We recently served a man who had previously donated to a food pantry that Catholic Charities supports in Edmonton, Ky. He lost his job and ended up coming there for assistance. He told us, “I never thought I would be in this position — thank you for being here.”
We never know what life will bring. Charitable works are rooted in the Scriptures, part of the essence of the mission of Jesus Christ. In Matthew 25, Jesus tells us that we’ll be judged by how we treat him as found in the hungry, homeless, imprisoned and poor. For more than 80 years, Catholic Charities of Louisville has been serving many in need throughout the Archdiocese of Louisville.
During my time on the Catholic Charities Board, I’ve seen first-time moms enter the building timid and fearful but leave beaming with confidence after learning best practices in a Mother-Infant Care class.
I’ve seen community gardens created, with every plot claimed in the first week as gardeners lined up for a chance to feed their families and make a bit of extra income by selling some of their harvest.
And I’ve seen the passion of the Bakhita Empowerment team, who walk alongside survivors of human trafficking, literally empowering women and men to rebuild safer, more sustainable lives. Every day, we reach out with care and compassion through a wide variety of programs.
But therein lies our challenge. When we go out to thank the faithful for the work they are supporting through Catholic Charities, they frequently tell us, “We had no idea.”
No idea of the breadth of services offered. No idea of the myriad of people being helped. No idea of the volunteers that are selflessly giving their time. Well, it’s time for that to change!
Starting in March, we’re telling some wonderful stories of neighbors helped, lives changed, and hope restored — one person at a time. We can’t wait for you to “meet” them. They’ve been welcomed into the community, they’ve been strengthened, they’ve been empowered to live more stable and sustainable lives. We hope the stories will motivate you and others from your parish to join us by becoming part of the Catholic Charities community, allowing us to stay connected and share more good news. To join the community and read the latest stories, go to cclou.org/therecord.
The stories will showcase some important ways our local church brings God’s love to those going through difficult times. Pope Francis summed it up well, “Catholic Charities is the engine of the Church that organizes love — Caritas — for all believers to work together to respond.”
Through your support of Catholic Charities, you stand with us in that mission. Thank you! Good things happen when we work together to share God’s love.
So, soon you’ll have an idea — how will you respond?
Deacon Scott Haner is the board chair for Catholic Charities of Louisville and a permanent deacon at St. Patrick parish.