre, 9am-3pm)El objetivo de estos retiros es ayudar a toda la comunidad parroquial aprender y reflexionar sobre la ‘Buena Administración’, la cual es nuestra respuesta agradecida como discípulos cristianos a compartir todo lo que Dios nos ha dado para compartirlo con los demás.
Para más información contacte a la oficina parroquial. 

Employment opportunities

Catholic Charities of Central and Northern Missouri has several openings within its agency.

All employees of Catholic Charities must possess a strong commitment to the mission of the agency, including the understanding of Catholic Social Teaching and the ability to demonstrate the philosophy and values of the agency. The identity of the agency is clearly Catholic; and as such, Catholic Charities adheres to the social and moral teachings of the Catholic Church.

All positions require the utilization of common software and digital applications (Microsoft Office suite, Outlook, Teams, timekeeping software, etc.)

We invite you to review our current opportunities. 

Welcome Center Specialist – Jefferson City, MO
Essential duties include answering the phone and welcoming clients to the agency. The Welcome Center Specialist will provide client intake or referrals for programs (internal or external) as required and provide administrative support and volunteer coordination as requested. High school diploma or GED required. Click here to apply.

Director of Community Services – Jefferson City, MO
This position oversees strategic planning and program management as it pertains to developing annual budgets, determining staffing needs, monitoring execution of program objectives, ensuring adherence to applicable policies/procedures and evaluating program outcomes. An advanced degree from an accredited college or university plus three to five years’ experience in management and delivery of social and/or disaster relief services and programs at a leadership level is required. Click here to apply.

Director of Counseling Services – Jefferson City, MO
This individual serves as a liaison and maintains positive working relationships with agency leadership, program staff, therapeutic service providers, local and regional service partners, and regional and national agencies to ensure provision of quality services for clients. The Director of Counseling Services will also oversee strategic planning and program management as it pertains to developing and implementing clinical services. A Master’s degree from an accredited college or university in counseling, psychology, or clinical social work plus three to five years’ experience in management and delivery of clinical services is required. Click here to apply.

Director of Refugee Services – Columbia, MO
This leadership position oversees strategic planning and program management by overseeing and enhancing the resettlement efforts for Catholic Charities of Central and Northern Missouri. This individual will be responsible for ensuring the submission of grant requests, financial reports, data tracking, and narratives to local, state, and national funding entities. The Director will ensure that refugee staff resettlement staff receive orientation, training and ongoing supervision, providing quality services for our clients. An advanced degree from an accredited college or university plus three to five years’ experience in management and delivery of resettlement services and programs at a leadership level is required. Click here to apply.

Finance Manager – Jefferson City, MO

This position is a mid-level hands-on accounting position reporting to the Executive Director of Catholic Charities of Central and Northern Missouri. The Finance Manager is directly responsible for all levels of bookkeeping, accounting, risk assessment, and audit compliance. This person must possess a strong commitment to the mission of Catholic Charities including the understanding of Catholic Social Teaching and the ability to demonstrate the philosophy and values of the agency. They will oversee the collection, deposit and recording of all agency funds, including from federal, state, and local grants, private donations from individuals, businesses, and foundations, and fees provided for services rendered. They are responsible for the preparation of invoices and ensuring all outstanding bills are paid in a timely manner and will provides cash management reports and financial statements. In addition, this position assists the Executive Director with the annual budget process, maintains updated general ledger information including the chart of accounts, department program and source accounting codes and ensures that grant reimbursement documents are submitted in a timely manner and properly recorded. Click here to apply.

Immaculate Heart of Mary Child Development Center is seeking dedicated and passionate individuals to join our team as Early Childhood Center Staff in a LEAD Position. A successful candidate is committed to providing a safe, Christ-like environment for the children, where they are loved, safe, and encouraged to learn. As part of our center, you will play a crucial role in providing a nurturing and educational environment for young children. Your primary responsibilities will include engaging in age-appropriate activities, ensuring the safety and well-being of children, promoting their social and cognitive development, and maintaining a positive atmosphere within the center. Starting pay for a lead position is $18.00 per hour for a qualified employee. Click here to apply online.

Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church is seeking a full-time Music Director.

