Sunday, June 16, 2013

MONDAY MORNING MISSION MEDITATION for the week of June 16, 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, (Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time )  we read from the Gospel of  Luke about Jesus’ encounter with a religious leader and a “sinful” woman.  The religious leader -- the Pharisee -- invites Jesus to dine with him.  A woman, known for her sinful ways, comes to the house and cares for Jesus through her tears and with the abundance of oil for anointing.  The Pharisee cannot believe that Jesus does not “see” what kind of woman this is...Jesus knows all too well that her openness to God’s love sets her free, while the religious leaders’ closed perspective hinders him from seeing the marvels of God’s love.  Jesus reminds us all that God is tender, merciful and full of compassion and forgiveness.  Jesus also reminds us to forgive each other -- to have faith in God - a God of love.

Catholic Charities  ( continues that loving and compassion outreach of Jesus to each person we encounter.  At Catholic Charities, a person or family will know that by their warm reception that we believe in a God of great compassion, mercy, forgiveness and love.  We can help people understand that by our simple acts of the corporal works of mercy, that we are that loving touch of Jesus in the world today.  Thanks to your generous support to the Annual Bishop’s Appeal for Catholic Charities and Church ( we continue to bring this Good News -- the Good News that God loves and forgives us, even when don’t believe that ourselves.  But our faith compels us to continue to proclaim that Good News that God is abundant love and life.

Reflection from Church Documents and Official Statements

Pope Francis:  On the Mercy of Christ

Vatican City, June 09, 2013 (

Here is the translation of the Holy Father's address before and after the recitation of the Angelus in St. Peter's Square.
* * *
Dear brothers and sisters, hello!
The month of June is traditionally dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the greatest human expression of divine love. It was just on Friday, in fact, that we celebrated the solemnity of the Heart of Christ, and this feast sets the tone for the whole month. Popular piety greatly values symbols and the Heart of Jesus is the symbol par excellence of God’s mercy; but it is not an imaginary symbol, it is a real symbol, which represents the center, the source from which flows the salvation of all humanity.
In the Gospels we find various references to the Heart of Jesus, for example, in the passage in which Christ himself says: “Come to me, all you that labor and are burdened; I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon yourselves, and learn from me; I am gentle and humble of heart” (Matthew 11:28-29). Then there is John’s account of Christ’s death, which is fundamental for this theme. St. John, in fact, bears witness to to what he saw on Calvary, that is, that a soldier, when Jesus was already dead, pierced his side with a lance and from that wound blood and water poured out (cf. John 19:33-34). John recognized in that apparently fortuitous sign the fulfillment of the prophecies: from the Heart of Jesus, the Lamb immolated on the cross, forgiveness and life flows forth for all men.
But Jesus' mercy is not only a sentiment, it is a force that gives life, that revives man! Today’s Gospel says this too in the episode of the widow of Nain (Luke 7:11-17). Jesus, with his disciples, is entering Nain, a Galilean village, at the same time that a funeral is taking place: a young man is being carried on the bier, the only son of a widow. Jesus’ gaze immediately comes to rest upon the weeping mother. The evangelist Luke says: “Seeing her the Lord immediately felt great compassion for her” (7:13). This “compassion” is God’s love for man, it is mercy, that is, God’s attitude in the encounter with human misery, with our indigence, our suffering, our anxiety. The biblical term “compassion” recalls the maternal viscera: mothers, in fact, experience a singular reaction in the face of suffering children. This is how God loves us Scripture says.
And what is the fruit of this love, this mercy? It is life! Jesus says to the widow of Nain: “Do not weep!” and then he calls the dead man and he awakens as from sleep (7:13-15). Let us think about this, it is beautiful: God’s mercy gives man life, it brings him back from death. The Lord always looks upon us with mercy; let us not forget it, he always looks upon us with, he awaits us with mercy. Let us not be afraid to approach him! He has a merciful heart! If we show him our inner wounds, our sins, he will always forgive us. He is pure mercy! Let us go to Jesus!
Let us turn to the Virgin Mary: her immaculate heart, the heart of a mother, shared in God’s “compassion” as far as possible, especially in the hour of the passion and death of Jesus. Help us, Mary, to be meek, humble and merciful with our brothers.

Some important date(s) this week:

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

SUNDAY JUNE 16:  Happy Father's Day.

