Charities USA Magazine: Winter 2013

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Charities USA is the quarterly magazine of Catholic Charities USA. In each issue, you’ll find:
• Feature articles on the work of Catholic Charities • Poverty reduction success stories • Updates on CCUSA’s legislative and policy work • News from CCUSA and member agencies • And so much more!


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Last Issue: FALL 2012

Strengthening the Nation
I hope you’ve noticed the progression of topics in the last few issues of Charities USA. In exploring the value we provide as a network, we showed in the Summer 2012 issue how Catholic Charities changes individual lives and then in the Fall 2012 issue how we build communities. In this issue, we take that progression the last step, looking at how we strengthen the nation. Our network serves over 10 million people a year, the vast majority of whom are impacted by poverty. With 46 million people in poverty in America, that means we serve roughly one in four. When you serve that large a percentage of people who are poor, you have a nationwide impact. And not just in the number of people you serve, but also in how you impact the issues that surround the people and the services. This is a dynamic time for Catholic Charities. The poverty campaign has really pushed our network down a challenging path, but a rewarding one full of potential that is taking us to new places. This issue explores where we are going as a network, and how we are strengthening our nation in this journey. In this issue, we look at how we are implementing best practices, innovative programs, and smarter, more effective approaches throughout our network to help more people overcome poverty. We also look at our national advocacy strategy going forward, as we enter an important alliance with the University of Notre Dame that will significantly strengthen our efforts to reduce poverty and advocate for reform. We also look at the Catholic social teaching that is the foundation for our partnership with government in responding to the needs of the poor and working for the common good. All this effort boils down to a simple equation: by reducing poverty, we are strengthening the nation. And heaven knows, our nation needs it. n

Charities USA (ISSN 0364-0760) is published by Catholic Charities USA. Address all correspondence to the Managing Editor. © 2013 Catholic Charities USA, Alexandria, Virginia. Editorial and Business Office 2050 Ballenger Avenue, Suite 400 Alexandria, VA 22314 tel: 703-549-1390 • fax: 703-549-4183 [email protected] Publisher Rev. Larry Snyder Managing Editor Ruth Liljenquist Creative Director Sheena Lefaye Crews Contributing Writers Ruth Liljenquist Patricia Pincus Cole Editorial Committee Jean Beil Kristan Schlichte Rachel Lustig Candy Hill Jane Stenson

Ruth Liljenquist, Managing Editor
Catholic Charities USA is the National Office for one of the nation’s largest social service networks. Member agencies and institutions nationwide provide vital social services to over 10 million people in need, regardless of their religious, social, or economic backgrounds. Catholic Charities USA supports and enhances the work of its members by providing networking opportunities, national advocacy, program development, training and consulting, and financial benefits. Donate Now: 1-800-919-9338 To comment on this issue, please write to Ruth Liljenquist at [email protected]


7 8 Strengthening the Nation The Collective Work of Catholic Charities Doing Business Differently How Catholic Charities Has Changed Service Delivery to Reduce Poverty From Local to National Elevating Best Practices for Nationwide Impact Th e Way Forward Pursuing Our Poverty Reduction Priorities through Advocacy and Research An Alliance to Reduce Poverty Two Presidents Discuss a New Partnership between CCUSA and Notre Dame Th e Lab for Economic Opportunities A Domestic Poverty Research Center Dedicated to Finding What Works C atholic Social Teaching, Human Need, and the Role of the State A Thank You to Those Who Support Catholic Charities USA Antoinette Calta S urviving Sandy CCUSA and Local Agencies Offer Relief after a Superstorm’s Destruction 10 14 16 20 23 29



5 36 38 44 President’s Column CCUSA Update NewsNotes Working to Reduce Poverty in America






he poverty report released by the Census Bureau last fall indicated that 46 million Americans are living in poverty, roughly the same number as in 2010 but still much higher than before the 2008 financial crisis and recession began. This number gives us great pause. Our goal is to reduce poverty, and things have gone in the wrong direction.

system, which was designed some 50 years ago and is simply not up to the task of reducing 21st century poverty. We have also worked to change the systems within our agencies, implementing smarter and more effective approaches to the way we serve. On the business front, we have tapped into the creativity and market-based practices of the private sector to strengthen our work. Several agencies have developed social enterprises that are lifting their clients out of poverty while creating new revenue streams. And in focusing on results, we have not only begun to evaluate our programs by how successful they are in leading people out of poverty, but we have entered into an exciting alliance with the University of Notre Dame to produce substantive, independent research on our work. The new Lab for Economic Opportunities at Notre Dame for example will help us identify the very best poverty reduction programs through rigorous academic methods. In calling for a better plan for serving the poor, we have not taken an easy path, but we have no choice. The status quo is simply not acceptable. Our goal is transformation, rooted in the Gospel mandate of building up the kingdom of God; of building a society and world based on the values inherent and explicit in our faith. We are not simply social workers. We are called to be the hands of Christ in our world today and we eagerly and with great conviction answer that call in the work we do every day.

At such a time, it is challenging to know how best to use our energy and resources. On the one hand, providing and preserving vital services such as food, housing, health care, and job training is critical, because without them many people would have nowhere else to turn. On the other hand, the safety net system that we operate in is not designed to actually get people out of poverty and enable them to thrive. Accomplishing these goals means reimagining and redesigning our safety net that traps people into a ladder that lifts people out of poverty. It is essential that we commit ourselves to both efforts. We must meet the urgent need we see around us, but we must also be bold in imagining a future where those in need have the opportunity to live with dignity by achieving sustainable self-reliance. During our Centennial year and with your ideas and feedback, we developed a bold poverty reduction plan that entailed reforming our service delivery systems, engaging business in a new way, and focusing on results that move people out of poverty. As a network, we have worked toward each of these strategies. We have advocated for reform of our federal safety net

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n 1972, the National Conference of Catholic Charities, now Catholic Charities USA, published a document that established a new framework for the work of Catholic Charities. This document, Toward a Renewed Catholic Charities Movement, which came to be known simply as the Cadre Study, articulated three missions that would define the future for Catholic Charities—to serve, to advocate, and to convene. It did so with the affirmation that Catholic Charities was a nationwide network, and that it could impact society and our nation in profound ways through these missions. Forty years later, we as a network are fulfilling the vision of the Cadre Study, serving, advocating, and convening in ways that strengthen our society and nation. This work happens through the interchange of local and national efforts.

