Sunday, October 23, 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 (Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year  A   we read in the Gospel of Matthew how Jesus focuses like a laser beam into the heart of the Christian life:  love God and love neighbor.  Those who asked Jesus his opinion about the greatest commandment were trying to catch him in a trap.  But Jesus knows the truth of their hearts.  Jesus calls us to be faithful to God, and in so doing, loving and caring for our brothers and sisters.  We read in Exodus how God cares for the widow, the orphan and the stranger, and reminds us that we too were once strangers in a foreign land.  Jesus knows this reading from heart and challenges those around him then and today, to be compassionate and welcoming as God is compassionate.

In Catholic Charities ,  we continue that ministry of Jesus to care for the widow, the orphan and the stranger in our land.  Through our ministries and services to care for women and children, and for new immigrants, migrants and refugees, we show the love of God to each person.  Just like Jesus was challenged about our core mission of loving God and neighbor, there are persons and groups today that think that the Church should not be doing work with pregnant and troubled women, youth at risk or leaving prison, men who are without direction, and certainly not help those without documents.  But as Jesus answered his critics, we too know that in the Tradition of the Church, we in Catholic Charities must continue to organize love to care for those in most need around us.

Reflection from Church Documents and Official Statements

Political Responsibility: Election Year 2011
Catholic Conference of Ohio

In the Catholic tradition, responsible citizenship is a virtue. The responsibility to make political choices rests with each person and his or her properly formed conscience.
Catholic voters are called to properly form their consciences in preparation for voting and for the continued advocacy for just laws and policies required after voting. This process should focus on moral principles, the defense of life, the needs of the weak, and the pursuit of the common good.  It requires constant prayer, understanding of Church teaching, and discernment that goes beyond campaign rhetoric and partisan politics.

In regards to ballot issues, each of us has a responsibility to carefully and prudently discern such initiatives to determine whether they are morally sound, well conceived, and practical. People of good will may differ regarding specific responses to compelling social problems, but we cannot differ on our moral obligation to help build a more just and peaceful world through promoting the common good.

For more information on the analysis and position of the Catholic Conference of Ohio on the State ballot issues, visit their website at

Some important date(s) this week:

See website for biographies of Saints and Blessed celebrated this week.

MONDAY OCTOBER 24.  St. Anthony Claret
(1807-1870)    The "spiritual father of Cuba" was a missionary, religious founder, social reformer, queen’s chaplain, writer and publisher, archbishop and refugee. He was a Spaniard whose work took him to the Canary Islands, Cuba, Madrid, Paris and to the First Vatican Council.
In his spare time as weaver and designer in the textile mills of Barcelona, he learned Latin and printing: the future priest and publisher was preparing. Ordained at 28, he was prevented by ill health from entering religious life as a Carthusian or as a Jesuit, but went on to become one of Spain’s most popular preachers.
He spent 10 years giving popular missions and retreats, always placing great emphasis on the Eucharist and devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Her rosary, it was said, was never out of his hand. At 42, beginning with five young priests, he founded a religious institute of missionaries, known today as the Claretians.
He was appointed to head the much-neglected archdiocese of Santiago in Cuba. He began its reform by almost ceaseless preaching and hearing of confessions, and suffered bitter opposition mainly for stamping out concubinage and giving instruction to black slaves. A hired assassin (whose release from prison Anthony had obtained) slashed open his face and wrist. Anthony succeeded in getting the would-be assassin’s death sentence commuted to a prison term. His solution for the misery of Cubans was family-owned farms producing a variety of foods for the family’s own needs and for the market. This invited the enmity of the vested interests who wanted everyone to work on a single cash crop—sugar. Besides all his religious writings are two books he wrote in Cuba: Reflections on Agriculture and Country Delights.
He was recalled to Spain for a job he did not relish—being chaplain for the queen. He went on three conditions: He would reside away from the palace, he would come only to hear the queen’s confession and instruct the children and he would be exempt from court functions. In the revolution of 1868, he fled with the queen’s party to Paris, where he preached to the Spanish colony.
All his life Anthony was interested in the Catholic press. He founded the Religious Publishing House, a major Catholic publishing venture in Spain, and wrote or published 200 books and pamphlets.
At Vatican I, where he was a staunch defender of the doctrine of infallibility, he won the admiration of his fellow bishops. Cardinal Gibbons of Baltimore remarked of him, "There goes a true saint." At the age of 63, he died in exile near the border of Spain.


October is Respect Life Month.  Catholic Charities is committed to working to protect and enhance human dignity and life through all of its services and ministries.  One area that we promote life and dignity is through our immigration and migrant services and ministries.  Catholic Charities offers legal assistance to those persons who require assistance with their immigration status.  Catholic Charities also offers outreach and pastoral care for new migrants in the region.

 PAPAL INTENTIONS:   October 2011

General Intention: That the terminally ill may be supported by their faith in God and the love of their brothers and sisters.

Missionary Intention: That the celebration of World Mission Day may foster in the People of God a passion for evangelization with the willingness to support the missions with prayer and economic aid for the poorest Churches.

Corporal Works of Mercy:  The seven practices of charity toward our neighbor

  1. Feed the hungry
  2. Give drink to the thirsty
  3. Clothe the naked
  4. Shelter the homeless
  5. Visit the sick
  6. Visit those in prison
  7. Bury the dead

Note: Please consider joining our
for current updates and calls to action that we can all use. 

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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