Sunday, July 28, 2013

MONDAY MORNING MISSION MEDITATION for the week of July 28, 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, (Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time    we read from the Gospel of Luke about Jesus’ modeling of prayer.  His disciples ask Him to teach them to pray.  Jesus offers His “Father’s” prayer to be “Our” own “Father’s” prayer.  Jesus then shares stories of how asking really does matter.  We further obtain an insight into the nature of our requests when we read about Abraham asking God to spare Sodom even if ten good persons remain.  Abraham is persistent in his prayer to spare that city.  God shows his mercy then; He shows that same mercy, abundantly, now.  

Catholic Charities  ( continues to rely on your support to continue its work in the community.  Your prayers are so important to our work.  Your prayers empower us in the Holy Spirit to share the Good News with all we serve.  As well, Catholic Charities remains persistent in our call for human life and dignity of all persons.  We also know of many stories of clients who have offered their prayers for us and for our donors.   We thank all of you for your persistency of prayer and material support. Thanks to your generous support to the Annual Bishop’s Appeal for Catholic Charities and Church ( we continue to bring this Good News -- that each person is endowed with dignity and respect.

Reflection from Church Documents and Official Statements

POPE FRANCIS:  On Contemplating the Word of God

Vatican City, July 21, 2013 ( |

Here is the translation of the Holy Father's words before and after the recitation of the Angelus to the pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square

* * *
Dear brothers and sisters, hello!
The reading of the 10th chapter of the evangelist Luke continues last Sunday too. (That) passage is the one about Martha and Mary. Who are these 2 women? Martha and Mary, sisters of Lazarus, are relatives and faithful disciples of the Lord, who lived in Bethany. St. Luke described them in this way: Mary, at Jesus’ feet, “listened to his word,” while Martha was busy with a lot serving (cf. Luke 10:39-40). Both offer welcome to the Lord as he is traveling, but in different ways. Mary sits at Jesus’ feet, listening. But Martha lets herself be absorbed by the things that need to be prepared and in so busy that she turns to Jesus saying: “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me” (7:40). And Jesus responds rebuking her with sweetness. “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her” (10:41).
What does Jesus wish to say? What is this one thing that we need? Above all it is important to understand that it is not a matter of contrasting 2 attitudes: listening to the Lord’s word, contemplation, and concrete service to our neighbor. They are not 2 opposed attitudes but, on the contrary, they are 2 aspects that are both essential for our Christian life; aspects that must never be separated but lived in profound unity and harmony. So why does Martha receive the rebuke even if it is done with sweetness? Because she took only what she was doing to be essential, she was too absorbed and worried about things to “do.” For a Christian, the works of service and charity are never detached from the principle source of our action: that is, listening to the Word of the Lord, sitting – like Mary – at Jesus’ feet in the attitude of a disciple. And for this reason Mary is rebuked.
In our Christian life too prayer and action are always profoundly united. Prayer that does not lead to concrete action toward a brother who is poor, sick, in need of help, the brother in difficulty, is a sterile and incomplete prayer. But, in the same way, when in ecclesial service we are only concerned with doing, we give greater weight to things, functions, structures, and we forget the centrality of Christ; we do not set aside time for dialogue with him in prayer, we are in risk of serving ourselves and not God present in our needy brother. St. Benedict took up the way of life that he summed up for his monks in 2 words: “ora et labora,” pray and work. It is from contemplation, from a strong relationship of friendship with the Lord that there is borne in us the capacity to live and bear God’s love, his mercy, his tenderness to others. It is also our work with our needy brother, our labor of charity in works of mercy, that brings us to the Lord because we see the Lord in our needy brother and sister.
Let us ask the Virgin Mary, the Mother of listening and service – who teaches us to meditate on the Word of her Son in our heart – to pray with fidelity, to be always more concretely attentive to the needs of our brothers.

Some important date(s) this week:

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

MONDAY, JULY 29.  St. Martha

Martha, Mary and their brother Lazarus were evidently close friends of Jesus. He came to their home simply as a welcomed guest, rather than as one celebrating the conversion of a sinner like Zacchaeus or one unceremoniously received by a suspicious Pharisee. The sisters feel free to call on Jesus at their brother’s death, even though a return to Judea at that time seems almost certain death.

No doubt Martha was an active sort of person. On one occasion (see Luke 10:38-42) she prepares the meal for Jesus and possibly his fellow guests and forthrightly states the obvious: All hands should pitch in to help with the dinner.

