Monday, September 13, 2010

Bertie County

Easily overlooked as one drives through North Carolina near the Eastern shore, are a couple of Glenmary Missions in Bertie County. Until 2004 there had never been a Catholic church in this community. Currently it is being served by Glenmarians, Br Curt Kedley, Bro. Jack Henn and Fr. Chet Artysiewicz. Students Jason Muhlenkamp and Clive Otieno are also both stationed there for one year mission experience. With so many Glenmarians present the community has a lot of positive energy and life. Unfortunately though, even with that many missioners in the county, the percentage of Catholics in the county has not changed much, still less than 1 percent. The Church is growing and all of the Glenmarians are extremely involved in the community, visiting folks, delivering food and working for the spiritual welfare of everyone in the community. And there are a lot of needs, for example the number of persons living below the poverty level is around 25% of the population, almost double the national average which is 13%. Lots of other statistics about this county and many other mission counties can be found on Glenmary’s Research Center website. I particularly like the maps which I think really demonstrate the mission needs. Anyone considering a missionary vocation can see the need right here in the U.S is tremendous. Curt, Jack and Chet are all doing a great job but so much more could be done with more people responding to the call…

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