We serve locally, in communities, with people and partners, but that work has impact nationally, as we come together to share and implement new approaches and proven practices that produce better outcomes for the people who come to us for help. We advocate in our local communities, bringing our experience and moral voice to bear on matters that affect individuals, families, and communities. With these strengths as a foundation, we also advocate nationally, bringing together our collective experience and a unified national voice to impact policies that affect the people we serve, primarily the poor. We convene partners across the street and across the nation, calling on people and organizations of good will everywhere to bring their own strengths and come together with us to solve the most difficult challenges we face as a society and nation. In this issue of Charities USA, we explore our national impact, looking at how we are changing the way we serve and elevating best practices, how we are pushing forward the message to reform our nation’s safety net programs, and how we are joining with a pre-eminent Catholic university to reduce poverty. n

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By Jean Beil


ith a gridlocked Congress, increasingly frequent natural disasters, and horrific gun violence, it’s plain to see that our nation faces many challenges, now and in the future. One of these challenges, perhaps less visible at the moment but no less serious, is poverty. For the 46.2 million Americans for whom meeting basic needs is a daily trial, finding solutions to this challenge is critical. Catholic Charities agencies have been searching for creative solutions, and the results have changed the way we serve. Across the nation, we are having a significant impact as we do business differently, embracing the following approaches, which are helping to address the ongoing challenge of poverty. Client-Centered

This concept is most closely associated with the type of counseling promoted by Carl Rogers in the second half of the last century. While Catholic Charities client-centered ser-

vices are not explicitly based on Rogerian principles, they share a foundational belief in the dignity and value of the human person. Client-centered service requires profound respect and appreciation for the individual and his/her experience. It is motivated by the assumption that people tend naturally to move toward growth and healing and have the capacity to find their own answers to their challenges. In the social service setting, client-centered service means listening to the needs and proposed solutions of the client rather than trying to apply a “one-size fits all” methodology. It is practiced through case management that facilitates and empowers rather than dictates and enables. While Catholic Charities agencies struggle with meeting the needs of clients within program eligibility requirements, we continue to advocate for the opportunity to craft a service plan that responds to the aspirations of the individuals and families that come to us for assistance.



Integrated This quality of Catholic Charities’ service delivery is descriptive not only of how we approach each individual client, but also of how we organize the various components of our services to consumers. It describes an inclusive approach, which could alternatively be characterized as “holistic.” It is an attitude that regards each person as more than a particular problem to be solved or a need to be filled. Holistic practices are concerned with the person’s entire wellbeing—his/her physical, emotional, spiritual, mental, and social condition. The beauty of being a multi-service organization is that we can make the connections, integrating services within our agencies to serve the whole person. To support this approach, agencies routinely utilize integrated intake and client management systems to facilitate consolidated service planning and record keeping. Outcomes-Driven Sir Winston Churchill once said, “However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.” Evidence-based practice has been called the new “holy grail” of social work. Program proposals predicting desired outcomes are now expected with grant applications, and no program that can’t measure and analyze its performance has a right to expect future funding. But becoming outcomesdriven must spring from a motivation deeper than maintaining an agency’s fiscal viability. The primary purpose of outcomes-informed evidence-based practice is to improve the wellbeing of the client. Outcomes-based practice requires a combination of teamwork, continuous quality improvement, and process and outcome measurement. The outcomes-driven practitioner focuses on fundamental changes that are most likely to produce positive long-term gains. Partnership-Oriented Not even multi-service organizations like Catholic Charities can expect to provide every resource or service needed for an individual or family to reach its goals. Only by creating synergies through collaboration with government at all levels, other community-based organizations, corporations, and the philanthropic sector can an agency do the most good. Through well-developed and maintained partnerships, each

entity can concentrate on its core competences while reaching beyond its boundaries to access the assistance clients need and request. Sustainable The past several years of fiscal uncertainty have been enough to move non-profits from talking about sustainability to really doing something to ensure it. While still seeking to provide assistance to those in need by accessing governmentfunded programs and continuing to rely on donors to support those who are not eligible for such programs, an increasing number of Catholic Charities agencies are entering the realm of social enterprise. This strategy is particularly effective in endeavors designed to assist people in their efforts to move out of poverty. Members of the Catholic Charities network are at an advantage insofar as they can seek the assistance of their colleagues across the nation in researching and developing business strategies to help them achieve their mission and sustain their work. Focused on Families and Communities Catholic Charities’ focus on strengthening families and building communities has developed out of the holistic integrated approach to serving individuals. Human development never happens in a vacuum, so concentrating on strengthening families and building communities has the effect of enhancing the possibilities for everyone. A better future for our country is dependent on the health and growth of our children. Their ability to thrive is only assured if they are surrounded by a strong family and a robust support system in a vibrant neighborhood. n Jean Beil is Catholic Charities USA’s senior vice president for programs and services.

For the 46.2 million Americans for whom meeting basic needs is a daily trial, finding solutions to this challenge is critical.

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ne of the ways the Catholic Charities network strengthens society and the nation is by recognizing smart, effective, and innovative practices at the local level and elevating them to a national forum, where they can be shared widely for possible replication nationwide. The partnership between local Catholic Charities agencies and Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA) makes this possible. Catholic Charities USA’s Family Strengthening Awards program, which was funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, is a prime example of this process. From 2005 to 2011, CCUSA evaluated more than 100 Catholic Charities programs that implement the family strengthening model, a best practice in serving vulnerable children and families. CCUSA recognized 22 agencies for their outstanding work in this field, and these agencies hosted site visits for their Catholic Charities colleagues across the nation, showcasing their programs and giving their colleagues ideas and resources to


take back to their own agencies. Through this multi-year awards program, the family strengthening model has been implemented at Catholic Charities agencies throughout the nation, not only as a service model but also as an organizing framework for agency services. The Catholic Charities network elevates best practices through other forums such as national and regional meetings, professional interest sections, trainings, and webinars. Through these opportunities, facilitated by CCUSA, local agencies share their ideas, experience, and expertise with the entire network. With best practices elevated throughout the network, local work has national impact for the benefit of families, communities, and the nation. So what are some of these best practices? They fall into a number of broad categories, a few of which we present here.





When families are strong and stable, everyone in the family does better and the community benefits. That is the premise that family-focused services are built on. In the past, social services have often focused on children, but it has become clear that services to children are not as effective when the family is weakened by any number of challenges. Family strengthening as a best practice helps families identify the areas in which they need strengthening and matches them with appropriate services, which may include counseling; parenting, marriage, and healthy relationships classes; substance abuse intervention; asset development; job development; language instruction; health care, and other services. Family preservation as a child welfare best practice helps families remain intact through intensive services to improve parenting and family functioning. Other family-focused services such as family literacy and parental education programs help both parents and children take better advantage of educational opportunities.

