Catholic Social Services Week 2011
'This year Catholic Social Services Week will promote the theme of the upcoming Eucharistic Congress: "Do this in memory of Me." The common theme provides us an opportunity to help connect the Eucharist with everyday living for our parishioners.... In the context of our faith, the bread that we break in Eucharist compels us to become "bread that is broken" in service to others. Lives are changed in many ways through our Catholic Social Services. I am deeply grateful to those of you who support these efforts with food drives and contributions.'
— Bishop Peter J. Jugis, from his letter to pastors and parish leaders marking Catholic Social Services Week
In service to others
Feeding the hungry: In 2010 Catholic Social Services provided food for 21,462 people. The food pantries in Asheville, Charlotte and Winston-Salem have increased their services to meet the growing needs.
Burying the dead: The Charlotte Regional Office provides burial with dignity for families in Mecklenburg County who are without means and without insurance. Catholic Social Services has the only program in the county to meet this very basic need in the community. Last year, 107 families received assistance to bury their loved ones.
Responding to various needs so that people may change their lives: counseling, adoptions, pregnancy support, youth programs – all help people and families strengthen and improve their lives.
Welcoming the stranger
Catholic Social Services in Charlotte resettles approximately 400 refugees each year, providing intensive case management and other services to help them adjust to a new country and become independent. Nim Eya (pictured at right), a Montagnard from Vietnam and new American citizen, fled his home in the highlands where the Communist government destroyed his family's crops and imprisoned family members in retaliation for their befriending U.S. special forces in the war.
Catholic Social Services in Asheville provides assistance to primarily Moldovan refugees who are resettled but who need additional assistance, interpretation and other services as they raise their families and become citizens in a new country.
In 2010 Catholic Social Services assisted with 1,125 immigration cases. Recently, through the efforts of immigration staff in the Winston-Salem office, a man with legal status in the United States was finally able to secure approval for his wife to join him after 21 years of living in separate countries and raising their family.
Enriching lives, deepening faith
During 2010 more than 8,800 individuals from 91 percent of the parishes in the Diocese of Charlotte participated in more than 150 different educational and advocacy events. Many events provided information about a particular social issue – such as environmental stewardship, immigration reform and new methods of providing food assistance with dignity. Other programs offered direct services to participants through marriage preparation, natural family planning, financial literacy and other workshops. Events also encouraged prayer and nurtured participants' spiritual lives through Elder Ministry Days of Reflection, Rachel's Vineyard retreats, and the National Night of Prayer for Life.
Only through partnership with hundreds of supporters and volunteers across the diocese can Catholic Social Services provide these and other services. Together, we provide help, create hope and help people change their lives.
Thank you for being the "bread that is broken" for the sake of our brothers and sisters!
Go online: www.cssnc.org
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