Saturday, July 31, 2010

MONDAY MORNING MISSION MEDITATION for the week of August 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 (18th Sunday of Ordinary Time, Cycle C, http://www.usccb.org/nab/080110.shtml ) we read in the Gospel of Luke how Jesus teaches his disciples to focus on one's priorities. He warns about a person who collects, stores and possibly hoards all types of goods and wealth only to find out later that he is to die that night. Jesus shows us that we must not waste time on unimportant things, like the author of Ecclesiastes warns us not to place our emphasis on "vanity of vanities." Rather, our experience and knowledge of God's abundant love must be our priority; all other things will fall into place.


In Catholic Charities http://www.ccdoy.org, we are called to help our clients see how their talents and assets are gifts from God. We must help people quell their fears and anxieties in our nervous age. This does not mean that we downplay their fear but our goal is to give hope and an experience that God's love is always available and given abundantly.



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


"My predecessor John Paul II drew attention to this question in Centesimus Annus, when he spoke of the need for a system with three subjects: the market, the State and civil society. He saw civil society as the most natural setting for an economy of gratuitousness and fraternity, but did not mean to deny it a place in the other two settings. Today we can say that economic life must be understood as a multi-layered phenomenon: in every one of these layers, to varying degrees and in ways specifically suited to each, the aspect of fraternal reciprocity must be present. In the global era, economic activity cannot prescind from gratuitousness, which fosters and disseminates solidarity and responsibility for justice and the common good among the different economic players. It is clearly a specific and profound form of economic democracy. Solidarity is first and foremost a sense of responsibility on the part of everyone with regard to everyone, and it cannot therefore be merely delegated to the State. While in the past it was possible to argue that justice had to come first and gratuitousness could follow afterwards, as a complement, today it is clear that without gratuitousness, there can be no justice in the first place. What is needed, therefore, is a market that permits the free operation, in conditions of equal opportunity, of enterprises in pursuit of different institutional ends. Alongside profit-oriented private enterprise and the various types of public enterprise, there must be room for commercial entities based on mutualist principles and pursuing social ends to take root and express themselves. It is from their reciprocal encounter in the marketplace that one may expect hybrid forms of commercial behaviour to emerge, and hence an attentiveness to ways of civilizing the economy. Charity in truth, in this case, requires that shape and structure be given to those types of economic initiative which, without rejecting profit, aim at a higher goal than the mere logic of the exchange of equivalents, of profit as an end in itself." (par. 38)


http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/encyclicals/documents/hf_ben-xvi_enc_20090629_caritas-in-veritate_en.htm




Some important date(s) this week:
http://www.americancatholic.org/Features/Saints/ByDate.aspx

FRIDAY, AUGUST 6. The Transfiguration of the Lord. All three Synoptic Gospels tell the story of the Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-8; Mark 9:2-9; Luke 9:28-36). With remarkable agreement, all three place the event shortly after Peter’s confession of faith that Jesus is the Messiah and Jesus’ first prediction of his passion and death. Peter’s eagerness to erect tents or booths on the spot suggests it occurred during the Jewish weeklong, fall Feast of Booths.
In spite of the texts’ agreement, it is difficult to reconstruct the disciples’ experience, according to Scripture scholars, because the Gospels draw heavily on Old Testament descriptions of the Sinai encounter with God and prophetic visions of the Son of Man. Certainly Peter, James and John had a glimpse of Jesus’ divinity strong enough to strike fear into their hearts. Such an experience defies description, so they drew on familiar religious language to describe it. And certainly Jesus warned them that his glory and his suffering were to be inextricably connected—a theme John highlights throughout his Gospel.
Tradition names Mt. Tabor as the site of the revelation. A church first raised there in the fourth century was dedicated on August 6. A feast in honor of the Transfiguration was celebrated in the Eastern Church from about that time. Western observance began in some localities about the eighth century.
On July 22, 1456, Crusaders defeated the Turks at Belgrade. News of the victory reached Rome on August 6, and Pope Callistus III placed the feast on the Roman calendar the following year.



SHARING HOPE IN HARD ECONOMIC TIMES.

Fair Trade is connected to my Catholic faith? ‐ Yes! Come learn about the Fair Trade’s connection to Catholic Social
Teaching at the Ohio Fair Trade Expo on Saturday, October 9, 9 AM to 4:30 PM, at John Carroll University in University
Heights. The Expo offers workshops, speakers, and shopping! Learn more and register at www.ohiofairtrade.com. Receive an early‐registration discount before September 1st!

Catholic Charities offers Ohio Benefit Bank Services

Do you know someone who. . . has lost their job? needs help with medical care? needs help with groceries? The Ohio Benefit Bank (OBB) might be able to help. OBB is a free service that can help you or your friends and family apply for benefits and supports, such as health care coverage, home energy assistance and food assistance. All Catholic Charities service sites offer OBB. Call the Catholic Charities location nearest you for more information, or visit our website at www.ccdoy.org.



PAPAL INTENTIONS: AUGUST 2010

The Unemployed and the Homeless
General: That those who are without work or homes or who are otherwise in serious need may find understanding and welcome, as well as concrete help in overcoming their difficulties.

Victims of Discrimination, Hunger and Forced Emigration
Missionary: That the Church may be a “home” for all people, ready to open its doors to any who are suffering from racial or religious discrimination, hunger, or wars forcing them to emigrate to other countries.




