January Topic - Catholic Charities & Catholic Relief Services, Mexico Medical Mission Trip - Guest Speaker & Blessed John XXIII Video
Catholic Charities poverty education link here.
I did not post this website on the parent or kids pages, because it from an Anglican Church, but it has many useful ideas which I thought might interest us in getting kids involved. Take a look here.
Click here for a link to the full article and photographs.
Dorothy Day is a hero of the Catholic left, a fiery 20th-century social activist who protested war, supported labor strikes and lived voluntarily in poverty as she cared for the needy. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, of which Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York is president, voted this month to support Dorothy Day's canonization. The New York Times Martha Hennessy, the granddaughter of Dorothy Day, washes dishes at Maryhouse in the East Village. But Day has found a seemingly unlikely champion in New York’s conservative archbishop, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, who has breathed new life into an effort to declare the Brooklyn native a saint.
Cardinal Dolan has embraced her cause with striking zeal: speaking on the anniversaries of her birth and death, distributing Dorothy Day prayer cards to parishes and even buying roughly 100 copies of her biography to give out last year as Christmas gifts to civic officials including Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.
This month, at Cardinal Dolan’s recommendation, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops voted unanimously to move forward with her canonization cause, even though, as some of the bishops noted, she had an abortion as a young woman and at one point flirted with joining the Communist Party.
“I am convinced she is a saint for our time,” Cardinal Dolan said at the bishops’ meeting. She exemplifies, he said, “what’s best in Catholic life, that ability we have to be ‘both-and’ not ‘either-or.’ ”
Cardinal Dolan is often depicted as one of the most visible symbols of the rightward shift of America’s Catholic bishops. He has been critical of President Obama’s policies — he accused the Obama administration of “an unwarranted, unprecedented radical intrusion” into church life after the administration said it would require some Catholic institutions to provide their employees with insurance coverage for contraception — and he has been an outspoken opponent of the administration’s support for same-sex marriage.
In recent years, he and other conservative Catholics have come to embrace Day, finding inspiration in her decision to support the church’s opposition to abortion, as well as her distrust of government and her overall religious orthodoxy. As someone who was both committed to social justice and loyal to church teachings, Day bridges wings of the contemporary church in a way that few American Catholic figures can.
“For quite a while, the church at the grass roots in the United States has been fairly badly splintered to a kind of peace-and-justice crowd on the left and pro-life crowd on the right,” said John L. Allen Jr., senior correspondent for The National Catholic Reporter. “And Day is one of those few figures who has traction in both those groups.”
Day, born in 1897 to a nonobservant Protestant family, dropped out of the University of Illinois and moved to New York to work as a journalist for leftist publications in the bohemian literary world of downtown Manhattan. She converted to Catholicism in 1927, citing a spiritual awakening that was accelerated by the joy that she felt upon the birth of a daughter, Tamar. She said she chose Catholicism for many reasons — partly because it was the religion of so many of the workers and poor people whose cause she fought for as a socialist writer, and partly because she had lived in Chicago with Catholic roommates whose faith had deeply impressed her.
She spent decades as a passionate lay Catholic, devoting her life to the principles of social justice, including pacifism and service to the poor, that she felt were at the root of her religion’s teachings.
Though she was traditional in her religious practices and strong in her love for the church, her relationship with the church hierarchy in her lifetime was not always smooth. No Catholic bishops attended her funeral, though Cardinal Terence Cooke blessed her body as it arrived for the funeral Mass, according to Robert Ellsberg, the editor of her letters and diaries.
But bishops now say Day’s life resonates with the struggles that they are most engaged in today: the fight against abortion and their concern about government intrusion in their affairs. In her radical rejection of government — Day believed all states were inherently totalitarian — the bishops see echoes of their fight with the Obama administration over health care.
“As we struggle at this opportune moment to try to show how we are losing our freedoms in the name of individual rights, Dorothy Day is a very good woman to have on our side,” Cardinal Francis E. George, archbishop of Chicago, said during a discussion of Day’s sainthood cause at a meeting of bishops.
