Johnson County Christmas Bureau

     Ministry of Care HeartJohnson County Christmas Bureau

Corporal Work of Mercy:  Clothe the naked,  Spiritual :  Comfort the afflicted.  We need used and new coats and outer wear.  This organization gives GREAT dignity to the parents so they can shop for their own kides during the Christmas season!

We need coats, scarves, hats, mittens!  Update Nov 5, 2017!.


Times available for Nov and Dec 2017!, Grade 6th – us old guys!  Need everything from “brawn” to “shopping escorts”

Click here for more info JCCB VOLUNTEER Sign2017 or go straight to

This ministry helps with collections of coats and books and provides a volunteer base to help needy families of Johnson Country “shop” at Christmas time. They help between 10,000 and 12,000 low income Johnson County Neighbors each year during the winter holiday season.  The neighbors we help have a family income below 150% of the poverty line and reside in Johnson County, Kansas. Most of those we help have a member of the family who works but simply does not earn enough to rise above 150% of the poverty level.  1 in 9 Johnson County jobs pay less than $10.00 per hour. 1/3 of all Johnson County jobs pay less than $15.00 per hour. It takes more than $15.00 per hour for a family of 4 to pull themselves above 150% of the poverty level.  The majority of the neighbors we help have a high school diploma and some college education.

This agency allows parents to shop for their children’s gifts! Everything is new in the store, except the used books and coats. The collection of used books goes on in the fall and coats goes on during the month of November and we collect donated coats and books from the garage sale.

Contact Jean in the Parish Office at 913-681-3348 x 131 or


Juan Ana Coffee

Ministry of Care HeartJuan Ana Coffee    Girl-with-bag-of-coffee

Corporal work of Mercy: Give drink to the thirsty

$10.00 a bag.  100% of the cost goes back to the Mission and farmers. We sell Juan Ana Coffee at any time in the Parish Office.  Or click here and order it from their web site and have it sent directly to your door! Either way, 100% of the price goes back to the farmers in San Lucas Toliman. This is a program through the San Lucas Mission which is where we go for the service portion of our Mission trip.


  • The Juan Ana Coffee Program provides fair, consistent wages for more than 650 coffee farmers. In turn, these farmers provide the highest quality gourmet coffee.
  • To compliment the distribution of land, the program aims to continue to walk with the people in creating a supportive market for their primary cash crop.
  • All washing, sorting, grading, roasting, packing, weighing, and sewing of coffee bags is done by hand in the San Lucas Mission – providing a benefit throughout many levels of the community.
  • Our farmers’ Arabica coffee is grown under a full shade canopy at the ideal altitude (between 5,200 and 6,000 feet) in rich volcanic ash soil.

Eyeglass Donation


Corporal Work of Mercy:  Care for the Sick 

Spiritual:      To comfort the afflicted;

If you have old eyeglasses laying around please consider donating them!

We will collect them and redistribute them to people in need.

The collection box is located in the cabinet behind the bulletin boards in the gathering area marked “Social Concerns.”

Contact Jean in the Parish office with any questions:

Cell Phone Donation

cellphoneOur Common Home:

Spiritual Work of Mercy:    To comfort the afflicted;

If you have old cell phones in your cabinets or drawers, please consider donating them to Ascension for recycling!

We collect and send them to be redistributed to domestic violence shelters, senior centers, neighborhood watch programs, school crossing guards and other agencies with an immediate need for 911 access.

They take the phones, inspect them, erase any old data, clean them, change the batteries, and reprogram them to be used as 911 emergency phones. (Emergency 911 calls are free nationwide.)

Please: ONLY THE PHONE AND BATTERY. No Chargers or other accessories.

Collection box is located in the cabinet behind the bulletin boards in gathering area marked “Social Concerns.”

Contact Jean in the Parish Office with any questions:

Catholic Charities


Brochure on wantred volunteers!  OPEN HOUSE – NEW TURNSTYLES)  On 135th St!


