Sunday, May 6, 2012


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 ( we read from the Gospel of John of Jesus’ imagery of the vine and the vine grower.  These agricultural images -- especially pertinent for our own Ashtabula county wine industry -- reminds us that grapes require strong vines connected solidly to its roots.  Jesus claims that he is the true wine and His Father is the vine grower.  He and His Father invite us to be deeply rooted in their love -- the Holy Spirit -- so that much fruit can be born.  We also read in the First Letter of St. John that we know that we are connected with God when we live his commandments, especially the commandment to love one another.

In Catholic Charities , we are solidly rooted in the mission of the Church to bring Good News and help organize love in the world.  As a ministry of the  Church, Catholic Charities empowers others to help live out the commandment to love one another.  Gifts to the Bishop’s Annual Appeal for Catholic Charities and Church  are one way which volunteers, staff and others of good will can continue to support the mission and ministry of the Church to bring abundant life to those around us, especially those in need.

Reflection from Church Documents and Official Statements

Vatican City, 4 May 2012 (VIS) - Benedict XVI received five new non resident ambassadors to the Holy See: Teshome Toga Chanaka of Ethiopia, David Cooney of Ireland, Naivakarurubalavu Solo Mara of the Republic of Fiji, Viguen Tchitetchian of Armenia and Dato' Ho May Young, the first ambassador of Malaysia to the Holy See.

Excerpts from the Holy Father's French-language address to the diplomats is given below:
"The development of the communications media has, in some way, made our planet smaller. ... Awareness of the great suffering caused throughout the world by both material and spiritual poverty calls people to mobilise in order to face, in justice and solidarity, all threats to human beings, society and the environment". 

"Exodus to the great cities, armed conflict, hunger and pandemics, which affect so many people, give rise to new forms of poverty in our time. The global economic crisis has caused an increasing number of families to live in precarious conditions. When the manufacture and increase of needs leads us to believe in the possibility of unlimited enjoyment and consumption, the lack of the means necessary to achieve these ends leads to frustration. ... When poverty coexists with enormous wealth, a sense of injustice arises which can become a source of rebellion. Therefore it is necessary for States to ensure that legislation does not increase social inequality and that people can live dignified lives". 

"The development to which all nations aspire must involve human beings in their entirety, not just economic factors. ... Experiences such as micro-credit, and initiatives to create cooperative associations show that it is possible to harmonise economic objectives with social necessities, democratic government and respect for nature. It is also advisable to encourage manual work and to promote an agriculture which works in favour of local people, viewing these activities with the respect they deserve". 

"In order to strengthen the human factor of social and political life, attention must given to another kind of poverty: the loss of reference to spiritual values and to God. This defect make it more difficult to distinguish good from evil, and to overcome personal interests in favour of the common good. States have a duty to promote their cultural and religious heritage, which contributes to the development of a nation, and to facilitate people's access thereto, because by familiarising ourselves with our history each of us is able to discover the roots of our own existence". 

"Religion helps us to recognise others as brothers and sisters in humanity. Giving everyone the opportunity to know God, in complete freedom, is to help them forge a strong personality which will enable them to bear witness to good, and put it into effect even at great cost. In this way we will build a society in which sobriety and fraternity triumph over misery, indifference and selfishness, over exploitation and waste and, above all, over exclusion"....

Some important date(s) this week:

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

THURSDAY, MAY 10.  St. Damien Joseph de Veuster of Moloka'i
(1840-1889)  When Joseph de Veuster was born in Tremelo, Belgium, in 1840, few people in Europe had any firsthand knowledge of leprosy (Hansen's disease). By the time he died at the age of 49, people all over the world knew about this disease because of him. They knew that human compassion could soften the ravages of this disease.
Forced to quit school at age 13 to work on the family farm, Joseph entered the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary six years later, taking the name of a fourth-century physician and martyr. When his brother Pamphile, a priest in the same congregation, fell ill and was unable to go to the Hawaiian Islands as assigned, Damien quickly volunteered in his place. In May 1864, two months after arriving in his new mission, Damien was ordained a priest in Honolulu and assigned to the island of Hawaii.
In 1873, he went to the Hawaiian government's leper colony on the island of Molokai, set up seven years earlier. Part of a team of four chaplains taking that assignment for three months each year, Damien soon volunteered to remain permanently, caring for the people's physical, medical and spiritual needs. In time, he became their most effective advocate to obtain promised government support.
Soon the settlement had new houses and a new church, school and orphanage. Morale improved considerably. A few years later he succeeded in getting the Franciscan Sisters of Syracuse, led by Mother Marianne Cope (January 23), to help staff this colony in Kalaupapa.
Damien contracted Hansen's disease and died of its complications. As requested, he was buried in Kalaupapa, but in 1936 the Belgian government succeeded in having his body moved to Belgium. Part of Damien's body was returned to his beloved Hawaiian brothers and sisters after his beatification in 1995.
Damien was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI on October 11, 2009.
When Hawaii became a state in 1959, it selected Damien as one of its two representatives in the Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol.


Read Bishop Murry’s Pastoral Letter on Poverty.
  Ask yourself as you deepen your faith during these 50 days of Easter : Who Is My Neighbor?  How can I help?  

Catholic Charities Social Action office is sponsoring a class in Christian Moral Living for the Office of Religious Education Formation program.  The class is on Crime, Justice and the Death Penalty.  This class meets every Tuesday from April 24 til June 12 from 7 to 9m at the Ursuline Educational Center in Canfield.  Contact Joe Miles for more information.

May 2012
    General Intention: The Family. That initiatives which defend and uphold the role of the family may be promoted within society. .
    Missionary Intention: Mary, Guide of Missionaries. That Mary, Queen of the World and Star of Evangelization, may accompany all missionaries in proclaiming her Son Jesus. 

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:

No comments: