Morning Glory Ministries’ gala raises $50,000

Inspired By Those We Serve, Morning Glory Ministries’ Nov. 9 fundraiser, raised $50,000 to support its programs. (Marty Denzer/Key photo)

By Marty Denzer
Catholic Key Associate Editor

KANSAS CITY — Way back when in 1980, the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception began a tradition of assisting its neighbors in need. Today, Morning Glory, the Cathedral’s assistance ministries, assist the homeless, the working poor and those needing emergency assistance for rent, prescriptions or utility payments in the downtown neighborhood.

Morning Glory Ministries has three programs: Morning Glory Café, Hospitality House and Emergency Assistance. Morning Glory Ministries staff and volunteers are inspired by those they serve. In fact, the annual gala fundraiser for the ministries, Nov. 9 this year, was named “Inspired By Those We Serve.”

About 160 supporters of the ministries, volunteers and several clients attended the gala, in the Cathedral’s Donnelly Hall, where the Morning Glory Café serves breakfast Tuesdays through Fridays.

Morning Glory Café opened in October of 2010 to 25 guests. By 2011, the numbers had increased to over 400 guests each week. The Café is open for breakfast Tuesday through Friday. The “cafe” atmosphere gives guests a reprieve; they know when they come, they are welcome as they are humbly served by compassionate, enthusiastic volunteers from Kansas City area churches, schools and businesses. Guests enjoy a delicious, healthy breakfast in a warm place. Volunteer groups often bring in special treats, including homemade breakfast casseroles, biscuits and gravy, or fresh fruit.  Every day, there is fresh orange juice, coffee, bagels, cold cereal and oatmeal.

Morning Glory Ministries Director Nate Smith was hired in Dec. 2016, and has learned how the volunteers staff the breakfasts and weekend lunches, pack the sack lunches and staff the emergency services ministry. In the past year, 35,000 guests and 70,000 meals have been served.

Smith said his favorite part of the day is sitting with guests at tables and listening to their hopes and dreams. “In this ministry, I get to serve as the hands and feet of Christ for our guests,” he said. “The smiles on their faces light up my day!”

Some of the café’s breakfast guests like to give back when they can, by washing dishes and cleaning up. One group cleaned and painted the room housing the café in cheerful, welcoming colors. It took them about three weeks to complete, Smith said.

The Hospitality House began serving sack lunches in the Cathedral’s courtyard in the late 1980s. The sack lunch program has grown into a Saturday and Sunday fine dining experience where between 300 to 400 people are served each weekend.

Emergency Assistance is open Tuesday through Friday morning from 8:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. Usually, 25-50 individuals arrive for help with groceries, rent, prescription or utility assistance to help tide them over until their next paycheck. Sometimes clients need transportation assistance in the form of a bus pass to get to work, doctor appointments or a job interview. Homeless clients often need hygiene items, a change of clothes or supplemental food to get by.

“I want to thank everyone who has supported Morning Glory Ministries from our humble beginnings to where we are at today,” Smith said. “I’ve been encouraged by the hard work of our volunteers and the compassion they have to continually meet the individual needs of our guests. They give up their time and always go above and beyond to make sure every guest has something to eat. Our volunteers are the heart and soul of Morning Glory Ministries.”

“Inspired By Those We Serve” raised just over $50,000, he said, including $1,000 for Feast with the Priests raffle tickets, $4,500 from the silent auction and $44,500 from ticket sales, donations and underwriting. And a good time was had by all.

For more information on Morning Glory Ministries, email Nate Smith,







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October 29, 2020
The Diocese of Kansas City ~ St. Joseph