Friday, May 20, 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 (Fifth Sunday of Easter Year A we read in the first reading about an argument in the early Church: the Greek and Hebrew communities had a disagreement about how their widows were being cared for by the Church leadership.. The Church was known for its care and compassion for the poor and marginalized, continuing Jesus’ work and ministry. An outcome of this debate was that the Church decided to create the order of deacons -- "Diakonia” -- to provide service “at the table”and care for the needy among them. We also see in this reading that praying, the ministry of the word, and now service are seen as essential elements of the Christian community. We also hear in the Gospel of St John about Jesus asking his disciples to believe and know that He is carrying out the will of his Father, and that He and the Father are one. Jesus challenges his followers to see the works that the Father is doing through him, and says “whoever believes in me will do the works that I do.” Certainly, throughout Jesus’ earthly ministry, one area of “works” that Jesus was known for was his care, compassion, healing and welcoming touch to all persons, but especially his love for the poor, those in need and on the margins of society.

In Catholic Charities , we continue in that great tradition of the early Church. The Church’s decision to establish the diakonia not only created modern deacons, but is really the establishment of the Church’s official ministry to those in need. Today we call that Catholic Charities or Caritas. Catholic Charities is the organized social outreach and social justice ministries of the local Bishop. Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Youngstown and its affiliate agencies served 40,602 people last year at eleven sites throughout the Diocese of Youngstown. Of those served, 83% reported receiving public assistance, including TANF, SSI, food stamps and Medicaid benefits; and 90% reported incomes below the poverty line, which was $22,050 for a family of four in 2010.

Catholic Charities provided well over $1.5 million in direct assistance to clients last year. Services at Catholic Charities in 2010 were provided by a staff of 100 employees. Additionally, two hundred sixty-three (263) people volunteered a total of 6,687 hours to Catholic Charities last year.

Reflection from Pope Benedict XVI's Encyclical, Caritas in Veritate
Another aspect of integral human development that is worthy of attention is the phenomenon of migration. This is a striking phenomenon because of the sheer numbers of people involved, the social, economic, political, cultural and religious problems it raises, and the dramatic challenges it poses to nations and the international community. We can say that we are facing a social phenomenon of epoch-making proportions that requires bold, forward-looking policies of international cooperation if it is to be handled effectively. Such policies should set out from close collaboration between the migrants' countries of origin and their countries of destination; it should be accompanied by adequate international norms able to coordinate different legislative systems with a view to safeguarding the needs and rights of individual migrants and their families, and at the same time, those of the host countries. No country can be expected to address today's problems of migration by itself. We are all witnesses of the burden of suffering, the dislocation and the aspirations that accompany the flow of migrants. The phenomenon, as everyone knows, is difficult to manage; but there is no doubt that foreign workers, despite any difficulties concerning integration, make a significant contribution to the economic development of the host country through their labour, besides that which they make to their country of origin through the money they send home. Obviously, these labourers cannot be considered as a commodity or a mere workforce. They must not, therefore, be treated like any other factor of production. Every migrant is a human person who, as such, possesses fundamental, inalienable rights that must be respected by everyone and in every circumstance. (par. 62)

Some important date(s) this week:
See website for biographies of Saints and Blessed celebrated this week.

SUNDAY MAY 22. A General Assembly of Caritas Internationalis will take place from 22 to 27 May on the premises of the Domus Mariae Palazzo Carpegna Hotel in Rome. About 300 delegates will celebrate the 60th anniversary of the founding of the confederation. Participants will be received in an audience by the Pope and, on the assembly's opening day, the Cardinal Secretary of state will preside over a Eucharistic celebration.

Caritas Internationalis gathers together 165 national Caritas groups and aims primarily at coordinating their intervention in emergencies and crises. It is currently chaired by Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga, archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras. In 2004, Pope John Paul II granted the organization public canonical legal status both by reason of the nature of the national and diocesan Caritas organizations, which are the official organs of the bishops' charitable efforts, as well as in recognition of the great service that the confederation has expressed for decades for the good of the entire Church as well as for humanity.

Granting the organization public canonical legal status entailed the need to adapt its statutes so that they would reflect the nature and purpose of Caritas Internationalis and its mission. The assembly will be an important moment for presenting its work carried out in that field and, under the new statues now in force, to proceed to renew the confederation's governing offices. Caritas Internationalis's plan of action for the next four years will also be reflected on during the meeting.

Catholic Charities in the United States will be represented by Fr. Larry Snyder, President of Catholic Charities USA. VIS 20110520 (240)


Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Youngstown shares the mission of Catholic Charities USA: 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. Visit to learn more about Catholic Charities’ mission-driven programs and services.

General Intention: That those who work in the media may always respect truth, solidarity and the dignity of each person.

Missionary Intention: That the Lord may grant the Church in China the capacity to persevere in fidelity to the Gospel and to grow in unity.

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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