Sunday, September 1, 2013

MONDAY MORNING MISSION MEDITATION for the week of September 1, 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, (Twenty Second Sunday in Ordinary Time    )  we read from the Gospel of Luke about Jesus’ story about a holding feasts and responding to an invitation to attend such a feast.  Jesus reminds his listeners about the virtue of humility, echoing the Book of Sirach’s call for living a hold life.  Jesus reminds us to humble oneself in all of our dealings.  Jesus then continues to suggest that when one sponsors such a banquet, do not just invite one’s friends or those highly placed that can repay you; rather, go out into the world and gather all those in need, regardless and in spite of their ability to repay you in kind.  So too the Kingdom of God:  we are called as faithful followers to abandon ourselves to the Lord in all humility, and to invite all to recline at the Lord’s Table.  God invites us all.  All are welcome.   Jesus challenges us further to go out of our way to find our neighbor, especially those in need, and invite them to the Feast -- for both spiritual and physical nourishment.

Catholic Charities  ( continues to reach out in the name of Jesus and the Church to those who are on the margins and who cannot repay us for help.  Catholic Charities, rooted in the Eucharistic promise and encounter,  provides physical and spiritual nourishment to all who come to our doors.  It is with joy, like the banquet sponsor, to go out into the streets and invite people in and find solace, hope, and love.  Your gift to the  Annual Bishop’s Appeal for Catholic Charities and Church ( supports the ministries of the Church: to preach the Good News, to celebrate the sacraments, and to service each other in love.

Reflection from Church Documents and Official Statements

Pope Francis: "Be Christians and Give Witness to the Faith"

Pontiff Reflects on Christ's Call to "Enter By the Narrow Door"

Vatican City, August 26, 2013 ( Junno Arocho Esteves |

Jesus does not exclude sinners, on the contrary he “prefers sinners” to forgive them. Pope Francis emphasized this during his Sunday Angelus address to the thousands of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

Reflecting on Sunday’s Gospel (8-25), which recounted Jesus’ response to the question on who will be saved, the Holy Father stated that Christ does not focus on how many will be saved, but rather, how to know the way to salvation.
“Try to enter by the narrow door, because many will try to enter but will not succeed,” the Gospel of Luke states was Jesus response.
“What does Jesus wish to say? What is the door by which we should enter? And why does Jesus talk about a narrow door?,” the Holy Father asked. “The image of the door appears various times in the Gospel and reminds us of the door of a house, of the domestic hearth, where we find security, love, warmth. Jesus tells us that there is a door that permits us to enter into God’s family, in the warmth of the house of God, into communion with him. This door is Jesus himself.
The Door of Faith
Pope Francis told the faithful that no one is excluded from entering this door, even those feel that they are excluded because of their sins.
“One might try to tell me: ‘But, Father, surely I am excluded, because I am a great sinner: I have done ugly things, many ugly things in my life.’ No, you are not excluded!,” the Pope exclaimed.
“Precisely because of this you are preferred, because Jesus prefers the sinner, always, to forgive them. Jesus is always waiting for you, to embrace you, to forgive you. Do not be afraid: he is waiting for you. Wake up, take heart to enter his door. Everyone is invited to enter by this door, to enter the door of faith, to enter into his life, and to let him enter our life, so that he transform it, renew it, give us complete and lasting joy. “
The Gospel, he continued, calls on all of us to reflect on which door we wish to enter. The 76 year old Pontiff encouraged the faithful to not be afraid “to enter the door of faith in Jesus” and allow him to enter in our lives. In doing so, one leaves behind their selfishness and indifferent to others while illuminating their lives.
“It is not fireworks, it is not a flash! No, it is a tranquil light that lasts forever and gives us peace. This is the light that we encounter if we enter the door of Jesus,” the Holy Father said.
Concluding his address, Pope Francis stated that Christ’s message in the Gospel is that being a Christian is not having a label, but rather, to be a Christian is to be in the truth.
“Each one answer for himself! Never Christians by label!,” the Pope exclaimed. “Christians in truth and of the heart. Be Christians and witness to the faith in prayer, in works of charity, in promoting justice, in doing good. Our whole life must pass through the narrow door that is Christ.”

Some important date(s) this week:

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

 Bishop Stephen E. Blaire, Chair of the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, explains how growing income inequality is hurting families and communities

SATURDAY, SEPT 7.  Blessed Frederic Ozanam (1813-1853)

A man convinced of the inestimable worth of each human being, Frédéric served the poor of Paris well and drew others into serving the poor of the world. Through the St. Vincent de Paul Society, his work continues to the present day.

