Saturday, September 20, 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 (25th Ordinary Time Sunday Cycle A) we read in the Gospel of Matthew about Jesus' story of how God's mind differs from our human perspective. The First Reading from Isaiah calls all people to search for God, and find in our God that place of love, compassion, and joy. St Paul calls us to live the life that is worthy of the Gospel. The parable of Jesus tells of the various groups of workers chosen to work within an agreement for a fair wage. Five different groups are engaged to work at different hours of the day. All are paid exactly the same. Why? Should those that worked longer expect to get paid more than those who only worked for an hour? Maybe within our human limitations, we tend to look for our own advantage and ask what is in it for us. Maybe we think only in terms of strict comparative justice. Maybe we just want to be disgruntled and compare ourselves to others. I believe that Jesus' message is more radical: God's justice is marked by his love, mercy and compassion. It is not about strict human legal justice. Jesus challenges us to be different, very different: we are called to be servants.

At Catholic Charities, we are that place where persons in need can touch the Good News of Jesus. We are that ministry and outreach of the Church which provides a face -- a compassionate hand, a place of mercy and love -- of God. We are called to be very different than other agencies working for the same goals. Catholic Charities is a witness to the ministry of Jesus today. Thanks for all you do.

Some important date(s) this week:

SATURDAY, 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 the poor, the vassals and tenants and the 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 Frederic Ozanam.


That those who are forced to leave home and country because of war or oppressive regimes may be supported by Christians in the defense and protection of their rights.
That faithful to the sacrament of matrimony every Christian family may cultivate the values of love and communion in order to be a small evangelizing community, sensitive and open to the material and spiritual needs of others

Corporal Works of Mercy: The seven practices of charity toward our neighbor
Feed the hungry
Give drink to the thirsty
Clothe the naked
Shelter the homeless
Visit the sick
Visit those in prison
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:

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