Sunday, September 22, 2013

MONDAY MORNING MISSION MEDITATION for the week of September 22, 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, (Twenty Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time )  we read from the Gospel of Luke about Jesus’ message about stewardship and focus.  Jesus’ message about the crafty steward who focused on things of “mammon” helps us to better understand how we are to “see” things in a new light.  Jesus tells it straight:  “you cannot serve both God and mammon.”  Jesus asks us as His disciples to focus on building up the Kingdom of God.  This Gospel message is paired with the first reading from the Prophet Amos, who warns the Israelites then, and us now, not to manipulate prices and goods, and not to “trample upon the needy.”  We are called, rather, to work for justice, alleviate poverty and build strong families and healthy communities.

Catholic Charities  ( stewards its resources -- gifts of time, treasure and talent -- from its donors, volunteers and staff, to be signs of God’s love in the world.  Through our services, advocacy and convening, Catholic Charities continues to work to reduce poverty by building strong and healthy families and communities.   Your gift to the  Annual Bishop’s Appeal for Catholic Charities and Church ( continues to provide much appreciated and needed support for the Church to organize love.

Reflection from Church Documents and Official Statements

POPE FRANCIS:  On the Mercy of God

Vatican City, September 16, 2013  ZENIT.ORG

Here is the translation of the Holy Father's address before and after the recitation of the Angelus on Sunday in St. Peter's Square.
* * *
Dear brothers and sisters, hello!
In (last week’s) liturgy we read chapter 15 of the Gospel of Luke, which contains 3 parables of mercy: that of the lost sheep, that of the lost coin, and then the longest of all the parables, unique to St. Luke, that of the of the father and the 2 sons, the “prodigal” son and the son who thinks he is “just,” who thinks he is holy. All 3 of these parables speak of God’s joy. God is joyful. This is interesting: God is joyful! And what is God’s joy? It is God’s joy to pardon, God’s joy is to pardon! It is the joy of a shepherd who finds his little sheep; the joy of a woman who finds her coin; it is the joy of a father who welcomes back into his house the son who was lost – it was as if he were dead and had come back to life, had come back home. Here is the whole Gospel! Here! Here is the whole Gospel, the whole of Christianity! But understand that it is not sentiment, it is not “do-goodism”! On the contrary, mercy is the true power that can save man and the world from the “cancer” of sin, moral evil, spiritual evil. Love alone fills the voids, the negative abysses that evil opens in the heart of history. Only love can do this, and this is God’s joy!
Jesus is all mercy, all love: he is God made man. Each of us, each of us, is that lost sheep, that lost coin; each of us is that son who has squandered his freedom following idols, mirages of happiness, and has lost everything. But God does not forget us, the Father never abandons us. He is a patient father, he is always waiting for us! He respects our freedom, but he always remains faithful. And when we return to him, he welcomes us as his children into his house because he never ceases, not even for a moment, to wait for us, with love. And his heart celebrates for every child that returns. It celebrates because it is joy. God has this joy when one of us sinners goes to him and asks forgiveness.
What is the danger? It is that we presume to be just, and judge others. We judge God too because we think that he ought to castigate sinners, condemn them to death, instead of forgiving them. This is how we court the danger of remaining outside the Father’s house! Like that older brother of the parable, who, instead of being happy because his brother had returned, gets angry with the father who welcomed him and celebrates. If there is no mercy in our heart, the joy of forgiveness, we are not in communion with God, even if we observe every precept, because it is love that saves, not merely following precepts. It is the love of God and neighbor that fulfills all the commandments. And this is God’s love, his joy: forgiveness. He always waits for us! Maybe someone has something heavy in his heart: “But I did this, I did that… .” He is waiting for you! He is a father: he is always waiting for us!
If we live by the law “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth for a tooth,” we will never get out of the spiral of evil. The Devil is clever, and he dupes us into thinking that with our human justice we can save ourselves and the world. In reality, only God’s justice can save us! And God’s justice is revealed in the cross: the cross is God’s judgment on all of us and this world. But how does God judge us? By giving his life for us! This is the supreme act of justice that defeated the Prince of this world once and for all; and this supreme act of justice is also the supreme act of mercy. Jesus calls all of us to follow this road: “Be merciful, as your Father is merciful” (Luke 6:36). I will ask you to do something now. In silence, everyone, let us all think… everyone think of a person with whom we are not in good stead, with whom we are angry, whom we dislike. Let us think of this person and in silence, at this moment, let us pray for this person and become merciful with this person. [There is a moment of silence for the prayer proposed by the Holy Father.]
Let us now call upon the intercession of Mary, Mother of Mercy.

Some important date(s) this week:

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

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 27.  St. Vincent de Paul (1580?-1660)

The deathbed confession of a dying servant opened Vincent's eyes to the crying spiritual needs of the peasantry of France. This seems to have been a crucial moment in the life of the man from a small farm in Gascony, France, who had become a priest with little more ambition than to have a comfortable life.

