Saturday, February 7, 2009


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: 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. Committed to work 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 (5th Week of Ordinary Time Cycle B) we hear about Jesus' accepted mission: proclaim the good news always and in all ways. People are seeking him out; he heals an in-law of a friend who then "waited on them." We read from the Book of Job about his anxiety, fears and ruminations about the drudgery of work and life. We witness, on the other hand, St. Paul providing his testimony that he is willing and able to preach the gospel in all aspects of his life without fear. Both Job and St. Paul believe that God is with them and is their hope.

In Catholic Charities we are called -- day in and day out -- to be there to provide healing and care for persons and families in need. Sometimes it may seem like "drudgery" but like St. Paul we remain committed to the work of service in the name of the Church, continuing the very work of Jesus in healing and caring for those who are in need, feel lost and find themselves in misery. We must continue to become refreshed in the Spirit as we face new times filled with anxiety, fear and dismay. Giving hope is our on-going call.

Some important date(s) this week:

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 11. Our Lady of Lourdes. World Day of the Sick. On December 8, 1854, Pope Pius IX proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception in the apostolic constitution Ineffabilis Deus. A little more than three years later, on February 11, 1858, a young lady appeared to Bernadette Soubirous. This began a series of visions. During the apparition on March 25, the lady identified herself with the words: “I am the Immaculate Conception.” Bernadette was a sickly child of poor parents. Their practice of the Catholic faith was scarcely more than lukewarm. Bernadette could pray the Our Father, the Hail Mary and the Creed. She also knew the prayer of the Miraculous Medal: “O Mary conceived without sin.” During interrogations Bernadette gave an account of what she saw. It was “something white in the shape of a girl.” She used the word aquero, a dialect term meaning “this thing.” It was “a pretty young girl with a rosary over her arm.” Her white robe was encircled by a blue girdle. She wore a white veil. There was a yellow rose on each foot. A rosary was in her hand. Bernadette was also impressed by the fact that the lady did not use the informal form of address (tu), but the polite form (vous). The humble virgin appeared to a humble girl and treated her with dignity. Through that humble girl, Mary revitalized and continues to revitalize the faith of millions of people. People began to flock to Lourdes from other parts of France and from all over the world. In 1862 Church authorities confirmed the authenticity of the apparitions and authorized the cult of Our Lady of Lourdes for the diocese. The Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes became worldwide in 1907.

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 15. White Mass to celebrate the World Day of the Sick, at St. Columba Cathedral, 10:30 AM Liturgy, Bishop George V. Murry, SJ, presider.
The World Day of the Sick is sponsored by the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care and has been celebrated since 1992 on the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. This celebration is a reminder to pray for all those who are sick and to recognize and honor those who work in healthcare and those who serve as caregivers.


February 2009
General: That the Pastors of the Church may always be docile to the action of the Holy Spirit in their teaching and in their service to God's people.

Mission: That the Church in Africa may find adequate ways and means to promote reconciliation, justice and peace efficaciously, according to the indications of the Synod of the Bishops’ Special Assembly for Africa.

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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