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



Note: Please consider joining our
FACEBOOK CAUSE http://apps.facebook.com/causes/106889
FACEBOOK GROUP http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=461833870606
TWITTER account, CCDOY, http://twitter.com/CCDOY
for current updates and calls to action that we can all use.

See our website at www.catholiccharitiesyoungstown.org 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: http://corbinchurchthinking.blogspot.com/

Saturday, July 24, 2010

MONDAY MORNING MISSION MEDITATION for the week of July 25, 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 (17th Sunday of Ordinary Time, Cycle C, http://www.usccb.org/nab/072510.shtml ) we read in the Gospel of Luke how the disciples ask Jesus how to pray. I am sure that these good Jewish persons knew their prayers. But maybe they saw and experienced the joy and intimacy of Jesus with God as he himself took time to pray. The disciples were eager to experience this intimacy with God for themselves. Jesus teaches them to start their prayer, "Our Father." He then teaches them about what the intimacy with the "Father" is about: the experience of abundant love as total gift. What father would give his child something harmful; what parent would not go out of their way for their own?


In Catholic Charities http://www.ccdoy.org , we are rooted in this abundant love of God. We see each person that comes to our agencies for assistance as brothers and sisters all sharing the same "Father." All are important; all equal; all cherished. Though we may not be able to solve everyone's problem or give that person all that he/she wants or even needs, we do the best we can to be that loving presence of God to that person. We may not have enough money for each client, but we do have one essential quality: an abundance of love and hope.



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

"In the global era, the economy is influenced by competitive models tied to cultures that differ greatly among themselves. The different forms of economic enterprise to which they give rise find their main point of encounter in commutative justice. Economic life undoubtedly requires contracts, in order to regulate relations of exchange between goods of equivalent value. But it also needs just laws and forms of redistribution governed by politics, and what is more, it needs works redolent of the spirit of gift. The economy in the global era seems to privilege the former logic, that of contractual exchange, but directly or indirectly it also demonstrates its need for the other two: political logic, and the logic of the unconditional gift." (par. 37b)


http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/encyclicals/documents/hf_ben-xvi_enc_20090629_caritas-in-veritate_en.htm




Some important date(s) this week:
http://www.americancatholic.org/Features/Saints/ByDate.aspx


THURSDAY, JULY 29 St. Martha. Martha, Mary and their brother Lazarus were evidently close friends of Jesus. He came to their home simply as a welcomed guest, rather than as one celebrating the conversion of a sinner like Zacchaeus or one unceremoniously received by a suspicious Pharisee. The sisters feel free to call on Jesus at their brother’s death, even though a return to Judea at that time seems almost certain death.
No doubt Martha was an active sort of person. On one occasion (see Luke 10:38-42) she prepares the meal for Jesus and possibly his fellow guests and forthrightly states the obvious: All hands should pitch in to help with the dinner.
Yet, as biblical scholar Father John McKenzie points out, she need not be rated as an “unrecollected activist.” The evangelist is emphasizing what our Lord said on several occasions about the primacy of the spiritual: “...[D]o not worry about your life, what you will eat [or drink], or about your body, what you will wear….But seek first the kingdom [of God] and his righteousness” (Matthew 6:25b, 33a); “One does not live by bread alone” (Luke 4:4b); “Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness…” (Matthew 5:6a).
Martha’s great glory is her simple and strong statement of faith in Jesus after her brother’s death. “Jesus told her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?’ She said to him, ‘Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world’” (John 11:25-27).



SATURDAY, JULY 31. St. Ignatius of Loyola, (1491-1556) The founder of the Jesuits was on his way to military fame and fortune when a cannon ball shattered his leg. Because there were no books of romance on hand during his convalescence, he whiled away the time reading a life of Christ and lives of the saints. His conscience was deeply touched, and a long, painful turning to Christ began. Having seen the Mother of God in a vision, he made a pilgrimage to her shrine at Montserrat (near Barcelona). He remained for almost a year at nearby Manresa, sometimes with the Dominicans, sometimes in a pauper’s hospice, often in a cave in the hills praying. After a period of great peace of mind, he went through a harrowing trial of scruples. There was no comfort in anything—prayer, fasting, sacraments, penance. At length, his peace of mind returned.
It was during this year of conversion that he began to write down material that later became his greatest work, the Spiritual Exercises.
He finally achieved his purpose of going to the Holy Land, but could not remain, as he planned, because of the hostility of the Turks. He spent the next 11 years in various European universities, studying with great difficulty, beginning almost as a child. Like many others, he fell victim twice to the suspicions of the time, and was twice jailed for brief periods.
In 1534, at the age of 43, he and six others (one of whom was St. Francis Xavier) vowed to live in poverty and chastity and to go to the Holy Land. If this became impossible, they vowed to offer themselves to the apostolic service of the pope. The latter became the only choice. Four years later Ignatius made the association permanent. The new Society of Jesus was approved by Paul III, and Ignatius was elected to serve as the first general.
When companions were sent on various missions by the pope, Ignatius remained in Rome, consolidating the new venture, but still finding time to found homes for orphans, catechumens and penitents. He founded the Roman College, intended to be the model of all other colleges of the Society.
Ignatius was a true mystic. He centered his spiritual life on the essential foundations of Christianity—the Trinity, Christ, the Eucharist. His spirituality is expressed in the Jesuit motto, ad majorem Dei gloriam—“for the greater glory of God.” In his concept, obedience was to be the prominent virtue, to assure the effectiveness and mobility of his men. All activity was to be guided by a true love of the Church and unconditional obedience to the Holy Father, for which reason all professed members took a fourth vow to go wherever the pope should send them for the salvation of souls.