Frédéric was the fifth of Jean and Marie Ozanam’s 14 children, one of only three to reach adulthood. As a teenager he began having doubts about his religion. Reading and prayer did not seem to help, but long walking discussions with Father Noirot of the Lyons College clarified matters a great deal.
Frédéric wanted to study literature, although his father, a doctor, wanted him to become a lawyer. Frédéric yielded to his father’s wishes and in 1831 arrived in Paris to study law at the University of the Sorbonne. When certain professors there mocked Catholic teachings in their lectures, Frédéric defended the Church.
A discussion club which Frédéric organized sparked the turning point in his life. In this club Catholics, atheists and agnostics debated the issues of the day. Once, after Frédéric spoke about Christianity’s role in civilization, a club member said: "Let us be frank, Mr. Ozanam; let us also be very particular. What do you do besides talk to prove the faith you claim is in you?"
Frédéric was stung by the question. He soon decided that his words needed a grounding in action. He and a friend began visiting Paris tenements and offering assistance as best they could. Soon a group dedicated to helping individuals in need under the patronage of St. Vincent de Paul formed around Frédéric.
Feeling that the Catholic faith needed an excellent speaker to explain its teachings, Frédéric convinced the Archbishop of Paris to appoint Father Lacordaire, the greatest preacher then in France, to preach a Lenten series in Notre Dame Cathedral. It was well attended and became an annual tradition in Paris.
After Frédéric earned his law degree at the Sorbonne, he taught law at the University of Lyons. He also earned a doctorate in literature. Soon after marrying Amelie Soulacroix on June 23, 1841, he returned to the Sorbonne to teach literature. A well-respected lecturer, Frédéric worked to bring out the best in each student. Meanwhile, the St. Vincent de Paul Society was growing throughout Europe. Paris alone counted 25 conferences.
In 1846, Frédéric, Amelie and their daughter Marie went to Italy; there he hoped to restore his poor health. They returned the next year. The revolution of 1848 left many Parisians in need of the services of the St. Vincent de Paul conferences. The unemployed numbered 275,000. The government asked Frédéric and his co-workers to supervise the government aid to the poor. Vincentians throughout Europe came to the aid of Paris.
Frédéric then started a newspaper, The New Era, dedicated to securing justice for the poor and the working classes. Fellow Catholics were often unhappy with what Frédéric wrote. Referring to the poor man as "the nation’s priest," Frédéric said that the hunger and sweat of the poor formed a sacrifice that could redeem the people’s humanity
In 1852 poor health again forced Frédéric to return to Italy with his wife and daughter. He died on September 8, 1853. In his sermon at Frédéric’s funeral, Lacordaire described his friend as "one of those privileged creatures who came direct from the hand of God in whom God joins tenderness to genius in order to enkindle the world."
Frédéric was beatified in 1997. Since Frédéric wrote an excellent book entitled Franciscan Poets of the Thirteenth Century and since Frederick’s sense of the dignity of each poor person was so close to the thinking of St. Francis, it seemed appropriate to include him among Franciscan "greats."


Frédéric Ozanam always respected poor while offering whatever service he could. Each man, woman and child was too precious for that. Serving the poor taught Frédéric something about God that he could not have learned elsewhere.


In his homily at the beatification Mass at Notre Dame Cathedral, Blessed John Paul II mentioned that before World War II he belonged to the St. Vincent de Paul Society. He noted that Frédéric Ozanam "observed the real situation of the poor and sought to be more and more effective in helping them in their human development. He understood that charity must lead to efforts to remedy injustice. Charity and justice go together."


The 2012 First Step for Change Campaign was our most successful collection to date.  Can you help us do even better in the 2013 Campaign?  
The First Step for Change Campaign raises funds used to purchase food, formula, diapers, wipes, a limited numbers of cribs, car seats and other items for the low-income pregnant women and families in Catholic Charities’ First Step Programs.  In 2012, Catholic Charities’ First Step programs in the Diocese of Youngstown served 4,435 people.
To help ensure the success of this year’s campaign, please contact Nikole Baringer at or 330-744-8451, ext. 323.  Feel free to visit our website for more information or to obtain a participation form

Mark your calendars for Wednesday, October 16, 2013 and plan to celebrate the unity and identity of Catholic Charities’ services in the Diocese of Youngstown for the 16th Annual Voice of Hope Dinner.  All proceeds from the annual fundraising event hep to provide emergency assistance to individuals and families in need throughout the diocese.
Gather with others across the Diocese of Youngstown to honor the following as they receive their Voice of Hope awards:  Mr. Joseph Gorman, St. Edward Parish, Emmanuel Community Care Center.
If you would like to PURCHASE TICKETS, DONATE AN ITEM to our auction or be a SPONSOR please contact Nikole Baringer at, 330-744-8451, ext. 323 or visit our website  We hope to see you there!

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


Value of Silence. That people today, often overwhelmed by noise, may rediscover the value of silence and listen to the voice of God and their brothers and sisters.

Persecuted Christians. That Christians suffering persecution in many parts of the world may by their witness be prophets of Christ's love.

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:

No comments: