Saturday, April 3, 2010

MONDAY MORNING MISSION MEDITATION for the week of April 4, 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 (Easter Sunday; The Resurrection of the Lord, Cycle C we read the words of great joy in Psalm 118: "This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad." In the gospel accounts, the women and the disciples visit the tomb of Jesus, after a horrible Friday death sentence. All are amazed since the stone has been removed, and the tomb is empty with only Jesus' burial clothes around as evidence. But the empty tomb is not the full story; the appearances of the Risen Jesus to his friends give hope and joy. They see and believe; they continue to tell the story. It is a story of new beginnings.
In the Letter to the Corinthians, Paul writes that "Do you not know that a little yeast leavens all the dough? Clear out the old yeast, so that you may become a fresh batch of dough." The disciples form the new leaven, filled with Easter joy, and go out and shout the good news: Today is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad.

In Catholic Charities we are called to be leaven in the world as the first witnesses of Jesus' resurrection. By our open doors to those in need, we witness that Easter joy and peace. We give hope and provide help. We can and oftentimes do transform lives by being leaven for someone. We are also called to be leaven in our communities by being voices of justice and peace. We can be leaven by bringing people together to find answers to common problems. Catholic Charities is called to serve, advocate for justice, and convene others to join in our work for the building of a compassionate and just society. It takes a little bit of leaven to transform a loaf of bread. So too, our small and humble actions witness to the great power of the Love of God, and in turn can bring about a new creation. The Resurrection of the Lord is the story of hope we continue to tell to each person we encounter.

Reflection from Pope Benedict XVI's Encyclical, Caritas in Veritate:
There is another aspect of modern life that is very closely connected to development: the denial of the right to religious freedom. I am not referring simply to the struggles and conflicts that continue to be fought in the world for religious motives, even if at times the religious motive is merely a cover for other reasons, such as the desire for domination and wealth. Today, in fact, people frequently kill in the holy name of God, as both my predecessor John Paul II and I myself have often publicly acknowledged and lamented. Violence puts the brakes on authentic development and impedes the evolution of peoples towards greater socio-economic and spiritual well-being. This applies especially to terrorism motivated by fundamentalism, which generates grief, destruction and death, obstructs dialogue between nations and diverts extensive resources from their peaceful and civil uses. (par. 29a)

Some important date(s) this week:

Easter Week

SATURDAY, APRIL 10. St. Magdalen of Canossa (1774-1835) Wealth and privilege did nothing to prevent today’s saint from following her calling to serve Christ in the poor. Nor did the protests of her relatives, concerned that such work was beneath her.
Born in northern Italy in 1774, Magdalen knew her mind—and spoke it. At age 15 she announced she wished to become a nun. After trying out her vocation with the cloistered Carmelites, she realized her desire was to serve the needy without restriction. For years she worked among the poor and sick in hospitals and in their homes and among delinquent and abandoned girls.
In her mid-twenties Magdalen began offering lodging to poor girls in her own home. In time she opened a school, which offered practical training and religious instruction. As other women joined her in the work, the new Congregation of the Daughters of Charity emerged. Over time, houses were opened throughout Italy.
Members of the new religious congregation focused on the educational and spiritual needs of women. Magdalen also founded a smaller congregation for priests and brothers. Both groups continue to this day.
She died in 1835. Pope John Paul II canonized her in 1988.

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for current updates and calls to action that we can all use.

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

Through the generosity of parishioners and friends who support the Annual Bishop’s Appeal for Catholic Charities and Church, Catholic Charities served over 36,000 people in 2009, impacting 25,000 households in the Diocese of Youngstown. Catholic Charities is one important way to share your gift with those who are in need -- to help our brothers and sisters in the Spirit of the Risen Lord. Thank you for your support!


Fundamentalism and Extremism
General: That every tendency to fundamentalism and extremism may be countered by constant respect, by tolerance and by dialogue among all believers.

Persecuted Christians
Missionary: That Christians persecuted for the sake of the Gospel may persevere, sustained by the Holy Spirit, in faithfully witnessing to the love of God for the entire human race.

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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