SHARING HOPE IN HARD ECONOMIC TIMES.

Fair Trade is connected to my Catholic faith? ‐ Yes! Come learn about the Fair Trade’s connection to Catholic Social Teaching at the Ohio Fair Trade Expo on Saturday, October 9, 9 AM to 4:30 PM, at John Carroll University in University Heights. The Expo offers workshops, speakers, and shopping! Learn more and register at www.ohiofairtrade.com.
Receive an early‐registration discount before September 1st!

According to a first quarter 2010 snapshot survey from Catholic Charities USA, Catholic Charities agencies across the country are seeing an increase in the number of working, middle class families in need of emergency food and assistance with utility/rent/mortgage payments. If you have not made a pledge or gift to the Annual Bishop’s Appeal for Catholic Charities and Church, please consider doing so. Sixty-six cents of every dollar raised helps Catholic Charities meet the needs of families experiencing difficult economic times. Visit our website at www.ccdoy.org



PAPAL INTENTIONS: JULY 2010

Justice in Electing those who Govern
General: That in every nation of the world the election of officials may be carried out with justice, transparency and honesty, respecting the free decisions of citizens.

An Urban Culture of Justice, Solidarity and Peace
Missionary:That Christians may strive to offer everywhere, but especially in great urban centers, an effective contribution to the promotion of education, justice, solidarity and peace.



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



Note: Please consider joining our
FACEBOOK CAUSE http://apps.facebook.com/causes/106889
FACEBOOK GROUP http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=461833870606
TWITTER account, CCDOY, http://twitter.com/CCDOY
for current updates and calls to action that we can all use.

See our website at www.catholiccharitiesyoungstown.org 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: http://corbinchurchthinking.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Bishops' Conference Immigration Expert discusses Current Church Involvement in Immigration

Out of the Shadows: A Call for Reform
http://www.patheos.com/Topics/Future-of-World-Religions/Catholicism.html

By Kevin Appleby

The U.S. Catholic bishops have been very involved in the national immigration debate, having called for reform of our nation's immigration laws, including a controversial proposal that would provide a path to citizenship for the undocumented.
Some Catholics have questioned out loud the bishop's involvement in the issue, suggesting that the church should remain neutral in such an emotionally charged debate. If one looks at the history of the U.S. Catholic Church, however, it is understandable that the church hierarchy sees it not only as a justice issue but as important to the future of the American Catholic community.
More than any other organized religion in the United States, the Catholic Church is an immigrant church that has grown in lock step with the nation, welcoming successive generations of immigrants who have helped build our nation.
Indeed, the church and her institutions have welcomed and helped integrate into American life Irish and Italian immigrants who arrived in the late 19th and early 20th century; Central and Eastern Europeans who fled Europe after the Second World War; and Latin American and Asian populations more recently. To borrow a phrase from a toy store, immigrants are us.
During each successive wave, the church and the bishops defended the rights of newly arrived immigrants, arguing, in contrast to nativist organizations, that immigrants by and large added to the strength of our country by bringing to our shores unique skills, perspectives, and traditions. These new arrivals, the bishops claimed, enriched our culture and way of life. Given the success of our country as a global superpower, they were right.
The same debates are playing out today, as immigrants from Latin America, Asia, and Africa -- the majority Catholic -- are becoming part of American society. And once again, the Catholic Church stands in the forefront of defending their basic rights and dignity.
Critics of the position of the bishops state that the church only wants more Catholics in the pews and that speaking in favor of immigrants is, in fact, a way to ensure that the new arrivals join and contribute to the local parish.
What they do not know is that immigrants are already here, drawn to the United States by the magnet of jobs and the opportunity to earn ten times more in a day than in their native lands. What also is not mentioned is that undocumented immigrants, who work in important industries such as agriculture and service, want to migrate legally but that there are insufficient -- only 5,000 -- permanent visas in the system for unskilled workers.
Immigrants are present in Catholic social service programs, hospitals, schools, and parishes, and each day a priest or employee is approached by an immigrant asking for help for a loved one -- a parent who has been detained, a child who has been involuntarily left behind by two deported parents, or a distraught family member who has lost a loved one in the desert.
Without changing the law governing immigration, often priests, employees, or the bishops themselves cannot help them or help keep their families together.
How does the outcome of the immigration debate, therefore, impact the future of the American church as well as the nation?
Close to 5 million U.S. citizen children live in "mixed-status" households, where one or more parents are undocumented. Another 700,000 minors are without legal status, having been brought to the United States by their parents when they were small children.
In many ways, they are the future leaders of our communities, parishes, and nation, but they constantly live in fear of the knock at the door, where they and/or their parents will be taken away at a moment's notice. Instead of developing their talents and building their confidence in this country, we are alienating them and squandering their potential. In many ways, we are shaking their faith in God.
As pastors, the bishops and priests are charged with ensuring that all Catholics and those of good will are given the opportunity to know God and to be with Him. It is also an obligation of all Catholics. This important responsibility is not dependent upon where a person was born and what legal status he or she may have or not have. Advocating for immigration reform is yet another way for the Catholic clergy, joined by the Catholic faithful, to fulfill that responsibility.
Just as past waves of Catholic immigrants have arrived to enrich, build, and help lead our church and nation, so will this generation, provided we give them the opportunity to reach their God-given potential. Reforming our immigration system and bringing them and their families out of the shadows will help set them, and us, on the right course.

