Saturday, March 20, 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 (Fifth Sunday of Lent, Cycle C ) we read how Jesus confronts the leaders around him who are so ready to condemn a woman caught in adultery. John notes that the leaders want to catch him in a trap; they become very legalistic and demand an answer from Jesus about her eventual stoning. Jesus writes in the sand (who knows what he wrote: the sins of those ready to throw the stones?) and her accusers leave (where is the man who is engaged in adultery?). In the first reading from Isaiah, we hear about the coming of a new day, one of refreshment and abundance. In Paul's letter to the Philippians, we hear about his striving to be a disciple of Jesus and find eternal life.

In Catholic Charities we are called upon to be witnesses to a new day and be the healing and loving touch of God. Persons come to us in crisis for the most part (materially, spiritually, psychologically) and are seeking refreshment and hope. Some seek forgiveness and entrance into the community. We too must welcome everyone to the door and help them see the hope that awaits them. We too must practice the art of forgiveness with all who come to our doors, as well as with each other as co-workers. Forgiveness is truly a sign of the Kingdom of God among us.

Reflection from Pope Benedict XVI's Encyclical, Caritas in Veritate:
Not only does the situation of poverty still provoke high rates of infant mortality in many regions, but some parts of the world still experience practices of demographic control, on the part of governments that often promote contraception and even go so far as to impose abortion. In economically developed countries, legislation contrary to life is very widespread, and it has already shaped moral attitudes and praxis, contributing to the spread of an anti-birth mentality; frequent attempts are made to export this mentality to other States as if it were a form of cultural progress. (par. 28b)

Some important date(s) this week:

THURSDAY. MARCH 25. Feast of the Annunciation. The feast of the Annunciation goes back to the fourth or fifth century. Its central focus is the Incarnation: God has become one of us. From all eternity God had decided that the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity should become human. Now, as Luke 1:26-38 tells us, the decision is being realized. The God-Man embraces all humanity, indeed all creation, to bring it to God in one great act of love. Because human beings have rejected God, Jesus will accept a life of suffering and an agonizing death: “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13).
Mary has an important role to play in God’s plan. From all eternity God destined her to be the mother of Jesus and closely related to him in the creation and redemption of the world. We could say that God’s decrees of creation and redemption are joined in the decree of Incarnation. Because Mary is God’s instrument in the Incarnation, she has a role to play with Jesus in creation and redemption. It is a God-given role. It is God’s grace from beginning to end. Mary becomes the eminent figure she is only by God’s grace. She is the empty space where God could act. Everything she is she owes to the Trinity.
She is the virgin-mother who fulfills Isaiah 7:14 in a way that Isaiah could not have imagined. She is united with her son in carrying out the will of God (Psalm 40:8-9; Hebrews 10:7-9; Luke 1:38).
Together with Jesus, the privileged and graced Mary is the link between heaven and earth. She is the human being who best, after Jesus, exemplifies the possibilities of human existence. She received into her lowliness the infinite love of God. She shows how an ordinary human being can reflect God in the ordinary circumstances of life. She exemplifies what the Church and every member of the Church is meant to become. She is the ultimate product of the creative and redemptive power of God. She manifests what the Incarnation is meant to accomplish for all of us.

THURSDAY. MARCH 25. Catholic Charities and the Notre Dame Club of the Mahoning and Shenango Valleys are co-sponsoring the Hesburgh Lecture series. The featured speaker is Rev. Ronald J. Nuzzi, Ph.D., a Youngstown Diocesan Priest and Senior Director of the ACE Leadership Program at the University of Notre Dame. Fr. Nuzzi will be on "Gentleness Comes from the Strong: Toward a Spirituality for Leadership," Thursday March, 25, 2010 at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish, Youngstown. A buffet dinner will be served prior to the lecture. Tickets are only $15 per person and are on sale now! For more information contact Catholic Charities at 330-744-8451 ext. 322 or email

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

Did you know that Catholic Charities agencies across the United States have experienced an 83% increase in the number of working poor families seeking assistance? Please pray for those who struggle day after day to provide food, shelter, clothing, and a decent standard of living for their children.

Reflection: The true measure of your life’s worth comes in the quality of your relationship with God.

Prayer Intention: That as we journey toward Easter, we may all take steps to grow in an intimate relationship with the God who loves us.


World Economy
General: That the world economy may be managed according to the principles of justice and equity, taking account of the real needs of peoples, especially the poorest.

The Churches in Africa
Missionary: That the Churches in Africa may be signs and instruments of reconciliation and justice in every part of that continent.

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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