By Lisa DeJaco Crutcher
In September 2017, Pope Francis invited us to “share the journey” with all our neighbors. The directive served specifically as a call to welcome migrants and refugees fleeing poverty, war and persecution, but the message has broader implications: We should share the journey with all who are vulnerable and living on the edges of society.
It’s a mission we strive to carry out daily at Catholic Charities of Louisville.
Upon taking the helm at Catholic Charities last spring, I dedicated much of my time to listening to staff and volunteers and learning about our breadth of programming that welcomes, empowers and strengthens those we serve. We provide help and create hope, guided by the principle that all individuals deserve the care necessary to alleviate their suffering and uphold their dignity.
I have also begun visiting parish communities around the archdiocese, where I’ve been inspired by the works of service carried out on the parish level to explore new ways that Catholic Charities can connect and resource those efforts.
It’s also been enlightening to learn more about the great diversity of compassionate work being done by other nonprofits in our community — some explicitly Catholic, and others founded by Catholics that remain rooted in our faith tradition. Time and again, I’ve been amazed by what a force for good our church is. From the archdiocesan level to parishes and down to individual volunteers, all across our region, Catholics are contributing a tremendous amount of care, kindness and assistance to others.
Catholic Charities plays a substantial part in this effort. As an apostolate of the Archdiocese of Louisville, Catholic Charities is charged with the social ministry work of our Church in the 24 counties of central Kentucky. We operate 10 different programs, helping and restoring hope to hundreds of people each year: from immigrants and refugees to survivors of human-trafficking, from poor families to elderly individuals in need of an advocate.
Catholic Charities is your church at work in the world, and you should be proud. If you are a Catholic who doesn’t know about all of the tremendous work being done by the staff of Catholic Charities of Louisville, you have been missing out on your rightful opportunity to take pride in your church, support this work with your prayers or contribute your gifts and time.
Catholic Charities recently launched a new website at www.cclou.org — please check it out! We plan to continue spreading the word of how we are sharing the journey with those in need every single day, and in coming months you’ll read stories from all our programs in this space.
In closing, I will cite the message of another Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, who said the church has three essential functions: to worship God, to evangelize the faith, and to perform charitable works. As to the last, we invite you to share the journey with us.
Lisa DeJaco Crutcher is chief executive officer of Catholic Charities of Louisville.