HIV/AIDS Services and Ministry
Despite being nearly 3 decades into the pandemic, HIV/AIDS continues to be relegated to the “back burner.” It is no longer a front page story and is often perceived as more of a chronic illness even though more Americans are infected than ever before in the history of the disease. Although there are medications to treat the disease, treatment is not necessarily easy or simple, and, there is no cure. Yes, there are fewer people dying from the disease, but there are more people living with it.
Many remain disconnected from the reality of the pandemic, indifferent and even apathetic about the disease and its issues. The numbers of persons infected and affected remain just numbers to many…often these are not thought of in relation to the individual person, the individual face of the disease which the statistics represent. Many remain ignorant about the facts. We are still fighting the enormous and persistent stigma and discrimination which accompany the disease.
Catholic Charities, in our mission of charity to anyone in need continues to live the Gospel message in working to strengthen and support individuals, families and communities based on the value and dignity of human life.
The late Joseph Cardinal Bernardin in his 1986 pastoral letter, “AIDS: The Challenges and Responsibility,” said that “Our responsibility and challenge is to overcome ignorance and prejudice, to become a community of healing and reconciliation…”
Acknowledging this challenge, the web page will offer to anyone who is curious and/or interested, up to date information about:
- The disease,
- Catholic Charities HIV/AIDS Services,
- Catholic Charities HIV/AIDS Ministry,
- News, events, articles, links, etc., of importance on the local, national and global scene.
We invite you browse our page and consider joining in our efforts at Catholic Charities and in your own parishes and communities as well.
A statement from Francis Cardinal George:
"...Public awareness about the disease (HIV/AIDS) has often been overcome by a creeping indifference in the face of many other world-wide crises. The Catholic Church, along with many other religious groups, has approached persons living with HIV/AIDS as people who need special spiritual and physical care. The Catholic Church continues to be engaged in this ministry internationally and locally.
In Chicago, Catholic Charities has been the catalyst for much of the Church's outreach to persons living with HIV/AIDS and their families. Whenever there is suffering the Church gathers. Please keep the men, women and children living with the disease as well as those orphaned by the disease in your prayers. Please support their caregivers and those working to prevent and cure HIV/AIDS..."
Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I.
Archbishop of Chicago
A Statement from Rev. Msgr. Michael M. Boland, Administrator, President and CEO of Catholic Charities:
"Preventing HIV/AIDS is a challenge that we cannot ignore, as there is no cure, no vaccine to prevent it and it will simply not go away. It is therefore crucial to educate ourselves and others about HIV/AIDS, as understanding these can help us to respond with intelligence and compassion to our brothers and sisters infected with and affected by HIV/AIDS and help to eradicate the hurtful stigma and humiliating discrimination which continue to accompany the disease. I invite you to browse our HIV/AIDS Services and Ministry page."