Cardinal Dolan is, in one sense, the natural advocate for Day, because she lived most of her life in his archdiocese and her canonization was proposed by one of his predecessors. But promoting Day’s sainthood cause is also politically useful for him, and other bishops, at a time when the hierarchy is often described by liberal Catholics as caring more about reproductive issues than poverty, some Catholics said.
“It is an opportunity for him to demonstrate that conservative Catholics are not uncaring, without accepting liberal principles in how you service the poor,” said William A. Donohue, president of the Catholic League, a conservative antidefamation organization. “She was not, like many liberal Catholics today, a welfare state enthusiast.”
But some of Day’s closest supporters are critical of how conservatives interpret her message on the role of government.
“I think she would be appalled to have her commitment to voluntary poverty and works of mercy and charity in their deepest sense be used as cover for an agenda that I think she would see as part of a war against the poor,” said Mr. Ellsberg, a former editor of The Catholic Worker newspaper that Ms. Day founded with Peter Maurin in 1933.
To be canonized as a saint, Day will face several major hurdles, according to the Rev. Thomas J. Reese, senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center. First, the Vaticanmust determine that two miracles have occurred as a result of prayers to her since her death. Second, she needs organizational support to keep up a lobbying effort for her, and the Catholic Worker movement she helped found is often ambivalent about the canonization process, fearful that her message will become oversimplified. Day herself once said, according to the church, “Don’t trivialize me by trying to make me a saint.”
Then there is simply the matter of time — the heavily bureaucratic canonization process can take decades. “Dolan is behind this, but it might take more than his lifetime to get this whole thing through,” Father Reese said. “And there’s no way of knowing if the next guy will place it as high on his agenda.”
When Cardinal Dolan talks about why he supports Day, he tends not to mention her arrests at protests of nuclear weapons or at a farm labor protest with Cesar Chavez. Instead, he describes her as a sinner whose life was transformed when she converted.
Describing for reporters at the bishops’ meeting Day’s life as a young woman, Cardinal Dolan offered a litany of concerns: “Sexual immorality, religious searching, pregnancy out of wedlock and an abortion.” But, he said, after her conversion, she not only flourished, but she also became an icon “for everything right about the dignity of the human person and the sanctity of human life.”
But her granddaughter, Martha Hennessy, 57, who volunteers in the East Village at Maryhouse, a Catholic Worker refuge for the poor that Day founded, said in an interview that she found the bishops’ increasing focus on her grandmother’s abortion uncomfortable.
“I wish we would focus on the birth of her child more than on her abortion because that’s what really played a role in her conversion,” said Ms. Hennessy, whose mother, Tamar, was Day’s only child. “It’s hard for me to hear these men talking about my mother and grandmother that way.”
Her daily work continues. The Catholic Worker, a newspaper she helped start has grown into a broad movement, and more than 200 Catholic Worker houses of hospitality continue to serve the poor around the country. Followers of the movement — who do not have to be Catholic — run soup kitchens, rooming houses and clothing distributions, and continue to hold protests, which these days are focused on torture, drone attacks and other aspects of the war on terror.
At St. Joseph House on First Street in the East Village on a recent Thursday, a kitchen full of volunteers rinsed down giant stockpots and bowl-size ladles after finishing the morning’s soup line for the neighborhood poor. Around 25 residents and volunteers live in the graffiti-tagged building, relying on donations for their work. More Catholic workers live two blocks away in Maryhouse, the refuge where Day lived the final years of her life.
As the volunteers gathered for lunch at St. Joseph House — in a simple dining hall hung with hand-drawn pictures of Day, a portrait of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and a crucifix — Carmen Trotta, who has lived in the house for a quarter-century, said that while he believed Day’s message of pacifism and works of mercy should be the focus of discussions about her possible canonization, he was confident that anyone who read her writings would understand her priorities. “None of us really have any doubt that she was a saint,” he said.
