My Dear Parishioners,
The pastors of the archdiocese recently received acknowledgment from the Secretariat for Catholic Human Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, comprised of Catholic Social Services (CSS) and Nutritional Development Services (NDS). In it they told us of the great work that they have done this past year and that you have supported by your support of the Annual Appeal. In his letter the Secretary, Mr. James Amato said:
We proudly continue our long-standing commitment to the corporal works of mercy through a wide variety of programs and services that meet the needs of people throughout the five counties of the Archdiocese. As a Catholic agency, we remain ever faithful to our mission to the charitable work of the Church as a means of concretely demonstrating the love of Jesus for all our brothers and sisters who need help and hope. Through programs delivered at over 80 of our own sites, and dozens more run by parishes or partner agencies that benefit from our funding and professional support, we made a positive difference in the lives of over a quarter of a million men, women and children last year. Consider the following evidence of our community impact:
- 226,371 persons benefitted from programs of Catholic Social Services for the homeless and hungry, persons with intellectual disabilities, those in recovery, at-risk children and youth, veterans, immigrants and refugees.
- 5,078 seniors were supported by Catholic Housing and Community Services (now a division of Catholic Social Services), through senior centers, parish eldercare, in-home support, and affordable senior housing.
- 10,082,573 meals were provided by Nutritional Development Services to those experiencing food insecurity through school lunch and afterschool programs, child care centers, and community food cupboards.
In his recent message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, Pope Francis reminds us, ”Through works of charity we demonstrate our faith … the highest form of charity is that shown to those unable to reciprocate and perhaps even to thank us in return …. It is about the value of each human life… and depends above all on our openness to being touched and moved by those who knock at our door … ” We daily encounter Christ in the faces of those who knock at the doors of our homeless shelters, community food cupboards, senior centers, residential group homes for at-risk youth or persons with disabilities. We do this work because we value every human life and as servants of God are called to welcome the poor, the stranger, and the outcast. We express heartfelt concern for our brothers and sisters in need, and look to God to inspire, guide, and complete our efforts.
I am thankful for the unfailing support of our Archbishop and his auxiliary bishops, as well as the many priests and deacons as well as dedicated parishioners who are partners in mission with us. We count on your continued prayers and appreciate your help in sharing with your communities the good news of what we do on behalf of those in need. Thank you and God bless you.
Thank you to all who contributed!
God Bless you,