Sunday, November 3, 2013

MONDAY MORNING MISSION MEDITATION for the week of November 3, 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, (Thirty First Sunday in Ordinary Time  we read from the Gospel of Luke the powerful story of Jesus’ encounter with Zacchaeus -- the short tax collector.  Jesus tells Zacchaeus to come down from his hidden place to welcome Jesus into his home.  Zacchaeus can’t believe it: Jesus wants to dine with me?  This untrustworthy tax collector is singled out by Jesus, invited, to be a follower.  Zacchaeus immediately proclaims that he will give half of his possessions to the poor and will repay those who he has cheated not just what he owes them but with a four fold penalty attached.  This guy is seriously transformed.  Others grumble:  wow, Jesus eating with sinners...imagine?  Are we transformed by Jesus’ call to us?  Are we willing to give over half of our possessions and repay all that we owe or cheated with a penalty attached?  Or do we grumble when Jesus’ call to someone else is heeded and a person’s life is transformed?  Much to think about as we reflect on Jesus’ many encounters with those persons who others consider “unworthy.”

Catholic Charities  ( continues to provide hope and help to those who want to find a new path.  Oftentimes many of the persons and families that come to us for help may not have made the best decisions in the past.  Many want to change their lives.  As Catholic Charities we are the face of the Church in the name of Jesus who helps anyone who needs support, love and hope. Your gift to the  Annual Bishop’s Appeal for Catholic Charities and Church ( enables the Church to reach out and bring God’s merciful love to each and every person.  Thanks.

Reflection from Church Documents and Official Statements

POPE FRANCIS:  Francis Defends Rights of Family

Says 'Good News' of Family Is Key to Evangelization

Vatican City, October 25, 2013, Kathleen Naab.

It is more important than ever to recognize the rights of the family in a global environment in which individual rights prevail, says Pope Francis.
The Holy Father emphasized this in an address to participants in the 21st plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council for the Family.
In his three-point address, the Pope reiterated the importance of learning to respect human dignity, especially the dignity of children and the elderly.
He began by noting John Paul II's reference to the family as a community of persons, and not just the sum of the people who make it up.
The family "is the place where one learns to love, the natural center of human life. It is made up of faces, of persons who love, talk, sacrifice for others and defend life, especially the most fragile, the weakest," Francis said.
Calling the family the "engine of the world," he added that when one receives a Christian education in the family, he learns to recognize "the dignity of every individual person, particularly the sick, the weak and the marginalized."
"The family-community is all this, which calls for being recognized as such, so much more today, when the protection of individual rights prevails," he stated.
Marriage as foundation
Francis emphasized that family is founded on the sacrament of marriage, referring to matrimony as "a first sacrament of the human."
"Spousal and family love also reveals clearly the person’s vocation to love in a unique way and forever, and that the trials, the sacrifices, the crises of the couple as those of the family itself represent passages to grow in the good, in truth and in beauty," he said. "In matrimony one gives oneself completely without calculations or reservations, sharing everything, gifts and renunciations, trusting in the Providence of God."
Finally, Francis highlighted two "phases of family life": childhood and old age.
"Children and the elderly represent the two poles of life and also the most vulnerable, often the most forgotten," he said. "A society that abandons children and marginalizes the elderly cuts off its roots and darkens its future. Every time that a child is abandoned and an elderly person is marginalized, not only is an act of injustice committed but the failure of that society is confirmed. To take care of little ones and the elderly is a choice of civilization."
"The Church that takes care of children and the elderly becomes the Mother of the generations of believers and, at the same time, serves human society so that a spirit of love, of familiarity and of solidarity will help all to rediscover the paternity and maternity of God," Francis continued.
Truly Christian families
He said that the "good news" of the family is a key element in evangelization and that Christians participate in this proclamation by their witness to life.
"The truly Christian families are recognized by their fidelity, patience, openness to life, respect of the elderly … The secret of all this is Jesus’ presence in the family," Francis said. "Therefore, let us propose to all, with respect and courage, the beauty of matrimony and of the family illumined by the Gospel! And because of this, we come close with care and affection to families in difficulty, to those who are constrained to leave their land, who are broken, who have no home or work, or who are suffering for so many reasons; to spouses in crisis and to those now separated. We want to be close to them all."
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On ZENIT's Web page:

Some important date(s) this week:

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

NOVEMBER IS BLACK CATHOLIC HISTORY MONTH  Visit the DOY webpage for daily reflections/facts.

