CATHOLIC CAMPAIGN FOR HUMAN DEVELOPMENT
Although we live in the wealthiest country in the world, here is an urgent need to care for millions of poor people right here in our midst. And, for more than half a century, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) has demonstrated the Church’s solidarity with the poor in America, supporting community organizations that work to ease poverty and promote human development. The CCHD is the national anti-poverty and social justice program of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). CCHD was begun in 1969 by the Catholic bishops in the United States in response to Pope Paul VI‘s encyclical Populorum progressio (“The Progress of Peoples”). CCHD’s mission is “to address the root causes of poverty in America through promotion and support of community-controlled self-help organizations and through transformative social justice, education, and solidarity between poor and non-poor”.
Our Lord calls us to “do to others whatever you would have them do to you” (Mt. 7:12), and then teaches us to love our neighbor, using his parable of the Good Samaritan to demonstrate who is our neighbor (cf. Lk 10:29ff). It should be a matter of great concern for all of us that, in a country as prosperous as ours, 46 million of our fellow Americans (approximately 14% of the 332 million Americans) live in poverty. The CCHD supports community organizations that work to remove this poverty as it promotes human development. And, what makes the work of the CCHD special is that these community organizations don’t just hand out food and clothing to the poor but rather they engage the poor to actively participate in identifying their problems and to work collaboratively to find effective solutions.
CCHD has two goals:
- To help low-income people participate in decisions that affect their lives, their families and communities; and
- To provide education and promote understanding about poverty and its root causes.
This dual strategy of “helping people who are poor speak and act for themselves” and “education for economic justice” reflects the mandate of the Scriptures and the principles of Catholic social teaching.
CCHD invests in the dignity of people living in poverty. Programs funded by CCHD support self-sufficiency and self-determination for people who are working to bring permanent and positive change to their communities. The organization’s philosophy emphasizes empowerment and participation. By assisting the poor in participating in the decisions and actions that affect their lives and communities, CCHD “helps people help themselves” to move beyond poverty.
The Catholic Campaign for Human Development is made possible by the generous support of Catholics in the United States, especially through the annual parish collection that we will be taking up next weekend. CCHD’s grants to local anti-poverty efforts are screened, awarded and monitored in close partnership with local Catholic dioceses. CCHD grants to groups in a local community require the explicit approval of the bishop of that diocese. Please be generous in your support of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development and pray that it may help to bring relief to those millions of people in our country who struggle with poverty.
REFINISHING CHURCH TERRAZZO FLOOR
One of the many beautiful features of our beautiful church is its terrazzo floor. It is a very durable and attractive material and we’re very fortunate that our spiritual predecessors had the foresight to include it in their construction of our new church, now 56 years old. Of course, like all materials, it needs to receive proper care in order to maintain its luster and beauty. Besides being polished regularly, it needs to be refinished very eight to ten years. The last time it was refinished was in 2014 and it’s time to do it again. A quick comparison of the sanctuary – where there is little foot traffic – with the main aisle will make it very evident. So, I contacted Mr. John Trinh, who has done an excellent job in maintaining the floor over the past eight years, and he agreed to return this summer to refinish the floor once again; he started last Monday. It is very time-consuming work as he polishes the terrazzo with increasingly finer diamond-tipped polishing brushes to return it to its original luster. He expects to be finished before all the parish activities resume in September.
Of course, there is a cost for this work: $35,000. As you admire the newly-refinished floor, I ask you to please consider providing an additional contribution over the summer to help us defray the cost of this important project. Thanks!