Sunday, September 13, 2009

MONDAY MORNING MISSION MEDITATION for week of September 13, 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: Rooted in the Mission of the Diocese of Youngstown, we are called 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 (Twenty-Fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time, Cycle B) we read from the Gospel of Mark about Jesus' question to his disciples: "Who do you same that I am?" He continues to probe the disciples inner beliefs, until Peter finally declares that Jesus is the Son of God. But almost immediately afterward Jesus explains to them that discipleship entails sacrifice, a new way of being, and maybe even death, that Peter rebukes Jesus for such an attitude. Sometimes we want discipleship to be easy or on own terms, not God's terms. We hear in the Letter from St. James that our lives will be a witness to our very faith by the works we do: we cannot stand by when someone asks for bread and we give them some pious platitude. We must act; act in a new way: out of love.

In Catholic Charities we provide opportunities for Catholics and others of good will to live out their faith by sharing their gifts to help our brothers and sisters in need. But we too, as Catholic Charities, must remain vigilant about who we are ourselves. We can never just be another good social service agency doing good work. Rather, as Catholic Charities we are called upon to remember that we are rooted in our faith and are the living expression of the Church's healing ministry to care for those who are in need.

Reflection from Pope Benedict XVI's Encyclical, Caritas in Veritate: "In 1967, when he issued the Encyclical Populorum Progressio, my venerable predecessor Pope Paul VI illuminated the great theme of the development of peoples with the splendour of truth and the gentle light of Christ's charity. He taught that life in Christ is the first and principal factor of development and he entrusted us with the task of travelling the path of development with all our heart and all our intelligence, that is to say with the ardour of charity and the wisdom of truth. It is the primordial truth of God's love, grace bestowed upon us, that opens our lives to gift and makes it possible to hope for a “development of the whole man and of all men”, to hope for progress “from less human conditions to those which are more human”, obtained by overcoming the difficulties that are inevitably encountered along the way.

At a distance of over forty years from the Encyclical's publication, I intend to pay tribute and to honour the memory of the great Pope Paul VI, revisiting his teachings on integral human development and taking my place within the path that they marked out, so as to apply them to the present moment. This continual application to contemporary circumstances began with the Encyclical Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, with which the Servant of God Pope John Paul II chose to mark the twentieth anniversary of the publication of Populorum Progressio. Until that time, only Rerum Novarum had been commemorated in this way. Now that a further twenty years have passed, I express my conviction that Populorum Progressio deserves to be considered “the Rerum Novarum of the present age”, shedding light upon humanity's journey towards unity." (Caritas in Veritate, par 8).

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:

SEPTEMBER 20, 2009. Catholic-Lutheran Covenant Commission Gathering. Topic: Catholic and Lutheran Understanding of Social Justice. 3:00-6:30 p.m.
St. Paul Lutheran Church, Warren

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

September 12-13, 2009 – Catholic Charities USA has been awarded a contract with the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services/Administration for Children and Families to provide disaster case management services in the contiguous United States and U. S. Territories. This contract represents an acknowledgement of the quality, professional services that Catholic Charities has been providing in the United States for 100 years.


September 2009

General: That the word of God may be better known, welcomed and lived as the source of freedom and joy.

Mission: That Christians in Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar, who often meet with great difficulties, may not be discourage from announcing the Gospel to their brothers, trusting in the strength of the Holy Spirit.

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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