On Ash Wednesday, 12 Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth traveled to Topeka to join two other sister communities to deliver a letter supporting the expansion of Medicaid in Kansas to their legislators.

The trip was organized by Catholic Sisters of Kansas, which is comprised of six women religious communities in the state. Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, Benedictine Sisters of Mount St. Scholastica, and Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia were represented in Topeka.

Sister Amy Willcott, SCL, addressed the group, “We are here to make our voices heard. Since 1841, almost 20 years before Kansas became a state, Catholic sisters have been serving the needs of our brothers and sisters, advocating for those who don’t have a voice and who are overlooked.”

John Shively, Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation Lead Coordinator for the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, added, “We also know this is probably just the beginning. Some legislative leaders…would prefer we stop talking about Medicaid expansion entirely, and so it’s our responsibility as people of faith to keep this issue present, to keep our voices public, and to raise this issue on behalf of the poor and marginalized.”

The visit to the capitol began with a prayer service under the rotunda. About 25 sisters and laypeople were part of the letter delivery campaign that included a visit with Kansas Governor Laura Kelly, who thanked the sisters for caring so much about Medicaid expansion.

The letter was signed by 212 sisters and lay associates from across Kansas, representing the 1500 sisters and associates in the state.