A reflection from Board President, Mike Maag
My name is Mike Maag, and I am truly honored to serve as President of the Board of Directors for Catholic Charities of Central and Northern Missouri. The Lord God has blessed me in my life and I’ve always felt it is my duty to pour those blessings back into the community. Because one of my passions is to help those who are underprivileged in our society, I have long supported the charitable works of Catholic Charities and find it to be an incredible organization making a real difference in the lives of those in need.
My involvement with Catholic Charities began eight years ago. While serving on the pastoral council for my parish, Our Lady of Lourdes in Columbia, I helped establish the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Conference there. Later, I worked with Deacon Thomas Fischer to try to get other St. Vincent de Paul conferences established throughout the diocese. It was Deacon Tom who nominated me to the board of directors of Catholic Charities — leading to my appointment by Bishop John R. Gaydos in 2015.
I considered it a blessing to serve then, and a blessing I still enjoy now. Sometimes I’m asked, “why Catholic Charities?” That’s a question I can answer pretty easily: I’m passionate about the programs that Catholic Charities offers to those in need. I have seen that the services like the Catholic Charities Food Pantry, disaster relief, and refugee resettlement efforts are making a real difference in the lives of those who need it most. When I think about that impact — I am proud to be a small part in the work the charitable arm of our Catholic Church does to advocate and serve the impoverished and those “on the margins.”
Serving on the board of directors has given me a deep sense of purpose and personal fulfillment. In retirement, it has provided for me an outlet to put my skills to good use I learned throughout my professional career. And encountering others — those on the board, the staff, and even those we’re serving — has added to that feeling of fulfillment.
In my time on the board of directors, I’ve learned a lot. From a more practical standpoint — like the demographics of the diocese, the needs of that population, and what the people that Catholic Charities serves needs the most. In a more personal way, I’ve also learned about the importance of working together to make a difference. It’s been one of my goals as board president to see the presence of Catholic Charities spread more broadly across the 38 counties of the Diocese of Jefferson City and for Catholics across the diocese to embrace this agency.
I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to serve on the Board of Directors for Catholic Charities of Central and Northern Missouri. I remain committed to making the most of this privilege and using my talents to further the agency’s mission to provide compassionate social services to those who need them most. When asked to serve, some people may question, ‘Why me?’ but I believe we should reframe that question to ‘Why not me?’ If I don’t serve, who will?
Just a few weeks ago we heard at Mass in the Gospel of Matthew, the parable of a master who entrusts his servants with talents before embarking on a long journey. Upon his return, he praises those who have multiplied their talents, saying, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant…Come, share your master’s joy.’ That reading, and the homily at my parish that weekend really resonated with me. I aspire to serve in a way that mirrors the faithfulness of those servants, using my skills and experiences to make a meaningful impact. Through serving, perhaps I too can share in my Master’s joy.
As you find yourself busy and surrounded by bustling families, warm meals, and comfortable rest — consider pouring the blessings you’ve received into your community with a gift to Catholic Charities. Your time, your skills and talents, and the support of an End of Year donation, has real impact on those struggling to reunite their own family, ensure warm meals for their children, or rest in the comfort of a stable home.
Your Catholic Charities agency participates in two community giving events at the end of the year. A national Catholic initiative centered on Giving Tuesday called iGiveCatholic, and a local community giving event in the Columbia area called CoMo Gives.
iGiveCatholic provides a unique opportunity for members of the Catholic community to express their faith through philanthropy. By contributing to this campaign, you directly support the continuation of our programs that make a meaningful difference in the lives of many.
CoMoGives is an online fundraiser that supports 153 Columbia area non-profits. Your donation not only supports Catholic Charities but also contributes to the collective well-being of our community, fostering a spirit of unity and care.
Whether you give a gift of your time, talent, or treasure, you become a vital part of our Catholic Charities community — providing care and creating hope for those who need it most. You can find links to engage with us easily online at cccnmo.diojeffcity.org/give.