When families know how to manage money and access the financial system, they are better able to maintain financial stability and build assets. Asset development encompasses a number of different services that help families improve their financial situations: financial education, debt management and credit repair, money management, individual development accounts (matched savings accounts), tax preparation services, microloans, business development, homebuyer education, foreclosure counseling, and other services. Families, even those with very low incomes, are able to improve their financial situations when they actively engage in asset development programs. Asset development as a poverty reduction strategy is spreading throughout the Catholic Charities network, with a high number of agencies building into their core services some aspect of asset development.

The Refugee Assistance & Immigration Services program of Catholic Social Services in Anchorage, AK, not only resettles refugees, but helps refugee families achieve sustainable self-reliance so that the family’s basic needs are fully met on a long-term basis. The program offers a wide range of bilingual and bicultural services including case management, life skills orientation, and job readiness classes.

Catholic Community Services of Southern Arizona’s Pio Decimo Center offers a range of asset development services, including financial education, housing counseling, free tax preparation, and individual development accounts. The center recently began a micro-enterprise loan program to help people develop or strengthen their small businesses.

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When people come to Catholic Charities food pantries and soup kitchens for food, it usually indicates that they are facing significant challenges, which may include unemployment or underemployment, health problems, disability, family emergencies, or other issues. Because families may be reluctant to seek services otherwise, many Catholic Charities agencies have retooled their food distribution services so that they can assess people’s needs and offer services that can help them, such as employment assistance, mental health services, budgeting instruction, or enrollment in public benefit programs. Food distribution thereby becomes a gateway to vital services that can help individuals and families become stable and strong. Some agencies have also added value to their food distribution programs by providing nutrition education, cooking classes, and expanded food choices that promote healthy eating.

People trying to leave poverty encounter a number of challenges, not the least of which is the lack of a supportive person or network of people to turn to for information, advice, encouragement, and assistance. Moving out of poverty often entails embracing new values, behaviors, and even relationships, and without a supportive role model, it is easy for a person to go back to old patterns. Mentoring has proven to be a critical component in successful antipoverty programs. Agency case workers often act as mentors, but trained volunteers increasingly fill this role, extending the reach of the agency and expanding the support system. Several agencies have designed innovative antipoverty programs in which mentoring plays a central role. In each case, a small group of volunteers is matched with an individual or family who is motivated to improve their lives. Over a one to two year period, the mentors help the individual or family achieve specific goals, providing support through regular meetings and at other times as needed.

Our Daily Bread Employment Center, operated by Catholic Charities in Baltimore, provides daily meals to the area’s homeless and hungry. After people enjoy a meal, they are met by a friendly associate who offers the center’s employment services.

Through the Family to Family Partnership of Catholic Charities in Oakland, CA, a group of families from parishes in the Oakland Diocese are matched with a family working towards self-sufficiency. The team of families provides mentoring and support for 18 months, helping the family take crucial steps in their journey to stability and success.





Social enterprise is reshaping the for-profit and nonprofit worlds as humanitarian entrepreneurs design businesses to harness the resources of the market to provide social benefit as well as profit. Social service agencies like Catholic Charities use social enterprises to benefit their consumers, while also generating reliable revenue streams to fund their other vital services, a boon to agencies that are chronically underfunded. Most social enterprises run by Catholic Charities agencies provide job training, employment, and/ or income generating opportunities for their consumers who face barriers to employment. In some cases, Catholic Charities agencies have developed these enterprises because there are few resources in the community to provide this kind of benefit for their consumers. While social enterprise is a new direction for Catholic Charities and the number of agencies operating social enterprises is relatively small, more and more agencies are looking for ways to implement this innovative and beneficial strategy.

Case management has long been used in health care to make sure that patients receive the care they need while preventing unnecessary or duplicative services. This practice has made the jump to disaster response and social services, proving effective in helping people recover from natural disasters as well as from the man-made disaster of poverty. A case manager assesses the family’s needs, develops with them a service plan that meets both short-term and long-term needs, and then coordinates services. Case management for poverty reduction services is not typically funded, making it difficult for agencies to provide this service to everyone experiencing poverty, but case management has proven to significantly impact the outcome of poverty reduction services, so much so that CCUSA has given it a central role in its broad poverty reduction strategy. While case management is available to people who qualify for certain programs, agencies are working to make it available to all who come to them for assistance. n

Offering language translation and interpretation services, Catholic Charities Fort Worth’s Translation and Interpretation Network bridges the language gaps between all kinds of service providers and their clients, patients, or students in the diverse Fort Worth community. The enterprise trains bilingual refugees to be certified interpreters and translators and employs them in the enterprise.

In 2011, Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA) convened a group of the network’s most experienced case managers to discuss how case management could be used more effectively to help people move out of poverty. CCUSA has incorporated their input into the National Opportunity and Community Renewal Act, CCUSA’s blueprint for reform of our nation’s poverty services system, and encouraged agencies to further develop their case management capacity.

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By Candy Hill


t the heart of Catholic Charities USA’s (CCUSA) deep history are the advocacy efforts in support of the least among us. Since 1910, CCUSA has served as a national advocate for the most vulnerable populations, including children, immigrants, the elderly and the disabled. Our priorities are guided by the basic belief in the inherent dignity of all people and the responsibility of society to ensure this is represented in all aspects of public policy. It is our belief that our country, through its policies and federal budget, must demonstrate a priority to attending to the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable persons in society. Since its founding, CCUSA has played a central leadership role in the development and advocacy of important poverty-fighting federal programs and policies including Social Security, Medicare, Head Start, civil rights protection, min-

imum wage protections, and the earned income tax credit. Today, we still work to preserve these programs and policies, but our ultimate goal is to transform our nation’s overburdened poverty safety net into a trampoline that helps people spring up out of poverty. There are, of course, major challenges to accomplishing this goal from a policy standpoint. Congress is deeply divided, and there are huge budget and deficit contentions that dominate Congress’ attention. However, CCUSA’s social policy team continues to build relationships and is working with the new Congress, making regular visits to offices on Capitol Hill to push our priorities forward. One of our main goals in meeting with members of Congress is to change the prevailing understanding of the causes of— and solutions to—poverty in America, and to create more



