Letter from Chief Executive Officer
It’s been about a year since Pope Francis celebrated Mass at Madison Square Garden in New York City with a simple call to be stirred by Jesus, who provides believers with hope:
“… a hope which liberates us from the forces pushing us to isolation and lack of concern for the lives of others …” And Pope Francis reminded us that Jesus “keeps telling his disciples to go, to go out. He urges them to go out and meet others where they really are, not where we think they should be. Go out, again and again; go out without fear, without hesitation. Go out and proclaim this joy which is for all the people.”
We’re heeding this call at Catholic Charities by sending the Food for All Pantry to food deserts to fight rural poverty, by sending more counselors into schools to support children in distress and by welcoming those fleeing violence and extreme poverty with the support to begin new lives in America. The need has never been greater as we served more than 91,000 people last year, an 11% increase over the prior year.
But we’re not alone in southwestern Ohio in heeding Pope Francis’ call. Hundreds reflect God’s mercy by reaching out to their brothers and sisters. We are celebrating 100 years of Catholic Charities by recognizing 100 Champions of Mercy. We were humbled and inspired as we read their nominations.
Acts of mercy – no matter how small – have a ripple effect on the lives of those touched. The people being honored at the Centennial Celebration and Awards Dinner in October aren’t seeking special attention. They’re simply doing what they’re called to do – what we’re all called to do. We hope you will find their stories inspiring and that you will share them as the stories to inspire others “to go out without fear, without hesitation. Go out and proclaim this joy which is for all people.”
Chief Executive Officer