This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
Correction: November 29, 2012
An article on Tuesday about efforts to canonize Dorothy Day as a saint in the Roman Catholic Church included several errors. In some copies, it misidentified the Catholic diocese in which Day was born. It is the Diocese of Brooklyn, not the Archdiocese of New York. The article and a picture caption in some editions rendered incorrectly the name of the place Day lived toward the end of her life. It is Maryhouse, not the Mary House. The article also referred imprecisely to clergy members at Day’s funeral in 1980. One bishop blessed the body but did not attend the Mass; it is not the case that “not a single Catholic bishop came to her funeral.”
A version of this article appeared in print on November 27, 2012, on page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: In Hero of the Catholic Left, a Conservative Cardinal Sees a Saint.
4th Week of Advent ( Dec. 23)
Justice Challenge: We often think of our own families this week with the anticipation of joy and celebration centered around Jesus’ birth. However, there are so many in our families, in our communities, and across the world who have no one. Take time this week to remember in prayer those who don’t know the amazing gift of Jesus and those who are lonely, longing for love and belonging. We pray that Jesus would find the way into their hearts and lives this Christmas. What part do you play in that evangelization?
Feast of the Holy Family (Dec. 30)
Justice Challenge: During the Christmas season, we reflect on the prophetic peace images which would come when the Messiah arrived on earth. We hear about wolves and lambs lying down together and of swords being beaten into plowshares. January 1st is World Day of Peace, yet war and violence continue to shatter the peace for which the Old Testament prophets yearned. All of us as one global family are called to do our part to bring peace to our world. Your challenge this week is to be a peace-maker—in your family, with your friends and colleagues at work or school, in your community. How can you bring people together, encourage others to settle disputes without resorting to violence, or advocate for global peace?
2nd Sunday of Christmas (Jan. 6)
Justice Challenge: We celebrate the Epiphany of the Lord this week. This feast reminds us that Jesus came as a universal savior—for all people, not just the Jews. The Magi who brought special gifts to the infant Jesus came from distant lands. They recognized the Messiah in the tiny baby more than most of Jesus’ own people did. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that our Catholic faith is open to everyone. But the word “catholic” means universal—for everyone, everywhere, all the time. Your challenge this week is to give a special gift to someone who has been left out, someone who hasn’t been invited into the inner circle of friendship, someone who really needs an unexpected gift. It might be something material, but it could also be the gift of conversation, listening, paying attention.
Baptism of the Lord (Jan. 13)
Justice Challenge: This is National Migration Week. The observance was initiated over 25 years ago by the U.S. Catholic Bishops as a way for Catholics to appreciate the Church’s diversity and become aware of all the ways the Church serves migrants and refugees. Your challenge this week is to pray the prayer which the USCCB wrote for this special time:Lord Jesus, when you multiplied the loaves and fishes, you provided more than food for the body, you offered us the gift of yourself, the gift which satisfies every hunger and quenches every thirst! Your disciples were filled with fear and doubt, but you poured out your love and compassion on the migrant crowd, welcoming them as brothers and sisters. Lord Jesus, today you call us to welcome the members of God's family who come to our land to escape oppression, poverty, persecution, violence, and war. Like your disciples, we too are filled with fear and doubt and even suspicion. We build barriers in our hearts and in our minds. Lord Jesus, help us by your grace,
We praise you and give you thanks for the family you have called together from so many people. We see in this human family a reflection of the divine unity of the one Most Holy Trinity in whom we make our prayer: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
Copyright © Center for Ministry Development, 2012. FashioningFaith.org. All rights reserved.
2nd Week in Ordinary Time (Jan. 20)
Justice Challenge: On January 22, 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court made abortion legal in our country. Since then millions and millions of unborn babies have been killed. The most basic of all human rights is life. The most basic of all Catholic social teaching themes is the life and dignity of every person. Your challenge this week is to do something to promote life and dignity for all. Advocate for unborn babies, fight against euthanasia or the death penalty, and/or speak out for the rights of those whose dignity has been stripped from them.
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