It was the Countess de Gondi (whose servant he had helped) who persuaded her husband to endow and support a group of able and zealous missionaries who would work among poor tenant farmers and country people in general. Vincent was too humble to accept leadership at first, but after working for some time in Paris among imprisoned galley-slaves, he returned to be the leader of what is now known as the Congregation of the Mission, or the Vincentians. These priests, with vows of poverty, chastity, obedience and stability, were to devote themselves entirely to the people in smaller towns and villages.
Later, Vincent established confraternities of charity for the spiritual and physical relief of the poor and sick of each parish. From these, with the help of St. Louise de Marillac, came the Daughters of Charity, "whose convent is the sickroom, whose chapel is the parish church, whose cloister is the streets of the city." He organized the rich women of Paris to collect funds for his missionary projects, founded several hospitals, collected relief funds for the victims of war and ransomed over 1,200 galley slaves from North Africa. He was zealous in conducting retreats for clergy at a time when there was great laxity, abuse and ignorance among them. He was a pioneer in clerical training and was instrumental in establishing seminaries.
Most remarkably, Vincent was by temperament a very irascible person—even his friends admitted it. He said that except for the grace of God he would have been "hard and repulsive, rough and cross." But he became a tender and affectionate man, very sensitive to the needs of others.
Pope Leo XIII made him the patron of all charitable societies. Outstanding among these, of course, is the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, founded in 1833 by his admirer Blessed Frédéric Ozanam (September 7).


The Church is for all God's children, rich and poor, peasants and scholars, the sophisticated and the simple. But obviously the greatest concern of the Church must be for those who need the most help—those made helpless by sickness, poverty, ignorance or cruelty. Vincent de Paul is a particularly appropriate patron for all Christians today, when hunger has become starvation, and the high living of the rich stands in more and more glaring contrast to the physical and moral degradation in which many of God's children are forced to live.


"Strive to live content in the midst of those things that cause your discontent. Free your mind from all that troubles you, God will take care of things. You will be unable to make haste in this [choice] without, so to speak, grieving the heart of God, because he sees that you do not honor him sufficiently with holy trust. Trust in him, I beg you, and you will have the fulfillment of what your heart desires" (St. Vincent de Paul, Letters).

Patron Saint of:



The 2012 First Step for Change Campaign was our most successful collection to date.  Can you help us do even better in the 2013 Campaign?  
The First Step for Change Campaign raises funds used to purchase food, formula, diapers, wipes, a limited numbers of cribs, car seats and other items for the low-income pregnant women and families in Catholic Charities’ First Step Programs.  In 2012, Catholic Charities’ First Step programs in the Diocese of Youngstown served 4,435 people.
To help ensure the success of this year’s campaign, please contact Nikole Baringer at or 330-744-8451, ext. 323.  Feel free to visit our website for more information or to obtain a participation form

Mark your calendars for Wednesday, October 16, 2013 and plan to celebrate the unity and identity of Catholic Charities’ services in the Diocese of Youngstown for the 16th Annual Voice of Hope Dinner.  All proceeds from the annual fundraising event hep to provide emergency assistance to individuals and families in need throughout the diocese.
Gather with others across the Diocese of Youngstown to honor the following as they receive their Voice of Hope awards:  Mr. Joseph Gorman, St. Edward Parish, Emmanuel Community Care Center.
If you would like to PURCHASE TICKETS, DONATE AN ITEM to our auction or be a SPONSOR please contact Nikole Baringer at, 330-744-8451, ext. 323 or visit our website  We hope to see you there!

A Prayer For The People Of Syria

Almighty eternal God, source of all compassion,
the promise of your mercy and saving help fills our hearts with hope.
Hear the cries of the people of Syria;
bring healing to those suffering from the violence,
and comfort to those mourning the dead.
Empower and encourage Syria’s neighbors
in their care and welcome for refugees.
Convert the hearts of those who have taken up arms,
and strengthen the resolve of those committed to peace.
O God of hope and Father of mercy,
your Holy Spirit inspires us to look beyond ourselves and our own needs.
Inspire leaders to choose peace over violence
and to seek reconciliation with enemies.
Inspire the Church around the world with compassion for the people of Syria,
and fill us with hope for a future of peace built on justice for all.
We ask this through Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace and Light of the World,
who lives and reigns for ever and ever.

For the people of Syria, that God may strengthen the resolve of leaders to end  the fighting and choose a future of peace.
We pray to the Lord…

[This prayer is adapted from Catholics Confront Global Poverty. . . , a collaborative effort of USCCB and Catholic Relief Services;]

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


Value of Silence. That people today, often overwhelmed by noise, may rediscover the value of silence and listen to the voice of God and their brothers and sisters.

Persecuted Christians. That Christians suffering persecution in many parts of the world may by their witness be prophets of Christ's love.

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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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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