Sunday, January 31, 2010

MONDAY MORNING MISSION MEDITATION for week of February 1, 2010

Catholic Charities. 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 (Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle C) we read about the impact Jesus has on his own community. He is basically run out of town. Last week we read from the Gospel of Luke how Jesus went to his hometown's synagogue where he took the scroll and read the Isaiah prophecy of his liberating mission. At that moment, all were spellbound by the proclamation of the Good News. But in today's Gospel reading, as this Good News sinks in, the people become upset and rush him out of town. Why? Jesus said that his mission of love and hope extended to all human kind, and that God's liberation would not end only in Israel. In fact, his stories of the woman saved from starvation and the man healed from leprosy pointed to the fact that it was Gentiles who accepted the Word and were healed. His own townsfolk grew upset and did not want to hear these words. They wanted to keep God's love to themselves.

In Catholic Charities we sometimes must take prophetic stands on issues: health care reform must remain just and dedicated to human life and dignity; abortion, death penalty, and war are instruments of violence that must be rejected; immigrants, persons with HIV/AIDS, and persons with handicaps must always be welcomed in our communities. One thing about prophetic actions, however, that is to be the hallmark of the Church especially Catholic Charities: we must always do so with, through and in love. We can proclaim great truths and serve thousands of persons, but if we do not have love, we are nothing. Rather, love infuses all we do and are.

Reflection from Pope Benedict XVI's Encyclical, Caritas in Veritate:
"Many areas of the globe today have evolved considerably, albeit in problematical and disparate ways, thereby taking their place among the great powers destined to play important roles in the future. Yet it should be stressed that progress of a merely economic and technological kind is insufficient. Development needs above all to be true and integral. The mere fact of emerging from economic backwardness, though positive in itself, does not resolve the complex issues of human advancement, neither for the countries that are spearheading such progress, nor for those that are already economically developed, nor even for those that are still poor, which can suffer not just through old forms of exploitation, but also from the negative consequences of a growth that is marked by irregularities and imbalances.." (Caritas in Veritate, par 23b).

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

Some important date(s) this week:

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 2. PRESENTATION OF THE LORD. At the end of the fourth century, a woman named Etheria made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Her journal, discovered in 1887, gives an unprecedented glimpse of liturgical life there. Among the celebrations she describes is the Epiphany (January 6), the observance of Christ’s birth, and the gala procession in honor of his Presentation in the Temple 40 days later—February 15. (Under the Mosaic Law, a woman was ritually “unclean” for 40 days after childbirth, when she was to present herself to the priests and offer sacrifice—her “purification.” Contact with anyone who had brushed against mystery—birth or death—excluded a person from Jewish worship.) This feast emphasizes Jesus’ first appearance in the Temple more than Mary’s purification.
The observance spread throughout the Western Church in the fifth and sixth centuries. Because the Church in the West celebrated Jesus’ birth on December 25, the Presentation was moved to February 2, 40 days after Christmas.
At the beginning of the eighth century, Pope Sergius inaugurated a candlelight procession; at the end of the same century the blessing and distribution of candles which continues to this day became part of the celebration, giving the feast its popular name: Candlemas.

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 3. St. Blase. d. 316. We know more about the devotion to St. Blase by Christians around the world than we know about the saint himself. His feast is observed as a holy day in some Eastern Churches. The Council of Oxford, in 1222, prohibited servile labor in England on Blase’s feast day. The Germans and Slavs hold him in special honor and for decades many United States Catholics have sought the annual St. Blase blessing for their throats

We know that Bishop Blase was martyred in his episcopal city of Sebastea, Armenia, in 316. The legendary Acts of St. Blase were written 400 years later. According to them Blase was a good bishop, working hard to encourage the spiritual and physical health of his people. Although the Edict of Toleration (311), granting freedom of worship in the Roman Empire, was already five years old, persecution still raged in Armenia. Blase was apparently forced to flee to the back country. There he lived as a hermit in solitude and prayer, but made friends with the wild animals. One day a group of hunters seeking wild animals for the amphitheater stumbled upon Blase’s cave. They were first surprised and then frightened. The bishop was kneeling in prayer surrounded by patiently waiting wolves, lions and bears.
As the hunters hauled Blase off to prison, the legend has it, a mother came with her young son who had a fish bone lodged in his throat. At Blase’s command the child was able to cough up the bone.

Please consider donating to the Catholic Relief Services Haitian Relief Fund by visiting us at or make checks out to:
Catholic Relief Services - Haiti Fund
mail to: CRS -Haiti Fund, Diocese of Youngstown
144 W. Wood Street Youngstown, OH 44503

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

35%. This percentage reflects the increase in requests for emergency assistance that Catholic Charities has experienced over the past year. Please pray for Catholic Charities caseworkers and staff who respond to the challenge of serving an increasing population with decreasing resources.

General: For all scholars and intellectuals, that by means of sincere search for the truth they may arrive at an understanding of the one true God.

The Church’s Missionary Identity
Missionary: That the Church, aware of its own missionary identity, may strive to follow Christ faithfully and to proclaim His Gospel to all peoples.

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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