Sunday, February 24, 2013

MONDAY MORNING MISSION MEDITATION for the week of Februart 24, 2013

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 in Lent    we read from the Gospel of  Luke about Jesus’ transfiguration. We read how Jesus’ clothing “became dazzling white” appearing in glory, as He with Moses and Elijah -- the Law and the Prophets.   God the Father proclaims His chosen Son and calls all to “listen to him.”  As God the Father points to His Son, so too St. Paul reminds his readers in the Letter to the Phillipians to “stand firm in the Lord” and be imitators of him and others who have kept the faith.  So too today, in our Second Sunday of Lent, we are called to remain faithful to the message of Jesus -- a message of love, joy and hope though acknowledging the fears and pain that one may have to encounter.  Jesus discusses with Moses and Elijah, overheard by the disciples, about his exodus and role in Jerusalem -- His death.  But, being transformed -- transfigured -- by God by our own encounter with the Lord helps us know with hope our salvation is at hand.


Catholic Charities  ( works continuously to find ways to help transform the lives of persons, families and communities.  Such transformations occur each day through our social services and social action activities, such as through financial literacy efforts, food preparation and nutrition programs, investing in companies  employing  low income workers as cooperatives, purchasing fair trade goods (, and advocating for just social policies.  We are confident in our hope in the Lord, and share that message with each person, family and group we encounter.  But we also are aware that a real transformation in lives and communities takes time and patience, and some trials and painful learning experiencing.  Regardless, we in Catholic Charities commit ourselves to be agents of transformation as Jesus has called us to be: through simple acts of charity and justice living out the corporal works of mercy.

Reflection from Church Documents and Official Statements

Pope Benedict XVI’s Lenten Message

Lent's Greatest Act of Charity

Cardinal Sarah Reflects on Evangelization as Best Gift for Man

Rome, February 18, 2013 ( José Antonio Varela Vidal |

We are now in the midst of the Lenten liturgical period, introduced on Ash Wednesday in the emotional final public liturgy to be presided over by Benedict XVI.
The Pontiff's annual Lenten Message was presented a few days before Lent started, by the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, the dicastery that oversees the Church's charitable work.
To reflect further on the content of the message, ZENIT interviewed Cardinal Robert Sarah, president of the council.

ZENIT: Why does the Pope say that the word charity or solidarity goes beyond simple humanitarian aid? In this connection, can a believer carry out his charitable work better if he has his faith present?

Cardinal Sarah: All the Church's charitable activity must begin by listening to the Word of God and by prayer. We encounter Christ in prayer and we recognize him in the face of the poor whom we serve. In No. 1 of Deus Caritas Est, Benedict XVI reminds us that to be Christian is not an ethical decision or a great idea, but the encounter with an event, with a Person, who gives life a new horizon and a decisive orientation. Hence charity is read from the point of view of this encounter with Jesus, which gives to life a new and decisive stamp. Because of this, the Holy Father invites us not to reduce charitable work to a simple humanitarian or solidaristic act, given that to live charity is always a representing of the love of God.
Whoever lives charity, understood in the Christian sense, must begin from faith in the God of Jesus Christ, sent to give us his life for our salvation. Only the encounter with God in Christ is able to arouse love in believers and open their spirit to the other. Hence true charity is a consequences that stems from faith and acts in love. For a Christian, to live charity from the faith is the only way he has to embrace fully the needs of others.

ZENIT: What is the Pope referring to when he says that charity helps evangelization? And why must evangelization be considered, according to the Message, as the highest and integral promotion of the human person?

Cardinal Sarah: A charitable organization that begins from faith proclaims the Good News of the Kingdom of God. The believer who lives charity according to the Gospel, is always a witness of His love; he makes the love of God present and concrete not only to his brother whom he supports in his need, but also to those he meets on his path. The Pope reminds us that evangelization must be considered the greatest work of charity, as there is no more beneficial and hence charitable action toward others, than to break the bread of the Good News of the Gospel, inserting it in the relationship of friendship with God. The man who encounters God is totally embraced in his humanity. By presenting the Word of God, man is given the possibility of true integral promotion. Jesus alone saves what is fully human. Hence, the true act of charity consists in taking Him to others, the eternal Word who comes from the Father, the only way that leads to truth and life.

ZENIT: How are faith and hope nourished in a world where people are so ambitious for power? Will fasting, penance and almsgiving help to increase faith?

Cardinal Sarah: Man is never abandoned to himself. Through the Church's proposal we are helped to remain faithful to our baptismal journey. Therefore, Lent is a great opportunity for all believers to increase their faith and to live in a reality that is often made up of trials and snares.
The greatest temptations each one has are those of being independent, of fulfilling oneself on one's own, of having the necessary power to do without God. They are the same temptations that Jesus had in the desert after having fasted for 40 days. His fast did not weaken the Son of God, but made him more conscious of his mission and his filiation. That is why the concrete indications of fasting, penance and almsgiving that we are given for Lent are a great opportunity for all Christians to grow in the faith and to walk with joy in the way of the Commandments.

Some important date(s) this week:

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

FRIDAY February 28  St. Oswald  (d. 992)

The last acts in the life of today's saint make for an amazing story. In truth, they merely underscore the holiness he exhibited throughout his life.

Born into a military family in 10th-century England, Oswald was a nephew of the archbishop of Canterbury, who raised him and played a crucial role in his early education. Oswald continued his studies abroad in France, where he became a Benedictine monk.
Following his appointment as bishop of Worcester, and later as archbishop of York, he founded monasteries and introduced many reforms. He supported—and improved—scholarship at the abbeys he established, inviting leading thinkers in such fields as mathematics and astronomy to share their learnings.
He was widely known for his sanctity, especially his love for the poor. The final winter of his life was spent at the cathedral in Worcester that he so loved. At the start of Lent in February of the year 992, he resumed his usual practice of washing the feet of 12 poor men each day. On Leap Year Day, February 29, he died after kissing the feet of the 12th man and giving a blessing.
The news of Oswald's death brought an outpouring of grief throughout the city.



CRS Rice Bowl brings Lent to life.

CRS Rice Bowl is a Lenten faith formation program that helps us to live in solidarity with the poor and vulnerable around the world.
We pray to reflect on what type of person we are called to be.
We fast to remove the things that get between us and God, and to remember those without enough to eat.
We give to honor Jesus’ call to serve those in need.

Twenty five percent of the Rice Bowl collection remain in the Diocese to fund Catholic Charities and various parish efforts to feed the hungry.  Seventy five percent goes to CRS for their work in global food security.

Migrant Families. That migrant families, especially the mothers, may be supported and accompanied in their difficulties.
     Peace. That the peoples at war and in conflict may lead the way in building a peaceful future.

MARCH 2013
Respect for Nature. That respect for nature may grow with the awareness that all creation is God's work entrusted to human responsibility.

Clergy. That bishops, priests, and deacons may be tireless messengers of the Gospel to the ends of the earth.

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

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