A once in a lifetime opportunity is rare indeed! Even rarer is an event that comes around only every hundred years. Next weekend, we begin just such an observance. The annual Catholic Charities Appeal, which will be held next weekend in parishes across the Archdiocese, coincides with the 100th anniversary of the founding of Catholic Charities in Oklahoma!
The rich legacy of Catholic Charities in our state began with the opening of St. Joseph Orphanage in Bethany early in 1912. From that time until today the work of Catholic Charities has continued to expand throughout our state and Archdiocese. It can only continue with our generous and sacrificial support.
The many works and services of Catholic Charities express the care and concern of the Catholic Church for our brothers and sisters in need. We do not provide these services because those we serve may happen to be Catholic (many are not), but because we are Catholic. Caring for Christ in his distressing disguise of poverty is not an option for Catholics, but a responsibility. “Whatever you do to the least of my brothers and sisters, you do to me.” (Mt 25:40)
The types of services which Catholic Charities offers in the name of the Church have expanded with the changing needs of individuals and families over the course of the last century. The places where these services are offered have continued to expand as well. Today Catholic Charities provides counseling services, emergency re-sponse and case management. Catholic Charities offers support for families and adoption services. We provide service-enriched affordable housing for families and the elderly, care for women with unexpected pregnancies, sanctuary for homeless women who have no place to turn. We assist immigrants and refugees who are making a new start and many other services as well.
We would be unable to offer such an array of services to so many of our neighbors in need without the generous support of our Catholic people. The Catholic Charities Annual Appeal will be held in each parish of the Archdiocese over the weekend of Sept. 17-18. I appeal to you to be generous. Make a sacrificial gift. I know you will do what you can and I thank you for your support.