  • The Music Director is a professional who holds specialized credentials in music and who has a thorough understanding of Roman Catholic liturgy. This person of faith is responsible for the effective planning, coordination, and execution of music within the liturgical celebrations of the parish.
  • The ideal candidate will be familiar with both traditional and contemporary music suitable for the Catholic church
  • Will help facilitate with the Spanish Mass
  • Will develop an adult choir for the parish
  • The Music Director will be available for parish weddings and funerals

The employer offers a full range of benefits including life insurance, long-term disability, medical, dental, vision and a matching 403(b) retirement plan.Requirements: College degree in Music or Liturgy, Ability to lead a choir, Professional skill with many instruments, including organ and piano or keyboard, Flexible with schedule to accommodate office needs as well as mass, weddings and funerals, Knowledge of appropriate music for Catholic church. Apply on Indeed.

The Catholic Diocese of Jefferson City has a career opportunity for a Controller who will manage the accounting department for the organization. Duties include managing chancery accounting personnel, Sage accounting and investment portfolio platforms, cash flow, accounts payable, billing, accounts receivable, PP&E, GL level and general accounting platforms. Specific duties include monthly accounting period closings and reconciliations, preparing monthly trial balance, preparing monthly financial analysis and quarterly financial statements. This individual will also manage the annual financial audit process and oversee all chancery bank accounts and supervise maintenance of budgets. Education and Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university majoring in Accounting
  • Minimum of ten (10) years of job-related experience preferred, but not required
  • 501(c)(3) fund accounting experience preferred, but not required
  • Public accounting experience helpful, but not required
  • Strong computer skills and ability to easily work in Sage, MS Excel and MS Word

Qualified applicants are encouraged to apply through our job posting on or send resume and cover letter to

St. Peter Catholic Church is seeking a Custodian to serve in a full time position that will include cleaning of the school and Selinger Hospitality Center. The custodian will need good communications skills to interact with teachers, parents, students and priests. Reports to the Maintenance Supervisor. This position will require an 8-hour workday with the starting time to be determined in consultation with the supervisor. It could include work on Saturday/Sunday, if needed, such as when we have inclement weather or a special event. Complete job description at

Sacred Heart School in Sedalia MO has an opening for a Communication and Technology Director. This is a full-time, exempt position. All interested persons should complete the application and contact the Principal, Nancy Manning at

Responsibilities Include:

  • Communications (website management, social media, event photography, videos, create graphics, newsletter writing, etc.).
  • Technology (Google, PC, FACTS logins, copy machines, monitor solar panels, daily tech issues, audio system, e-rate management, teacher tech training, update technology, google domain management, iPad, Chromebook cart management, tech security, etc.). See this ad on Indeed.

St. Thomas More Newman Center in Columbia is seeking a Director of Music. Click here for more details and application information.

Immaculate Heart of Mary Child Development Center is seeking dedicated and passionate individuals to join our team as Early Childhood Center Staff. A successful candidate is committed to providing a safe, Christ-like environment for the children, where they are loved, safe, and encouraged to learn. As part of our center, you will play a crucial role in providing a nurturing and educational environment for young children. Your primary responsibilities will include engaging in age-appropriate activities, ensuring the safety and well-being of children, promoting their social and cognitive development, and maintaining a positive atmosphere within the center. Starting pay is $15.00 per hour. Click here for more information.

Holy Family Parish in Hannibal is seeking a Director of Religious Education and Youth Minister. Key responsibilities include:

  • Assist the pastor in the responsibility for the Catholic faith formation for parish youth and adults
  • Implements the Bishop’s confirmation preparation policy
  • Organizes, schedules and oversees religious education in the parish
  • Administers a formation program for catechists that leads to certification and tracks completion
  • In cooperation with Diocesan Director of Religious Education and Youth Minister, orders approved textbooks, liturgy materials and other works that complement the religious education efforts of the parish
  • Provides resources and programs for adult formation

A Bachelor’s degree in theology or religious education is preferred. The pastor is willing to consider either one (1) full-time candidate or possibly two (2) part-time individuals. Resumes can be sent directly to Fr. Alex Gabriel, Holy Family Parish, 218 S. Maple Avenue, Hannibal, MO 63401 or applicants can apply on

Our Lady of Lourdes Interparish School Positions:

  • Cafeteria Supervisor: OLLIS is looking for three adults (parents, grandparents, friends) who like children and want to make extra money. Qualifications include love of children, practicing Catholic preferred, ability to lift 50 lbs., and standing on feet for extended periods. This is a position that follows the students’ calendar. You are off when students are off. The essential duties include supervising students and assisting them with their needs during lunch, such as opening things, sweeping up the floor, and washing tables between shifts. This would be fun if you could find two other friends to join you. We would love to see a group that can help us with our ROAR expectations and makes our dining experience something students continue to enjoy. Hours are 10:30-1:30. If interested, please email Elaine Hassemer at