Saturday, September 6, 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 (23rd Ordinary Time Sunday, Cycle A) we hear Jesus discuss a progressive process of reconciliation between persons: confront someone privately, bring in the Church if that fails. Jesus continues to discuss how we can be assured that like of old -- when there was a need for two witnesses -- that God is with us whenever two or three are gathered in his name. We find in the reading from the book of the prophet Ezekiel that he is responsible to denounce injustice and help others find God. The Letter to the Romans is real clear about the core of the message of Jesus: the whole law is fulfilled in loving one another.

In Catholic Charities, we too are called like the prophets of old to be responsible to announce injustices and help people find their way to God. We are called, like in the Gospel, to help people bridge their differences and find avenues of reconciliation with themselves, their neighbors, the world around them, and with God. In Catholic Charities, we are called to be witnesses to the fundamental norm of Christian living: to love God and to love our neighbor. We are called to be corporate witnesses on how the message of reconciliation and justice is made real.

Some important date(s) this week:

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 8. Birth of Mary. Probably originated after the Council of Ephesus in 431, which established her right to the title of "Mother of God." It was first mentioned in a hymn composed by Saint Romanus, an ecclesiastical lyrist of the Greek Church; adopted by the Roman Church in the17th century.

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 9. St. Peter Claver (1581-1654). Farmer's son. Studied at the University of Barcelona. Jesuit from age 20. Priest. Influenced by Saint Alphonsus Rodriguez to become a missionary in America. Ministered, physically and spiritually, to slaves when they arrived in Cartegena, converting a reported 300,000, and working for humane treatment on the plantations for 40 years. Organized charitable societies among the Spanish in America similar to those organized in Europe by Saint Vincent de Paul.

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 7 or TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 9. Blessed Frederic Ozanam (1813- died on September 8, 1853) A man convinced of the inestimable worth of each human being, Frederick served the poor of Paris well and drew others into serving the poor of the world. Through the St. Vincent de Paul Society, his work continues to the present day. A group dedicated to helping individuals in need under the patronage of St. Vincent de Paul formed around Frederick. After Frederick earned his law degree at the Sorbonne, he taught law at the University of Lyons. He also earned a doctorate in literature. Soon after marrying Amelie Soulacroix on June 23, 1841, he returned to the Sorbonne to teach literature. A well-respected lecturer, Frederick worked to bring out the best in each student. Meanwhile, the St. Vincent de Paul Society was growing throughout Europe. Paris alone counted 25 conferences.

NOTE: Catholic Charities USA, in partnership with many inter-faith organizations, have declared September 10-16 as a time to act on the issue of poverty. We are called upon to challenge all politicians and public decision makers to make poverty a major priority in international, federal, state and local public policy. We will be working with the local Youngstown Jewish Federation to call upon decision makers to commit themselves to work to reduce poverty in half by 2020.

NOTE: The Office of Social Action/Catholic Relief Services will participate in an international conference, Famine and Mass Violence, this weekend and early part of the week sponsored by the Center for Judaic and Holocaust Studies at Youngstown State University.


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 Catholic Charities website 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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