Sunday, January 16, 2011

MONDAY MORNING MISSION MEDITATION for the week of January 16, 2011

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 (Second Sunday of Ordinary Time Year A ) we read in the Gospel of John about John the Baptist's confession and acknowledgement. In this passage, John the Baptist admits twice that he does not know who Jesus really is, by uttering "I did not know him." John the Baptist then reviews the revelation that he finally has regarding the true nature of Jesus: The Son of God sent by the Spirit. How often do we look at things and do not really see them? How often do we not really see things for what they are? The Spirit has given us new eyes as followers of Christ to see the world in a new way; an opening for the Kingdom of God.

In Catholic Charities , we too must and do see the world in a different way. Society may see the persons that come to our agencies for services as the poor, the sick, the lonely, the homeless, the alien/the illegal, the ragged. But because we have been graced by the Spirit and are witnesses to Jesus' mission, we at Catholic Charities see each person that comes to our doors or calls our agencies as images of God. As Jesus revealed to us the face of God, we too see each person as endowed with inherent dignity and rights. By our acknowledging each person as a unique creation of God, we are a sign in our community that God is with us, the Kingdom is breaking in.

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

The Church has a responsibility towards creation and she must assert this responsibility in the public sphere. In so doing, she must defend not only earth, water and air as gifts of creation that belong to everyone. She must above all protect mankind from self-destruction. There is need for what might be called a human ecology, correctly understood. The deterioration of nature is in fact closely connected to the culture that shapes human coexistence: when “human ecology” is respected within society, environmental ecology also benefits. Just as human virtues are interrelated, such that the weakening of one places others at risk, so the ecological system is based on respect for a plan that affects both the health of society and its good relationship with nature. (par. 51b)

Some important date(s) this week:

Annual Mass for Life
Saturday, January 22nd (Youngstown)
Bishop Murry will celebrate the Annual Mass for Life at St. Columba Cathedral on January 22nd at 10:30 AM. All are welcome.

Bishop's Message for Day of Migrants, Refugees

January 16. World Day of Migrants and Refugees

"Our Task Is to Build Integrated Communities in the Church"

LONDON, JAN. 15, 2011 ( ).- Here is the message of Bishop Patrick Lynch, chairman of the Office for Migration Policy of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, for the 97th World Day of Migrants and Refugees, which will be celebrated Sunday on the theme: "One Human Family."
* * *
In his address for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees today His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI takes as his theme "One human family". He reminds us that because of globalization and migration we are becoming increasingly inter-connected and more conscious than ever that all of us belong to one human family. An important aspect of the mission of the Church in the world today is, therefore, to be a sign and instrument of union with God and of the unity of the whole human race.
Once again Pope Benedict emphasizes the central principles of Catholic Social Teaching with regard to migration - the right to migrate, the right of the State to regulate migration and the responsibility of the State to respect the dignity of every human person and therefore of every migrant. This time, however, he adds that "migrant communities have a duty to integrate into the host country, respecting its laws and national identity. The challenge is to combine the welcome due to every human being, especially when in need with a reckoning of what is necessary for both the local inhabitants and the new arrivals to live a dignified and peaceful life". This message is particularly relevant for the Church here in England and Wales and for our society at this present time.
Integration does not mean assimilation when one looses one's cultural, social and religious identity and is absorbed into the host culture. Integration is a process - often extending over two generations - that begins when the host community reaches out to welcome and help immigrant communities to connect with, belong to and participate in all the networks that form society today. If people don't feel welcome they can't fully belong and if they don't feel they belong it is difficult to participate and integrate. Churches and in particular parishes and schools often serve as the first points of entry into society and civic engagement. It is in the parish that migrant communities experience a sense of being welcomed and belonging. It is through the parishes and the schools that immigrant families make new friends, receive practical advice, help and support and develop some of the basic civic skills that enable them to connect at a deeper level with the wider community and society. It is through the schools that immigrant families first begin to see the realisation of their dream for a better life for their children.
The Catholic Church also recognizes the importance of culture in the integration process by the way it recognizes and affirms the gifts, the faith, the spirituality and the devotions of immigrant communities e.g. the sense of community and solidarity in one community, the strong family bonds in another, the devotion to Our Lady in another, the sense of joyful thanksgiving and celebration in another.
Integration, however, involves not only appreciating diversity but also nurturing unity. It is our experience as a Church that that unity is shaped and nurtured by four elements:
- Our shared faith in the Risen Lord,
- Our shared sense of belonging to the Church to a diocese and to a local community,
- Our shared experience of prayer and especially the Eucharist and
- Our shared commitment to build God's Kingdom and contribute to the common good in society today.
Our task is to build integrated communities in the Church not separate ones. I would like especially to congratulate the parish of St. Peter's (in Woolwich) and the many parishes up and down the country who are examples of how to be a welcoming community - communities that welcome people from many backgrounds, many countries and many cultures but yet at the same time are communities that help newly arrived immigrants to be fully part of the life of the local Church and fully part of the local community in which they live.
It is very appropriate that our second reading today is from the beginning of St. Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians. When writing to the Corinthians St. Paul was writing to a community that was divided. They were divided between rich and poor and between those strong and weak in their faith. They were divided over which leader they should follow and over their beliefs.
Paul's fervent hope and prayer is that they will be united but he knows that will only happen if they become more open to the Holy Spirit and begin to see themselves as sisters and brothers in the family of God and members of the Body of Christ.
Let us pray this morning as the Holy Father has asked us that we too will be open to presence of the Holy Spirit present in all our brothers and sisters so that the friendship and communion we experience through the mass will help us create greater understanding among peoples and cultures especially in the community in which we live.
With every good wish and blessing for the coming year.
Bishop Patrick Lynch SS.CC.
Chair, Office for Migration Policy
Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales


Did you know that Catholic Charities, Diocese of Youngstown is on Facebook and Twitter? Find us on Facebook at Catholic Charities, Diocese of Youngstown and on Twitter at ccdoy.

Hope Works Offer New Series

Starting Tuesday, January 18th at 6:30 p.m. and continuing every Tuesday evening through February 22, Blessed Sacrament Parish in Warren will be hosting a six-session series, "The ABC's of Getting the Job You Deserve." The series will give those in attendance an action plan that will bring success, and help them stand out from other job seekers. There are professional speakers each week and success stories that will help get everyone through the winter darkness. These sessions will be held at Blessed Sacrament Parish’s Regan Hall, 3020 Reeves Road, NE, Warren. Please call the parish at 330-372-2215 to speak to Terry about registering and for more information. There is no charge for this session.

Hope Works is sponsored by Trumbull County Catholic Parishes and with Sharing Hope in Tough Times, a project of Catholic Charities


General Intention: That the riches of creation be preserved, valued and made available to all, as a precious gifts from God to mankind.

Missionary Intention: That Christians may achieve full unity, bearing witness of the universal fatherhood of God to 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

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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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