For our fathers, who have given us life and love, that we may show them respect and love, we pray to the Lord. R.
For fathers who have lost a child through death, that their faith may give them hope, and their family and friends support and console them, we pray to the Lord. R.
For fathers who have died, that God may bring them into the joy of his kingdom, we pray to the Lord. R.

Prayer for Father's Day

By: Jane Deren, PhD
We give thanks for fathers all around the world.
Bless these men for their hard work, their caring,
for their generosity and their loyalty to their families.
We pray especially for fathers
Who are struggling to care for their children
Because of the economic crises.
Fathers who have been laid off, who are looking for work,
Who are in despair about keeping a secure roof over their families,
In this country and in countries around the world.
We pray, too, for fathers who cannot care for their families
Because they are ill, with no health care, no health insurance;
We pray for the millions of fathers who are incarcerated,
Who are immigrants, refugees or displaced persons,
Who have experienced violence and are wounded, in body and soul.
You who give life and give it abundantly,
Son of our heavenly father,
Be with all fathers this day,
And grant them your grace and your healing
So they may live out their vocation as fathers
With dignity, strength, and peace.

SATURDAY, JUNE 22.  St. Thomas More (1478-1535)

His belief that no lay ruler has jurisdiction over the Church of Christ cost Thomas More his life.
Beheaded on Tower Hill, London, July 6, 1535, he steadfastly refused to approve Henry VIII’s divorce and remarriage and establishment of the Church of England.

Described as “a man for all seasons,” More was a literary scholar, eminent lawyer, gentleman, father of four children and chancellor of England. An intensely spiritual man, he would not support the king’s divorce from Catherine of Aragon in order to marry Anne Boleyn. Nor would he acknowledge Henry as supreme head of the Church in England, breaking with Rome and denying the pope as head.

More was committed to the Tower of London to await trial for treason: not swearing to the Act of Succession and the Oath of Supremacy. Upon conviction, More declared he had all the councils of Christendom and not just the council of one realm to support him in the decision of his conscience.
Patron Saint of: Attorneys, Civil servants, Court clerks, Lawyers, Politicians, public servants

SATURDAY, JUNE 22.  St. John Fisher (1469-1535)

John Fisher is usually associated with Erasmus, Thomas More and other Renaissance humanists. His life, therefore, did not have the external simplicity found in the lives of some saints. Rather, he was a man of learning, associated with the intellectuals and political leaders of his day. He was interested in the contemporary culture and eventually became chancellor at Cambridge. He had been made a bishop at 35, and one of his interests was raising the standard of preaching in England. Fisher himself was an accomplished preacher and writer. His sermons on the penitential psalms were reprinted seven times before his death. With the coming of Lutheranism, he was drawn into controversy. His eight books against heresy gave him a leading position among European theologians.

In 1521 he was asked to study the question of Henry VIII’s marriage. He incurred Henry’s anger by defending the validity of the king’s marriage with Catherine of Aragon and later by rejecting Henry’s claim to be the supreme head of the Church of England.

In an attempt to be rid of him, Henry first had him accused of not reporting all the “revelations” of the nun of Kent, Elizabeth Barton. John was summoned, in feeble health, to take the oath to the new Act of Succession. He and Thomas More refused because the Act presumed the legality of Henry’s divorce and his claim to be head of the English Church. They were sent to the Tower of London, where Fisher remained 14 months without trial. They were finally sentenced to life imprisonment and loss of goods.

When the two were called to further interrogations, they remained silent. Fisher was tricked, on the supposition he was speaking privately as a priest, and declared again that the king was not supreme head. The king, further angered that the pope had made John Fisher a cardinal, had him brought to trial on the charge of high treason. He was condemned and executed, his body left to lie all day on the scaffold and his head hung on London Bridge. More was executed two weeks later.



The U.S. bishops have called for a Fortnight for Freedom, a two-week period of prayer and action, to address many current challenges to religious liberty, including the August 1, 2013 deadline for religious organizations to comply with the HHS mandate;  Supreme Court rulings that could redefine marriage in June, and religious liberty concerns in areas such as immigration and humanitarian services.  For more information, visit

2013 Annual Bishop’s Appeal for Catholic Charities and Church.  

The in Church/parish appeal is now underway.  Please consider a gift to help support the work of Catholic Charities and other ministries of the Diocese of Youngstown


Mutual Respect. That a culture of dialogue, listening, and mutual respect may prevail among peoples.

New Evangelization. That where secularization is strongest, Christian communities may effectively promote a new evangelization.

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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See our website at for links to the our ministries and services.    
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