Operation Breakthrough: Nearly a Half Century of Changing Lives

Operation Breakthrough: Kansas City, MO

On Oct. 25, BVMs Ann Chaput, Nancy McCarthy and Liz Seaman, Associates Nancy McCarville and Barb Roy, and Tricia Lothschutz spent the day at Operation Breakthrough in Kansas City, Mo. The immersion experience was planned by BVM Berta Sailer and Associate Susie Hope Roling.

After viewing DVDs depiciting the history of the center and showing the many ways the lives of children have been influenced and changed, the group toured the center and had the opportunity to hold and feed the babies. Lunch was shared with some of the mothers at Amethyst Place, a residence for women in recovery and their children.

The afternoon included helping in the food pantry and taking a bus tour. At some of the bus stops, parents would board and share their personal stories of how poverty, addiction or homelessness had affected their lives and families.

The name “Operation Breakthrough” was chosen to signify the desire to break through poverty. Today, some 45 years later, it is still waging the war on poverty while fighting social injustices and providing education to help change lives.

BVMs and associates were joined for supper by Operation Breakthrough staff, a woman assisted by the center, and one of her children. They shared reflections on BVM connections and charism. The next morning the group gathered with Susie Roling’s family at her home for breakfast and to bless her BVM associate commitment.

Nancy McCarville described the experience as “amazing.” The weekend stirred a renewed desire to continue to work for freedom, education, charity and justice.

—Elizabeth Seaman