Sunday, October 6, 2013

MONDAY MORNING MISSION MEDITATION for the week of October 6, 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 Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time  )  we read from the Gospel of Luke about Jesus’ challenge to His disciples’ question about increasing their faith.  Jesus tells them -- and us today -- that as disciples we must constantly be at the service of the Lord and to one another as brothers and sisters.  We must live the motto that Jesus asks of us: So should it be with you. When you have done all you have been commanded, say, 'We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.'"

Catholic Charities  ( continues to be “at the service” of our brothers and sisters, especially those in most need.  Catholic Charities, as the organized ministry of love of the Bishop and the Church, we help connect donors with those who are in need.  We however recognize that we are constantly called to do more and never rest while others suffer.  Your gift to the  Annual Bishop’s Appeal for Catholic Charities and Church ( continues to provide much appreciated and needed support to be faithful servants of the Lord.  Thanks.

Reflection from Church Documents and Official Statements

POPE FRANCIS:  On the Holiness of the Church

Vatican City, October 2, 2013.
Here is the text of the Holy Father's catechesis on the Creed during his weekly General Audience at St. Peter's Square.
* * *
Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning
In the “Creed,” after having professed: “I believe in one Church,” we add the adjective “Holy”; that is, we affirm the sanctity of the Church, and this is a characteristic that has been present since the beginning in the consciousness of the first Christians, who called themselves simply “the saints” (cf. Acts 9:13.32.41; Romans 8:27; 1 Corinthians 6:1), because they had the certainty that it is the action of God, the Holy Spirit that sanctifies the Church.
However, in what sense is the Church Holy if we see that the historical Church, in her long journey through the centuries, has had so many difficulties, problems, dark moments? How can a Church be Holy which is made up of human beings, of sinners? Sinful men, sinful women, sinful priests, sinful Sisters, sinful Bishops, sinful Cardinals, sinful Pope -- all are so. How can such a Church be Holy?
To answer the question I would like to be guided by a passage of the Letter of Saint Paul to the Christians of Ephesus. Taking as examples family relations, the Apostle states that “Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her” (5:25-26). Christ loved the Church giving himself wholly on the cross. And this means that the Church is Holy because she comes from God who is Holy, who is faithful to her and does not abandon her to the power of death and evil (cf. Matthew 16:18). She is Holy because Jesus Christ, the Holy One of God (cf. Mark 1:24), is indissolubly united to her (cf. Matthew 28:20); she is Holy because she is guided by the Holy Spirit who purifies, transforms and renews her. She is not Holy because of our merits, but because God renders her Holy, the fruit of the Holy Spirit and of his gifts. It is not we who make her holy. It is God in His love that makes her Holy.
You could say to me: but the Church is made up of sinners, we see it every day. And this is true: we are a Church of sinners; and we sinners are called to allow ourselves to be transformed, renewed, sanctified by God. There has been in history the temptation of some who affirmed: the Church is only the Church of the pure, of those who are totally coherent, and the others are estranged. This isn’t true. This is a heresy. No! The Church, which is Holy, does not reject sinners; on the contrary, she receives them, is open also to those who are most distant, she calls all to allow themselves to be enveloped by the mercy, the tenderness and the forgiveness of the Father, who offers all the possibility of encountering him, of walking towards sanctity. “But, Father, I am a sinner, I have grave sins, how can I feel part of the Church?” Dear brother, dear sister, it is precisely this that the Lord desires; that you say to him: “Lord, I am here, with my sins! Forgive me, help me to walk, transform my heart!” The God we encounter in the Church isn’t a merciless judge, but He is like the Father of the evangelical parable. You can be as the son who left home, who touched the depth of estrangement from God. When you have the strength to say: I want to go back home, you will find the door open. God comes to meet you because He always waits for you, he embraces you, He kisses you and celebrates. The Lord wants us part of a Church that is able to open her arms to welcome all, which is not the house of a few, but the house of all, where all can be renewed, transformed, sanctified by His love, the strongest and the weakest, the sinners, the indifferent, those who feel discouraged and lost. The Church offers all the possibility of following the way of sanctity, which is the way of the Christian. She makes us encounter Jesus Christ in the Sacraments, especially in Confession and in the Eucharist; she communicates to us the Word of God, she makes us live in charity, in the love of God towards all. So we ask ourselves: do we allow ourselves to be sanctified? Are we a Church that calls and welcomes sinners with open arms, that gives courage and hope or are we a Church that is shut in on herself? Are we a Church in which the love of God is lived, in which there is care for the other, in which we pray for one another?
A final question: what can I do, who feel weak, fragile, sinful? God says to you: do not be afraid  of sanctity, do not be afraid to aim high, to allow yourself to be loved and purified by God, do not be afraid to let yourself be guided by the Holy Spirit. Let us allow ourselves to be infected by God’s holiness. Every Christian is called to sanctity (cf. Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, 39-42); and sanctity does not consist first of all in doing extraordinary things, but in letting God act. It is the encounter of our weakness with the strength of His grace, it is to trust in His action that enables us to live in charity, to do everything with joy and humility, for the glory of God and in the service of our neighbor. There is a famous phrase of the French writer Leon Bloy, who in the last moments of his life said: “There is only one sadness in life, that of not being saints.” Let us not lose hope in sanctity, let us all follow this way. Do we want to be saints? All? The Lord awaits all with open arms. Let us live our faith with joy, let us allow ourselves to be loved by the  Lord … let us ask for this gift of God in prayer, for ourselves and for others.

