By Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz
Most of you by now have seen sketches of the newly planned Catholic Charities Center that will be on the campus of Holy Name Parish. Some of you may have seen the video that details the dire need for a new facility so that the staff of Catholic Charities can continue to be effective in their work of charity. (If you have not seen the video, it can be viewed at https://cclou.org/building-a-brighter-future/.) The buildings that have been used are old and re-purposed, inefficient and inaccessible. A layman who visited the facility recently told me that he needed only five minutes to see the great need for a new center.
I am grateful to inform you that generosity has come from so many directions to make the campaign a great success at this stage. I want to extend special thanks to Deacon Scott Haner, chair of the Catholic Charities Board of Directors, Lisa DeJaco Crutcher, Chief Executive Officer of Catholic Charities and the campaign executive committee.
Besides replacing the facilities, the new center will accomplish something much greater. It will become a hub of charity for the local church, which as you know is comprised of 110 parishes stretching from the Ohio River to the Tennessee border. Just as the archdiocesan Pastoral Center has become so accessible to staff and volunteers to support ministries that stretch to every corner of the Archdiocese, so the new Catholic Charities Center will do much of the same.
If you have not already seen my interview with Deacon Scott Haner on the April edition of “Conversations with Archbishop Kurtz,” you can view it (see segment two) at www.archlou.org/conversations. Deacon Scott describes very well the need for a new facility and the reality that this will be a hub touching the lives of the faithful in every corner of the Archdiocese’s 24 counties. In addition, there have been many stories in The Record. Please continue to take an interest.
Becoming a hub will not happen accidentally. The staff and board members have made it a priority to reach out and extend services across the city of Louisville and to engage in meaningful dialogue to support the works of charity throughout the 24 counties of the Archdiocese, especially within parishes.
Some of you know that the work of Catholic Charities is dear to my heart. I reviewed a column that I wrote in September of 2010 in which I detailed not only my commitment to Catholic Charities but my experience over the last 50 years. Here is the link if you are interested in reading it: www.archlou.org/catholic-charities-sunday.
In the video that makes the case for the new Catholic Charities Center, I announce that the title of the campaign is “Building A Brighter Future: Calling Those of Goodwill to Care for Many in Need.” As Cardinal Hickey used to say, we serve people through Catholic Charities not because they are Catholic but because we are. That phrase captures the essence of what we are about. Through Catholic Charities, you and I reach out to virtually every human person within the Archdiocese to enhance their human dignity, to lift them up and give them a meaningful direction in their lives. Through Catholic Charities, we provide a brighter future to people young and old.
Catholic Charities, however, also has a great effect on those of us who participate. Through our efforts — whether as volunteers, as donors or as prayer partners — we support the work of Catholic Charities and so fulfill the mandate of Jesus to go out into the world and to serve those most in need. “Lord, when did I see you hungry and give you food?” Chapter 25 of the Gospel according to St. Matthew makes it very clear that the work of charity is not optional in our lives. When we reach out to serve others, you and I grow in our generosity and in our likeness to Christ. Thank you for taking an interest in the Catholic Charities Center as a new hub of charity, now and into the future.