Sam and Lisa Knapp moved from Florida to Kentucky in 2011 and were immediately struck by the beauty and challenges within the Catholic Diocese of Lexington. This drew them to get involved. They found a welcoming church community at St. Mark in Richmond and were quickly asked to join parish ministries. They are passionate about their faith and giving back to others.
Bobbi Silver, diocesan director of development, recently spoke with Sam and Lisa to learn more about why they give so generously to the Diocesan Annual Appeal each year.
What does it mean to you to be Catholic?
LISA: As Catholics, we are our brother’s keeper, and we have a duty to care for one another. Our collective challenge, particularly in today’s environment, is to see Christ in others. We take this seriously. We believe that we show people to love God through our actions and service.
You both have been Catholic your entire lives.
What makes our faith special?
SAM: We love the rituals and traditions of the Catholic Church. We love that we can go to Mass anywhere in the world, and while it may be spoken in a different language, it is the same and there is deep meaning and comfort in that. We love being a part of something that is so much bigger than ourselves that helps us to be connected to other countries through worshipping in the same way. We have personally experienced this when we travelled and celebrated Mass in Mexico, Nicaragua, the Philippines and the U.S. Embassy in Saudi Arabia.
What draws you to give to the Diocesan Annual Appeal each year?
LISA: We are grateful to Bishop John Stowe for sharing the many needs in the missions and parishes in Appalachia, and he has been transparent about how the money is spent. We feel this transparency helps us to understand the impact that our gifts have on others that need it. We are called to share beyond the “tithe,” and knowing exactly where the funds are going makes our decision easy. There’s so much need out there. It is important to give back because that support is an answer to someone’s prayer. It is important to see how others are not as blessed as you. The plight of people in Appalachia and the glaring need hits home with us.
What would you say to someone who is considering making a gift to the Diocesan Annual Appeal this year?
SAM: Everything we have, every single thing, is a gift from God. It is humbling to see the need that exists in our diocese, and we invite anyone who can make a gift, no matter the amount, to join us. It is the best money you will spend, and it takes us all. There is low overhead in the Church compared to other organizations, and the funds make it to the intended purpose. The Catholic Church is known as a source of help in our communities and these funds go directly to keep our parishes operating and to provide much needed emergency assistance to anyone who calls upon us. This is how we live out our faith and set an example for our kids.