informed, reality-based, and less partisan public discourse around this issue. This effort is being informed by sound research into the causes and exacerbating conditions of poverty and also by the measurable outcomes of poverty reduction programs that are already working in Catholic Charities agencies across the country. We are focusing on what works, not on partisan ideologies. Focusing on what works is one of our most powerful tools for breaking through the partisan divide, and in the last several months we have considerably enhanced our ability to show what actually does work through the forging of a new alliance between CCUSA and the University of Notre Dame. This alliance is driven by a shared moral purpose and a common belief that helping those in need is a core element of the Catholic faith. One facet of this alliance is the Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO), an effort that is bringing Notre Dame economists and Catholic Charities agencies together to identify the most effective poverty reduction programs. Through rigorous research methods using data provided by agencies, LEO will be able to provide credible and verifiable evidence showing which programs are effective and what factors make them effective. This will not only provide agencies with evidence-based best practices, but will also strengthen our advocacy position and inform our policy recommendations, as we advocate for a new way to address poverty (see page 20). We will continue to advocate for the principles embedded in the National Opportunity and Community Renewal Act (NOCRA), which was drafted by CCUSA and introduced to Congress in 2010 by Senator Robert Casey and Representative Jim McGovern. While the bill was not passed, it served as a means of changing our national conversation about poverty. In doing so, it inspired thought leaders, nonprofit partners, elected officials, and the general public to take creative, bold, and results-driven steps to address the underlying causes of poverty in America. We believe that while we continue to serve those in need, we must be a part of a permanent solution to the long-term

problem of poverty, creating equal access to opportunities that allow each person to live a life of dignity. The current system helps people survive, but our goal is to help them thrive. The Catholic Charities network serves more than 10 million people each year, roughly one in four people living in poverty or facing financial difficulty. The individuals we serve are single mothers, homeless veterans, and hard-working fathers. They are hopeful families looking to harness the opportunities America has always promised. But sadly, they are people without a voice. They are people who have been pushed to the corners of society, voices muffled and discounted. For over 100 years, we have sounded a moral and credible voice for them, calling on government to make addressing their needs a priority, and we will continue to do so now. n Candy Hill is senior vice president of social policy and government affairs for Catholic Charities USA.

One of our main goals in meeting with members of Congress is to change the prevailing understanding of the causes of—and solutions to—poverty in America, and to create more informed, reality-based, and less partisan public discourse around this issue.

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n October 2012, Catholic Charities USA and the University of Notre Dame entered into a strategic alliance to reduce poverty in America. The unacceptable reality of 46 million people living in poverty inspired the two institutions to form this alliance, which will take a multi-faceted approach to reducing poverty, as described in a memorandum of understanding about the alliance. The Alliance will strive to reduce poverty in America through rigorous academic research and evaluation of anti-poverty programs, engagement with entrepreneurial and innovative minds of the business world to identify private sector solutions, and initiatives that will inform, through advocacy and educational outreach, the development of policies that will change the way poverty issues are addressed in the United States. The Alliance is driven by a shared moral purpose and a common belief that helping the poor and disenfranchised are core elements of the Catholic faith that is central to the mission of the University of Notre Dame and Catholic Charities USA.



CCUSA President Fr. Larry Snyder and University of Notre Dame President Fr. John I. Jenkins, CSC, shared their thoughts on this historic alliance.

Charities USA: This is a partnership between a social services network and a university. What’s the significance of this kind of an alliance in the effort to reduce poverty? Fr. Snyder: For a long time, there has been a division between academicians and practitioners in addressing poverty. For example, the Notre Dame Department of Economics has been doing really good research on poverty, and we’ve been doing really good work in serving people in poverty. And we respect each other, but there has been no partnership to work together, to strategize on reducing poverty, until now. There are many think tanks out there trying to solve poverty, but none of them are aligned with people providing services to people who are poor, so this partnership will really help both of us solidify our respective work, while bringing it together for greater impact. Fr. Jenkins: I’m so proud of Notre Dame’s partnership with Catholic Charities USA. By bringing together one of our nation’s preeminent social service networks with a great Catholic university, we are able to live out our mission of putting learning in service to justice by addressing the root causes of poverty in our country. At Notre Dame, we believe it is our responsibility for the university’s research and scholarship to serve the world by addressing issues such as poverty in our nation. And partnering with Catholic Charities USA, which has for so many years done so much good, allows us to do this work in a manner that witnesses to our faith.

Charities USA: The Alliance has a few different components. Tell us about them.

Lab for Economic Opportunities
Fr. Jenkins: A wonderful outgrowth of our partnership has been the Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO), housed within Notre Dame’s Department of Economics. LEO applies rigorous, solutions-oriented research to stubborn problems facing the social service community and helps Catholic Charities agencies provide more effective programs. For example, scholars are currently examining how well federal nutrition programs aimed at needy women and their infant children are being administered by Catholic Charities in Chicago. While Catholic Charities agencies have proven to be extremely efficient, we hope to be able to contribute to improvements which serve the needy even more effectively. Notre Dame researchers—and their partners from outstanding universities across the country—are tackling other issues, such as preventing homelessness and promoting job readiness. Fr. Snyder: LEO is the first poverty lab focused on domestic poverty, and it’s the first lab to bring together economists and social service providers. In the social services, we’ve never been strong on research and development, but with LEO we will have the ability to evaluate our programs, and that is critical. The needs are greater and the resources are fewer, so we have to be sure that our work is effective. LEO really has

FALL 2012 | 17

the potential for reducing poverty. We will be able to serve more effectively, but we will also be able to advocate more effectively with research studies in hand to show that our programs work.

innovation that the business school will offer to agencies. Agencies will be able to send teams to Notre Dame for intensive training in social innovation and in developing social enterprises.

The Mendoza College of Business
Fr. Jenkins: Over the past eight years, Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business has offered a professional development program for Catholic Charities leaders called, “From Mission to Service.” Our goal with this program is to assist Catholic Charities with its mission by cultivating in staff and board members additional business and leadership skills. The shared Catholic character of Notre Dame and CCUSA allows for rich learning in the light of Gospel values. We look forward to deepening and expanding this partnership. Fr. Snyder: We’ve enjoyed a wonderful partnership with the Mendoza College of Business through “From Mission to Service.” We’ve taken 70 agency executive teams to Notre Dame for this training, and it’s built up our leadership tremendously, strengthening us in Catholic identity as well as in business management. This partnership will continue, but a new aspect of this partnership will be the training in social

