Sunday, July 7, 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, (Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time  )  we read from the Gospel of Luke as Jesus sends out 72 other disciples to proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom of God.  We note from Jesus’ message to these missionaries that they are to engage with people, with humility and openness, and welcome them into the Kingdom not with force but with respect and love.  Today, we too are called to be missionaries in the world: we are challenged to witness to our faith in the little acts of our very lives.  Our daily life can be an opportunity -- at work, at home, at school, at the mall, driving, blogging -- of living our faith and welcoming others to join us in the joy that we have found knowing the abundant  love and grace of God.

Catholic Charities  ( continues that daily witness to the Good News of love and grace to each person, family and community we work with and among.  Charities’ workers daily encounter a person or family that needs material and spiritual support.  With the limited resources we have, Catholic Charities’ staff -- many times in partnership with the St. Vincent de Paul Society and other Catholic institutions -- find ways to meet the needs of many such families.  We also celebrate the many gifts and talents that each person brings; no one is so poor that they cannot share.  In Catholic Charities, we share in that mission of the Church given to us by Jesus, to be bearers of Good News of the Kingdom of God.    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 and welcomes us is shared each day.

Reflection from Church Documents and Official Statements

Pope Francis:  On the Freedom that Comes from God

Vatican City, June 30, 2013 ( |

Here is the translation of Pope Francis' address before and after the recitation of the Angelus in St. Peter's Square.
* * *
Dear brothers and sisters, hello!
(Last) Sunday’s Gospel (Luke 9:51-62) contains a very important passage about the life of Christ. It is the moment in which, as St. Luke writes, “Jesus resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem” (9:51). Jerusalem is the final goal, where Jesus, at his last Passover, must die and rise again, and in this way carry out his mission of salvation.
From that moment, after that resolute decision, Jesus aims right at the target, and he clearly sets out the conditions to those whom he meets and ask to follow him: there is no stable place to live; they must be detach themselves from concern for human respect; they must not give in to nostalgia for the past.
But Jesus also says to his disciples, who are charged with preceding him on the road to Jerusalem to announce his passage, not to impose anything: if they are not accepted, they are to go elsewhere, they move forward. Jesus never imposes anything, Jesus is humble, Jesus invites. If you wish, come. This is Jesus’ humility: he always invites, he never imposes.
All of this makes us think. It tells us, for example, about the importance that, conscience had even for Jesus: hearing the Father’s voice and following him. Jesus, in his earthly existence, was not, so to speak, “remote controlled.” He was the incarnate Word, the Son of God made man, and at a certain point he firmly decided to go up to Jerusalem for the last time; it was a decision he made with his conscience, but he did not do it alone: he did it together with the Father, in full union with him! He decided in obedience to the Father, listening carefully, in intimacy, to his will. And because of this the decision was firm, because it was made together with the Father. And in the Father Jesus found the strength and the light for his journey. And Jesus was free, in that decision he was free. Jesus wants us Christians to be free like him, with that freedom that comes from this dialogue with the Father, from this dialogue with God. Jesus does not want egotistical Christians, who follow their own “I,” who do not speak with God; nor does he want weak Christians, Christians without a will, Christians who are “remote controlled,” incapable of creativity, who always seek to link themselves to someone else’s will and are not free. Jesus wants us to be free but where is this freedom found? It is found in dialogue with God in our conscience. If a Christian does not know how to speak with God, does not know how to listen to God in his own conscience, he is not free, he is not free.
For this reason we must learn how to listen more to our conscience. But be careful! This does not mean following our own “I,” do that which interests me, is convenient for me, that I like... It is not this! Our conscience is the interior place where we listen to truth, to goodness, where we listen to God; it is the interior place of my relation to him, the one who speaks to my heart and helps me discern, to understand the road that I must take, and once the decision is made, he helps me to go forward, to remain faithful.
We have a marvelous example of what this relationship with God in our conscience is like, a recent marvelous example. Pope Benedict XVI gave us this great example when the Lord made him understand, in prayer, what was the step that he had to take. He followed – with a great sense of discernment and courage – his conscience, that is, the will of God that spoke in his heart. And this example of our Father is good for all of us, as an example to follow.
Deep inside herself Our Lady, with great simplicity, listened and meditated on the Word of God and on that which happened to Jesus. She followed her Son with intimate conviction, with firm hope. Mary helps us to become more and more men and women of conscience, free in conscience, because it is in conscience that there is dialogue with God. She helps us to become more and more men and women capable of listening to God’s voice and of following it with decision.

