Sunday, April 21, 2013

MONDAY MORNING MISSION MEDITATION for the week of April 21, 2013

Catholic Charities.
Providing Help. Creating Hope. 

VISION: Believing in the presence of God in our midst, we proclaim the sanctity of human life and the dignity of the person by sharing in the mission of Jesus given to the Church. To this end, Catholic Charities works with individuals, families, and communities to help them meet their needs, address their issues, eliminate oppression, and build a just and compassionate society.

MISSION: Rooted in the Mission of the Diocese of Youngstown "to minister to the people in the six counties of northeastern Ohio . . .(and) to the world community", we are called to provide service to people in need, to advocate for justice in social structures, and to call the entire Church and other people of good will to do the same.

GOALS: Catholic Charities is devoted to helping meet basic human needs, strengthening families, building communities and empowering low-income people. Working to reduce poverty in half by 2020.

KEY VALUE: Hospitality

WHAT WE DO: Organizing Love. "As a community, the Church must practise love. Love thus needs to be organized if it is to be an ordered service to the community" (Deus Caritas Est, par. 20) 

On Sunday, (Fourth Sunday of Easter )  we read from the Gospel of John about Jesus’ promise that He is the Good Shepherd, and that He and the Father are one.  Though many of us may not know much about agricultural life and husbandry (how does one tend to sheep?), the image of the Good Shepherd helps us all to understand better God’s relationship with us:  a loving protector and care taker.  Even though the people that encountered Jesus first hand during his life rejected him, the Apostles continue to expand their inclusion of all peoples into God’s fold.  Paul and Barnabas witness to God’s all inclusive love and acceptance of all people.  The Book of Revelation reveals that these followers of Jesus, all of them,  will find great hope, peace and love “For the Lamb who is in the center of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to springs of life-giving water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

Catholic Charities  (  continues to reach out to all persons, regardless of their religious beliefs, their origin of birth, their race -- no matter who they are -- to provide help and create hope.  Persons and families that come to Catholic Charities for assistance hopefully will find an attitude of welcome and hospitality, just as Jesus would welcome His sheep.  Catholic Charities does the best it can to help persons, families and communities to obtain the help they need for both the short and long term.  Thanks to your constant support to the Annual Bishop’s Appeal for Catholic Charities and Church ( we continue to give persons, families and communities the welcome and hope that they need, knowing that they are truly loved by God.  

Reflection from Church Documents and Official Statements

Pope Francis:  On Bearing Witness
April 15, 2013 (

Here is a translation of the address delivered by Pope Francis before and after the recitation of the Regina Caeli to the faithful gathered at St. Peter's Square.

Dear brothers and sisters, hello!

I would like to reflect briefly on the passage from the Acts of the Apostles that is read in the liturgy of this third Sunday of Easter. This text reports that the first preaching of the Apostles in Jerusalem filled the city with the news that Jesus was truly risen, according to the Scriptures, and that he was the Messiah proclaimed by the prophets. The high priests and the leaders of the city tried to destroy the community of believers in Christ at its birth and had the Apostles imprisoned, ordering them not to stop teaching in his name. But Peter and the other 11 answered: “God must be obeyed rather than men. The God of our fathers raised Jesus ... God exalted him at his right hand as leader and savior ... and we are the witnesses of these things together with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 5:29-32). So, they had the Apostles flogged and ordered them again to stop speaking in the name of Jesus. And they went away, the Scripture says, “rejoicing that they had been found worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name of Jesus” (5:41).

I ask myself: Where did the first disciples find the power for this witness of theirs? And, moreover: Where did their joy and courage to preach despite the obstacles and violence come from?   To Read More....

Some important date(s) this week:

See website for biographies of Saints and Blessed celebrated this week.

THURSDAY APRIL 25  St. Pedro de San José Betancur  (1626-1667)

Central America claimed its first saint with the canonization of Pedro de San José Betancur by Pope John Paul II in Guatemala City on July 30, 2002. Known as the "St. Francis of the Americas," Pedro de Betancur is the first saint to have worked and died in Guatemala.

Calling the new saint an “outstanding example” of Christian mercy, the Holy Father noted that St. Pedro practiced mercy “heroically with the lowliest and the most deprived.” Speaking to the estimated 500,000 Guatemalans in attendance, the Holy Father spoke of the social ills that plague the country today and of the need for change.

“Let us think of the children and young people who are homeless or deprived of an education; of abandoned women with their many needs; of the hordes of social outcasts who live in the cities; of the victims of organized crime, of prostitution or of drugs; of the sick who are neglected and the elderly who live in loneliness,” he said in his homily during the three-hour liturgy.

Pedro very much wanted to become a priest, but God had other plans for the young man born into a poor family on Tenerife in the Canary Islands. Pedro was a shepherd until age 24, when he began to make his way to Guatemala, hoping to connect with a relative engaged in government service there. By the time he reached Havana, he was out of money. After working there to earn more, he got to Guatemala City the following year. When he arrived he was so destitute that he joined the bread line that the Franciscans had established.

Soon, Pedro enrolled in the local Jesuit college in hopes of studying for the priesthood. No matter how hard he tried, however, he could not master the material; he withdrew from school. In 1655 he joined the Secular Franciscan Order. Three years later he opened a hospital for the convalescent poor; a shelter for the homeless and a school for the poor soon followed. Not wanting to neglect the rich of Guatemala City, Pedro began walking through their part of town ringing a bell and inviting them to repent.
Other men came to share in Pedro's work. Out of this group came the Bethlehemite Congregation, which won papal approval after Pedro's death. A Bethlehemite sisters' community, similarly founded after Pedro's death, was inspired by his life of prayer and compassion.

He is sometimes credited with originating the Christmas Eve posadas procession in which people representing Mary and Joseph seek a night's lodging from their neighbors. The custom soon spread to Mexico and other Central American countries.  Pedro was canonized in 2002.


Please continue to help us fill Harriet’s Cupboard!

Catholic Charities Regional Agency is asking you to continue to help fill Harriet’s Cupboard.  We have had several donations since this program launched in January.  Your generosity is amazing and greatly appreciated.

2013 Annual Bishop’s Appeal for Catholic Charities and Church.  

The in Church/parish appeal is now underway.  Please consider a gift to help support the work of Catholic Charities and other ministries of the Diocese of Youngstown

APRIL 2013
Liturgy, Source of Life. That the public, prayerful celebration of faith may give life to the faithful.
Mission Churches. That mission churches may be signs and instruments of hope and resurrection.

Corporal Works of Mercy:  The seven practices of charity toward our neighbor

  1. Feed the hungry
  2. Give drink to the thirsty
  3. Clothe the naked
  4. Shelter the homeless
  5. Visit the sick
  6. Visit those in prison
  7. Bury the dead

Note: Please consider joining our
for current updates and calls to action that we can all use. 

See our website at for links to the our ministries and services.    
For more information on Catholic Social Doctrine and its connection to our ministries, visit my blog at:

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