The Church in Action
Fr. Snyder: We’re also excited about what we call the “Church in Action” aspect of this partnership. Through Notre Dame’s alumni network, we will be able to make connections with alumni in local communities and encourage them to get involved in our efforts to reduce poverty. We will also work to make job and intern opportunities at our agencies available to Notre Dame students and alumni. We see this as a good vehicle for them to put their values into practice. Charities USA: What does this partnership say to the larger public about poverty reduction? Fr. Jenkins: Forty-six million Americans live in poverty, and we cannot walk by and ignore them, as the rich man did with Lazarus in the Gospel parable. I hope that this partnership between these two great Catholic institutions impresses upon all—Catholics and non-Catholics alike—that the work of justice is an ongoing effort that requires this kind



of collaboration. As a nation, we can and we must do better. Our partnership shows that Notre Dame values the opportunity to work with an agency of the U.S. Church in service to God’s poor, for we believe that in serving the poor, we serve Christ. Fr. Snyder: This partnership feels like a very natural thing to do together. It’s a partnership between two prominent Catholic organizations, with common priorities and values, to bring together tremendous resources to change the face of poverty in this country. Of all the things we are about, this has to be a priority for us, to put our faith into action. But it shouldn’t just be a priority for us; it should be a priority for the larger public. Charities USA: What’s the most exciting thing for you about this alliance? Fr. Snyder: LEO is probably the most exciting for me, certainly the most tangible. But this will also be a wonderful opportunity for Notre Dame students and graduates to put

their values into practice across the country. It’s all very exciting and a huge opportunity for Notre Dame and Catholic Charities. Fr. Jenkins: It is an opportunity for Notre Dame to bring faith and academic expertise together in partnership with a truly admirable organization of the American Church, Catholic Charities USA, in service to the poor among us. The Notre Dame family is grateful for this opportunity. We look forward to strengthening this partnership in the future so that we can more fully respond to Christ’s call to service. n

The Notre Dame family is grateful for this opportunity. We look forward to strengthening this partnership in the future so that we can more fully respond to Christ’s call to service.



Mary Beth O’Brien and her family played an instrumental role in forging this new alliance between CCUSA and Notre Dame. Mary Beth has strong ties to both institutions and a deep commitment to reducing poverty. Both Fr. Snyder and Fr. Jenkins had high praise for her and gratitude for her role in furthering the partnership between CCUSA and Notre Dame. Fr. Snyder: Mary Beth is a remarkable woman and humanitarian and has worked with us a great deal. She served as the national president of the Ladies of Charity, and as such had a seat on Catholic Charities USA‘s Board of Trustees. Through that she became very interested in our efforts to reduce poverty and was very supportive of our mission. When we started talking about broadening our partnership with Notre Dame, she was a natural participant in the process.

of Engineering Advisory Council. Through her decades of work with the Ladies of Charity, the International Association of Charities, and the American Housing Foundation, Mary Beth has made a real difference in the lives of so many people. She has said that “we need to become better voices for the poor,” and she has backed up her words with actions. I was proud to present her with an honorary degree at the Notre Dame commencement ceremony in 2011. Our citation read in part: “As an adolescent soup kitchen volunteer, she became keenly aware of and profoundly dismayed by the too-easily muted cry of the poor and has sought to make that cry more audible through service in numerous church and civic organizations.” I think that accurately sums up her wonderful life of service. Catholic Charities USA expresses deep gratitude to Mary Beth and her family. Thanks to their generous gift CCUSA has established the O’Brien Family Fund, which will support activities and initiatives associated with the alliance between CCUSA and Notre Dame. n

CCUSA honored the O’Brien family at the 2012 Annual Gathering in St. Louis, MO, with an award of appreciation for contributing to the alliance between CCUSA and the University of Notre Dame in America.

Fr. Jenkins: Mary Beth is a dear friend and an inspiration to me. Her late husband, Frank, and all six of her children are graduates of Notre Dame, and Frank was a member of our College

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oes it work?” That question has never been fully answerable when considering the effectiveness of a Catholic Charities poverty reduction program. Anecdotal evidence and outcomes measures point to an answer, but without the evidence produced by a carefully conducted research study, the question lingers.

tic anti-poverty policies. They see LEO as an exciting and ground-breaking opportunity to fill in a huge void of information about what actually works in reducing poverty. “To evaluate programs by service providers, the people who actually work directly with people in poverty, is a unique opportunity. There is very little research on what works, and there is a critical need for it,” said Sullivan. The Birth of an Idea LEO came about through a previous partnership between CCUSA and Notre Dame—the Mission to Service program, a leadership program at Notre Dame for Catholic Charities executives. CCUSA President Rev. Larry Snyder’s desire for further collaboration between CCUSA and Notre Dame brought Sullivan and Evans into a meeting with him.

That’s about to change. A new alliance between Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA) and the University of Notre Dame has brought about the Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO), a research center at Notre Dame that is studying the effectiveness of domestic poverty reduction programs offered by Catholic Charities agencies and other social and human service providers. Housed in the Department of Economics at Notre Dame, LEO is led by university economists James Sullivan and William Evans, both of whom have done research on domes-



Notre Dame economists Jim Sullivan (seated) and Bill Evans made a presentation on LEO at the 2012 CCUSA Annual Gathering in St. Louis.

“He outlined his vision for Catholic Charities, that it needs to be much more proactive in getting people out of poverty. Then he asked how economists would answer the problem,” said Evans. That question led to a discussion about the need for research to identify what programs work in reducing poverty. The two economists then sketched out a rough outline for LEO. To their amazement, Fr. Snyder was all for it. “We thought, ‘Is he really serious?’” said Evans. “We just didn’t think service providers would be interested in knowing if their programs work.” Fr. Snyder was serious, and soon after, Sullivan and Evans met with representatives from six Catholic Charities agencies to launch the project. They discussed how the programs would be evaluated and made it clear that the research might show that the agencies’ signature programs didn’t work. The Catholic Charities staff members understood and were ready to move forward. They wanted to know. “That desire to know is what enables participation for providers—people committed to the idea of using research to identify the most effective solutions,” said Evans. Sullivan was struck by the enthusiasm of a director of a homelessness prevention program, who said at a subsequent

meeting, “This is amazing. We’ve been offering this program for years, and we don’t even know if it works. Think how this information will help.” Getting the Right Data LEO brings together trained researchers and service providers, each providing necessary components to make the research successful. Researchers offer the training and resources to conduct research studies on program effectiveness, while service providers offer the study topics and access to consumers and data. The first five studies are now underway. They are at different stages and employ different evaluative approaches, but the challenge for all of them will be getting the right data, including data about the people who don’t receive services, which is needed to make meaningful assessments of each program’s effectiveness. In one study, Sullivan and Evans are measuring the effectiveness of emergency assistance in preventing homelessness. Catholic Charities in Chicago operates a homelessness prevention hotline for the city of Chicago. Those who are eligible can receive help with rent, mortgage, and/or utility payments, but funds quickly run out and some people cannot get help. Sullivan and Evans are looking through the

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call center records to find those who received assistance and those who didn’t. Then they will gather information from both groups and compare certain outcomes.

