When speaking about the 2019 Catholic Campaign for Human Development collection that will be taken up in parishes across the country the weekend of Nov. 23-24, Brenda Rascher offers a compelling reason why faithful might consider a donation to help those less fortunate.
Referring to the “two feet of Catholic Social Services,” Rascher said, “There is the foot of charity, which provides for a person’s immediate need, and there is the foot of justice, which looks toward a person’s long-term welfare by helping them to develop the skills and resources they need to function more independently.
“It is the difference between just giving a person a fish and teaching them how to fish,” said Rascher, diocesan executive director of Catholic Social Services. “Both feet are needed to truly walk with our struggling brothers and sisters.”
The CCHD is the Catholic Church’s domestic anti-poverty, social justice program that has as its mission to address the root causes of poverty in America through promotion and support of community-controlled, self-help organizations and through transformative education. Of the amount collected in the Diocese, 75 percent will be sent to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ national CCHD office, where the money will be used to support larger, often national programs for improving the lives of the poor. The remaining 25 percent stays in the Diocese to benefit local outreach programs.
It is CCHD’s priority to support programs, both nationally and locally, that offer a “hand up” and not a “hand out,” and the grants are about “helping people break the cycle of poverty and build lives that are self-sustaining,” said Rascher.
In 2018, the amount collected for the CCHD was $116,790.69, out of which $29,197.66 remained in the Diocese. Grants were distribute to five agencies:
- Mercer County Catholic Youth Organization (cyomercer.org)
- Mount Carmel Guild, Trenton (mtcarmelguild.org)
- St. Vincent de Paul Conference in St. John Parish, Lakehurst (stjohnlakehurst.com/MINITRY.htm and svdptrenton.org
- St. Vincent de Paul Conference of Resurrection Parish, Delran (resurrection2.org/ministries and svdptrenton.org
- The Social Concerns Ministry in St. Joseph Parish, Toms River (stjosephtomsriver.org/ministries)
“There is more that needs to be done to help folks walk out of poverty,” said Rascher. “I ask that everyone prayerfully consider giving what they can to the CCHD collection this year. It will be the basis for the local grants we will be able to give in 2020. The more people can give in this year’s collection, the more funds we will have to support our local efforts.”