Friday, August 22, 2008


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: 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.

KEY VALUE: Hospitality

On Sunday (21st Ordinary Time Sunday, Cycle A) we read in the Gospel how Jesus takes an opinion poll and then asks a pointed but profound question which changes history. In the first question, he asks his Apostles who others say that he is. Like in modern opinion polls, the Apostles all respond with reports of others' opinions about the nature and role of Jesus. Then Jesus asks a question that only one person, Simon, stops and answers: Who do YOU say that I am? This is a moment of truth: The Apostles have to declare who they say Jesus is. Only Simon, thereafter called Peter (The Rock), dares to answer: You are the Christ.....this declaration is the first time that the identity of Jesus is revealed most fully. It is a turning point in cosmic history: we now know the WORD personally.

In Catholic Charities we are constantly challenged with better understanding, and explaining, what Catholic identity is and means. Many have opinions. One of the key insights of our Catholic identity comes from the fact that we are connected to the Bishop of the Diocese. The Bishop, as successor from the Apostles, links us to the universal Church, and to that very moment in history when Peter proclaimed his knowledge of the Christ. But what does it mean practically? Our Catholic identity means that we are called to serve like Jesus in the name of the Church. like our Vision and Mission statements attest. When people come to our places of services we represent the Church in providing healing, compassion, mercy and love.
Thanks for all you do.


N.B. This past Wednesday and Thursday, I accompanied representative from the Raymond John Wean Foundation to St. Paul, MN, to visit a micro finance and alternative credit program for low income persons. It was a partnership between Lutheran Social Services, US Federal Credit Union and Thrivent Financial Services. This project aims to provide financial counseling, coaching, employment aid, tax services and direct financial services to persons considered outside the banking system (check cashing, payday advance lending and other such services with a heart and mission to empower people). This project, Eastside Financial Center ( sponsored by Lutheran Social Services, has been recognized as a Center for Working Families. Anxious to have a discussion about this interesting collaborative project.

Some important date(s) this week:

THURSDAY, AUGUST 28. St. Augustine of Hippo. (354-430) A Christian at 33, a priest at 36, a bishop at 41: many people are familiar with the biographical sketch of Augustine of Hippo, sinner turned saint. But really to get to know the man is a rewarding experience. There quickly surfaces the intensity with which he lived his life, whether his path led away from or toward God. The tears of his mother, the instructions of Ambrose and, most of all, God himself speaking to him in the Scriptures redirected Augustine’s love of life to a life of love. Having been so deeply immersed in creature-pride of life in his early days and having drunk deeply of its bitter dregs, it is not surprising that Augustine should have turned, with a holy fierceness, against the many demon-thrusts rampant in his day. His times were truly decadent—politically, socially, morally. He was both feared and loved, like the Master. The perennial criticism leveled against him: a fundamental rigorism.In his day, he providentially fulfilled the office of prophet. Like Jeremiah and other greats, he was hard-pressed but could not keep quiet. “I say to myself, I will not mention him,/I will speak in his name no more./But then it becomes like fire burning in my heart,/imprisoned in my bones;/I grow weary holding it in,/I cannot endure it” (Jeremiah 20:9).



That the human family may learn to respect God’s plan for the world and become ever more aware that Creation is God’s great gift.
That the answer of the entire people of God to the common calling to holiness and mission may be promoted and fostered by means of careful discernment of charisms and constant commitment to spiritual and cultural formation

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

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:

peace, brian

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