Sunday, April 19, 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 (Second Sunday of Easter, Divine Mercy Sunday Cycle B) we read in the Gospel of John how Jesus engaged his closest friends even after they had abandoned him in his hour of need. Jesus enters the sealed room with the greeting: "Peace be with you." We witness immediately the power of Jesus' mercy and love: his bestows and models peace on and for his friends. This new model of peace and mercy led the early follower of the Lord to share all that they had so that no one was in need (Acts 4:32-35).

Today as we celebrate Diving Mercy Sunday we in Catholic Charities recommit ourselves to serve and welcome everyone with mercy and in peace who come to our agencies for assistance. We want to be of assistance to anyone who comes to our door to the best of our abilities: those who need help since they just lost their job and feel ashamed or embarrassed; those who need help to prevent eviction or foreclosure; those who are in a broken relationship and seek healing; those who have young children who need a caring ear; those who are homeless or sick and need immediate attention. We are called to show mercy and to be peacemakers. As we celebrate this eighth day of Easter, let's us recommit ourselves to this call.

Some important date(s) this week:

FRIDAY APRIL 24. St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen (1577-1622). If a poor man needed some clothing, Fidelis would often give the man the clothes right off his back. Complete generosity to others characterized this saint's life. Born in 1577, Mark Rey (Fidelis was his religious name) became a lawyer who constantly upheld the causes of the poor and oppressed people. Nicknamed "the poor man's lawyer," Fidelis soon grew disgusted with the corruption and injustice he saw among his colleagues. He left his law career to become a priest, joining his brother George as a Franciscan friar of the Capuchin Order. His wealth was divided between needy seminarians and the poor.As a follower of Francis, Fidelis continued his devotion to the weak and needy. Once, during a severe epidemic in a city where he was guardian of a friary, Fidelis cared for and cured many sick soldiers.

April 23-24. Workshops for Boards and Staff on The Catholic Charities USA Code of Ethics by Fr. Ragan Schriver of Catholic Charities of East Tennesse.

Sharing Hope In Tough Times: Catholic Charities Responds to Families Facing Economic Crisis

Reflection: When one of us suffers, we all suffer. Inviting a family who is experiencing an employment layoff to dinner can ease much suffering.

Prayer Intention: That in response to difficult financial times, Christians everywhere generously celebrate community with their friends and neighbors and share in a daily meal.


April 2009
General: That the Lord may bless the farmers with an abundant harvest and sensitise the richer populations to the drama of hunger in the world

Mission: That the Christians who work in areas where the conditions of the poor, the weak and the women and children are most tragic, may be signs of hope, thanks to their courageous testimony to the Gospel of solidarity and love.

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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