All of below:  Contact  Michelle Carlstedt (913.433.2080 or

Turkey Distribution: Additional volunteers are needed to hand out turkeys during the week of Thanksgiving at Hope
Distribution Center in KC, KS, the Overland Park Emergency Assistance Center and the Leavenworth Emergency Assistance Center.  For additional information and/or to sign-up to serve,Turkey Handout Help:

Christmas Store: Additional volunteers are needed to help with the Christmas store at 22nd/Central in KC, KS.  For additional information and/or to sign-up to help, please visit this link:  Christmas Store help:

Needed Help: 

Front Desk Training:
We will be offering training to front desk volunteers who serve in our metro-area Emergency Assistance Centers and HDC on our new client system called CaseWorthy during the weeks of January 15th and 22nd.  One half-day session is suggested. Look for an email with specifics soon.

Shalom Meal Ministry:
If you or someone you know would be interested in helping prepare a meal for the men of Shalom House, Catholic Charities’ men’s shelter, please let me know.  We are setting up some one-time dates in 2018 for volunteers and staff to cook/serve together.

New TurnStyles Thrift Store:
We will be opening a new TurnStyles Thrift Store at 135th/Nieman in Overland Park.
We will tentatively be open to accept donations the last couple of weeks of December and then will be open for business beginning in early March 2018 (date TBD).
We are hosting two open houses for new volunteers.  Please help us spread the word!  
Here are details:
Friday, November 17, 2017 and Friday, January 26, 2018
11 am to 1 pm 
At the new TurnStyles Thrift Store
11310 W.135th St.
Overland Park, KS 66221
(Olathe TurnStyles volunteers have their own preview dates too. Look for information from Zoran and Linda on those dates)

Volunteer Opportunities:
The following is a list of agency-wide volunteer opportunities in the metro area that are new, timely or harder to fill. Let me know if you or someone you know has an interest.  Please reach out to me for additional information.

  • We are seeking volunteers to provide meals for participants in a new pilot program in KC, KS. Meal frequency can be one-time or monthly.
  • Volunteers needed to help our development team in Overland Park with data entry and envelope stuffing. Envelope stuffing needed on Fridays; flexible morning or afternoon hours available for data entry during business hours.
  • We are seeking volunteers to help run tours and manage groups who sort food donations at our food distribution warehouse in KC, KS.
  • We have the following volunteer needs in our Refugee Program in KC, KS: English tutors and teachers, drivers, tutors during Citizenship Education Classes.



Catholic Charities Web site

Video on Catholic Charities913 433-2100

Corporal Works of Mercy:

  • To feed the hungry;
  • To give drink to the thirsty;
  • To clothe the naked;
  • To shelter the homeless;

LOTS of areas available, from answering the phone to sorting clothes, to making phone calls, to stocking food, to  driving and pick up of items, to being a cashier, to handing out food, to hanging up clothes…  You name it, you tell them what they want, they’ll find a place for you!!


michelle carlstedt
Director of Volunteers
Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas
9720 West 87th Street | Overland Park, KS 66212
p: 913.433.2080
f:  913.621.4507
c: 913-909.2893

updated volunteer opportunities:

Citizenship Education Volunteer Tutor

Financial Mentor Program Final

Prison Ministry

Social Justice pubSocial Concerns


“I was in prison, and you came to visit me.”  Matt 25:36 

Please visit our website at

SDPO trifold

Ascension began this ministry 15 years ago and now we do more than we ever thought possible.  And we have parishioners from several different parishes.We do visits to the Jo Co Jails 2 times a week, the juvenile facility one time a week and Wyandotte Jail 2 time a week.  We provide Catholic Bibles to the inmates when requested, Catechism Books, celebrate a Communion Service and do one on one visits as requested.  We get a priest to visit the inmates when available for Reconciliation and visits.  We provide the jails with used books for the libraries.  We distribute Catholic pamphlets and other materials as allowed and needed.  We also serve the ex offenders with ID’s, bus passes, underwear and Christmas Gifts through “Turnaround”, a ministry supported through the Diocese of KC, MO.  We are also doing a “letter writing mentor” program.  

The St. Dismas Prison Outreach is in dire need of volunteers for this expanding ministry.  We are looking for volunteers to cover both in prison visits as well as opportunities in other areas of this ministry outside the prison walls.

Become part of an exciting and successful program that changes lives.  The program is “Mentoring 4 Success”.  You can share the Gospel of Hope through correspondence with an inmate and/or you can become a mentor upon release. 

*****Or you could have your children make a card (either a classroom makes cards, SOR class or at home!)  Include statements of hope, Bible verses, drawn pictures  , etc.  Please only on cardstock or construction paper and colored pencils or markers only.  No Crayons! No staples!  First names only.

