Sunday, November 10, 2013

MONDAY MORNING MISSION MEDITATION for the week of November 10, 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 Second Sunday in Ordinary Time  we read from the Gospel of Luke about the tricky question about the after life.  The scholars who doubt the resurrection challenge Jesus with a complex inter-related scenario.   Jesus twists the story to proclaim that our God is a God of the “living, for to Him all are alive.”  We too must proclaim, and know in faith, that our God -- who raised Jesus from the dead -- celebrates and gives life, for us today, and for those who have passed on before us for “they can no longer die, for they are like angels; and they are the children of God because they are the ones who will rise.”

Catholic Charities  ( understands the pain that comes with losing a loved one.  On the spiritual level, we help persons and families in grief come to know the love of God, who is the God of the living, and that their loved one “are like angels; and they are the children of God.”  On the material level, Catholic Charities -- through some generous donors -- provide assistance to help bury those who are poor.  It is one of the corporal works of mercy -- burying the dead -- that we in Catholic Charities provides, which gives service and creates hope. Your gift to the  Annual Bishop’s Appeal for Catholic Charities and Church ( enables the Church to reach out and bring God’s peace and joy to each person.  Thanks.

Reflection from Church Documents and Official Statements

POPE FRANCIS:  On Sacraments, Charisms and Charity

The Sacraments drive us to be missionaries

Vatican City, November 6, 2013

Here is a translation of the address Pope Francis gave at the general audience in St. Peter’s Square.
* * *
Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!
Last Wednesday I talked about the communion of saints, understood as communion among holy persons, namely, among us believers. Today I would like to reflect further on the other aspect of this reality: You recall that there were two aspects: one of communion, of unity among us, and the other aspect being the communion of holy things,of spiritual goods. The two aspects are closely connected, in fact the communion among Christians grows through participation in spiritual goods. In particular we consider: the Sacraments, the charisms, and charity. (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, Nos. 949-953). We grow in unity, in communion, with the sacraments, the charisms that each one has from the Holy Spirit, and with charity.
First of all communion in the sacraments. The sacraments express and bring about an effective and profound communion among us, because in them we encounter Christ the Savior and, through Him, our brothers in the faith. The sacraments are not appearances, they are not rites, but they are the strength of Christ; it is Jesus Christ present in the sacraments. When we celebrate the Eucharist it is the living Jesus who gathers us, who makes us community, and who makes us adore the Father. Each one of us, in fact, through baptism, confirmation and the Eucharist, is incorporated to Christ and united with the whole community of believers. Therefore, if on one hand it is the Church that “makes” the sacraments, on the other it is the sacraments that “make” the Church, they build her, generating new children, adding them to the Holy People of God, solidifying their membership.
Every encounter with Christ, which in the sacraments gives us salvation, invites us to “go” and to communicate to others a salvation that we have been able to see, to touch, to encounter, to receive, and which is truly credible because it is love. In this way, the sacraments drive us to be missionaries, and the apostolic commitment to take the Gospel to every environment, also in those that are more hostile, constitutes the most authentic fruit of an assiduous sacramental life, in as much as it is participation in God’s salvific initiative, who wills to give salvation to all. The grace of the sacraments nourishes in us a strong and joyous faith, a faith that is able to be amazed by the “wonders” of God and is able to resist the idols of the world. Because of this, it is important to go to Communion, it is important that children be baptized soon, that they be confirmed, because the sacraments are the presence of Jesus Christ in us, a presence that helps us. It is important, when we feel ourselves sinners, to approach the sacrament of reconciliation. Someone might say: “But I’m afraid, because the priest will thrash me.” No, the priest won’t thrash you. Do you know who you will encounter in the sacrament of reconciliation? You will encounter Jesus who forgives you! It is Jesus who awaits you there; and this is a sacrament that makes the whole Church grow.
A second aspect of communion in holy things is that of the communion of charisms. The Holy Spirit dispenses to the faithful a multitude of spiritual gifts and graces; this so to speak “fanciful” richness of gifts of the Holy Spirit is aimed at the building of the Church. The charisms – a somewhat difficult word – are presents that the Holy Spirit gives us, abilities, possibilities … Presents given not for them to be hidden, but to share with others. They are not given for the benefit of the one who receives them, but for the benefit of the People of God. If, instead, a charism, one of these presents, serves to affirm the self, we must doubt that it is a genuine charism or that it is faithfully lived. The charisms are particular graces given to some to do good to many others. They are attitudes, inspirations and interior impulses, which are born in the conscience and in the experience of specific persons, who are called to put them at the service of the community. In particular, these spiritual gifts are for the advantage of the sanctity of the Church and of her mission. We are all called to respect them in ourselves and in others, to receive them as useful stimulants for the presence and fecund work of the Church. Saint Paul admonished: “Do not quench the Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 5:19). Let us not quench the Spirit that gives us these presents, these abilities, these very beautiful virtues that make the Church grow.
What is our attitude in face of these gifts of the Holy Spirit? Are we aware that the Spirit of God is free to give them to whom He wishes? Do we consider them as a spiritual help, through which the Lord sustains our faith and reinforces our mission in the world?
And we come to the third aspect of communion in holy things, namely, the communion of charity, unity among us that charity and love effect. Observing the first Christians, the pagans said: but how they love one another, how they wish good to each other! They do not hate each other, they do not speak ill of one another. This is charity, the love of God that the Holy Spirit puts in our hearts. The charisms are important in the life of the Christian community, but they are always means to grow in charity, in love, which Saint Paul places above the charisms (cf. 1 Corinthians 13:1-13). Without love, in fact, even the most extraordinary gifts are vain; this man heals people, he has this quality, this other virtue … but does he have love and charity in his heart? If he does, that’s good, but if he doesn’t it is of no use to the Church. Without love all these gifts and charisms do not serve the Church, because where there is no love there is a void that is filled with egoism. And I ask myself: are we all egoistic? Can we live in communion and in peace? We cannot; that is why love, which unites, is necessary. The smallest of our gestures of love has good effects for all! Therefore, to live unity in the Church and the communion of charity means not to seek one’s own interest, but to share the sufferings and joys of brothers (cf. 1 Corinthians 12:26), ready to carry the weights of those who are weaker and poorer. This fraternal solidarity is not a rhetorical figure, a way of speaking, but it is an integral part of communion among Christians. If we live it, we are a sign in the world, “sacrament” of the love of God. We are this for one another and we are this for all!” It is not just that little work of charity that we can offer one another, it is something more profound: it is a communion which renders us able to enter in the joy and sorrow of others and to make them sincerely ours.
And often we are too arid, indifferent, detached and, instead of transmitting fraternity, we transmit ill humor, coldness, egoism. And with ill humor, coldness, egoism we cannot make the Church grow; the Church grows only with the love that comes from the Holy Spirit. The Lord invites us to open ourselves to communion with Him, in the sacraments, in the charisms and in charity, to live in a worthy way our Christian vocation!
And now I permit myself to ask you for an act of charity: be at peace there won’t be a collection! Before coming to the Square I went to meet a one-and-a half-year-old girl with a very serious illness. Her father and mother pray, and they ask the Lord for health for this beautiful child. Her name is Noemi. The poor little thing smiled! Let us do an act of love. We do not know her, but she is a baptized child, she is one of us, she is a Christian. Let us do an act of love for her and in silence let us ask that the Lord help her at this moment and give her health. In silence for an instant, and then we will pray the Hail Mary. And now all together we pray to Our Lady for Noemi’s health. Hail Mary  … Thank you for this act of charity.

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.

WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 13.  St. Frances Xavier Cabrini (1850-1917)

Frances Xavier Cabrini was the first United States citizen to be canonized; she became a U.S. citizen in 1909. Her deep trust in the loving care of her God gave her the strength to be a valiant woman doing the work of Christ.

Refused admission to the religious order which had educated her to be a teacher, she began charitable work at the House of Providence Orphanage in Cadogno, Italy. In September 1877 she made her vows there and took the religious habit.

When the bishop closed the orphanage in 1880, he named Frances prioress of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart. Seven young women from the orphanage joined her.

Since her early childhood in Italy, Frances had wanted to be a missionary in China but, at the urging of Pope Leo XIII, Frances went west instead of east. She traveled with six sisters to New York City to work with the thousands of Italian immigrants living there.

She found disappointment and difficulties with every step. When she arrived in New York City, the house intended to be her first orphanage in the United States was not available. The archbishop advised her to return to Italy. But Frances, truly a valiant woman, departed from the archbishop’s residence all the more determined to establish that orphanage. And she did.

In 35 years Frances Xavier Cabrini founded 67 institutions dedicated to caring for the poor, the abandoned, the uneducated and the sick. Seeing great need among Italian immigrants who were losing their faith, she organized schools and adult education classes.

As a child, she was always frightened of water, unable to overcome her fear of drowning. Yet, despite this fear, she traveled across the Atlantic Ocean more than 30 times. She died of malaria in her own Columbus Hospital in Chicago.


The compassion and dedication of Mother Cabrini is still seen in hundreds of thousands of her fellow citizens, not yet canonized, who care for the sick in hospitals, nursing homes and state institutions. We complain of increased medical costs in an affluent society, but the daily news shows us millions who have little or no medical care, and who are calling for new Mother Cabrinis to become citizen-servants of their land.


At her canonization on July 7, 1946, Venerable Pius XII said, "Although her constitution was very frail, her spirit was endowed with such singular strength that, knowing the will of God in her regard, she permitted nothing to impede her from accomplishing what seemed beyond the strength of a woman."

Patron Saint of:

Hospital administrators
Impossible causes


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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