In another study, Sullivan and Evans have designed a randomized control trial to evaluate a new program at Catholic If Sullivan and Evans’ experience working with agencies is Charities of Fort Worth. The Vocation Program will provide any indication, researchers will enjoy the collaboration. case management and other services to community college “The most gratifying thing about this is working with the students to help them graduate or complete their programs, local agencies. They are so refreshing. They have a lot of thereby obtaining the skills necessary to gain stable employenergy and excitement and are amazingly clever. And the ment and improve earnings potential. Roughly 70 percent access they have given us has been great,” said Evans. of community college students drop out before they earn a degree or certificate. Everyone involved sees the potential impact. “This will have a direct influence on how services are provided,” said Sullivan. The experiment entails recruiting a group of students, some “It will also have a direct influence on policy because lawmakwho will receive services and some who will not, as deterers will be able to turn to LEO to find evidence that a particmined by a lottery. Sullivan and Evans will follow both sets ular kind of program works.” of students to see if the students who get case management services are more likely to graduate. That kind of impact is rare for many academics, and it inThe fact that some people will not get services can make such experiments uncomfortable for service providers, but because agencies typically don’t collect data on those who don’t get services, it’s necessary for the study. Sullivan also points out that while it may seem like denying services, it’s not. “There are limited resources, and not every kid is going to get help,” said Sullivan about the Fort Worth program. “The lottery is simply the fairest way to determine who gets help, and it provides us with what we wouldn’t otherwise have, a natural comparison group.” The Potential for Impact Sullivan and Evans are involved in each of the initial studies, but they are also building a network of researchers, recruiting experts in particular fields and matching them with an appropriate program to evaluate. So far, the response from academics has been very positive, with many asking how they can get involved. Sullivan and Evans hope to make many more matches in the future. spires Sullivan and Evans. “We want to do research that makes a difference in people’s lives.” n
For more information on LEO, visit

“We are still in the ‘proof of concept’ stage, still evaluating how this partnership can work,” said Sullivan. “But if we can show that it does work, if we can show academics that this is a useful area for their research, this will go a long way.”




By Rev. J. Bryan Hehir In the two previous issues of Charities USA, while exploring the themes of changing lives and building communities, we explored the Catholic understanding of the human person and the responsibility of the faithful to build and sustain community. In this issue, which focuses on how Catholic Charities strengthens society and the nation, we draw on the writings of Rev. J. Bryan Hehir, former president of Catholic Charities USA. The following excerpts are taken from articles published in Charities USA a decade ago, also during tough economic times and fierce fiscal debates. Rev. Hehir’s insights and observations on Catholic social teaching, the role of government and private organizations in a complex society, and the government’s responsibility for the poor are still timely and relevant today.

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John XXIII, in Mater et Magistra (1961), expanded on the understanding of subsidiarity by invoking the concept of “socialization,” which refers to the changing context of modern industrial societies in which the state must fulfill its proper role.

Over the past century, Catholic social teaching has tried to confront three great secular challenges, all having to do with how you honor the dignity of the person and how you exercise responsible stewardship. The first half of the [twentieth] century, the church tried to respond to the challenge of the Industrial Revolution. After World War II, the second challenge was the growing interdependence of the world as a universal human community. The third challenge is the emergence of what social scientists call post-industrial society, a highly complex society marked by massive amounts of science, technology, sophisticated organization, and complexity. In post-industrial society, we have come to confront stubborn, new, and irreducible forms of poverty in some of the

richest societies known in the history of the world. In confronting [this new poverty], we are reaching out to the edge of the circle to those who don’t get the benefits from the science, the technology, the politics, and the economics…. to ensure, in the style of good stewardship, that everybody’s sacred dignity is served by all those things and not just some of them. In a part of the world that is understood to be the premiere post-industrial society….we are asked to look at the following debates: (1) what is the role of the state—what is its responsibility, what are its capabilities, what is the responsibility of government to support its people? (2) The old and the new economy—what does it mean to talk about the new economy and who stands at the edge of the circle? What does the new economy say about the edge of the circle as



well as the center? (3) Who is responsible for whom? How do you redo the social contracts in a society faced with both globalization and the meaning of post-industrial society? (4) How do you relate the responsibility of government to nongovernment organizations and to the private sector? (5) How does one think about government and religion and their relative responsibilities, their collaborative responsibilities for the edge of the circle? How do we think about both the necessity of charity and the limits of charity when justice is necessary if we are to protect human sacredness and be faithful to stewardship? We are committed to both collaborate with the state and to critique the state. It is not a secularization of the church to take money from state agencies. The Catholic Church does not see the state as an alien agency. It sees it as a responsible agency with a responsibility for the poor. The choices we make to collaborate with the state are choices that are well grounded in Catholic teaching and ought to be sustained.1

of the person, the constitutional order of law, and the economic role of the market all must be taken into consideration in determining how the state should fulfill its appropriate role. The achievement of a Catholic consensus on the political, economic, and cultural role of the state absorbed the twentieth century, and three key principles emerged that shape the discussion on the state’s role. The first, subsidiarity, found in the encyclical Quadragesimo Anno (1931), would be seen in American political discourse as a “conservative” principle because it resists the idea of resorting to the state as the first response to socioeconomic problems. It espouses a pluralist structure of power in society that guards against locating a concentration of power in the state, asserting that it is “a grave evil and a disturbance of right order to transfer to the larger and higher collectivity functions which can be performed and provided for by lesser and subordinate bodies.” In this sense, the principle restrains the reach of the state, but it does so with one ultimate qualification. Where it is clear that basic needs will go unfulfilled in society or basic rights denied, the state’s responsibility should expand to meet these issues. John XXIII, in Mater et Magistra (1961), expanded on the understanding of subsidiarity by invoking the concept of “socialization,” which refers to the changing context of modern industrial societies in which the state must fulfill its proper role. The dominant characteristic of social life by the midtwentieth century was “multiplication of social relationships” creating a “daily more complex interdependence” throughout society. This context was in part the product of technology and social organization, but it also resulted from and then called for an expanding role of the state in society. Does this development contradict the principle of subsidiarity? John XXIII answered that it did not, while recognizing that such a danger could arise. The key safeguard in his view was a proper conception of society’s common good, not only the values that comprise it, but the role diverse institutions must play. Socialization, as a process, cannot override the basic assertion of subsidiarity—that a pluralist structure of power be preserved in society.

The fiscal policy questions of taxation and spending hold direct implications for the work of Catholic Charities around the country, because as Wall Street Journal columnist David Wessell puts it, “underneath the arguments over tax cuts, spending priorities, and deficits lurks a fundamental question that neither side talks about candidly: How big a government does America want?” Catholic social teaching provides a different way of defining the role of government (or the state). The leading question here is not the size of government. It is the nature and function of government, which in turn provides guidance about its size. From the moral perspective of social teaching, the appropriate questions are about duties of government and the most efficient and effective ways of organizing the government to fulfill those duties. In Centesimus Annus (1991), John Paul II reiterated the modern Catholic consensus of a limited but activist state; activist in the sense that the state has unique responsibilities in society, particularly toward the poor and vulnerable; and limited in the sense that the rights

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The third contribution to understanding the role of the state is John Paul II’s signature theme of solidarity, which he identifies as “one of the fundamental principles of the Christian view of social and political organization” in the encyclical Solicitudo Rei Socials (1987). Solidarity is not a regulative principle like subsidiarity, but a vision of social responsibility, a concrete sense of responsibility for the welfare and interests of others, which holds the moral order of society together. The three ideas outlined here must be held in tension. Together they provide the basis for defining the appropriate role of the state, addressing not its size but its responsibilities and limitations.