 Here are different activities we currently are engaged in,  Contact Jean in the office for more info.


Activity   Audience Description
Bread of Life  





Adult Men & Women





·         Olathe Detention Center – Tuesdays 12:30-1:30 PM

·         Gardner Detention Center – Wednesdays 12:30-1:30 PM & 1:30-2:30 PM in Maximum pods


·         JDC (915 W. Spruce) – Saturdays 7:00-8:00 PM


Bread of Life Adult Men



·         Wyandotte County Detention – alternating Tuesdays 3:00-4:00 PM
Mentoring4Success Adult Men & Women



Mentor matches done by KS DOC. Lansing for men, Topeka for women and juveniles.
Angel Tree Children of the incarcerated


This program provides Christmas gifts to children of incarcerated parents
Compassionate Correspondence Adult Men & Women This is a service within Mentoring4Success that matches local mentors with incarcerated men housed in distant facilities but releasing to the KC metro area. Mentor meetings are done via letters, JPay, and/or Skype prior to release.


Leavenworth Military Prison


Adult Men US Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth
CCA Prison


Adult Men Private federal prison in Leavenworth.
Shawnee County Detention Center


Adult Men & Women Topeka jail
Lansing State Prison


Adult Men RCIA classes have been supported in the recent past.
Adult Residential Center


Adult Men & Women This is a work release program at New Century.


  1. Bread of Life – is a Communion Service adapted from the Service Manual for Extraordinary Eucharistic Ministers which includes distribution of Holy Eucharist to “good-standing” Catholics. We read scripture and discuss after the service and we take written prayer petitions to be posted on web sites and place in adoration chapels. Sometimes there is a “movie night” at the Juvenile Detention Center with beverages and light snack
  2. Mentoring4Success (Compassionate Correspondence) – is administered by the Kansas Department of Corrections. There is a 4-hour training program and then mentor coordinators match the mentor with a mentee. The goal is to visit regularly for the last six months prior to the mentee release and maintain reentry support for at least six months post release
  3. Angel Tree – is sponsored by Prison Fellowship and seeks to provide Christmas presents to the children of incarcerated men and women.
  4. Leavenworth Military Prison – programs in development.
  5. CCA Private Federal Prison – programs in development.
  6. Shawnee County Detention Center – programs in development.
  7. Lansing State Prison – programs in development.

For more information contact Jean Hinman at the parish office  913-681-3348 or

Kansas Coalition Against the Death Penalty

Click here for link to Ascensions end the death penalty post


Don’t miss out! !

This is a pivotal year for repeal in Kansas.  We tried very hard to get our bill passed last session, but we were blocked at every turn.  We could not even get a committee hearing!  Everyone knew we had the votes for passage in the House and that fact was a major reason we were denied a hearing.  While we were blocked, our neighbor, Nebraska, passed a repeal bill in their unicameral legislature.

It goes without saying that we are very happy for Nebraska and are resolved that in Kansas, we cannot let blocking and stonewalling happen again.

Besides needing to bring the death penalty to an end in Kansas for our own reasons, Kansas needs to send the message that we stand with Nebraska and the American heartland is behind repeal of the death penalty.  That strong message will have a national impact.



Miscarriage and Infertility

Ministry of Care HeartCorporal Work of Mercy:  Bury the dead

Spiritual Work of Mercy: Pray for the Living and the Dead


We facillitate a 4 week support group for both women and men.  Following the faith based bereavement program outlined in the Catholic/Christian resource “In Loving Remembrance” written by Mary Helen Dennihan, LCMFT, R.N. we will learn about each others’ journeys and in turn how to move forward.  This will be offered periodically at Ascension.


Helpful Web SiteAscension Miscarriage and Infertility support ministry

Alexandra’s House: A perinatal Hospice and support for miscarriages, stillbirths and newborn deaths

Lord Jesus, you became a little child for our sake. You welcomed children and promised them your kingdom. You comforted those who mourned the loss of children and friends. Your mother stood grieving at the foot of the cross.

 You took upon yourself the suffering and death of us all, and promised to raise up those who believe in you, just as you were raised up in glory by the Father. Comfort us with your peace and be always with us. Deepen our faith and sustain us in this dark hour. Amen.


