Sunday, May 2, 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 Easter, Cycle C, ) we read in the book of Revelation as St John proclaims that: "Behold, God’s dwelling is with the human race. He will dwell with them and they will be his people and God himself will always be with them as their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, for the old order has passed away. Behold, I make all things new.” Then we hear about how St Paul and Barnabas travel throughout the land and support the local Churches in their work and through their struggle. These Apostles remind the local faith community that God is with them, and to remember Jesus' message of hope. What is that message? We hear in the Gospel of John: Jesus tells his disciples:
"I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples,
if you have love for one another.” The bottom line message: love one another. That makes all things new.

In Catholic Charities we notice that our very name, Charities, or in Latin, "Caritas," is that very word of hope: it means "love." Our very work is the lived expression of love. We help and organize people to love each other. We help make "all things new" by assisting those who we serve to see, and touch, the very face of God. We continue that ministry of Jesus to organize love. Each of us is called to be that disciple who loves as the Lord commands. Catholic Charities incarnates that very Word.

Reflection from Pope Benedict XVI's Encyclical, Caritas in Veritate

"The significant new elements in the picture of the development of peoples today in many cases demand new solutions. These need to be found together, respecting the laws proper to each element and in the light of an integral vision of man, reflecting the different aspects of the human person, contemplated through a lens purified by charity. Remarkable convergences and possible solutions will then come to light, without any fundamental component of human life being obscured.
The dignity of the individual and the demands of justice require, particularly today, that economic choices do not cause disparities in wealth to increase in an excessive and morally unacceptable manner, and that we continue to prioritize the goal of access to steady employment for everyone. All things considered, this is also required by 'economic logic.' Through the systemic increase of social inequality, both within a single country and between the populations of different countries (i.e. the massive increase in relative poverty), not only does social cohesion suffer, thereby placing democracy at risk, but so too does the economy, through the progressive erosion of 'social capital': the network of relationships of trust, dependability, and respect for rules, all of which are indispensable for any form of civil coexistence." (par. 32, a-b)

Some important date(s) this week:

SUNDAY MAY 9. Mother's Day. Consider sending your mom, or a mom who needs help and support, some fair traded chocolate, coffee, tea or another such product. Visit Catholic Relief Services Fair Trade website at

This month kicks off the seventh annual Catholic Charities First Step for Change campaign. Last year, Catholic Charities provided material assistance and case management services to 2,354 low-income women and families with children ages 0-3 through the First Step Program/

The Bishop's Annual Appeal for Catholic Charities and Church is in full swing. Please consider donating. Visit

Reflection: Pray for all those touched by our difficult economic times. You may even be praying for yourself!

Prayer Intention: That all will have been affected by our economic decline may find hope in these tough times.


Human Trafficking
General: That the shameful and monstrous commerce in human beings, which sadly involves millions of women and children, may be ended.

Priests, Religious and Committed Lay People
Missionary: That ordained ministers, religious women and men, and lay people involved in apostolic work may understand how to infuse missionary enthusiasm into the communities entrusted to their care.

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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