Sunday, June 9, 2013

MONDAY MORNING MISSION MEDITATION for the week of June 9, 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, (Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time )  we read from the Gospel of  Luke about Jesus’ raising and healing a young man.  The crowd is amazed and declare that is prophet is truly with us.  This gospel reading echos the story told in the first reading from the First Book of Kings about the prophet Elijah raising a young man from his death bed.  In both cases, God brings abundant life and joy to those touched.  Like St. Paul’s letter to the Galatians, we too are a witness to the gospel that is “not of human origin...but ...through a revelation of Jesus Christ.”  The crowds were basically right: there is a prophet among us but that prophet is the Son of God, revealing God’s face to everyone and declaring that our God is a God of life.

Catholic Charities  ( continues to be that sign of the presence of God in our midst.  On many occasions, we are called upon to bring healing and hope into the lives of persons, families and communities.  We bring a good news to everyone we encounter: God brings abundant life.  Even in the midst of pain and suffering, Catholic Charities can be that sign of love and hope celebrating God’s infinite and unconditional love.  Thanks to your generous support to the Annual Bishop’s Appeal for Catholic Charities and Church ( we continue to bring this Good News -- not from human origins but from God -- that Jesus’ healing touch is there for all who are open to it.

Reflection from Church Documents and Official Statements

Pope Francis:  On the Church as the Family of God

Vatican City, May 29, 2013 ( |

Here is the translation of the Holy Father’s weekly General Audience address in St. Peter’s Square where he began a new cycle of catecheses on the mystery of the Church.

* * *
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Last Wednesday I underlined the deep bond between the Holy Spirit and the Church. Today I would like to start some catecheses on the mystery of the Church, a mystery that we all live in and of which we are part. I would like to do this with some well-known expressions of the texts of Vatican II.
First: the Church as the family of God.
In recent months, more than once I made reference to the parable of the prodigal son, or rather of the merciful father (cf. Lk 15:11-32). His youngest son leaves his father's house, squanders everything and decides to return because he realizes that he has made a mistake, but no longer considers himself worthy of being a son, and thinks that he might be readmitted as a servant. The father instead runs to meet him, hugs him, restores him to the dignity of a son and throws a feast. This parable, as others in the Gospel, well describes God's plan for humanity.
What is this plan? It's to make of all of us the one family of his children, in which each will feel close and feel loved by Him, as in the Gospel parable, that each may feel the warmth of being the family of God. In this great design, the Church finds its roots; the Church is not an organization born out of an agreement made by some people, but - as Pope Benedict XVI has reminded us many times - it's God's work, it is born from this plan of love that takes place progressively in history. The Church was born from the desire of God to call all people to communion with Him, to His friendship, and indeed to participate as his sons of his own divine life. The very word "Church", from the Greek word ekklesia, means "convocation": God summons us, he urges us to come out of our individualism, of our tendency to close in upon ourselves and calls us to be his family. And this call has its origin in creation itself. God created us to live in a deep friendship with him, and even when sin broke this relationship with him, with others and with creation, God did not abandon us. The whole history of salvation is the story of God seeking man, offering him His love, welcoming him. He called Abraham to be the father of a multitude, he chose the people of Israel to forge a covenant that embraces all people, and sent, in the fullness of time, his Son so that his plan of love and salvation might come true in a new and everlasting covenant with all humanity. When we read the Gospels, we see that Jesus gathers around him a small community that welcomes his word, follows him, shares his journey, becomes his family, and with this community He prepares and builds his Church.
Where is the Church born? It is born from the supreme act of love of the cross, from the open side of Jesus from which flow blood and water, symbol of the sacraments of the Eucharist and baptism. In the family of God, in the Church, the lifeblood is the love of God that is expressed in loving Him and others, all without distinctions and without measure. The Church is a family in which one loves and is loved.
When does the Church become manifest? We celebrated this two Sundays ago: it is manifested when the indwelling of the Holy Spirit fills the heart of the Apostles and drives them to go out and start the journey to proclaim the Gospel, to spread the love of God.
Still today someone says: "Christ yes, the Church no." Like those who say, “I believe in God but not in priests”. But it is precisely the Church that brings us Christ and leads us to God; the Church is the great family of God's children. Of course it also has human aspects; in those who compose it, pastors and faithful, there are flaws, imperfections, sins, even the Pope has them, and he has many, but the beautiful thing is that when we realize that we are sinners, we find the mercy of God, which always forgives. Don’t forget it: God always forgives and receives us in his forgiving and merciful love. Some say sin is an offence against God, but it is also an opportunity to be humbled, to realize that there’s something more beautiful: the mercy of God. Let us think of this.
Let us ask ourselves today: how much do I love the Church? Do I pray for her? Do I feel part of the family of the Church? What do I do so that it may be a community where everyone feels welcomed and understood, feels the mercy and love of God that renews life? Faith is a gift and an act that affects us personally, but God calls us to live our faith together, as a family, like the Church.
Let us ask the Lord, in a special way in this Year of Faith that our communities, the whole Church, may increasingly be true families living and bearing within them the warmth of God. Thank you.

Some important date(s) this week:

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

JUNE 11.   St. Barnabas

Barnabas, a Jew of Cyprus, comes as close as anyone outside the Twelve to being a full-fledged apostle. He was closely associated with St. Paul (he introduced Paul to Peter and the other apostles) and served as a kind of mediator between the former persecutor and the still suspicious Jewish Christians.

When a Christian community developed at Antioch, Barnabas was sent as the official representative of the Church of Jerusalem to incorporate them into the fold. He and Paul instructed in Antioch for a year, after which they took relief contributions to Jerusalem.

Later, Paul and Barnabas, now clearly seen as charismatic leaders, were sent by Antioch officials to preach to the Gentiles. Enormous success crowned their efforts. After a miracle at Lystra, the people wanted to offer sacrifice to them as gods—Barnabas being Zeus, and Paul, Hermes—but the two said, “We are of the same nature as you, human beings. We proclaim to you good news that you should turn from these idols to the living God” (see Acts 14:8-18).

But all was not peaceful. They were expelled from one town, they had to go to Jerusalem to clear up the ever-recurring controversy about circumcision and even the best of friends can have differences. When Paul wanted to revisit the places they had evangelized, Barnabas wanted to take along John Mark, his cousin, author of the Gospel (April 25), but Paul insisted that, since Mark had deserted them once, he was not fit to take along now. The disagreement that followed was so sharp that Barnabas and Paul separated, Barnabas taking Mark to Cyprus, Paul taking Silas to Syria. Later, they were reconciled—Paul, Barnabas and Mark.
When Paul stood up to Peter for not eating with Gentiles for fear of his Jewish friends, we learn that “even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy” (see Galatians 2:1-13).



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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