History of Campton Mission:
Relationship with the Catholic Church of the Good Shepherd
In Campton (Appalachia), Kentucky
History of Our Parish Association with the Catholic Church of the Good Shepherd (“Campton Mission”)
About 25 years ago, the Archdiocese asked her parishes to form a twinning relationship with a “mission church” outside our Archdiocese. Adopting a mission church meant a willingness to offer spiritual and material support. Fr. Jim Meade was Pastor at the time. He consulted with our Pastoral Council, and all agreed this would be a great cause to support. We were assigned to help "Campton Mission." Our initial assistance consisted of an annual spring and fall food/clothing drive. After a few years, we added an annual school supplies and St. Nick Toy collections.
After about ten years of charitable giving, we asked them what else we can do. Specifically, we were looking for ways we could interact with the people of Campton in service and not simply help from afar. Consequently, Linda Kane and Jerry Barney, representing our parish, met with the Good Shepherd church’s Pastoral Life Coordinator, Sr. Amy Kistner, OFM and two of their parish leaders: Wanda Fields and Sheri Campbell. After a frank discussion about the severe poverty and hardship the community was suffering, we decided to do something positive for their “at risk” children. Our hope was to give them a positive experience of fun and also to celebrate their Appalachian culture. This led to the formation of an annual four-day summer camp called “Hope Mountain Camp” for children ages 8 to 12. Usually it is offered the third week of June. The children get to hike, make crafts, play games, create a quilt, dance, and most importantly for the kids – swim at the end of each day. Our giving team consists of adult chaperones from our Pastoral Staff as well as volunteers from our church. Most importantly college age and high school youth attend to mentor the “Campers”. A true cross-fertilization of cultures takes place whereby we learn as much from them as they from us. This wonderful event is hosted at the lovely mountain home of Scott Haas and Sheri Campbell-Haas.
Besides the assistance mentioned above, over the past 20 years we have also provided rehab/construction work in the following areas, which is typically done in a three-day weekend:
- assistance with a couple of Habitat for Humanity houses
- renovating their Thrift Store
- installing shelving and a deck with chair ramp for their Food Pantry
- repaired part of downed fencing, a damaged barn and roof on a nearby farm in West Liberty damaged by a tornado
- repaired/insulated a house trailer’s leaky roof and installed an independent circuit for the AC unit
- placed a "Little Free Library" in Campton, which is maintained by their local library
- created support for the pantry floor and installed an industrial refrigerator
Campton Mission is a rewarding ministry that our parish is proud to support. If you would like to pitch-in, please contact Annie Mesewicz, Pastoral Associate of Youth Ministry at firstname.lastname@example.org.