Kevin Appleby has been the director of Migration and Refugee Policy for Migration and Refugee Services of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops for the past eight years. Kevin has testified before Congress on immigration issues and represented the U.S. Catholic bishops on these issues at public events and with the media. He is a member of the board of the National Immigration Forum and the social policy committee of Catholic Charities USA.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q & A: Kevin Appleby of the USCCB
http://ncronline.org/blogs/distinctly-catholic/q-kevin-appleby-usccb

By Michael Sean Winters
Created Jul 19, 2010

This week, we are discussing immigration reform. Our first interviewee is Kevin Appleby, the Director of Migration Policy and Public Affairs at the USCCB.

The question: What needs to be done to get immigration reform passed, and what are the prospects for passage?

Kevin Appleby:

Among the many issues confounding lawmakers and eluding bipartisan
support on Capitol Hill these days is immigration, perhaps one of the
most controversial topics in the country. Our elected officials in
Washington have avoided it like an unwelcome neighbor knocking at the
front door. Problem is, the knocks keep getting louder and louder.
The latest flashpoint in the debate is the recently passed Arizona law
SB 1070, state legislation which, among other provisions, under certain
conditions permits law enforcement to inquire as to an individual's
legal status. Whatever one thinks about the substance of the law, it
certainly has re-ignited the national debate and, most particularly, has
highlighted congressional dithering on fixing the nation's broken
immigration system.

For several years now, the U.S. Catholic bishops have advocated for
comprehensive reform of our nation's immigration laws, citing the
devastating impacts current laws have on immigrant families and
children. Close to 5 million U.S. citizen children live with either
one or two parents without legal status, leaving immigrant families
vulnerable to separation. In fact, the federal government has forcibly
separated thousands of these families in recent years through workplace
raids and other enforcement actions, deporting parents away from their
children.

The bishops, along with other faith groups, have argued that the 11
million persons in the country illegally should have a chance to pay
their debt to society through a fine and back taxes, begin learning
English, and get in the back of the line for a green card and eventual
citizenship. This would ensure that family unity is protected, as
undocumented family members would receive legal status and not face
deportation.

Opponents of the path to citizenship proposal cite the rule of law,
stating that any "reward" of legal status would be condoning illegal
behavior. What they fail to acknowledge is that immigrants who enter
illegally, drawn by the attraction of jobs, would enter legally if visas
were available to them.

Currently, only 5,000 permanent visas are available for unskilled
workers, while, before the recession, the economy absorbed close to
500,000 migrant workers per year into such industries as agriculture,
service, and construction. It is time to examine all parts of our
immigration system and reform it to match the future labor needs of our
country.

Moreover, more of the same -- increased expenditures on border
enforcement---will not solve the challenge of illegal immigration. The
U.S. government has spent close to $100 billion on immigration
enforcement since the year 2000, but the number of undocumented has
increased and the debate rages on. Tragically, during this time nearly
5,000 migrants, including women and children, have died in the American
desert.

Another approach is clearly needed. By creating legal avenues for
migrant workers to enter and work, based on economic needs and by the
unemployment rate among Americans, law enforcement could focus upon
criminal elements along our border, not on those simply attempting to
find work or join family members.

As Congress continues to avoid this issue, the situation worsens.
Families continue to be divided, migrants continue to be exploited in
the workplace and die in the desert, and laws like SB 1070 continue to
erode the hard earned trust that now exists between immigrant
communities and law enforcement. Without federal action, states and
communities may continue to pass their own laws, creating a patchwork
across the nation which would not serve the country*s long-term
interests.

There should be a legislative window in the next year for Congress to
consider immigration reform, either later this year or early in the next
Congress. They will not act, however, unless they are moved to by their
constituents.

To help move Congress to action this year, please visit the Justice for
Immigrants website of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops at
justiceforimmigrants.org, and send a postcard to your Senator and
Representatives.

Friday, July 16, 2010

MONDAY MORNING MISSION MEDITATION for week of July 18, 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 (16th Sunday of Ordinary Time, Cycle C, http://www.usccb.org/nab/071810.shtml) we read in the Gospel of Luke how Martha and her sister Mary deal with Jesus' visit to their home. Martha is worried about showing concrete hospitality to Jesus, while Mary listens to God's Word present in their midst. Jesus warns Martha not to be so anxious, and to stop and see God in our own midst. In the first reading from Genesis, we read the story of Abraham and Sarah's hospitality shown to three strangers. In both cases, concrete acts of hospitality and the realization that God is in their Presence, are heralded.


In Catholic Charities http://www.ccdoy.org , we too must be very different places to visit. In our agencies, and in our programs, we are called to show concrete acts of hospitality and welcome. But as important, Catholic Charities is marked by our very acknowledgement that we see the image of God in each person that enters into our midst. We too share that Presence of the Lord with each person by very simple acts of welcome and hope. By that simple act of offering someone a cup of coffee or really just listening, like in our Portage County Caritas Cafe, we recognize God Among Us in our very brothers and sisters, especially those in need.



