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As we move from the joy of the Christmas season to the solemnity and reflection of Lent, I join our Board Relations Committee, and the Faith Committee of the Junior Board to invite your participation in “One Mission: Many Hearts, Many Hands.”

During each week of Lent we will learn about, be inspired by, and draw closer to the mission of Catholic Charities by focusing on a particular group that we serve: Homeless, Seniors, Families, Veterans, and Refugees. Through scripture, reflection, prayer, and activities we will educate ourselves, our families, and our communities, while we participate in the sacred work of serving those in need. As Pope Francis has said, “To love God and neighbor is not something abstract, but profoundly concrete: it means seeing in every person and face of the Lord to be served, to serve him concretely.”

Lent is a time of introspection, fasting, prayer, and almsgiving. Please become one of the “Many Hearts, Many Hands” that will join together in growing our compassion as one family of faith in the coming weeks.

May God Bless you and your families,

Monsignor Michael M. Boland


Lenten Mission Brochure

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A family may become homeless due to job loss, domestic violence, fire or other disaster. Catholic Charities family shelters provide a safe, home-like an environment with shared activities and tasks where families can get back on their feet. Last year 6,707 families avoided foreclosure through housing counseling resources; 991 individuals were housed in our family shelters.

“How marvelous it would be if, at the end of the day, each of us could say: today I have performed an act of charity towards others!” Pope Francis

How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees one in need and refuses to help?

John 3: 17 -18


REFLECTIONS

  • Do I have the ability to recognize the humanity of a homeless person and not just judge them by their condition?

  • Do I understand the causes of homelessness and how it can happen to people from all walks of life?


PRAYER

Dear God, help me to find the courage and compassion to see the face of Jesus in everyone I encounter, especially those who are homeless.


ACTIONS

LEARN

  • Watch 2014 Faces of Poverty, Video 1



  • Read A Shelter in Our Car by Monica Grunning

  • Watch Ronald Davis, Homeless Chicago Man



VOLUNTEER

  • Make sack lunches and drop off at Catholic Charities sites

  • Serve at one of our evening suppers

 

GIVE

  • Color placemats for evening suppers

  • Carry extra energy bars to give out when asked for help by people on the street

  • Donate to Catholic Charities by visiting www.catholiccharities.net/donate


Seniors call upon Catholic Charities for a wide range of assistance;
from helping coordinate medical and nutritional support to home repair. Last year, a total of 398,070 seniors received services from Catholic Charities.

“People have a dignity that is priceless and worth far more than things.” Pope Francis

Rise in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God.

Leviticus 19:32

 

REFLECTIONS

  • Do I make time to be physically present for those who are elderly within my family? Within my community and neighborhood?

  • Can I look at an elderly person and imagine them as a child, young adult, and middle-aged? Can I appreciate the fullness of the life they lead and the wisdom they have to impart?

 

PRAYER

Dear God, give me the grace to offer compassion, patience, encouragement and empathy to my elders.

ACTIONS

LEARN

  • Watch Cyber Seniors Documentary



  • Visit or call elderly relatives and neighbors; ask them about their life story

  • Read, Mrs. Katz and Tush by Patricia Polacco or watch Winfred Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox  



VOLUNTEER

  • Explore senior services in your community; find an activity you can assist with

  • Offer to help an elderly relative or neighbor learn how to access the Internet at local libraries

 

GIVE

  • Donate board games, crossword puzzles and craft items to a senior center

  • Gather items for older women and men for March 30 service project


Hundreds of thousands of families are helped by Catholic Charities each year. One of our largest programs for families is our Women, Infants and Children (WIC) nutrition program that provides healthy foods for children ages birth to 5. Our WIC Food & Nutrition Centers served 171,298 women, infants, and children with nutritious food, education, and support to promote good health.

“ The measure of greatness of a society is found in the way it treats those most in need, those who have nothing apart from poverty.” Pope Francis

When someone is reduced to poverty, we have an obligation to help.

Leviticus 25:35

 

REFLECTIONS

  • Do I help to strengthen families in my own community? Can I provide help and hope to those who are struggling financially or emotionally to raise a child?

  • How do I celebrate the single parent family and make them feel accepted and supported?

 

PRAYER

Dear God, let the example of the Holy Family’s struggles remind me of the love that needs to exist and grow in families. Help me to offer compassion and assistance to the families I encounter.