Yet, as biblical scholar Father John McKenzie points out, she need not be rated as an “unrecollected activist.”
The evangelist is emphasizing what our Lord said on several occasions about the primacy of the spiritual: “...[D]o not worry about your life, what you will eat [or drink], or about your body, what you will wear…. But seek first the kingdom [of God] and his righteousness” (Matthew 6:25b, 33a); “One does not live by bread alone” (Luke 4:4b); “Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness…” (Matthew 5:6a).

Martha’s great glory is her simple and strong statement of faith in Jesus after her brother’s death. “Jesus told her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?’ She said to him, ‘Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world’” (John 11:25-27).


Scripture commentators point out that in writing his account of the raising of Lazarus, St. John intends that we should see Martha’s words to Mary before tLazarus was raised as a summons that every Christian must obey. In her saying “The teacher is here and is asking for you,” Jesus is calling every one of us to resurrection—now in baptismal faith, forever in sharing his victory over death. And all of us, as well as these three friends, are in our own unique way called to special friendship with him.


“Encouraged by so great a cloud of witnesses, we may run as victors in the race before us and win with them the imperishable crown of glory through Christ our Lord" (Roman Missal, Preface of Saints I).

Patron Saint of:

Waiters, waitresses

WEDNESDAY, JULY 31,  St. Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556)
The founder of the Jesuits was on his way to military fame and fortune when a cannon ball shattered his leg. Because there were no books of romance on hand during his convalescence, Ignatius whiled away the time reading a life of Christ and lives of the saints. His conscience was deeply touched, and a long, painful turning to Christ began. Having seen the Mother of God in a vision, he made a pilgrimage to her shrine at Montserrat (near Barcelona). He remained for almost a year at nearby Manresa, sometimes with the Dominicans, sometimes in a pauper’s hospice, often in a cave in the hills praying. After a period of great peace of mind, he went through a harrowing trial of scruples. There was no comfort in anything—prayer, fasting, sacraments, penance. At length, his peace of mind returned.

It was during this year of conversion that Ignatius began to write down material that later became his greatest work, the Spiritual Exercises.

He finally achieved his purpose of going to the Holy Land, but could not remain, as he planned, because of the hostility of the Turks. He spent the next 11 years in various European universities, studying with great difficulty, beginning almost as a child. Like many others, his orthodoxy was questioned; Ignatius was twice jailed for brief periods.

In 1534, at the age of 43, he and six others (one of whom was St. Francis Xavier, December 2) vowed to live in poverty and chastity and to go to the Holy Land. If this became impossible, they vowed to offer themselves to the apostolic service of the pope. The latter became the only choice. Four years later Ignatius made the association permanent. The new Society of Jesus was approved by Paul III, and Ignatius was elected to serve as the first general.

When companions were sent on various missions by the pope, Ignatius remained in Rome, consolidating the new venture, but still finding time to found homes for orphans, catechumens and penitents. He founded the Roman College, intended to be the model of all other colleges of the Society.

Ignatius was a true mystic. He centered his spiritual life on the essential foundations of Christianity—the Trinity, Christ, the Eucharist. His spirituality is expressed in the Jesuit motto, ad majorem Dei gloriam—“for the greater glory of God.” In his concept, obedience was to be the prominent virtue, to assure the effectiveness and mobility of his men. All activity was to be guided by a true love of the Church and unconditional obedience to the Holy Father, for which reason all professed members took a fourth vow to go wherever the pope should send them for the salvation of souls.


Luther nailed his theses to the church door at Wittenberg in 1517. Seventeen years later, Ignatius founded the Society that was to play so prominent a part in the Catholic Reformation. He was an implacable foe of Protestantism. Yet the seeds of ecumenism may be found in his words: “Great care must be taken to show forth orthodox truth in such a way that if any heretics happen to be present they may have an example of charity and Christian moderation. No hard words should be used nor any sort of contempt for their errors be shown.” One of the greatest 20thh-century ecumenists was Cardinal Bea, a Jesuit.


Ignatius recommended this prayer to penitents: “Receive, Lord, all my liberty, my memory, my understanding and my whole will. You have given me all that I have, all that I am, and I surrender all to your divine will, that you dispose of me. Give me only your love and your grace. With this I am rich enough, and I have no more to ask.”

Patron Saint of:



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.

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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