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

"The Church's social doctrine has always maintained that justice must be applied to every phase of economic activity, because this is always concerned with man and his needs. Locating resources, financing, production, consumption and all the other phases in the economic cycle inevitably have moral implications. Thus every economic decision has a moral consequence. The social sciences and the direction taken by the contemporary economy point to the same conclusion. Perhaps at one time it was conceivable that first the creation of wealth could be entrusted to the economy, and then the task of distributing it could be assigned to politics. Today that would be more difficult, given that economic activity is no longer circumscribed within territorial limits, while the authority of governments continues to be principally local. Hence the canons of justice must be respected from the outset, as the economic process unfolds, and not just afterwards or incidentally. Space also needs to be created within the market for economic activity carried out by subjects who freely choose to act according to principles other than those of pure profit, without sacrificing the production of economic value in the process. The many economic entities that draw their origin from religious and lay initiatives demonstrate that this is concretely possible." (par. 37a)


http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/encyclicals/documents/hf_ben-xvi_enc_20090629_caritas-in-veritate_en.htm




Some important date(s) this week:
http://www.americancatholic.org/Features/Saints/ByDate.aspx

SUNDAY, July 18. St. Camillus de Lellis. 1550-1614.
Son of a military officer who had served both for Naples andFrance. His mother died when Camillus was very young. He spent his youth as a soldier, fighting for the Venetians against the Turks, and then for Naples. Reported as a large individual, perhaps as tall as 6′6″ (2 metres), and powerfully built, but he suffered all his life from abscesses on his feet. A gambling addict, he lost so much he had to take a job working construction on a building belonging to the Capuchins; they converted him.
Camillus entered the Capuchin noviate three times, but a nagging leg injury, received while fighting the Turks, each time forced him to give it up. He went to Rome, Italy for medical treatment where Saint Philip Neri became his priest and confessor. He moved into San Giacomo Hospital for the incurable, and eventually became its administrator. Lacking education, he began to study with children when he was 32 years old. Priest. Founded theCongregation of the Servants of the Sick (the Camellians or Fathers of a Good Death) who, naturally, care for the sick both in hospital and home. The Order expanded with houses in several countries. Camillus honoured the sick as living images of Christ, and hoped that the service he gave them did penance for his wayward youth. Reported to have the gifts of miraculous healing and prophecy. Patron of hospitals and hospital workers, nurses, administrators.


THURSDAY, JULY 22. St. Mary Magdalene. First Century Except for the mother of Jesus, few women are more honored in the Bible than Mary Magdalene. Yet she could well be the patron of the slandered, since there has been a persistent legend in the Church that she is the unnamed sinful woman who anointed the feet of Jesus in Luke 7:36-50.
Most Scripture scholars today point out that there is no scriptural basis for confusing the two women. Mary Magdalene, that is, “of Magdala,” was the one from whom Christ cast out “seven demons” (Luke 8:2)—an indication, at the worst, of extreme demonic possession or, possibly, severe illness.
Father W.J. Harrington, O.P., writing in the New Catholic Commentary, says that “seven demons” “does not mean that Mary had lived an immoral life—a conclusion reached only by means of a mistaken identification with the anonymous woman of Luke 7:36.” Father Edward Mally, S.J., writing in the Jerome Biblical Commentary,agrees that she “is not...the same as the sinner of Luke 7:37, despite the later Western romantic tradition about her.”
Mary Magdalene was one of the many “who were assisting them [Jesus and the Twelve] out of their means.” She was one of those who stood by the cross of Jesus with his mother. And, of all the “official” witnesses that might have been chosen for the first awareness of the Resurrection, she was the one to whom that privilege was given. She is known as the "Apostle to the Apostles."



SHARING HOPE IN HARD ECONOMIC TIMES.

Take time this summer to simplify your life. Consider donating gently used clothing, household items and furniture to a non-profit organization helping others build their lives. If you wish to donate to Catholic Charities, call the location nearest you; visit our website at www.ccdoy.org.



PAPAL INTENTIONS: JULY 2010

Justice in Electing those who Govern
General: That in every nation of the world the election of officials may be carried out with justice, transparency and honesty, respecting the free decisions of citizens.

An Urban Culture of Justice, Solidarity and Peace
Missionary:That Christians may strive to offer everywhere, but especially in great urban centers, an effective contribution to the promotion of education, justice, solidarity and peace.



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



Note: Please consider joining our
FACEBOOK CAUSE http://apps.facebook.com/causes/106889
FACEBOOK GROUP http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=461833870606
TWITTER account, CCDOY, http://twitter.com/CCDOY
for current updates and calls to action that we can all use.

See our website at www.catholiccharitiesyoungstown.org 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: http://corbinchurchthinking.blogspot.com/

Saturday, July 10, 2010

MONDAY MORNING MISSION MEDITATION for the week of July 11, 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 (15th Sunday of Ordinary Time, Cycle C, http://www.usccb.org/nab/071110.shtml ) we read in the Gospel of Luke about the story of the Good Samaritan. We in Catholic Charities are called to be leaders/servants going and doing "likewise."

