Sunday, July 26, 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. Working 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 (Seventeenth Sunday of Ordinary Time, Cycle B) we read from the Gospel of John about Jesus' feeding of the multitudes. We see how a small child who was willing to share his two fish and five loaves of bread allowed Jesus to model disciple-ship: we must act in the face of need and want.

In Catholic Charities we must always find ways to assist persons, families and communities in need. We must learn from Jesus' example to act even with the small amount we think we might have at our disposal. Sometimes it is a listening ear; maybe a welcoming smile and show of hospitality; maybe a phone call to another agency to help access assistance; maybe a word of comfort is all that may be needed to act in Jesus' name. I know that our Catholic Charities agencies do the best they can with the resources at our disposal. Many miracles of caring for others, despite lack of resources, happen each day. But image what we can do to help people break out of poverty if others shared their simple gifts or donated any amount to help care for others as their action for love. I take this opportunity to thank all of our donors for their generosity and call others to learn from Jesus' actions to care for others. One way to act is to provide a donation to the Bishop's Appeal for Catholic Charities and Church and/or to Catholic Charities itself.

Reflection from Pope Benedict XVI's Encyclical, Caritas in Veritate: "Without truth, charity degenerates into sentimentality. Love becomes an empty shell, to be filled in an arbitrary way. In a culture without truth, this is the fatal risk facing love. It falls prey to contingent subjective emotions and opinions, the word 'love' is abused and distorted, to the point where it comes to mean the opposite. Truth frees charity from the constraints of an emotionalism that deprives it of relational and social content, and of a fideism that deprives it of human and universal breathing-space. In the truth, charity reflects the personal yet public dimension of faith in the God of the Bible, who is both Agápe and Lógos: Charity and Truth, Love and Word." (Caritas in Veritate, par 3).

N.B. Note: Please consider joining our new Twitter account, CCDOY, for current updates and calls to action that we can all use.

Some important date(s) this week:

Wednesday, July 29. St. Martha. Martha, Mary and their brother Lazarus were evidently close friends of Jesus. He came to their home simply as a welcomed guest, rather than as one celebrating the conversion of a sinner like Zacchaeus or one unceremoniously received by a suspicious Pharisee. The sisters feel free to call on Jesus at their brother’s death, even though a return to Judea at that time seems almost certain death.

No doubt Martha was an active sort of person. On one occasion (see Luke 10:38-42) she prepares the meal for Jesus and possibly his fellow guests and forthrightly states the obvious: All hands should pitch in to help with the dinner.

Yet, as biblical scholar Father John McKenzie points out, she need not be rated as an “unrecollected activist.” The evangelist is emphasizing what our Lord said on several occasions about the primacy of the spiritual: “...[D]o not worry about your life, what you will eat [or drink], or about your body, what you will wear….But seek first the kingdom [of God] and his righteousness” (Matthew 6:25b, 33a); “One does not live by bread alone” (Luke 4:4b); “Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness…” (Matthew 5:6a).

Martha’s great glory is her simple and strong statement of faith in Jesus after her brother’s death. “Jesus told her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?’ She said to him, ‘Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world’” (John 11:25-27).

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

July 25-26, 2009 – Did you know that with the troubled economy, domestic violence is on the rise? That’s because stress caused by a lack of work and the inability to find new work can lead spouses to take out their frustrations on partners and children. Catholic Charities Regional Agency offers domestic violence shelter services in Columbiana County through Christina House. For more information, call 330-420-0036.


JULY 2008
That there may be an increase in the number of those who volunteer to serve the Christian community with generous and prompt availability
That World Youth Day in Sydney, Australia, may kindle the fire of divine love in numerous young people and render them sowers of hope for a new humanity

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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