Sunday, February 14, 2010

MONDAY MORNING MISSION MEDITATION for week of February 14, 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 (Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle C) we read about choices and decisions. In the Prophet Jeremiah, we are told about how a person can make a choice to be either rooted in one's own self-sufficiency or in the Lord. The Gospel is more exact: blessed are those who choose to be and live as disciples of the Lord; woe to those who choose not to be such a disciple. We will be asked this Wednesday, Ash Wednesday, to again recommit ourselves to be modern day disciples.

In Catholic Charities we continue to be rooted in the ministry of the Church. As such, sometimes some think that we miss out on certain opportunities or hold on to quaint ideas. Rather, as a Church ministry, we continue the work of Jesus in healing and serving those in most need. Some may think we could do other things than care for those who are the most poor or forgotten: like young parents with children, undocumented immigrants and migrants, women who are in need, single men without much skills or resources to name but a few. But like the challenge to the disciples by Jesus' Beatitudes, we accept that call today to care for some of the most frail and in need. It is the choice we make to be disciples.

Reflection from Pope Benedict XVI's Encyclical, Caritas in Veritate:
"From the social point of view, systems of protection and welfare, already present in many countries in Paul VI's day, are finding it hard and could find it even harder in the future to pursue their goals of true social justice in today's profoundly changed environment. The global market has stimulated first and foremost, on the part of rich countries, a search for areas in which to outsource production at low cost with a view to reducing the prices of many goods, increasing purchasing power and thus accelerating the rate of development in terms of greater availability of consumer goods for the domestic market. Consequently, the market has prompted new forms of competition between States as they seek to attract foreign businesses to set up production centres, by means of a variety of instruments, including favourable fiscal regimes and deregulation of the labour market. These processes have led to a downsizing of social security systems as the price to be paid for seeking greater competitive advantage in the global market, with consequent grave danger for the rights of workers, for fundamental human rights and for the solidarity associated with the traditional forms of the social State. Systems of social security can lose the capacity to carry out their task, both in emerging countries and in those that were among the earliest to develop, as well as in poor countries. Here budgetary policies, with cuts in social spending often made under pressure from international financial institutions, can leave citizens powerless in the face of old and new risks; such powerlessness is increased by the lack of effective protection on the part of workers' associations. Through the combination of social and economic change, trade union organizations experience greater difficulty in carrying out their task of representing the interests of workers, partly because Governments, for reasons of economic utility, often limit the freedom or the negotiating capacity of labour unions. Hence traditional networks of solidarity have more and more obstacles to overcome. The repeated calls issued within the Church's social doctrine, beginning with Rerum Novarum, for the promotion of workers' associations that can defend their rights must therefore be honoured today even more than in the past, as a prompt and far-sighted response to the urgent need for new forms of cooperation at the international level, as well as the local level.." (Caritas in Veritate, par 25a).

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Some important date(s) this week:

In the Roman Catholic Church, Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent, the season of preparation for the resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday.
While Ash Wednesday is not a Holy Day of Obligation, all Roman Catholics are encouraged to attend Mass on this day.

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

Reflection: Lent begins Wednesday. Blessed are you, giving the money you’ve saved on the fast food you’ve given up for Lent to Operation Rice Bowl program.

Intention: For those who volunteer at food banks, soup kitchens and for meals on wheels programs.


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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