Parishes throughout the Diocese of Jefferson City will take up the annual collection for the Catholic Communication Campaign and The Catholic University of America the weekend of June 4-5.
The Catholic Communication Campaign supports media outlets that bring the Gospel to local communities, national audiences, and even overseas through television, radio, film and social media.
The campaign helps make documentaries about notable Catholics, such as the one about Servant of God Sister Thea Bowman.
Half of the contributions to the communication portion of the collection stay in the home diocese to help fund the communication work of the local Church.
“This allows us to support our parish and diocesan pastoral plans, as we build a stewardship way of life in our diocese and strengthen our parishes as centers of charity and sanctuaries of mercy,” stated Helen Osman, diocesan director of communications for the Jefferson City diocese.
The collection helps support the delivering of the print edition of The Catholic Missourian to every registered household in the diocese and to provide a robust digital communication system of diocesan and parish websites, social media and email communications.
A unique education
This combined collection also helps support the work of The Catholic University of America, the national university for the Church.
Priests and laypeople from this diocese have received degrees or are pursuing degrees from Catholic University, which is located in Washington, D.C.
Monsignor Gregory L. Higley, JV, judicial vicar for the diocesan Matrimonial Tribunal and pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Columbia, spent a total of seven years at Catholic University preparing for priestly ordination and studying Canon Law.
“The education has been invaluable to me for the 41 years that I have been a priest and the 38 years that I have worked in the Tribunal,” he said.
He said Catholic University provides quality education and training for ordained and non-ordained religious men and women, and multiple fields in the fine arts, science and technology.
“In addition,” he noted, “it is a faithful and orthodox Catholic environment for our undergrad and graduate youth matriculating there, who return to their local communities all over the United States.
Father Brad T. Berhorst, J.C.L., studied Canon Law at Catholic University in 2019-20 and 2020-21.
“Every week in my work in the Tribunal, I put my Catholic University education to use for the diocese, so the two years I spent there were well-invested for my ministry here in Jefferson City,” he said.
Despite the unusual circumstances presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, “I think the School of Canon Law there did a great job of giving us the resources we needed as students to continue and complete our studies in a timely manner, despite the challenges of the pandemic,” said Fr. Berhorst.
He noted that the School of Canon Law at Catholic University is the only faculty in the United States that offers the Licentiate and Doctorate in Canon Law, which is one of several things that secures the university as a unique place in American Catholic higher education.
Father Colin Franklin, pastor of St. George Parish in Linn and Our Lady Help of Christians Parish in Frankenstein studied theology at Catholic University as a seminarian and is currently pursuing a licentiate in Canon Law from there.
He said Catholic University brings three things to mind for him:
Father Nicholas J. Reid, a priest of the Jefferson City diocese who is serving as a chaplain of the Archdiocese of the Military Services USA, studied at Catholic University as a seminarian.
“Receiving a faithful Catholic education at Catholic University is a wonderful opportunity to study and grow in an environment that encourages research and academic rigor with the nation’s capital as a backdrop,” he said. “My four years spent at Catholic University have been a great asset to my Priesthood, both as a proud American and a Midwestern pastor.”