This reflection by Father Thomas Rosica, CSB provides some wonderful insights:

"The story of the Good Samaritan in today's Gospel (Luke 10:25-37) is one of the most treasured parables of the Bible. During my studies in the Holy Land, no matter how many times I traveled that perilous yet spectacular highway from Jerusalem to Jericho, I always found myself musing on Luke's provocative story.

Luke's story is powerful, for it speaks of the power of love that transcends all creeds and cultures and "creates" a neighbor out of a complete stranger. The parable is personal, for it describes with profound simplicity the birth of a human relationship that has a personal, physical touch, transcending social and cultural taboos, as one person binds the wounds of another. The parable is a pastoral one, for it is filled with the mystery of care and concern that is at the heart of what is best in human beings. The story is primarily practical, for it urges us to cross all barriers of culture and community and to go and do likewise!

Let us look closely at Luke's parable. The legal expert who responds to Jesus' counter-question is certainly a good and upright man. The words, "wished to justify himself" may often be understood to mean that the lawyer was looking for some loophole to demonstrate his worthiness. In fact, the lawyer wishes to be sure that he understands just what "love your neighbor" really implies. In response to a question from this Jewish legal expert about inheriting eternal life, Jesus illustrates the superiority of love over legalism through the parable.

The priest and Levite (vv 31-32) are religious representatives of Judaism who would have been expected to be models of "neighbor" to the victim they would pass by on the road. Levites were expected to have a special dedication to the law. The identity of the "neighbor" requested by the legal expert turns out to be a Samaritan, the enemy of the Jew. Samaritans were hated by the lawyer's racial group. In the end, the lawyer is even unable to say that it was the Samaritan who showed compassion. He resorts to the description, "The one who treated him with compassion."

Spectator sport

To show compassion is to suffer with the wounded and the suffering, to share their pain and agony. Compassion does not leave us indifferent or insensitive to another's pain but calls for solidarity with the suffering. This is how Jesus, the Good Samaritan par excellence, showed compassion. At times we can be like the priest and the scribe who, on seeing the wounded man, passed by on the other side. We can be silent spectators afraid to involve ourselves and dirty our hands.

Compassion demands that we get out of ourselves as we reach out to others in need. It means that we get our hands and even our reputations dirty. Indifference is worse than hostility. The hostile person at least acknowledges the presence of the other while reacting violently to it; the indifferent person, on the other hand, ignores the other and treats him as if he did not exist. That was the kind of indifference and insensitivity shown by the priest and the Levite who passed by on the other side, leaving the wounded and waylaid traveler completely alone.

The Good Samaritan shows us what compassion and commitment are all about. He could have easily passed by on the other side. He could have closed his heart and refused to respond to a genuine need. But he stopped and knelt down beside the stranger who was hurting. At that moment, a neighbor was born. Everyone who stops beside the suffering of another person, whatever form it may take, is a Good Samaritan. This stopping and stooping, this pausing and kneeling down beside the suffering, is not done out of curiosity but out of love. The Samaritan's compassion brings him to perform a whole series of actions. First he bandaged his wounds, then he took the wounded man to an inn to care for him, and before leaving, he gives the innkeeper the necessary money to take care of him (vv 34-35).

Loving means acting like the Good Samaritan. We know that Jesus himself is the Good Samaritan par excellence; although he was God, he did not hesitate to humble himself to the point of becoming a man and giving his life for us. More than 2,000 years after this story was first told, it continues to move people deeply. It teaches us what authentic compassion, commitment and communion with others are all about.

Concept of neighbor

In his 2005 encyclical letter "Deus Caritas Est" (On Christian Love), Benedict XVI wrote in #15: "The parable of the Good Samaritan offers two particularly important clarifications. Until that time, the concept of 'neighbor' was understood as referring essentially to one's countrymen and to foreigners who had settled in the land of Israel; in other words, to the closely-knit community of a single country or people. This limit is now abolished. Anyone who needs me, and whom I can help, is my neighbor. The concept of 'neighbor' is now universalized, yet it remains concrete. Despite being extended to all mankind, it is not reduced to a generic, abstract and undemanding expression of love, but calls for my own practical commitment here and now.

'The Church has the duty to interpret ever anew this relationship between near and far with regard to the actual daily life of her members. Lastly, we should especially mention the great parable of the Last Judgment (cf. Matthew 25:31-46), in which love becomes the criterion for the definitive decision about a human life's worth or lack thereof. Jesus identifies himself with those in need, with the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick and those in prison. 'As you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me" (Matthew 25:40). Love of God and love of neighbor have become one: In the least of the brethren we find Jesus himself, and in Jesus we find God.'"

