In 1634, a mixture of Catholic and Protestant Christian settlers arrived in southern Maryland from England aboard two ships, the Ark and the Dove. They had come to Maryland at the invitation of a Catholic Lord Baltimore who had been granted the land by the Protestant King Charles I of England. While Catholics and Protestants had been killing each other on a regular basis for a number of years in Europe, Lord Baltimore articulated a vision for a community where people of different faiths could live together peacefully. His vision was soon crafted into the “Toleration Act” in 1649 or “Maryland’s 1649 Act Concerning Religion.” This was the first law in the history in our nation’s history to protect an individual’s right to freedom of conscience.
Like any freedom, religious freedom requires constant vigilance and protection or it will disappear. Maryland’s experience with religious toleration ended within a few decades. The colony was placed under royal control and the Church of England became the established religion. Discriminatory laws, including the loss of political rights, were enacted against those who refused to conform. For Catholics this meant the closing of chapels and a restriction to practicing their faith in their homes. The Catholics and other Christians lived under this coercion until the American Revolution.
The last couple of weeks, my wife and I decided to spend more time exploring all the “good” there is in the Kansas City community. By “good,” I mean all the fun and rewarding things to do as well as all the people serving others in remarkable ways.
On Friday evening, June 15th, at least 400 people gathered at Livestrong Park (home of Major League Soccer’s Sporting KC soccer team) and honored Monsignor Tom Tank, the current pastor of Ascension Parish in Overland Park, Kansas. Monsignor Tank had the vision to challenge local clergy, bankers, and community leaders in Wyandotte County to help tackle the problem of inadequate and deteriorating housing that was quickly leading to unsafe neighborhoods. In 1996, an organization called Catholic Housing (now known as Community Housing of Wyandotte County, or CHWC) was formed, and a slow revitalization of historic neighborhoods began to occur. CHWC has helped hundreds of families realize the “American Dream” of home ownership, and prompted development in a community that had not seen new construction in 85 years. CHWC also facilitated low-interest loans and home-repair grants for existing home owners, helped first-time buyers educate themselves regarding the home buying process, and offered financial and budgeting classes. So what has been the economic impact on the Kansas City community? Since 2006, CHWC has directly invested more than $16.5… Continue reading →
My mother, Rose Mary, is a special woman. Recently I was sitting with a group of men and we were discussing what we were most thankful for in our lives. The discussion was about unexpressed gratitude for things that we had taken for granted and had neglected to give thanks for. My answer was my mother’s love for me and all of her children, grandchildren, and now great grandchildren. My mother will be 77-years-old this June and I guess I would compare her love for all of us like the sun shining down on us. Most days we just take the sun for granted but it continues to shine and provide light and warmth for all that we need. In fact, how often does one stop and reflect about the sun and all that it provides for us? Well, mothers are very much the same even when children are ungrateful. Our mothers gave us life, and sometimes we take that life granted. “Unexpressed gratitude is like winking in the dark. You know how you feel about them, but they don’t.”
Well, it finally happened. My oldest son, Lamar Hunt III, graduated from college with three bachelor’s degrees – one in philosophy, one in math, and one in linguistics. He did so well at “The University of Kansas” that family members were obliged to attend not one but TWO recognition ceremonies. The first was a ceremony for those in… Continue reading →
Lamar Hunt, Jr. recorded a short video essay on the effect of sincerity in leadership and interpersonal relations earlier today.
Saturday evening, we were blessed to celebrate my wife Rita’s 60th birthday with about 100 friends and family. What always strikes me about events like this is the variety of people we have come to know over the years. Friendship can blossom in any setting, and my lovely wife is a testimony to that. There are, of course, family friendships that have deep strong roots and then there are friendships from shared activities or business relationships. Examples include things that Rita has participated in over the years, including tennis, aerobic dancing (jazzercise), and Bible study (to name a few).
To relate to others is to live. As part of the celebration of Rita’s 60 years, I asked someone to help me assemble a scrapbook of some of Rita’s most cherished moments. When I say “help,” I really mean “rescue.” You see, while I had a grand idea, I had no aptitude for the execution of that idea. Enter a new friend, Anna Slocum (scrapbooker extraordinaire) who my son-in-law, James Arkell, found through the “Scrapbook Page” store located at 13205 Shawnee Mission Parkway in Shawnee, Kansas. Anna did all of the actual work and I supplied her with information, ideas, and themes to incorporate. She handled the rest. One hundred and six pages, 203 pictures, and 83 mementos later, we had a two-volume scrapbook that reflects the joy and beauty of Rita’s… Continue reading →