A Ministry That Takes Many Forms
Father Ken Deasy has been a source of inspiration in my life. I’m honored to assist him in this new mission.
Most traditional charities are so specialized – they limit who they help and how they do it – but Father Ken’s ministry takes many forms. One day, he’s helping a Los Angeles gang member get off the streets or fixing lunches for the homeless. The next week, he’s building orphanage in Haiti or a church in South Sudan.
His ministry is bigger than any single program or bureaucratic initiative. Father Ken’s true mission is to help people discover their dignity and sense of purpose. It’s in realizing that “God has a plan for us” doesn’t mean we’re supposed to just accept whatever comes our way. It means that we are the plan.
And now, through Father Ken’s Vineyard, we have a new way to turn that plan into reality.
As the student body president of Bainbridge High School, I was looking to find a humanitarian effort for the student body to support. I knew of Father Ken’s work through my mother, who went to grade school with him. When I met him he helped me understand the lasting devastation that the 2010 Haiti earthquake had caused. When a fresh crisis emerges in the media, it grabs the spotlight and old news loses attention. Once the news coverage shifted away from the Haiti, support organizations moved their focus elsewhere, leaving Haitians still in need. Father Ken however, continues his work in Haiti. That devotion to mission drew me to Father Ken.
The Montfort Institute for Blind and Deaf Orphans, a boarding school in Haiti, was destroyed in the 2010 earthquake. This is one example of the mission projects Father Ken supports. When I brought the idea to my school’s administration, I was shot down. They argued that students already had several humanitarian efforts that they had supported for years.
I appealed to our club Social Justice League for support. They backed my efforts, which helped me establish my plan as an official school fundraising effort. To raise the funds I sold bracelets and other jewelry items during our lunch breaks. I coordinated with the non-profit Friends of Montfort, a 501(c) that raises money to supply the boarding school orphans with medical supplies, food and shelter.
With the help of others, I was able to overcome the initial objections and rally student support for Father Ken’s continuing work with the school. I have introduced the new student body officers to Father Ken and I have reason to hope that they will continue the supporting the cause. We raised just short of $400 for Father Ken’s Vineyard, Inc., and we hold the distinction of being the first outside donors!
Kathryn and Paul Gangi
Supporting Help and Hope
I met Father Ken at a meeting of Catholics in Media Associates (CIMA) when Father Ken was the Director. My husband Paul and I attended some of the annual CIMA award ceremonies and were enchanted with Father Ken’s unorthodox but spiritual approach to humanity.
I was especially grateful to Father Ken for reaching out to my relatives in Louisiana through canonization efforts for Mother Henriette DeLille, founder of the Sisters of the Holy Family, who is one of my ancestors. My mother, Verlie De Cuir and members of the Holy Family Order were able to meet at a Mass said by Father Ken at St. Agatha’s, the Los Angeles church where Father Ken was pastor for 10 years. It is said, “With God, there are no coincidences.”
My husband Paul and I encourage others to contribute to Father Ken’s Vineyard because of the hope and real help Father Ken provides to needy children and young adults. We appreciate how hard he works to collect donations and deliver 100% of the cash and supplies to change lives in a powerful way. His pictures of the children in Haiti reflect joy and happiness that would be unlikely if Father Ken had not helped build the shelters, obtained clothing and food for the children and then best of all, shared Jesus.
This is why we support Father Ken and his ministry. We pray for God’s blessings on Ken and for his health and safety as he continues to bring the love of Jesus to the less fortunate.