(from Loving Means Acting Like the Good Samaritan, Zenit, July 6, 2010)




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

"The great challenge before us, accentuated by the problems of development in this global era and made even more urgent by the economic and financial crisis, is to demonstrate, in thinking and behaviour, not only that traditional principles of social ethics like transparency, honesty and responsibility cannot be ignored or attenuated, but also that in commercial relationships the principle of gratuitousness and the logic of gift as an expression of fraternity can and must find their place within normal economic activity. This is a human demand at the present time, but it is also demanded by economic logic. It is a demand both of charity and of truth." (par. 36d)



http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/encyclicals/documents/hf_ben-xvi_enc_20090629_caritas-in-veritate_en.htm



Some important date(s) this week:
http://www.americancatholic.org/Features/Saints/ByDate.aspx

WEDNESDAY July 14 Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha (1656-1680) The blood of martyrs is the seed of saints. Nine years after the Jesuits Isaac Jogues and John de Br├ębeuf were tomahawked by Iroquois warriors, a baby girl was born near the place of their martyrdom, Auriesville, New York.
Her mother was a Christian Algonquin, taken captive by the Iroquois and given as wife to the chief of the Mohawk clan, the boldest and fiercest of the Five Nations. When she was four, Kateri lost her parents and little brother in a smallpox epidemic that left her disfigured and half blind. She was adopted by an uncle, who succeeded her father as chief. He hated the coming of the Blackrobes (Jesuit missionaries), but could do nothing to them because a peace treaty with the French required their presence in villages with Christian captives. She was moved by the words of three Blackrobes who lodged with her uncle, but fear of him kept her from seeking instruction. She refused to marry a Mohawk brave and at 19 finally got the courage to take the step of converting. She was baptized with the name Kateri (Catherine) on Easter Sunday.
Now she would be treated as a slave. Because she would not work on Sunday, she received no food that day. Her life in grace grew rapidly. She told a missionary that she often meditated on the great dignity of being baptized. She was powerfully moved by God’s love for human beings and saw the dignity of each of her people.
She was always in danger, for her conversion and holy life created great opposition. On the advice of a priest, she stole away one night and began a 200-mile walking journey to a Christian Indian village at Sault St. Louis, near Montreal.
For three years she grew in holiness under the direction of a priest and an older Iroquois woman, giving herself totally to God in long hours of prayer, in charity and in strenuous penance. At 23 she took a vow of virginity, an unprecedented act for an Indian woman, whose future depended on being married. She found a place in the woods where she could pray an hour a day—and was accused of meeting a man there!
Her dedication to virginity was instinctive: She did not know about religious life for women until she visited Montreal. Inspired by this, she and two friends wanted to start a community, but the local priest dissuaded her. She humbly accepted an “ordinary” life. She practiced extremely severe fasting as penance for the conversion of her nation. She died the afternoon before Holy Thursday. Witnesses said that her emaciated face changed color and became like that of a healthy child. The lines of suffering, even the pockmarks, disappeared and the touch of a smile came upon her lips. She was beatified in 1980.

WEDNESDAY July 14 St. Francis Solano (1549-1610) Francis came from a leading family in Andalusia, Spain. Perhaps it was his popularity as a student that enabled Francis in his teens to stop two duelists. He entered the Friars Minor in 1570, and after ordination enthusiastically sacrificed himself for others. His care for the sick during an epidemic drew so much admiration that he became embarrassed and asked to be sent to the African missions. Instead he was sent to South America in 1589.
While working in what is now Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay, Francis quickly learned the local languages and was well received by the indigenous peoples. His visits to the sick often included playing a song on his violin.
Around 1601 he was called to Lima, Peru, where he tried to recall the Spanish colonists to their baptismal integrity. Francis also worked to defend the indigenous peoples from oppression. He died in Lima and was canonized in 1726.



SHARING HOPE IN HARD ECONOMIC TIMES.

Be a Voice of Hope! As Catholic Charities celebrates 100 years as a movement in the United States, consider attending the 13th Annual Voice of Hope Dinner on Saturday, September 11, 2010. For more information, visit the Catholic Charities website at www.ccdoy.org.


PAPAL INTENTIONS: JULY 2010

Justice in Electing those who Govern
General: That in every nation of the world the election of officials may be carried out with justice, transparency and honesty, respecting the free decisions of citizens.

An Urban Culture of Justice, Solidarity and Peace
Missionary:That Christians may strive to offer everywhere, but especially in great urban centers, an effective contribution to the promotion of education, justice, solidarity and peace.



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



Note: Please consider joining our
FACEBOOK CAUSE http://apps.facebook.com/causes/106889
FACEBOOK GROUP http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=461833870606
TWITTER account, CCDOY, http://twitter.com/CCDOY
for current updates and calls to action that we can all use.

See our website at www.catholiccharitiesyoungstown.org 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: http://corbinchurchthinking.blogspot.com/

Friday, July 2, 2010

MONDAY MORNING MISSION MEDITATION for the week of July 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 (14th Sunday of Ordinary Time, Cycle C, http://www.usccb.org/nab/070410.shtml ) we read in the Gospel of Luke about Jesus' commissioning 72 other disciples to go ahead of him to various communities in order to prepare for his visits. These newly appointed missionaries are given orders on how to behave in his name and are told to heal those who are sick and to announce that the Kingdom of God is at hand.


In Catholic Charities http://www.ccdoy.org , we too are like those 72 disciples. We are called to announce the Good News that the Kingdom of God is at hand. This Kingdom is brought to realization in every encounter we have with someone who calls or visits our Catholic Charities' offices. We are called to bring healing and comfort to those in distress. Like in today's first reading from the Prophet Isaiah, we are witnesses to that promise of God that "As nurslings, you shall be carried in her arms, and fondled in her lap; as a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you.." That is what being a missionary in the world entails: helping others experience the Kingdom of God which is close at hand.