Sunday November 10, 2013 Black Catholic Sunday Celebration:
To celebrate National Black Catholic Month, The St Mary/ St Benedict parish family presents SHARING OUR GIFTS, a day of prayer, song and dance. The cultural celebration will take place Sunday November 10, 2013 at St. Benedict Catholic Church 2207 Third St S.E. Canton, Ohio 44707 at 12 noon.

MONDAY  November 4    St. Charles Borromeo   (1538-1584)

The name of St. Charles Borromeo is associated with reform. He lived during the time of the Protestant Reformation, and had a hand in the reform of the whole Church during the final years of the Council of Trent (1545-63).

Although he belonged to Milanese nobility and was related to the powerful Medici family, he desired to devote himself to the Church. When his uncle, Cardinal de Medici, was elected pope in 1559 as Pius IV, he made Charles cardinal-deacon and administrator of the Archdiocese of Milan while he was still a layman and a young student. Because of his intellectual qualities he was entrusted with several important offices connected with the Vatican and later appointed secretary of state with responsibility for the papal states. The untimely death of his elder brother brought Charles to a definite decision to be ordained a priest, despite relatives’ insistence that he marry. Soon after he was ordained a priest at the age of 25, he was consecrated bishop of Milan.

Because of his work at the Council of Trent, he was not allowed to take up residence in Milan until the Council was over. Charles had encouraged the pope to renew the Council in 1562 after it had been suspended for 10 years. Working behind the scenes, St. Charles deserves the credit for keeping the Council in session when at several points it was on the verge of breaking up. He took upon himself the task of the entire correspondence during the final phase.

Eventually Charles was allowed to devote his time to the Archdiocese of Milan, where the religious and moral picture was far from bright. The reform needed in every phase of Catholic life among both clergy and laity was initiated at a provincial council of all the bishops under him. Specific regulations were drawn up for bishops and other clergy: If the people were to be converted to a better life, he had to be the first to give a good example and renew their apostolic spirit.

Charles took the initiative in giving good example. He allotted most of his income to charity, forbade himself all luxury and imposed severe penances upon himself. He sacrificed wealth, high honors, esteem and influence to become poor. During the plague and famine of 1576, he tried to feed 60,000 to 70,000 people daily. To do this he borrowed large sums of money that required years to repay. Whereas the civil authorities fled at the height of the plague, he stayed in the city, where he ministered to the sick and the dying, helping those in want.

Work and the heavy burdens of his high office began to affect his health. He died at the age of 46.


St. Charles made his own the words of Christ: "...I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me" (Matthew 25:35-36). Charles saw Christ in his neighbor and knew that charity done for the least of his flock was charity done for Christ.


"Christ summons the Church, as she goes her pilgrim way, to that continual reformation of which she always has need, insofar as she is an institution of men here on earth. Consequently, if, in various times and circumstances, there have been deficiencies in moral conduct or in Church discipline, or even in the way that Church teaching has been formulated—to be carefully distinguished from the deposit of faith itself—these should be set right at the opportune moment and in the proper way" (Vatican II, Decree on Ecumenism, 6, Austin Flannery translation).

Patron Saint of:



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

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.  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


Suffering Priests. That priests who experience difficulties may find comfort in their suffering, support in their doubts, and confirmation in their fidelity.
Latin American Churches. That as fruit of the continental mission, Latin American Churches may send missionaries to other Churches.

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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