Are you living with infertility?  Or, are you living with the loss of a baby due to miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy or early infant death? It may be hard to believe but you are not alone and there are others that are going through similar situations or have in the past. For more info and need of support, contact Jean in office 681-3348 or jhinman@kcascension.o

How to talk to children about death: Children and Death

Lord, Jesus Christ, we know that when You appears in glory, Your holy angels will gather all Your faithful children to Yourself, and not one will be missing. We pray that You would count the children who have been lost to grieving parents among those You have chosen to gather to Yourself. God of comfort and love,  we thank You for Your care of all parents who grieve the death of a child. Console and guide all who are mourn. Grant them Your grace and assurance of unfailing love. We pray this through Christ our Lord, Amen.

For the Lord comforts his people and shows mercy to his afflicted. But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me, My Lord has forgotten me.” Can a mother forget her infant, Be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you.” See, upon the palms of my hands I have written your name.

Perinatal prayer and Bible verses

Roman Catholic Views on Infertility treatments

Info on Culture of Life and women’s health care

A-Z How to help after the loss of a baby, any stage

Bridget’s Cradles:  A web site for support and “to get involved” for people who have miscarried

Funeral Lunches

Ministry of Care HeartYoMLogoColorJOY placesetting

Corporal Work of Mercy:  Feed the Hungry/Bury the dead

We prepare and serve lunches so families can gather after the funeral Mass. We need servers and “cookers”! If you would like to help, we send out an e-mail as we need the help so call Jean to get on the list.

Contact Jean Hinman with any questions or for additional information at

681-3348 x131 or of Care Heart

Bereavement Group

Ministry of Care Heart

Consolation is a beautiful word. It means “to be” (con-) “with the lonely one” (solus). To offer consolation is one of the most important ways to care. Life is so full of pain, sadness, and loneliness that we often wonder what we can do to alleviate the immense suffering we see. We can and must offer consolation. We can and must console the mother who lost her child, the young person with AIDS, the family whose house burned down, the soldier who was wounded, the teenager who contemplates suicide, the old man who wonders why he should stay alive.

To console does not mean to take away the pain but rather to be there and say, “You are not alone, I am with you. Together we can carry the burden. Don’t be afraid. I am here.” That is consolation. We all need to give it as well as to receive it.


MEMORIAL MASS to pray for parishioners and those loved ones of parishioners who have died this past year is scheduled for Nov 2, 7pm. Please contact Jean in the office ASAP if you would like your loved one memorialized with a candle that you can take home.

Corporal Work of Mercy:  Bury the dead

Spiritual work of Mercy:  Pray for the Living and the Dead

The Bereavement Ministry         bereavement candles

meets on the 2nd Saturday of every month after celebrating 8:30 am Mass.  We meet in the St Luke’s Room (at bottom of steps).  It is a support group atmosphere with occasional speakers, different topics and lots of sharing. A continental breakfast is served.  Everyone and anyone who has suffered the loss of a loved one is welcome and encouraged to attend.  It is an open meeting, there is no expectation of how often you will attend.  Some come every month for awhile, others only occasionally, and some only once.

Perinatal Hospice and Bereavement support for miscarriages, Stillborns and newborn deaths

 Grieving Young Adults

This group is designed for young adults (ages 18-40) that have lost a loved one.  The group started meeting at Church of the Ascension in August 2015 and was initially titled “The Grief Journey: A Young Adult Grief Support Ministry.”  They now meet on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of the month (more details below).  If you are interested in being a part of  the group or know someone that could benefit from this ministry you can contact Marcus Kain at or head to the Grieving Young Adults Facebook page for additional information.

Holy Spirit Catholic Church (front room)    7-8:30 pm

11300 W. 103rd St.,Overland Park, KS. 66214

Click here for a conversation about the young adult grief ministry with Archbishop Naumann

A-Z How to help after the loss of a baby, any stage

We stay in touch with parishioners who have lost a loved one for a year with cards and calls.

We celebrate a Mass of Rememberance on Nov. 2nd (All Souls Day) every year.  During mass we process with candles (our loved ones’ names are on them) to the altar, have a “calling of the names (when all the names of all the deceased parishioners and names of parishioners’ loved ones who have died) are called out. It is a beautiful celebration of thanks (for the blessings of this life) and hope (for the blessing of eternal life!)

