Sunday, October 4, 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 "to minister to the people in the six counties of northeastern Ohio . . .(and) to the world community", 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-Seventh Sunday of Ordinary Time, Cycle B) we read from the Gospel of Mark about Jesus' challenge to the legalistic understandings of his time about the nature of marriage. Jesus turns things upside down again. As He reminds us about the sacredness of marriage, he then welcomes a child to his side and turns our attention to another reality. As the first reading discusses the blessings of creation, and the second reading reminds us that Jesus himself became "flesh" and calls us his brothers/sisters, Jesus' embrace of that child may be a radical teaching moment: the trust-like love of a child and the unconditional love of a parent are made manifest despite our human failures in loving others. Jesus reflects the love of His Father, which is there at all times for us to dwell in and model, regardless of our human failings.

In Catholic Charities we oftentimes meet with persons who may be involved in broken relations and may not feel loved or wanted. Our call and challenge is to be that embrace of love, modeled on Jesus' love for us, for each person who comes into our offices or to whom we speak with on the phone. We may be the only touch of God for that person or family today or any day.

Reflection from Pope Benedict XVI's Encyclical, Caritas in Veritate: "The Church does not have technical solutions to offer and does not claim 'to interfere in any way in the politics of States.' She does, however, have a mission of truth to accomplish, in every time and circumstance, for a society that is attuned to man, to his dignity, to his vocation. Without truth, it is easy to fall into an empiricist and sceptical view of life, incapable of rising to the level of praxis because of a lack of interest in grasping the values — sometimes even the meanings — with which to judge and direct it. Fidelity to man requires fidelity to the truth, which alone is the guarantee of freedom (cf. Jn 8:32) and of the possibility of integral human development. For this reason the Church searches for truth, proclaims it tirelessly and recognizes it wherever it is manifested. This mission of truth is something that the Church can never renounce. Her social doctrine is a particular dimension of this proclamation: it is a service to the truth which sets us free. Open to the truth, from whichever branch of knowledge it comes, the Church's social doctrine receives it, assembles into a unity the fragments in which it is often found, and mediates it within the constantly changing life-patterns of the society of peoples and nations." (Caritas in Veritate, par 9-2).

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:

SUNDAY OCTOBER 4. St. Francis of Assisi. (1182-1226) Francis of Assisi was a poor little man who astounded and inspired the Church by taking the gospel literally—not in a narrow fundamentalist sense, but by actually following all that Jesus said and did, joyfully, without limit and without a sense of self-importance.

Serious illness brought the young Francis to see the emptiness of his frolicking life as leader of Assisi's youth. Prayer—lengthy and difficult—led him to a self-emptying like that of Christ, climaxed by embracing a leper he met on the road. It symbolized his complete obedience to what he had heard in prayer: "Francis! Everything you have loved and desired in the flesh it is your duty to despise and hate, if you wish to know my will. And when you have begun this, all that now seems sweet and lovely to you will become intolerable and bitter, but all that you used to avoid will turn itself to great sweetness and exceeding joy."

From the cross in the neglected field-chapel of San Damiano, Christ told him, "Francis, go out and build up my house, for it is nearly falling down." Francis became the totally poor and humble workman. On his deathbed, he said over and over again the last addition to his Canticle of the Sun, "Be praised, O Lord, for our Sister Death." He sang Psalm 141, and at the end asked his superior to have his clothes removed when the last hour came and for permission to expire lying naked on the earth, in imitation of his Lord.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 11. Youngstown CROP WALK. Join walkers and runners at 2 pm in Wick Park to walk to raise money for hunger relief. Catholic Charities receives a percentage of the local share of this Walk. Thanks to all those who have participated in the past and this week.


Catholic Charities Regional Agency maintains an adoption license and facilitates adoption services and placements on behalf of the four Catholic Charities social service agencies in the Diocese of Youngstown. For more information about adoption services or to learn about becoming a foster parent, call Nancy Voitus, Executive Director, at 330-744-3320.

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

Reflection: Job loss can make a person feel beaten down. Raise up a job seeker in your life with a friendly phone call of encouragement.

Prayer Intention: That those in need of assistance may find a hand ready to help and a heart ready to listen.


October 2009
General: That Sunday may be lived as the day on which Christians gather to celebrate the risen Lord, participating in the Eucharist.

Mission: That the entire People of God, to whom Christ entrusted the mandate to go and preach the Gospel to every creature, may eagerly assume their own missionary responsibility and consider it the highest service they can offer humanity.

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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