Strengthening Families. Building Communities. Reducing Poverty.
  In January, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) intensify their call for Catholics to engage in prayer and activities to help build a respect for innocent human life in society (visit http://www.usccb.org/about/pro-life-activities/).  Around the nation, Catholics participate in numerous events to mark the January 22, 1973 Supreme Court decisions (Roe v. Wade, and Doe v. Bolton) that legalized, in all 50 states, the taking of defenseless and innocent unborn human life.  Several employees of Catholic Charities will join hundreds of thousands of marchers who will travel to Washington, D.C, to give witness, voice and prayer in the shadow of Capitol Hill in support of executive, legislative and judicial action to protect the fundamental and God-given right to life of unborn children.  Please pray for the success of the March for Life on January 27 and for the safety of all participants.  In the week following the March for Life, Catholic Charities' Respect Life Program Director Jessica Grabowski will share her reflections on the March for Life in a CCDOC blog post.   The U.S. Bishops also seek to raise awareness of poverty across our nation in the month of January, and to this end, the USCCB highlights January as “Poverty Awareness Month.”  Learn more about
Happy Respect Life Month! I am pleased to broadcast that October is Respect Life Month. October 1st kicked off a new chapter of Respect Life with the start of a new USCCB Respect Life Program for the year. The USCCB Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities publishes new Respect Life Program materials each year to highlight various Respect Life issues put forth at the start of Respect Life Month (First Sunday in October). These annual materials respond to the needs of parishes, schools and other ministries for basic presentations of life issues. This year’s Respect Life Program theme is Moved by Mercy. This theme is exceptionally fitting this year. As we draw near to the end of the Jubilee Year of Mercy, we are reminded that we are called to continue this theme of mercy in our ministries throughout this next year, and in our lives. His Holiness, Pope Francis reminds us that “We are called to show mercy because mercy has first been shown to us.” We are called to promote life and defend life always. Learn more about the 2016-2017 USCCB Respect Life Program here. http://www.usccb.org/about/pro-life-activities/respect-life-program/index.cfm This year’s Respect Life Program is emphasized in liturgies and featured through a variety of

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  “Most of the most important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.” - Dale Carnegie After many years in the nonprofit field, I firmly believe that the secret formula to help our clients achieve their God Given potential is Hope + Empowerment + goals= Case Management. Hope is a powerful feeling, and a powerful tool to inspire our clients to take action, to take that first step, to reach out for help, knowing that there is somebody, a relative, a priest, their spouse, a social worker, an agency believing in them, supporting them and walking the journey with them. I have learned that case management is an intricate process that involves assessing the individual’s needs, identifying their strengths as a tool to help them reach their goals, and knowing realistically the barriers preventing them succeed. Furthermore, since I started working with Catholic Charities I learned that a Social Service provider/case worker means something different. It means to establish a relationship of trust, to be able to put myself in my client’s shoes and walk their walk. Understanding their situation, their circumstances, their background everything

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Kenny’s mother visited the Catholic Charities office with a request for clothing. She explained that Kenny was small for his 12 years. She then very casually asked if she could have change for a dollar. Apparently the family’s cars tires were worn and had many leaks so they had to be filled with air every time the car was used. Kenny’s Mom explained that her family lived in a rural part of the county so they had to go through the routine of filling the tires a couple of times each day because she had to drive Kenny a long distance each day to a special needs school. The change was for the air machine at the gas station. A quick phone call was placed to Kenny’s school to see why he wasn’t being provided the state-mandated transportation daily pick up and drops off by the special school bus. The family had never inquired about school transportation. Communication easily solved this problem which would have an incredible impact on Kenny and his family. Another phone call arranged for Catholic Charities to buy a new set of tires for Kenny’s family car. No one had asked, but sometimes an opportunity is too

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 I consider myself to be a social person because I thrive on opportunities to engage and connect with others but I realize that we as individuals can experience loneliness in the mist of being surrounded by others.  Mother Teresa said, “Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty” because we ultimately all have the fundamental need to belong and be loved.  We often use loneliness and isolation interchangeably. While they can be related, they are different concepts.  Loneliness is best understood as a person’s emotional state, described as a sense of not having meaningful contact with others, accompanied by feelings of emptiness, deprivation or sadness. However, isolation refers to a lack of contact with family or friends or a loss or lack of community involvement.  Therefore, it is possible to be lonely but not isolated and vice versa.    Fortunately, there are ways to combat loneliness, although doing so takes some initiative.  The following are a few ideas and tips that you might find helpful. Get to know your neighbor:  Inquire within your local parish about senior group or other ministries that connect seniors to one another and get involved.  Volunteer at your local parish, Catholic Charities or other organization of interest. Engage in
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