The Diocese of Raleigh joined in the celebration of the 100th Anniversary of Catholic Charities USA, Sunday, September 26. The organization was formed in 1910 to promote the creation of Diocesan Catholic Charities bureaus, to encourage professional social work practice, "to bring a sense of solidarity" among those in charitable ministries, and to be the "attorney for the poor."
Today, Catholic Charities USA supports more than 1,700 local agencies in communities throughout the United States as they provide help and create hope for more than nine million people each year, regardless of religion, social or economic backgrounds.
The Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge marked the Centennial event with the celebration of Mass at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Raleigh. Bishop Burbidge noted that the occasion also provides the opportunity for the faithful in the Diocese of Raleigh to acknowledge and pay tribute to our own Catholic Charities agency, which traces its roots back to Fr. Thomas F. Price, North Carolina’s first native-born Catholic priest. Fr. Price opened a Catholic orphanage in 1899, on property that is now part of the Centennial Campus of North Carolina State University.
Presently, Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Raleigh has seven regional offices, which last year alone provided a range of services to more than 54,000 people. In a letter to the Diocesan faithful, Bishop Burbidge pointed out the services were provided by Catholic Charities staff and more than 1,500 volunteers, totaling more than 37,000 hours of direct service. “Whether Catholic Charities provides a family with food for a week, a grieving spouse with counseling, a mother with citizenship assistance, or a couple with preparation for adoption, Catholic Charities is on the front lines, manifesting the greatest commandment of all: to love one another,” the Bishop wrote.
In his homily, Bishop Burbidge spoke of Catholic Charities’ collaborative effort with parishes throughout the Diocese to encourage the faithful to assist those in need by volunteering to visit those in prison, caring for the elderly, feeding the poor and providing shelter for the homeless. “At this Eucharist...we pray for the grace to...notice those in our midst who are in the greatest need, and we respond today in the spirit of compassion and generosity,” the Bishop said.
On Saturday, Catholic Charities in the Diocese sponsored a Parish Social Ministry Day, at Saint Mary, Mother of the Church Parish in Garner. Approximately 70 people attended the sessions which provided information on building up and enhancing social ministry programs at parishes.
Above: Members of Catholic Charities staff and Board with parishioners at Sacred Heart Cathedral at Mass celebrating Centennial Anniversary of Catholic Charities USA.
Below: Parish Social Ministry Day sponsored by Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Raleigh, September 25, at Saint Mary, Mother of the Church in Garner.