ACTIONS

LEARN

 

VOLUNTEER

  • Read to children at Early Childhood programs

  • Mentor an underprivileged youth

 

GIVE

  • Donate clothing, bedding, and food to family shelters or to a Catholic Charities clothing closet

  • Donate and/or assist in assembling Easter baskets for children on March 30

  • Donate to Catholic Charities by visiting www.catholiccharities.net/donate


Veterans served our nation and Catholic Charities serves veterans in need by providing housing, counseling, employment assistance, and other supports. Last year, 9,107 veterans were assisted with housing, mental health counseling, and job placement.

“Charity, patience, and tenderness are very beautiful gifts. If you have them, you want to share them with others.” Pope Francis

Seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow.

Isaiah 1:17

 

REFLECTIONS

  • Do I truly appreciate those who would lay down their lives for others? Would I do the same?

  • How do I honor and support those who have served my country?

 

PRAYER

Dear God, help me give compassion and support to those who gave so selflessly of their family life, physical and mental well-being in bravery to protect my freedom.


ACTIONS

LEARN

  • Watch the 2014 Veterans in Need



  • Read: Veterans: Heroes in Our Neighborhood by Valerie Pfundstein



VOLUNTEER

  • Serve a dinner at Cooke’s Manor Hines recovery residence

  • Sort clothing at Mary’s Closet, a program that provides career clothing for veterans and other clients of Catholic Charities

 

GIVE

  • Collect toiletries for veterans served by Catholic Charities

  • Pray for our men and women who served and are serving in our country’s armed forces; particularly those who were wounded or killed during conflicts

  • Donate to Catholic Charities by visiting www.catholiccharities.net/donate


Refugees are people who have had to flee their native country due to religious or political persecution or other crisis. For many decades,
Catholic Charities has helped refugees make the U.S. their new home, by providing intensive support to new arrivals. Last year, 469 refugees,
including children, were assisted with resettlement in Chicago.

“All of us together are a family in the Church, who is our Mother.” Pope Francis

For I was a stranger and you welcomed me.

Matthew 25:35

 

REFLECTIONS

  • Do I understand the difference between a refugee and an immigrant?

  • How would I cope with spending many years in a refugee camp, and then starting over with nothing in a foreign place, far from family and friends?

 

PRAYER

Dear God, help me imagine what it must be like to be a stranger in a strange land. Help me to offer compassionate assistance and encouragement to refugees in my community.


ACTIONS

LEARN

  • Watch 2014 Faces of Poverty: Refugees


  • Watch 'The Real Coming to America'


  • Read Making It Home: Real Life Stories from Children Forced to Flee by Beverly Naidoo

 

VOLUNTEER

  • Provide child care for parents attending refugee programming at Catholic Charities

  • Tutor adults in English as a Second Language programs

 

GIVE

  • Donate clothing and household items to help create a new home

  • Donate supplies and purchase items from Catholic Charities LOOM Program

  • Donate to Catholic Charities by visiting www.catholiccharities.net/donate


Donations for the March 30, Easter Service Project can be dropped off at 721 N. LaSalle St. Chicago, IL 60654, Monday thru Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 6pm. The Easter baskets will be provided.
If you have any questions about the Lenten Mission, please contact Kristin McDaniel, (312) 948-7539, kmcdaniel@catholiccharities.net

Easter Baskets for Children

  • Coloring or game book
  • Art supplies
  • Cross
  Easter Care Packages for Women

  • Journal or notepad
  • Crossword, Word Finder, Sudoku
  • Pencils
  • Shampoo/conditioner
  • Bath & Body products (soaps, lotion)
  • Small bible
  • Rosary
  • Deodorant
  • Feminine supplies
  • Candy
  • Meditation or daily devotional book
  • Lip gloss
  • Popular Fiction/non-Fiction book
  • Small picture frame
  • Note cards
  • Playing cards
  • Comb or Brush
  Easter Care Packages for Men

  • Journal or notepad
  • Crossword, Word Finder, Sudoku
  • Pencils
  • Shampoo/conditioner
  • Bath & Body products (soaps, lotion)
  • Small bible
  • Rosary
  • Deodorant
  • Candy
  • Tissue paper
  • Meditation or daily devotional book
  • Nail clippers
  • Popular Fiction/non-Fiction book
  • Small picture frame
  • Comb or Brush

Ways to Change Lives

Donate

Phone: (312) 655-7525
Email: donations@catholiccharities.net 
Mail:
721 N. LaSalle, Chicago, IL 60654