The Archdiocese offers a weekend retreat called “Beginning Experience” for widowed, separated or divorced people.  Contact Jean for info on registration, locale, etc.

click here for more info: BE_logo

Click here for a   Bereavement Prayer

How to talk to children about death: Children and Death


When someone dies we celebrate a Funeral Mass, often calling it a “celebration of life”.  A life that touched others, loved others, was a parent, a child, an aunt, a grandpa, a friend, a coworker, a fellow parishioner.  Someone.  Someone with a story and a past.  But, the “celebration of life” is also, and perhaps more importantly, about the life that the person who died is now entering, an eternal, perfect  and permanent life that we are promised by our loving Father in heaven, where the veil is lifted and we can see clearly.  Where every tear is wiped away (doesn’t say we don’t cry!) and even death is no more.  So our funeral Mass is a celebration of thanks (which Eucharist means,) for the blessings of our earthly life and the blessing of eternal life!  But those of us left behind grieve and enter a new phase in our life, life without the physical presence of the person who died.  Catholics grieve with hope, though, through our many tears. Immediately, the bereaved usually have a lot of support and are very busy with arrangements and paper work and people.  The funeral Mass is planned and really expresses Jesus’ victory over death and our personal share in the resurrection.  It has special blessings and prayers but is comforting in it’s ritual and continuity.  After all this is over, everyone goes back home, resumes their “normal” life and the bereaved are left with a “new normal”. How can we support others through this difficult journey of learning how to live this new normal?  Here are some suggestions on what you can do. Always call the person who died by name.  Don’t be afraid to talk about special memories of him or her.  But more importantly, let the bereaved individual talk about the person who died.  Encourage them to do that.  Expect and and allow the bereaved to cry, be angry, and other expressions of emotion.  Don’t say ”She is being strong” when they don’t show emotion.  Being strong is being able to share and show emotion in a safe place with safe people.  Be that safe person for a friend.  It’s hard to watch someone really grieve, but it is essential to their finding the new normal.  True support does not mean that we there to cheer the person up.  Maybe the easiest way to what I just said is “listen and be present.”  You can’t say some magic words that will make the pain less.  There aren’t any.  Death hurts the loved ones left on earth.  Cliches are not helpful and often will make the bereaved feel worse. “God’s will, they are out of pain, you can have another baby” are not helpful.  The most important things we can offer the bereaved is our presence, our affection, our time and our willingness to listen.  If you have to say something, ask open ended questions about the deceased or about how the bereaved is feeling right now.  Other than that, listen!  And be prepared for the bereaved to repeat the story or memories.  That is all part of the journey to new normal.  Be prepared for silence, too. Offer and give practical assistance.  Meals that are easily frozen and heated up and come in disposable dishes are especially nice.  Especially weeks later.  Ask the bereaved what you can do to physically help, like laundry, make a bed, vacuum, cut the lawn, drive the kids.  Tiredness is a real symptom.  But the bereaved may also want to stay busy.  Ask and respect and just be there. People don’t “get over” grief.  They are forever changed and have a new normal in their life.  There is no time table.  There is no predictable way or time table for them to reconcile this new normal into their lives.  And you can remind them they aren’t crazy,  they’re mourning.  Yes, even after months or years.  Unexpected tears at hearing a song, thinking you saw the bereaved, having a dream, all these things are normal. As friends or loved ones, it’s a gift  you give them to let them continue to love their deceased loved one however they need to.

Ascension has a Bereavement Support Ministry that stays in touch with our bereaved parishioners for the first year after the death and a support group that meets the 1st Saturday of the month after a Mass for breakfast, support, prayer and an occasional speaker.  Please contact jean in the office for more information

Respite Care

Ministry of Care HeartCorporal Work of Mercy:  Care for the Sick

Spiritual Work of Mercy:  Comfort the Afflicted/To pray for the Living and the Dead

respite            RESPITE CARE
Respite is a rewarding ministry giving companionship and care to a homebound person; while allowing their caregiver some much needed time away. Men and women are needed to become volunteers. Volunteers serve in their own parish. You must go through training prior to becoming a volunteer. If you are a care giver or are ill and could use a volunteer, or if you would like to become a volunteer, please contact Mary Ann Woodward  @ or 897-3258 or Jean in the office.

 Click here for an inspiring story! :Help make the world a little kinder and more compassionate by reading this