Broad proposals are being pressed, pushed, debated, and decided in domestic social policy. The dominant debate, of course, is about fiscal policy, taxes, and spending, but there are subordinate themes within this matrix that are of specific concern to both Catholic social teaching and Catholic social institutions dedicated to health care, education, and social service in the United States. One broad question in play is government’s responsibility to the poor. Poverty has multiple roots and many manifestations. The issue areas, which are always relevant, are nutrition, housing, health care, education, and employment. Gaps in any of these areas threaten human dignity and leave unaddressed human needs. The very young, the elderly, women, and immigrants are the most vulnerable to these gaps in American society. The basic promise of Catholic social teaching is that society as a whole is responsible for the common good, and, therefore, the major sectors of society have obligations (duties) in the face of people suffering from poverty. The responsibility of the state to address the fact of poverty is not limited to what it can do through religious or other private organizations. The state has distinct, independent duties to the welfare of individuals in society….[These] duties have an absolute character; [while] the methods of fulfillment are contingent, [which] makes them a subject of debate. These



John Paul II identified solidarity as “one of the fundamental principles of the Christian view of social and political organization” in the encyclical Solicitudo Rei Socials (1987).

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debates descend to a level of detail that must be tested empirically to determine the wisdom and justice of the policy, but embedded in the debate about details is a fundamental vision of how a society conceives of its duties to those individuals and families with clearly definable unmet socioeconomic needs.

The responsibility of the state to address the fact of poverty is not limited to what it can do through religious or other private organizations. The state has distinct, independent duties to the welfare of individuals in society.
In a society like the United States, the three main variables in meeting these needs are the market, the government, and private organizations (religious and secular)….[In considering these variables,] it is useful to recall the dictum of Pope John Paul II in Centesimus Annus (1991). In an encyclical that gave more credence to the role of the market as a principle of economic organization than any of his twentieth-century predecessors have ever offered, the pope went on to highlight the moral limits of the market. These include the fact that the market is relevant only to those with a minimum of resources to enter it, and the market seems incapable of distinguishing between different kinds of goals, some of which have purely instrumental value (cars) and others which carry morally significant values (health care). The moral limits of the market require that its indispensable function in an economy be supplemented by a broader social policy, the product of the political order, which is designed to address those issues and those individuals whose basic needs are not met by

the dynamic of the market. This is one of the abiding roles of the state in its contribution to the common good. That role cannot be devolved onto the third participant, the private organizations of a society. Arguments that say that [our] relying ever more on a motivation of charity and on charitable institutions will create a morally superior society fail on two grounds. By focusing on charity they miss the necessity of strategies based on obligations of justice; in Catholic social teaching, for example, distributive justice is a controlling category for assessing tax policy. In addition, the role given to charitable groups in a society of this size will far outrun their capacities to deliver necessary assistance. Finally, the appeal to the market as a savior of the poor confuses a fundamentally accurate assessment with a basically adequate policy. A growing economy providing jobs with living wages is the long-term solution to poverty; the 1990s showed this dynamic at work. But a long-term strategy does not meet short-term needs, and when those needs are food, shelter, and health care, one cannot justify a policy simply by its long-term objectives. A mix of the market and social policy engaging all relevant players in the society is the strategy indicated by the concept of the common good. Catholic social teaching and Catholic institutions both are at stake in the way this society addresses government and poverty. The present state of the debate poses challenges for Catholic vision, its institutions, and the Catholic community that must sustain the viability of both.3 n
1. “The Sacrality of Human Life and Stewardship,” Charities USA, Vol. 28, No. 4 : 1, 16-17. 2. “President’s Column,” Charities USA, Vol. 30, No. 1: 1, 27. 3. “President’s Column,” Charities USA, Vol. 30, No. 2: 1-2.



Antoinette Calta
“I guess you’d call her an immigrant success story,” said Lauraine Esparza of her aunt Antoinette Calta. “She was a modest, frugal woman who worked hard her whole life.” In September 1929, just one month before the U.S. stock market crash, 18-year-old Antoinette arrived in the United States. She was astonished at the urban landscape of her new home in northern New Jersey, a place entirely different from the majestic mountains and valleys of northern Italy and the German-speaking area of southern Switzerland where she had grown up. “What a shock it was for her, leaving her homeland and moving to a new country, where she didn’t know the language,” said Lauraine. “She loved her homeland and had many happy memories there, but she followed her family.” Settling in with her parents and brother in West New York, NJ, a town across the Hudson River from Manhattan’s Upper East Side, she learned to speak English and went to work in New York City’s garment district as a dressmaker. Later she joined her father and brother in managing the family’s embroidery manufacturing business in New Jersey. “Relying on each other in a new country and working together created an extraordinary closeness in her family,” said Lauraine. As time went by, Antoinette became the dedicated caregiver to her aging parents and doting aunt to her brother’s two daughters, Lauraine and Marialisa. Lauraine remembers her as a warm and caring person, who showed her love by cooking authentic Italian cuisine for her family and making clothes for her nieces, including their first communion dresses, all embroidered of course! Antoinette’s faith was a very important part of her life, said Lauraine. “She would not have missed Sunday mass or a holy day of obligation.” After she retired, Antoinette attended Mass almost daily. Antoinette had a generous and compassionate heart, especially for people who were suffering. After World War II, when she heard about the terrible conditions in Europe, she sent money back home to Italy to help friends and family. She also saved money throughout her life to support good causes, including Catholic Charities. “As she neared the end of her life, my aunt wanted to ensure that some of her hard earned savings would go to support her church, her community, and the many projects that Catholic Charities is involved in,” said Lauraine. “A bequest to Catholic Charities not only made good financial sense to her but was a good emotional investment as well.” Catholic Charities USA is grateful to Antoinette Calta and the many generous people who support CCUSA and Catholic Charities agencies across the country. Our work is indeed a good cause, just as Antoinette understood. n

As she neared the end of her life, Antoinette wanted to ensure that some of her hard earned savings would go to support her church, her community, and the many projects that Catholic Charities is involved in.

