Sunday, March 31, 2013

MONDAY MORNING MISSION MEDITATION for the week of March 31, 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, ( The Resurrection of the Lord, )    we read from the Gospel of  John on how Mary of Magdala came to tomb early that Sunday morning, and feared that not seeing the body of Jesus, that “they have taken the Lord from the tomb.”  She runs to tell the other Apostles, who return in haste, wondering what had happened.  Both Peter and John rushed into the grave site and found the cloth of Jesus “rolled up in a separate place.”  The Gospel then writes about John the Apostle: “he saw and believed.”  We too are called to “see and believe” in a new way:  Jesus’ witness of love and self sacrifice has been transformed into new life.  God is Alive!  Jesus is among us, He has risen from the dead!  John and Peter and Mary and the others still had not “seen” the Lord, but they believed.  So too we must believe in this Good News.
Catholic Charities  ( is called be that Good News to each person we meet.  We do not always have all the answers nor all the resources someone may need to get through a difficult situation, but we offer the best we can.  More importantly, we have seen and believed that persons can become transformed and deal with the many obstacles they may face.  Ultimately, we see and believe that Jesus is risen and transformed into new life.  This is our vantage point.  This belief guides our ability to be Good News.  Catholic Charities works to help transform persons, families and communities in their organizing of the corporal works of mercy, in both charity and justice.      Thanks for your constant support to the Annual Bishop’s Appeal for Catholic Charities and Church ( as we continue to give persons, families and communities hope that they too will find abundant and new life.

Reflection from Church Documents and Official Statements

Pope Francis:  Holy Wednesday General Audience:  “On Holy Week”

(Vatican City, March 27, 2013 (

Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!

I am pleased to welcome you in this my first General audience. With great gratitude and veneration I gather the "witness" from the hands of my beloved predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI. After Easter we will return to the catechesis of the Year of Faith. Today I would like to dwell on Holy Week. With Palm Sunday we have begun this Week – the center of the whole Liturgical Year – in which we accompany Jesus in his Passion, Death and Resurrection.

But what could living Holy Week mean for us? What does it mean to follow Jesus in his path towards the Cross on Calvary and the Resurrection? In his earthly mission, Jesus walked the streets of the Holy Land; he called twelve simple people to remain with him, to share his journey and to continue his mission; he has chosen them from among the people full of faith in God's promises. He spoke to everyone, without distinction, to the great and the humble, to the rich young man and the poor widow, to the powerful and the weak; he brought the mercy and forgiveness of God; he healed, he consoled, he understood; he gave hope; he brought to all the presence of God who is interested in every man and every woman, as a good father and a good mother is in each of their children. God did not wait for everyone to go to Him, but it was He who moved toward us, without calculating, without measure. God is like this: He always takes the first step, He moves towards us. Jesus lived the daily realities of the most common people: he was moved before the crowd that seemed like a flock without a shepherd; he cried in front of the suffering of Martha and Mary for the death of their brother Lazarus; he called a tax collector to be his disciple; he suffered the betrayal of a friend. In him God gave us the certainty that He is with us, in our midst. "Foxes have holes”, Jesus said, “and the birds of the air their nests, but the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head"(Mt 8:20). Jesus has no home because his home is the people, his mission is open to all the doors to God, to be the presence of God's love.  Read more....

Some important date(s) this week:

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

This Week is EASTER WEEK

TUESDAY, APRIL 2.   St. Francis of Paolo (1416-1507)

Francis of Paola was a man who deeply loved contemplative solitude and wished only to be the "least in the household of God." Yet, when the Church called him to active service in the world, he became a miracle-worker and influenced the course of nations.

After accompanying his parents on a pilgrimage to Rome and Assisi, he began to live as a contemplative hermit in a remote cave near Paola, on Italy's southern seacoast. Before he was 20, he received the first followers who had come to imitate his way of life. Seventeen years later, when his disciples had grown in number, Francis established a Rule for his austere community and sought Church approval. This was the founding of the Hermits of St. Francis of Assisi, who were approved by the Holy See in 1474.

In 1492, Francis changed the name of his community to "Minims" because he wanted them to be known as the least (minimi) in the household of God. Humility was to be the hallmark of the brothers as it had been in Francis's personal life. Besides the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, Francis enjoined upon his followers the fourth obligation of a perpetual Lenten fast. He felt that heroic mortification was necessary as a means for spiritual growth.

It was Francis's desire to be a contemplative hermit, yet he believed that God was calling him to the apostolic life. He began to use the gifts he had received, such as the gifts of miracles and prophecy, to minister to the people of God. A defender of the poor and oppressed, Francis incurred the wrath of King Ferdinand of Naples for the admonitions he directed toward the king and his sons.

Following the request of Pope Sixtus IV, Francis traveled to Paris to help Louis XI of France prepare for his death. While ministering to the king, Francis was able to influence the course of national politics. He helped to restore peace between France and Brittany by advising a marriage between the ruling families, and between France and Spain by persuading Louis XI to return some disputed land.

Francis died while at the French court.


Please continue to help us fill Harriet’s Cupboard!

Catholic Charities Regional Agency is asking you to continue to help fill Harriet’s Cupboard.  We have had several donations since this program launched in January.  Your generosity is amazing and greatly appreciated.

APRIL 2013
Liturgy, Source of Life. That the public, prayerful celebration of faith may give life to the faithful.
     Mission Churches. That mission churches may be signs and instruments of hope and resurrection.

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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