Some important date(s) this week:

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


Begun in 1972, the Respect Life Program stresses the value and dignity of human life. It is observed in the 195 Catholic dioceses in the United States. Respect Life Program resources for 2013-14 may be found at

MONDAY.  OCTOBER 7.  Our Lady of the Rosary

St. Pius V (April 30) established this feast in 1573. The purpose was to thank God for the victory of Christians over the Turks at Lepanto—a victory attributed to the praying of the rosary. Clement XI extended the feast to the universal Church in 1716.

The development of the rosary has a long history. First, a practice developed of praying 150 Our Fathers in imitation of the 150 Psalms. Then there was a parallel practice of praying 150 Hail Marys. Soon a mystery of Jesus' life was attached to each Hail Mary. Though Mary's giving the rosary to St. Dominic is recognized as a legend, the development of this prayer form owes much to the followers of St. Dominic. One of them, Alan de la Roche, was known as "the apostle of the rosary." He founded the first Confraternity of the Rosary in the 15th century. In the 16th century the rosary was developed to its present form—with the 15 mysteries (joyful, sorrowful and glorious). In 2002, Pope John Paul II added five Mysteries of Light to this devotion.


The purpose of the rosary is to help us meditate on the great mysteries of our salvation. Pius XII called it a compendium of the gospel. The main focus is on Jesus—his birth, life, death and resurrection. The Our Fathers remind us that Jesus' Father is the initiator of salvation. The Hail Marys remind us to join with Mary in contemplating these mysteries. They also make us aware that Mary was and is intimately joined with her Son in all the mysteries of his earthly and heavenly existence. The Glorys remind us that the purpose of all life is the glory of the Trinity.
The rosary appeals to many. It is simple. The constant repetition of words helps create an atmosphere in which to contemplate the mysteries of God. We sense that Jesus and Mary are with us in the joys and sorrows of life. We grow in hope that God will bring us to share in the glory of Jesus and Mary forever.


“The rosary, though clearly Marian in character, is at heart a Christ-centered prayer. It has all the depth of the gospel messge in its entirety. It is an echo of the prayer of Mary, her perennial Magnificat for the work of the redemptive Incarnation which began in her virginal womb.... It can be said that the rosary is, in some sense, a prayer-commentary on the final chapter of the Vatican II Constitution Lumen Gentium, a chapter that discusses the wondrous presence of the Mother of God in the mystery of Christ and the Church" (Pope John Paul II, apostolic letter The Rosary of the Virgin Mary).


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!

USCCB Call for Comprehensive Immigration Reform:

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is asking you to urge your member of the House of Representatives to pass comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) legislation that reflects our Catholic values.  You can join the U.S. Catholic Bishops in this effort by sending an electronic postcard to Washington, DC that asks your Representative to pass just and compassionate immigration reform legislation.  We are asking that you consider contacting your Congressional Representative during his/her visit to their home districts from October 14-18, during the Columbus Day Holiday.  The postcard and more information can be found at  You can also write directly to your Congressional Representative by visiting for more information.

A Prayer For The People Of Syria

Almighty eternal God, source of all compassion,
the promise of your mercy and saving help fills our hearts with hope.
Hear the cries of the people of Syria;
bring healing to those suffering from the violence,
and comfort to those mourning the dead.
Empower and encourage Syria’s neighbors
in their care and welcome for refugees.
Convert the hearts of those who have taken up arms,
and strengthen the resolve of those committed to peace.
O God of hope and Father of mercy,
your Holy Spirit inspires us to look beyond ourselves and our own needs.
Inspire leaders to choose peace over violence
and to seek reconciliation with enemies.
Inspire the Church around the world with compassion for the people of Syria,
and fill us with hope for a future of peace built on justice for all.
We ask this through Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace and Light of the World,
who lives and reigns for ever and ever.

For the people of Syria, that God may strengthen the resolve of leaders to end  the fighting and choose a future of peace.
We pray to the Lord…

[This prayer is adapted from Catholics Confront Global Poverty. . . , a collaborative effort of USCCB and Catholic Relief Services;]

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

People in Despair. That those feeling so crushed by life that they wish to end it may sense the nearness of God's love.
World Mission Day. That the celebration of World Mission Day may help all Christians realize that we are not only receivers but proclaimers of God's word.

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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