This Holy Family is an example of selfless love. This advent let us offer ourselves as protectors to those who are agile and emulate this holy love to the many without family and in need in our communities.

As a culture, we are fascinated with numbers and statistics. From keeping the number of yards per game a receiver averages during a season to the number of homeless individuals that reside in a city. We want to measure and keep track of everything we do to produce efficient results. Numbers are an essential aspect of our work. At Catholic Charities, we know how numbers aid us in our everyday tasks and responsibilities by acting as instruments for greater understanding and problem resolution.

Regardless of how important numbers are, numbers do not replace a person. The fact is that when we collaborate with people, the most important issue is to know who we are working with. Who is He or She? What is His or Her name? What is their life story? Each person is incredibly unique and utterly irreplaceable. Every person on this earth is created by God, in His image, with all the dignity and freedom with which every child of God is born. Therefore, when we talk about someone who stays with us in one of our facilities, they will always be referred to and thought of as someone who is more than a number. For example, for someone like Mary, whose name has been changed for privacy reasons, we are talking about an important and unique person whose existence can never be explained in just a number sequence. Mary, who has a name, has a mother and a father, has brothers and sisters, and has five beautiful children. Mary, who, as a child, suffered neglect and abuse, both physically and emotionally. Mary, who, since childhood has been told that she does not have any talents and grew up in an environment where the distinction between right and wrong, good and bad, was never made clear to her. Mary, who consequently grew up making some poor choices, which carried some harmful consequences. Still, Mary is like us, a member of the Body of Christ. Therefore, when we see Mary or any other person like her, we see Christ in need.

In 2022, Catholic Charities has served over 900 unduplicated guests in our shelters and warming centers, placed over 40 children in loving homes, and supported more than 30 pregnant mothers. Moreover, through our St. Lawrence program we have provided over $250,000 in direct financial aid and have assessed the financial needs of over 2,679 individuals. We have also provided housing to over 25 persons, including three families with 11 children through our Beyond Shelter program. People like Mary, Megan, Brian, Craig, Daniel, and all the others we serve have names and are prized members of the Body of Christ. Deep in our hearts and souls, we know that our happiness and fulfillment depend on our commitment to serving others, especially those in need.

This blessed season we have the opportunity to give a little of ourselves by donating to Catholic Charities to keep Christ’s work alive by serving the poor. We are all aware of how hard the economy has changed and evolved these past few years. Overall economic needs have grown, and we cannot continue our work without you. We need you and thank you for every bit of the help provided. Only together can we succeed.