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

"The Church's social doctrine holds that authentically human social relationships of friendship, solidarity and reciprocity can also be conducted within economic activity, and not only outside it or 'after' it. The economic sphere is neither ethically neutral, nor inherently inhuman and opposed to society. It is part and parcel of human activity and precisely because it is human, it must be structured and governed in an ethical manner." (par. 36c)


http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/encyclicals/documents/hf_ben-xvi_enc_20090629_caritas-in-veritate_en.htm




Some important date(s) this week:
http://www.americancatholic.org/Features/Saints/ByDate.aspx



TUESDAY, JULY 6. Isaiah the Prophet Eighth century BC Old Testament prophet. Killed at the order of King Manasses of Juda.



SHARING HOPE IN HARD ECONOMIC TIMES.

Unemployment rates have decreased slightly in our diocesan region over the past month. But 12-13% is still a morally unacceptable rate. Catholic Charities works with parishes to create support networks for persons who face unemployment. If you are interested in becoming more involved, contact Rachel or George at 330-744-8451.


Intention: As we celebrate our independence this weekend, pray for those who are held captive by poverty, violence, and neglect in our great nation.


PAPAL INTENTIONS: JULY 2010

Justice in Electing those who Govern
General: That in every nation of the world the election of officials may be carried out with justice, transparency and honesty, respecting the free decisions of citizens.

An Urban Culture of Justice, Solidarity and Peace
Missionary:That Christians may strive to offer everywhere, but especially in great urban centers, an effective contribution to the promotion of education, justice, solidarity and peace.



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



Note: Please consider joining our
FACEBOOK CAUSE http://apps.facebook.com/causes/106889
FACEBOOK GROUP http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=461833870606
TWITTER account, CCDOY, http://twitter.com/CCDOY
for current updates and calls to action that we can all use.

See our website at www.catholiccharitiesyoungstown.org 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: http://corbinchurchthinking.blogspot.com/

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Holy See to UN on Aid to Refugees

"A Culture of Friendly Human Interaction ... Can Nourish Further Solidarity"

GENEVA, JUNE 30, 2010 ( Zenit.org ).- Here is the address Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, permanent representative of the Holy See to the U.N. offices in Geneva, delivered June 22 at a meeting of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The Vatican published the text of the address today.

* * *

Mr. Chairman,

The Holy See Delegation supports the intense effort made by the UNHCR to call attention to, to refine and to advance the priority of extending increased protection to refugees and persons of concern. Though it appears like a counter-trend to current political sensitivities, it is a timely response, since conflicts have been displacing more people and forced return of potential asylum seekers gives evidence of a difficult political environment for uprooted people. The latest statistics indicate that involuntary movement of persons around the globe continues. The number of people of concern to the UNHCR has grown to 43.3 million worldwide in 2009, the highest number since the 1990s. A sign of current instability and change, for example, is the number of IDPs in Colombia that has reached 4.9 million at the end of 2009 -- a record high -- and the new huge wave of refugees from Kyrgyzstan.

Confronted with such figures, and the suffering of persons hiding behind the statistics, the right course of action is continuing the enlargement process of categories of people to be protected as the international community has progressively included them in the mandate of the UNHCR. Among the new categories for which more targeted provisions can be developed, mixed flows, internally displaced and urban refugees have rightly been pointed out. The increasing attention given to internally displaced persons moves in this positive general direction. Now that over fifty percent of the world population lives in urban areas, it is not surprising that refugees follow the same trend and move to cities in greater number, creating specific challenges for their protection from registration of their children at birth to avoid statelessness to employment possibilities, access to education and legal residence. Today’s ‘boat people’ from Africa, Asia and elsewhere cannot simply be towed back to the port of origin of their journey as if distancing their presence would offer a real solution. Similarly, the automatic resort to detaining potential refugees and asylum seekers -- often in appalling conditions -- is inappropriate.

A combination of safety, respect of human dignity and human rights is necessary. To sustain such a combination, a renewed effort is required to prevent forced displacement before it starts and to anticipate events that could trigger protection issues. Equally important is maintaining a strong international consensus on the protection regime which is founded on international law at a time when non-state actors play outside its rules. In the end, protection is an ethical commitment that underlies and serves as a foundation for effective action. The responsibility we owe to vulnerable groups of our one human family prompts adequate answers to remedy the violation of rights and to assist the victims. The same sense of coherence needs to drive States in translating into appropriate protection services the commitments they have assumed. In the final analysis one cannot say that a state has met its responsibility when persons of concern are left in a state of destitution. It certainly is a commendable and encouraging sign that, notwithstanding the enormous difficulty that the current financial and economic crises have brought about, contributions provided for refugees have increased. A culture of friendly human interaction in our globalized world can nourish further solidarity.

The role of media in presenting a positive perception of forcibly displaced persons, a fair indication of the real causes of this displacement and a sound and realistic sense of solidarity can counteract disinformation and the political manipulation of fears of unknown cultures and people. It can show instead that refugees and forcibly displaced people have talents and capacities to offer and show as well the advantages of building together a common future.

Mr. Chairman,

In conclusion, allow me to quote the words of Pope Benedict XVI on the occasion of World Refugee Day 2010: "Refugees wish to find welcome and to be recognized in their dignity and their fundamental rights; at the same time, they intend to offer their contribution to the society that accepts them. We pray that, in a just reciprocity, an adequate response be given to such expectations and that the refugees show the respect they feel for the identity of the receiving community."

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.