Sunday, April 28, 2013

MONDAY MORNING MISSION MEDITATION for the week of April 28, 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, (Fifth Sunday of Easter )  we read from the Gospel of John about Jesus’ proclamation of a new commandment that He modeled and left for His disciples and for us:  “I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”  We read in the Book of Revelation that this Love, made manifest in God being with us, is fulfilled in the life, witness, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus, the Second Person of the Trinity.  It is joyfully proclaimed, this Easter season, as always, that God makes “all things new.”  It is this Love, incarnated and modeled in Jesus, that God truly reveals Himself as an abundant gift of life.  God is not some distant cloud, but a real Person, and Encounter, with Love itself in the person of Jesus.  The promise of the Holy Spirit continues that Encounter today, in our very hearing of God’s Word of love.

Catholic Charities  (  is that agency of the local Bishop and the Church that works to “organize love” to connect, in solidarity, those who are willing to share with those who have some need that they cannot fulfill alone.  Further, it is the goal of Catholic Charities that all people recognize that we all have some gifts to share with each other, and that the resources shared help to live out our love of God and love of neighbor. A gentlemen, who did not have much financial backing, called me this past week.  I had encountered him on several occasions in helping to secure his needs.  I assumed his call was for more assistance.  However, he called to say that he had some extra clothes and wanted to share with others and if I could help him.  What a great way to see how each of us has gifts to share and we are called to live our love practically in solidarity with each other.  Catholic Charities takes its role in “organizing love” very seriously and works to help each person respond to the Love of God made real in Jesus himself.       Thanks to your constant support to the Annual Bishop’s Appeal for Catholic Charities and Church ( we continue to give persons, families and communities opportunities to share their love for God and neighbor by “organizing love” in the name of the Church.

Reflection from Church Documents and Official Statements

Pope Francis:  On Christ's Ascension

Vatican City, April 17, 2013 (

Here is a translation of the address Pope Francis gave April 17, 2013 during the general audience held in St. Peter's Square. He took up again the cycle of catechesis dedicated to the Creed and the Year of Faith.
* * *
Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning
In the Creed we find the affirmation that Jesus “ascended into Heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.” Jesus’ earthly life culminated with the event of the Ascension, namely, when He passed from this world to the Father and was raised to his right hand. What is the meaning of this event? What are its consequences for our life? What does it mean to contemplate Jesus seated at the right hand of the Father? We will let ourselves be guided on this by the evangelist Luke.
We will start from the moment in which Jesus decided to undertake his last pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Saint Luke notes: “When the days drew near for him to be received up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem” (Luke 9:51). While he “ascends” to the Holy City, where his “exodus” from this life will be accomplished, Jesus already sees the goal, Heaven, but he knows well that the way that will take him to the glory of the Father passes through the Cross, through obedience to the divine plan of love for humanity. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that READ MORE...

Some important date(s) this week:

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

MONDAY APRIL 29.  St. Catherine of Siena  (1347-1380)

The value Catherine makes central in her short life and which sounds clearly and consistently through her experience is complete surrender to Christ. What is most impressive about her is that she learns to view her surrender to her Lord as a goal to be reached through time.

She was the 23rd child of Jacopo and Lapa Benincasa and grew up as an intelligent, cheerful and intensely religious person. Catherine disappointed her mother by cutting off her hair as a protest against being overly encouraged to improve her appearance in order to attract a husband. Her father ordered her to be left in peace, and she was given a room of her own for prayer and meditation.

She entered the Dominican Third Order at 18 and spent the next three years in seclusion, prayer and austerity. Gradually a group of followers gathered around her—men and women, priests and religious. An active public apostolate grew out of her contemplative life. Her letters, mostly for spiritual instruction and encouragement of her followers, began to take more and more note of public affairs. Opposition and slander resulted from her mixing fearlessly with the world and speaking with the candor and authority of one completely committed to Christ. She was cleared of all charges at the Dominican General Chapter of 1374.

Her public influence reached great heights because of her evident holiness, her membership in the Dominican Third Order, and the deep impression she made on the pope. She worked tirelessly for the crusade against the Turks and for peace between Florence and the pope

In 1378, the Great Schism began, splitting the allegiance of Christendom between two, then three, popes and putting even saints on opposing sides. Catherine spent the last two years of her life in Rome, in prayer and pleading on behalf of the cause of Urban VI and the unity of the Church. She offered herself as a victim for the Church in its agony. She died surrounded by her "children" and was canonized in 1461.

Catherine ranks high among the mystics and spiritual writers of the Church. In 1939, she and Francis of Assisi were declared co-patrons of Italy. Paul VI named her and Teresa of Avila doctors of the Church in 1970. Her spiritual testament is found in The Dialogue.


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.

Administrators of Justice. That administrators of justice may act always with integrity and right conscience.
Seminaries. That seminaries, especially those of mission churches, may form pastors after the Heart of Christ, fully dedicated to proclaiming the Gospel.

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

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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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