When Father Dennis Schenkel saw the campaign for First Responders to Poverty at Catholic Charities, he said, “I knew I needed to respond.”
A lifelong Catholic, Father Dennis has been a priest since 2008 and has served the Catholic Church of the Ascension as pastor for the last three years. But being a First Responder—a monthly donor to Catholic Charities of West Tennessee – allows him to serve in a different way.
‘’With Catholic Charities, there are other people who can benefit from my gift that I will never get to meet,” he said. “Catholic Charities is a chance to reach out to people who are not going to walk into my parish on a typical Sunday.”
During September, Catholic Charities is highlighting First Responders because monthly donors are vital to our ability to continue in our mission.
The image of First Responders captured the attention of Father Dennis because “when people have things happen to them and they can’t count on other people, like family or government, they can count on the Church – the people of God.’’
The mission of Catholic Charities in providing help and hope to people living in poverty is really the attitude that helped convert the first Christians during the Roman Empire, Father Dennis said.
“Christians were the first people to care for the poor as part of their mission and identity as a group,’’ he said. “When people saw the love that Christians had for one another and the poor, I think it changed the heart of an empire. And the mission of Catholic Charities is to help the poor and to change the heart of society.”
Learn more about becoming a First Responder here.