This week Steve and Kathy Ford hosted a gathering for the Community Catholic Center (CCC), which is a non-profit organization that works in the Portland and West Louisville neighborhoods to assist families in providing a Catholic education to their children.   Jennifer Lieras, a parent that has been assisted by the CCC, shared a powerful witness at this event that is captured below: 

My name is Jennifer Lieras, and I have been a member of Community Catholic Center for 10 years.  I have three children, all of whom are currently attending a Catholic school.  Marissa is a freshman at Presentation Academy; Seth and Derrick are both attending St. Leonard Elementary School.

Having my children receive a Catholic education has always been important to me. I want my children to have a sense of right and wrong.  I want them to love and love deeply. I want them to understand sacrifice and making difficult choices because those choices are the right ones.  I want them to stand up for what they believe in. I want my children to pray and to recognize the power prayer has over us, and I hope that they find beauty in the Rosary, grow to love like our Blessed Mother, and learn to treasure our Church.

Over the past 10 years, Community Catholic Center has helped my family grow in faith, value, and love.  Community Catholic Center is not at all a “center” to me; it has become part of my family.  I feel like the Center has helped me to become a better parent, a greater companion, and a more distinguished person.  CCC has shown me that there are people out there that care about my family.  I can call or go to the CCC office anytime, and I am welcomed with smiling faces and open arms.  Whether it is to laugh, cry, or vent, Heidi is always there to say “what can I do to help?” The Center has been there for me through times of trial and guided me along my life’s path.

Community Catholic Center has truly gone above and beyond to educate, empower, and inspire our children. They have provided education, counseling, and tutoring and have organized family functions, retreats, and mission trips.  My daughter recently went to the Appalachian Mountains with CCC and Hand in Hand Ministries, and this was a life-changing experience for her.

Many families in our neighborhood do not have money for emergencies.  Most live day to day or check to check, hoping that nothing happens to divert their funds from where they have been designated. Some have to scrounge to make sure bills are paid on time or at least before services get cut off. Sending your kids to a Catholic school is not an option for most families living in our neighborhood.  If it were not for CCC, it would not be an option for my family.

All of you that are here tonight and others that are not have truly changed my life and the life of my children. You have made the impossible become possible.  You have made my dream a reality.  Because of you, many children from this community will have a chance to do something more with their lives and get a chance to be something more.  We all wish the best for our children, no matter where they come from.  Because of you and CCC, now my children have that chance; they have a shot at a brighter future.  They have opportunities that they would not have had otherwise.

Thank you for your kindness and generosity. Thank you for believing in the Community Catholic Center and its mission but most of all thank you for believing in our children.

For more information about the Community Catholic Center and how you can help, go here.

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