Saturday, February 21, 2009

MONDAY MORNING MISSION MEDITATION for week of February 22, 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 (7th Week of Ordinary Time Cycle B ) we read in Mark's Gospel about the faith of the four friends who lower their 'neighbor' through the roof of the house in which Jesus is residing and preaching the Good News. These four carriers cannot break through the crowds to have Jesus touch their sick friend in the hopes of being healed. They take the radical step of breaking through the roof. This hope and faith echo the first reading by the Prophet Isaiah which reports God's proclamation that "see, I am doing something new!"

In Catholic Charities we have persons visit us each day who have a need for similar relief and a word of hope. As the economy shifts, we see an increase in families and persons coming to our agencies for basic help with utilities, food and rent. We must constantly work to re-organize our way of being in solidarity with people in their needs and fears. Like in the prophet Isaiah, we too are called to do things differently and in "new" ways in order to best respond to the current economic reality. Catholic Charities remains a place where a person knows that regardless of their situation, they can find a place of hope and help.

Some important date(s) this week:

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 25. Ash Wednesday; the First Day of the Lenten Season. Although Ash Wednesday is not a Catholic holy day of obligation, it is an important part of the season of Lent. The first clear evidence of Ash Wednesday is around 960, and in the 12th century people began using palm branches from the previous Palm Sunday for ashes.Visit article, "Ash Wednesday Our Shifting Understanding of Lent" for more reflections.

Consider participating in OPERATION RICE BOWL, as part of your annual Lenten practice of almsgiving, prayer, fasting and learning. This year's theme is: "Solidarity will transform the World." 75% of the procedures is used by Catholic Relief Services () for their work in over 90 countries providing humanitarian relief and long term development in the name of the US Catholic Bishops. 25% of this collection remains in the Diocese of Youngstown providing grants to parishes, groups and Catholic Charities, to provide food for those in need.

A Prayer for Ash Wednesday

Blessed are you, O Lord our God, the all-holy one, who gives us life and all things. As we go about our lives, the press of our duties and activities often leads us to forget your presence and your love. We fall into sin and fail to live out the responsibilities that you have entrusted to those who were baptized into your Son.

In this holy season, help us to turn our minds and hearts back to you. Lead us into sincere repentance and renew our lives with your grace. Help us to remember that we are sinners, but even more, help us to remember your loving mercy.

As we live through this Ash Wednesday, may the crosses of ashes that mark our foreheads be a reminder to us and to those we meet that we belong to your Son. May our worship and prayer and penitence this day be sustained throughout these 40 days of Lent. Bring us refreshed and renewed to the celebration of Christ’s resurrection at Easter.

We ask this through your Son, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit for ever and ever. Amen.


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

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:

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