Some important date(s) this week:

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

THURSDAY, JULY 11.  St. Benedict  (480?-543)
It is unfortunate that no contemporary biography was written of a man who has exercised the greatest influence on monasticism in the West. Benedict is well recognized in the later Dialogues of St. Gregory, but these are sketches to illustrate miraculous elements of his career.

Benedict was born into a distinguished family in central Italy, studied at Rome and early in life was drawn to the monastic life. At first he became a hermit, leaving a depressing world—pagan armies on the march, the Church torn by schism, people suffering from war, morality at a low ebb.

He soon realized that he could not live a hidden life in a small town any better than in a large city, so he withdrew to a cave high in the mountains for three years. Some monks chose him as their leader for a while, but found his strictness not to their taste. Still, the shift from hermit to community life had begun for him. He had an idea of gathering various families of monks into one “Grand Monastery” to give them the benefit of unity, fraternity, permanent worship in one house. Finally he began to build what was to become one of the most famous monasteries in the world—Monte Cassino, commanding three narrow valleys running toward the mountains north of Naples.

The Rule that gradually developed prescribed a life of liturgical prayer, study, manual labor and living together in community under a common father (abbot). Benedictine asceticism is known for its moderation, and Benedictine charity has always shown concern for the people in the surrounding countryside. In the course of the Middle Ages, all monasticism in the West was gradually brought under the Rule of St. Benedict.
Today the Benedictine family is represented by two branches: the Benedictine Federation and the Cistercians.


The Church has been blessed through Benedictine devotion to the liturgy, not only in its actual celebration with rich and proper ceremony in the great abbeys, but also through the scholarly studies of many of its members. Liturgy is sometimes confused with guitars or choirs, Latin or Bach. We should be grateful to those who both preserve and adapt the genuine tradition of worship in the Church.


“Rightly, then, the liturgy is considered as an exercise of the priestly office of Jesus Christ. In the liturgy the sanctification of man is manifested by signs perceptible to the senses...; in the liturgy full public worship is performed by the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ, that is, by the Head and his members.
“From this it follows that every liturgical celebration, because it is an action of Christ the priest and of his Body the Church, is a sacred action, surpassing all others” (Vatican II, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, 7).


Welcome to our Summer Interns:  Catholic Charities is proud to have 2 interns this summer

1.  Marie Voitus: Panera-thon..come join us...

Marie Voitus -- a senior at Walsh University -- is working with Catholic Charities and the HMHP Foundation to organize teams for the upcoming August 25 PANERATHON and to help raise awareness of the benefits of the Panerathon and the work of the Joanie Abdu Comprehensive Breast Cancer Center located at St. E's.  This is part of our Catholic sponsored health care ministry.

The easiest way for you to help this cause and support the efforts is to join the Panerathon. 100% of all proceeds directly support the Joanie Abdu Breast Care Center through grant funded program, Joanie’s Promise so more women can get breast care including screenings and services. Ohio has the 4th highest mortality rate for breast cancer, but with your support we can continue to provide preventative care to uninsured or under-insured women who are eligible financially.  Since the first year of the Panerathon over 13,500 people have participated in raising half a million dollars to support the Joanie Abdu Comprehensive Breast Care Center and Joanie’s Promise.

The Catholic Diocese would like to start a team to participate for the event; we hope you would join us in this event to help support this valley and their fight against breast cancer. To sign up for the Panerathon, teams must consist of five people or more and can get registered online

If you would like more information about teams, feel free to contact Marie Voitus at 330.480.3055 or

The race is August 25, 2013 at the Covelli Center in Youngstown, Ohio.
10k individual cost: $30 pre-registration, $35 day of race
2 mile individual run/walk: $25 pre-registration: $30 day of race
TEAM REGISTRATION: $20 per person
*Register online at and save $5*

2)  Fadi Mashhour Bataha:  Fair Trade and Language Education

Fadi Mashhour Bataha, a recent top ranked graduate in computer science from the Bethlehem University in Bethlehem/West Bank/Palestine, will work with Catholic Charities and the Office of Religious Education to develop a fair trade marketing plan for our Fair Trade Tienda, and will assist staff in the Catholic Charities Legal Immigration Office to study Arabic.  Fadi is one of seven interns sponsored by Catholic Charities USA, and we are very excited to have him here for a month.

Please join me in welcoming Marie Voitus and Fadi Mashhour Bataha.

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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