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Bishop Campbell's Message

Care Enough To Act

These are difficult times for our neighbors. Can you help?
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A Message from Bishop Campbell:
Care Enough to Act
 

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

As Christians we are called to read the signs of the times. Over the past three years need in the 23 counties of the diocese has skyrocketed. Hunger is on the rise in Ohio. More of our brothers and sisters live in poverty and are in need of emergency assistance to make ends meet. There are families who need help for their children with a severe mental illness. Over a quarter of our seniors are living alone and have no family or friends to check on them. The average age of a homeless person is nine years old. 1 in 4 women experience a form of domestic violence.

These are some of the realities that our Catholic Charities encounter every day. And why do they help? Because belief in the Gospel of Jesus Christ calls for a response to need – that we, individually and collectively, care enough to act. Providing help to those in need is a moral imperative for us who bear the name of Christ. An inseparable part of the great commandment to love God with our whole being is to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. And to recognize that whenever we see someone in need that person is our neighbor.  Charity or Caritas means love. Our diocesan Catholic Charities are an expression of our collective commitment to the virtue of love for the poor and most vulnerable in our community.  

In addition to the parish based efforts and organizations that serve the poor and vulnerable, we have several diocesan sponsored agencies and organizations that respond to need and act in our name. Our diocesan Catholic Charities include Catholic Social Services, J.O.I.N., St. Francis Center in McArthur, St. Stephen’s Community House, St. Vincent Family Center, and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. They witness to our faith in the incarnate Son of God who taught us to live with compassion and to serve the hungry, the thirsty, the naked and the stranger. 

All of us are called to help in some way according to our abilities. The first thing that we can do is to pray for those in need and for those who seek to help them. Secondly, we can consider the role of volunteerism. Many needs can be addressed through the capable and committed service of volunteers. The Society of St. Vincent de Paul has been built upon this premise. Volunteers from around the diocese work each day to provide help and hope to those in need. Many of our diocesan organizations can benefit from your service as a volunteer. 

Other services like behavioral healthcare, certified childcare and counseling, require staff with specialized knowledge and facilities specifically designed to provide that type of service.  Specialized services require professional training, certification, and licensure. These vital services, and others that require paid staff, come with a cost to ensure quality of care. With decreasing community and government resources, our personal contributions are critical to maintain these high level services. Donated funds help our agencies leverage other resources and remain faithful witnesses to the mission of Caritas entrusted to them.

I invite you to learn more about our diocesan Catholic Charities and who they serve. Today offers an opportunity for us to rediscover in a personal way the call to love of neighbor, especially to those in need. Visit the website www.charities.colsdioc.org for more information.

Please care enough to act. Pray. Volunteer. Donate.

Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Frederick F. Campbell, D.D., Ph.D.
Bishop of Columbus


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