Sunday, November 8, 2009

MONDAY MORNING MISSION MEDITATION for week of November 8, 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 (Thirty Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B) we read from the Gospel of Mark about the widow's gift of self and of all of herself as opposed to those who merely gave from their surplus. Jesus points her out to his disciplines noting that this widow's gift comes from her essence and life and not just a rudimentary action. The widow in the Gospel echoes the widow and her son in the First Reading who have an encounter with the Prophet Elijah. She had one day's rations left but shared her food with a stranger. She is given much abundance in return. Her trust in the Lord, like the trust of the widow in the Gospel, reminds each of us on what type of attitude we need to have as followers of Jesus: one of sacrifice, humility and giving from the essence of one self.

I am reminded from these stories about the incredible hospitality we received from the residents of San Jose Villanueva in El Salvador during our mission trip in October with the Ursuline High School Class of 1958. We met so many families willing to share the very, very little that they have in order to welcome us into their homes. I have come away from that experience humbled and appreciative for the many blessings I have received and committed to doing more to welcome others into my life.

In Catholic Charities we have been blessed with many gifts from many people who give donations of their time, treasure and stewardship to help us organize love in the Diocese of Youngstown. We are able to use the gifts we have to help many persons and families face crises: homelessness, hunger, loneliness and fear. We are grateful to those who gave through the Annual Bishop's Appeal for Catholic Charities and Church. With this downturn in the economy, however, Catholic Charities and other agencies have found that our governmental contracts and other foundation gifts have been reduced substantially. Needs have increased over 30% over the past several months. Please consider donating any gift that you can to help us be in solidarity with those who need help. Your donation helps us be the face of Christ to each person that comes through the door.

Reflection from Pope Benedict XVI's Encyclical, Caritas in Veritate: " In his Apostolic Letter Octogesima Adveniens of 1971, Paul VI reflected on the meaning of politics, and the danger constituted by utopian and ideological visions that place its ethical and human dimensions in jeopardy. These are matters closely connected with development. Unfortunately the negative ideologies continue to flourish. Paul VI had already warned against the technocratic ideology so prevalent today, fully aware of the great danger of entrusting the entire process of development to technology alone, because in that way it would lack direction. Technology, viewed in itself, is ambivalent. If on the one hand, some today would be inclined to entrust the entire process of development to technology, on the other hand we are witnessing an upsurge of ideologies that deny in toto the very value of development, viewing it as radically anti-human and merely a source of degradation. This leads to a rejection, not only of the distorted and unjust way in which progress is sometimes directed, but also of scientific discoveries themselves, which, if well used, could serve as an opportunity of growth for all. The idea of a world without development indicates a lack of trust in man and in God. It is therefore a serious mistake to undervalue human capacity to exercise control over the deviations of development or to overlook the fact that man is constitutionally oriented towards “being more”. Idealizing technical progress, or contemplating the utopia of a return to humanity's original natural state, are two contrasting ways of detaching progress from its moral evaluation and hence from our responsibility.(Caritas in Veritate, par 14).

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:

FRIDAY NOVEMBER 13, St. Frances Xavier Cabrini (1850-1917) Frances Xavier Cabrini was the first United States citizen to be canonized. Her deep trust in the loving care of her God gave her the strength to be a valiant woman doing the work of Christ.

Refused admission to the religious order which had educated her to be a teacher, she began charitable work at the House of Providence Orphanage in Cadogno, Italy. In September 1877, she made her vows there and took the religious habit.

When the bishop closed the orphanage in 1880, he named Frances prioress of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart. Seven young women from the orphanage joined with her.Since her early childhood in Italy, Frances had wanted to be a missionary in China but, at the urging of Pope Leo XIII, Frances went west instead of east. She traveled with six sisters to New York City to work with the thousands of Italian immigrants living there.

She found disappointment and difficulties with every step. When she arrived in New York City, the house intended to be her first orphanage in the United States was not available. The archbishop advised her to return to Italy. But Frances, truly a valiant woman, departed from the archbishop’s residence all the more determined to establish that orphanage. And she did. In 35 years Frances Xavier Cabrini founded 67 institutions dedicated to caring for the poor, the abandoned, the uneducated and the sick. Seeing great need among Italian immigrants who were losing their faith, she organized schools and adult education classes.

As a child, she was always frightened of water, unable to overcome her fear of drowning. Yet, despite this fear, she traveled across the Atlantic Ocean more than 30 times. She died of malaria in her own Columbus Hospital in Chicago.

Health Care Reform Debate/Church's Position

Read and learn about the US Catholic Bishops' position on health care reform. Visit their website

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

Reflection: An inexpensive dish you bring to your neighbor who is home from work with an injury isn't nearly as valuable as the love with which it’s offered.

Prayer Intention: For those who suffer from work-related injuries, that the Lord bless them with peace of mind as they recover through the stability of their job.


November 2009
General: That all the men and women in the world, especially those who have responsibilities in the field of politics and economics, may never fail in their commitment to safeguard creation.

Mission: That believers in the different religions, through the testimony of their lives and fraternal dialogue, may clearly demonstrate that the name of God is a bearer of peace.

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:

No comments: