Sunday, May 4, 2014


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) 

Lord, you will show us the path of life.  (Ps 16:11a)

On Sunday, (Third Sunday of Easter; ) we read from the Gospel of  Luke about Jesus’s encounter with two of his disciples as they walked back from Jerusalem to their home in Emmaus.  They seemed dejected, though they had heard news that very day that some of the women and Apostles had found the tomb empty, and that angels had appeared proclaiming that Jesus is risen.  Though they did not recognize Jesus on their journey, He shared with them the meaning of the Scripture in its entirety.  Then, once they shared hospitality with this “stranger,” Jesus blessed and broke the bread.  At that moment, their eyes were opened and “they recognized him… the breaking of the bread.”  They rushed back to Jerusalem to tell the Apostles that indeed, He is Risen.  We proclaim the same today.

Catholic Charities  ( continues to serve each person with deep respect and hospitality, knowing that every woman or man is made in the Image and Likeness of God.  Our hearts also burn with excitement and joy -- knowing that we serve in Jesus’ name -- as we try to help as many persons and families we can who visit our offices and ministry sites.  As Jesus shared himself, in the breaking of the bread, we too share what resources we have with “strangers” in our midst who may need some material or spiritual support.  Through your gifts of time, treasure and talent through Catholic Charities and the Bishop’s Appeal (   you help the Church share that bread  broken by Jesus with  each client we encounter.  Thanks.

Reflection from Church Documents and Official Statements

Pope Francis:  Do Not Be Afraid of Christian Joy

Vatican City, April 25, 2014 ( |

Without Christian joy, there can be no foundation to the Church which needs an “apostolic joy” to irradiate and expand, Pope Francis said.
Celebrating Mass in the Roman church of St. Ignatius of Loyola to give thanks for the canonisation of the 16th century Jesuit St. Jose de Anchieta, Francis referred in his homily to the Gospel story of the disciples of Emmaus.
“The disciples cannot believe their joy,” the Pope said. “They cannot believe because of their joy” on meeting the risen Jesus after his death, he explained.  
“It is a moment of wonder, of encounter with Jesus Christ, in which there seems to be too much joy to be true. Indeed, to assume the joy and wonder of that moment seems risky to us and we are tempted to take refuge in scepticism, in 'not exaggerating'.
“It is easier to believe in a spirit than in the living Christ!,” the Pope added. “It is easier to go to a necromancer who predicts the future, who reads cards, than to trust in the hope of a triumphant Christ, a Christ who vanquishes death!
“An idea or imagination is easier to believe than the docility of this Lord who rises again from death, and what he invites us to!,” the Pope continued. “This process of relativising faith ends up distancing us from the encounter, distancing us from God's caress. It is as if we 'distilled' the reality of the encounter with Jesus Christ in the still of fear, in the still of excessive security, of wanting to control the encounter ourselves. The disciples were afraid of joy … and so are we”.
The Holy Father went on to speak about the reading from the Acts of the Apostles which narrates the healing of the paralytic, prostrate at the door of the Temple, begging.
Peter and John were unable to give him anything he sought: neither gold nor silver, but they cure him by offering him what they have: the name of Jesus. The crippled man's joy is contagious and, in the midst of the hubbub Peter announces the message.
“The joy of the encounter with Jesus Christ, which it is so frightening for us to accept, is infectious and cries out the message: and this is how the Church grows!,” the Pope said. “The paralytic believes, because 'the Church does not grow by proselytism, but by attraction'; the testimonial attraction of this joy that proclaims Jesus Christ.
“It is a witness born of joy, accepted and then transformed into proclamation. It is the foundational joy … without this joy, a Church cannot be founded! A Christian community cannot be established! It is an apostolic joy that irradiates and expands”.
Known as the “Apostle of Brazil,” Father Jose was Brazil's third saint. Born on the Canary Islands, he came to Brazil from Portugal in 1553 as a missionary priest. Although he was a highly influential figure in Brazil’s history, as a founder of Sao Paulo and Rio De Janeiro, as well as proponent of education, promoter of human rights, and convertor of Indians to Catholicism, he is widely recognized for his Jesuit role and values.
The Pope noted that St. Jose de Anchieta knew how to communicate what he had experienced with the Lord, what he had seen and heard from Him. St Jose was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1980, and Pope Francis extended his liturgical cult to the universal Church on 3 April, a process equivalent to canonisation.
St. Jose, the Pope recalled, was one of the first Jesuits Ignatius sent to America, aged just nineteen. “He had so much joy that he was able to found a nation: he put in place the cultural foundations of a nation, in Jesus Christ,” Francis said. “He had not studied theology, and he had not studied philosophy; he was a boy! But he had felt the gaze of Jesus Christ, and he had let himself be filled with joy, and chose light. This was and is his holiness. He was not afraid of joy”.
Pope Francis concluded by saying that St. Jose de Anchieta had a beautiful hymn to the Virgin Mary, to whom he compared the message of peace, that proclaims the joy of the Good News. “May she, who in that Sunday dawn, sleepless with hope, was not afraid of joy, accompany us on our pilgrimage, inviting us all to rise, to set our paralyses aside, to enter together into the peace and joy that Jesus, the Risen Lord, promises us,” he said.

Some important date(s) this week:

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

SATURDAY, MAY 10.   St. Damien de Veuster of Moloka’i  (1840-1889).

When Joseph de Veuster was born in Tremelo, Belgium, in 1840, few people in Europe had any firsthand knowledge of leprosy (Hansen's disease). By the time he died at the age of 49, people all over the world knew about this disease because of him. They knew that human compassion could soften the ravages of this disease.

Forced to quit school at age 13 to work on the family farm, Joseph entered the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary six years later, taking the name of a fourth-century physician and martyr. When his brother Pamphile, a priest in the same congregation, fell ill and was unable to go to the Hawaiian Islands as assigned, Damien quickly volunteered in his place. In May 1864, two months after arriving in his new mission, Damien was ordained a priest in Honolulu and assigned to the island of Hawaii.
In 1873, he went to the Hawaiian government's leper colony on the island of Molokai, set up seven years earlier. Part of a team of four chaplains taking that assignment for three months each year, Damien soon volunteered to remain permanently, caring for the people's physical, medical and spiritual needs. In time, he became their most effective advocate to obtain promised government support.
Soon the settlement had new houses and a new church, school and orphanage. Morale improved considerably. A few years later he succeeded in getting the Franciscan Sisters of Syracuse, led by Mother Marianne Cope (January 23), to help staff this colony in Kalaupapa.
Damien contracted Hansen's disease and died of its complications. As requested, he was buried in Kalaupapa, but in 1936 the Belgian government succeeded in having his body moved to Belgium. Part of Damien's body was returned to his beloved Hawaiian brothers and sisters after his beatification in 1995.
Damien was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI on October 11, 2009.
When Hawaii became a state in 1959, it selected Damien as one of its two representatives in the Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol.


Some people thought Damien was a hero for going to Molokai and others thought he was crazy. When a Protestant clergyman wrote that Damien was guilty of immoral behavior, Robert Louis Stevenson vigorously defended him in an "Open Letter to Dr. Hyde."


During the canonization homily, Pope Benedict XVI said: "Let us remember before this noble figure that it is charity which makes unity, brings it forth and makes it desirable. Following in Saint Paul's footsteps, Saint Damien prompts us to choose the good warfare (1 Tm 1:18), not the kind that brings division but the kind that gathers people together. He invites us to open our eyes to the forms of leprosy that disfigure the humanity of our brethren and still today call for the charity of our presence as servants, beyond that of our generosity."

For daily readings, visit USCCB Website (  


Come Sail Away, Men Who Cook Event
For more information or to purchase tickets, please call us at 330-744-3320.

Diocese of Youngstown
Night to Honor Mary

Friday, May 9 at 7:00 pm, St. Michael the Archangel Parish, Canton



  • Media. That the media may be instruments in the service of truth and peace.
  • Mary’s Guidance. That Mary, Star of Evangelization, may guide the Church in proclaiming Christ to all nations.

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: