Sunday, June 30, 2013

MONDAY MORNING MISSION MEDITATION for the week of June 30, 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, (Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time     )  we read from the Gospel of Luke about Jesus’ teaching about following Him.  Some of those He asks to join in His work of building the Kingdom of God ask for time to “settle” things; Jesus demands an immediate change of heart and direction.  We know, through Jesus’ witness, that following Him may entail hardships; but we know, through St. Paul’s reflections, that such a change of heart and mind will give us true freedom.  And what is that true freedom?  According to St. Paul, we are called to change our very lives to reflect the attitude and practice of serving “one another through love” as we love God and neighbor.

Catholic Charities  ( is that sign of organized love of the Church in action each and every day.  We understand that being Catholic in our identity may mean that we do not do certain activities due to our moral teachings.  We also recognize that as a Catholic institution we may have to be advocates for religious freedom and the ability to serve others as Jesus has called us to do.  However, as a Catholic institution, our identity as a ministry of Jesus given to the Church, compels us to add a value to each of our encounters:  we see each person who we help as a human person made in God’s image and likeness.  Our clients are not numbers or statistics; they are each and everyone a child of God.  That radical call to recognize the inherent dignity of each person as made in God’s image is a sign of our Catholic identity and understanding of Jesus’ mission and work.  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 us, love us unconditionally and we in turn share that love with each person.

Reflection from Church Documents and Official Statements

Pope Francis:  On Losing One's Life for Christ

Vatican City, June 24, 2013 ( |

Here is the translation of Pope Francis' address before and after the recitation of the Angelusin St. Peter's Square.
* * *
Dear brothers and sisters, hello!
L(ast) Sunday’s Gospel reports one of Jesus’ most incisive statements: “Whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it” (Luke 9:24).
Here there is a synthesis of Christ’s message and it is expressed with a very effective paradox, which informs us of his way of speaking, it almost makes us hear his voice...
But what does it mean “to lose your life for Jesus’ sake”? This can happen in 2 ways: explicitly confessing the faith or implicitly defending the truth. The martyrs are the supreme example of losing one’s life for Christ. In two thousand years there has been a great multitude of men and women who have sacrificed their life to remain faithful to Christ and his Gospel. And today, in many parts of the world there are many, many – more than in previous centuries – many martyrs, who give their life for Christ, who are put to death for not rejecting Christ. This is our Church. Today we have more martyrs than in the previous centuries! But there is also daily martyrdom, which does not bring death but is also a “losing one’s life” for Christ, duty your duty with love, following the logic of Jesus, the logic of the gift, of sacrifice. Let us think of how many fathers and mothers put their faith in practice by concretely offering their life for the good of the family! Think about these people! How many priests, brothers, sisters carry out their service for the kingdom of God with generosity! How many young people renounce their own interests to care for children, the disabled, the elderly... They too are martyrs! Daily martyrs, martyrs of daily life!
And then there are many people, Christians and non-Christians, who “lose their life” for truth. And Christ said, “I am the truth,” so whoever serves the truth serves Christ.
One of these people, who gave his life for the truth, is John the Baptist. In fact,tomorrow, June 24, is his great feast, the solemnity of his birth. John was chosen by God to prepare the way for Jesus, and he pointed him out to the people of Israel as the Messiah, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (cf. John 1:29). John consecrated himself entirely to God and to the one he sent, Jesus. But in the end, what happened? He died for the sake of truth, when he denounced the adultery of King Herod and Herodias. How many people pay dearly for their commitment to truth! How many just men prefer to go against the current so as not to reject the voice of conscience, the voice of truth! Just persons, who are not afraid to go against the current! And we, we must not have fear to go against the current, when they want to steel our hope, when they propose these rotten values, values that are like food that has gone bad and when food has gone bad, it makes us sick; these values make us sick. We must go against the current! And you young people, you must be the first: Go against the current and be proud to go against the current. Forward, be courageous and go against the current! Be proud to do it!
Dear friends, let us welcome these words of Jesus. It is a rule of life proposed to everyone. And St. John the Baptist helps us to put them into practice.
On this path we are, as always, preceded by our Mother, Mary Most Holy: she lost her life for Jesus, going to the cross, and she received it [back] in fullness, with all the light and beauty of the Resurrection. May Mary help us always make the logic of the Gospel our own.

Some important date(s) this week:

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

Thursday, July 4  St. Elizabeth of Portugal  (1271-1336)
Elizabeth is usually depicted in royal garb with a dove or an olive branch. At her birth in 1271, her father, Pedro III, future king of Aragon, was reconciled with his father, James, the reigning monarch. This proved to be a portent of things to come. Under the healthful influences surrounding her early years, she quickly learned self-discipline and acquired a taste for spirituality. Thus fortunately prepared, she was able to meet the challenge when, at the age of 12, she was given in marriage to Denis, king of Portugal. She was able to establish for herself a pattern of life conducive to growth in God’s love, not merely through her exercises of piety, including daily Mass, but also through her exercise of charity, by which she was able to befriend and help pilgrims, strangers, the sick, the poor—in a word, all those whose need came to her notice. At the same time she remained devoted to her husband, whose infidelity to her was a scandal to the kingdom.

He, too, was the object of many of her peace endeavors. She long sought peace for him with God, and was finally rewarded when he gave up his life of sin. She repeatedly sought and effected peace between the king and their rebellious son, Alfonso, who thought that he was passed over to favor the king’s illegitimate children. She acted as peacemaker in the struggle between Ferdinand, king of Aragon, and his cousin James, who claimed the crown. And finally from Coimbra, where she had retired as a Franciscan tertiary to the monastery of the Poor Clares after the death of her husband, she set out and was able to bring about a lasting peace between her son Alfonso, now king of Portugal, and his son-in-law, the king of Castile.


Elizabeth was not well enough to undertake her final peacemaking journey, made all the more difficult by the oppressive heat of the season. She would not, however, permit herself to be dissuaded from it. She answered that there was no better way to give of her life and her health than by averting the miseries and destruction of war. By the time she had successfully brought about peace, she was so sick that death was imminent. After her death in 1336, her body was returned to the monastery at Coimbra for burial.


The work of promoting peace is anything but a calm and quiet endeavor. It takes a clear mind, a steady spirit and a brave soul to intervene between people whose emotions are so aroused that they are ready to destroy one another. This is all the more true of a woman in the early 14th century. But Elizabeth had a deep and sincere love and sympathy for humankind, almost a total lack of concern for herself and an abiding confidence in God. These were the tools of her success.



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

Bishop Murry will celebrate 12:10 pm Mass at the Cathedral of St. Columba on Monday, July 1, 2013 as part of our Diocesan Fortnight for Freedom Activities.

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


World Youth Day. That World Youth Day in Brazil may encourage all young Christians to become disciples and missionaries of the Gospel.

Asia. That throughout Asia doors may be open to messengers of the Gospel.

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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