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The predictions were right about Sandy. As this tropical cyclone converged with other storm systems into one massive storm, the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions of the United States braced for the onslaught. And it came. Making landfall near Atlantic City, NJ, on October 29, Sandy brought 80 mph winds, a record storm surge of over 13 feet in some areas, and torrential rains of up to 12 inches along the coast from Maryland to Connecticut. Sandy also created blizzard conditions in the central and southern Appalachians, dumping more than a foot of snow in six states from North Carolina to Pennsylvania, and even more snow in West Virginia. Over 8 million homes lost power, and 130 fatalities were reported. Thirteen Catholic Charities agencies and their dioceses in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia were impacted by the disaster.


In the early days after the storm hit, the responding agencies focused on acquiring and distributing all kinds of supplies— food, water, clothing, hygiene and cleaning kits, diapers, blankets, batteries, wipes, medication, and other needed items. Some set up shelters, and most set up distribution sites throughout the impacted region, in parishes, schools, railway stations, and other sites. Agencies also coordinated the work of volunteers, who staffed distribution sites and helped with the clean-up. Even as they provided these services, the impacted agencies assessed the damage to their facilities and the needs of their employees. Several agencies experienced damage and/ or power and communication outages to their facilities, as well as difficulty in operating their regular services because employees couldn’t get to work because of flooding, downed



Responding Agencies Catholic Charities, Diocese of Bridgeport Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of Hartford Catholic Charities, Diocese of Wilmington Catholic Charities, Diocese of Camden Catholic Charities, Diocese of Metuchen Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of Newark Catholic Charities, Diocese of Paterson Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of New York Catholic Charities, Diocese of Rockville Centre Catholic Charities West Virginia Catholic Social Services, Archdiocese of Philadelphia

trees and power lines, lack of public transportation, and gas shortages. While agencies were busy locally, CCUSA worked to assist them and coordinate the national Catholic Charities response. CCUSA conducted regular conference calls with the impacted agencies, worked with national partners to secure needed supplies, coordinated supply shipments to Catholic Charities distribution sites, arranged deployments of support teams from other agencies, deployed national staff on the ground to assist where needed, and handled the many offers of support from agencies, dioceses, and other generous people and organizations across the country. CCUSA also staffed a “seat” at the New Jersey Regional Operations and Intellegence Center and later the FEMA Joint Field Office in New Jersey, providing a continuously present Catholic Charities representative to coordinate the network’s response with government agencies. As the days past after the storm and people’s basic needs were adequately met, agencies moved into providing needs assessments, case management, and information and referral ser-

vices to help people become stable. Staff and volunteers went door to door in some areas, and in others met with people at disaster services sites. The response to Sandy has now moved into the long-term recovery phase for those hardest hit. More than 400,000 homes were damaged or destroyed by the storm, and Catholic Charities agencies are working with many families to help them rebuild their homes and their lives.

Making landfall near Atlantic City, NJ, on October 29, Sandy brought 80 mph winds, a record storm surge of over 13 feet in some areas, and torrential rains of up to 12 inches along the coast from Maryland to Connecticut.

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With more people than they could handle coming to their doors, several impacted agencies tapped into our network’s strength and welcomed staff members from other agencies to assist them in responding to the needs of storm victims. CCUSA coordinated the deployment of 15 staff members from across the country to agencies in New Jersey and New York. The 15 deployed workers stayed to assist from two weeks to a month. “This is a great example of our network coming together to help,” said Katie Oldaker, CCUSA’s director of disaster response. “We put out a plea for anyone who could come, and we got a great response. The outpouring was really pretty incredible.” Lee Kurzen of Catholic Charities Diocese of Palm Beach was deployed along with colleagues Denise McOsker and Helen Kelly to New Jersey to help Catholic Charities of Trenton with disaster relief. Lee described the dire situations of people in need in a letter to Sheila Gomez, executive director of Catholic Charities Diocese of Palm Beach. “We have been working nonstop with people that have had to put their lives on hold. Many are praying they have a place to stay for another week and are wondering how they will put food on the table for their kids. Others feel they have worn out their welcome staying at the house or apartment of a friend from church or work, or with anyone that wasn’t evacuated and trusted that their stay would only be a night or two. It has turned into four weeks going on five, and people do not see how their situation will change any time soon. “Many of the families we met lost their homes completely….They are now faced with moving out of the area or some way rebuilding if a mortgage is available. Others had their first floor flooded with saltwater, diesel, and gas fuel that cannot be drawn from their structure…. We met with families of nine people living in two-bedroom apartments due to the lack of home rentals….Several are living in hotel rooms funded by FEMA and have to apply every two weeks to qualify….We also saw people that were always able to give their time, talents, and treasures in the past and are now in tears, humbled to ask for help and not knowing what to do or to whom they can turn for help.”



Superstorm Sandy Statistics • $63,000,000,000: Estimated dollar value of damages caused by the storm. • 60,000,000: Number of people impacted by the storm (20% of U.S. population). • 8,100,000: Number of homes that lost power. The outages affected people in 17 states, as far west as Michigan. • 820: Sandy’s size in miles, as measured by the diameter of tropical storm-force sustained winds, as it made landfall just south of Atlantic City, New Jersey—more than double the landfall size of Hurricanes Isaac and Irene combined.

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Fr. Larry Snyder penned these thoughts after his tour of impacted Catholic Charities agencies in New Jersey and New York. Visit to read his entire blog entry.

I’m always amazed by the strength of the human spirit. Having just returned from visiting Catholic Charities agencies in New York and New Jersey affected by Super Storm Sandy, I was touched by the acts of kindness and generosity I personally witnessed from staff, volunteers, and neighbors who just want to help those looking to put their lives back together. I met a pizza shop owner in Staten Island who has been providing pizzas to families with no power or heat who need something to eat. It’s the least he can do, he told me. His

pizza truck parked outside an agency distribution center, he becomes overwhelmed when talking about the destruction the hurricane caused, saying he plans to stay there at the site for as long as the community needs him. I met volunteers who have been working nonstop since the Hurricane passed—staffing distribution sites, sorting through donations, and organizing items so that, as one volunteer explained, people can go “Fast-in” and “Fast-out.” She added, “Asking people if they need help is just as important as providing it to them. Sometimes people come in, have a good cry, and then I help them get what they need.”



I met a family in New Jersey who was dropping off goods at a distribution center to donate to the families affected. They were some of the “lucky ones,” they explained, and while they had seen the television coverage of the aftermath, they were shocked to see just how “real” the destruction had been. Having to pass through some of the impacted areas for the first time, they told me, “This is a whole new experience for New Jersey.” And I met dozens of staff at our local agencies who have been working every day since the storm first hit. As one agency director explained, “In some ways, staff impacted by storms want to come to work to take their minds off the loss felt at home.” Many agency staff are leading disaster response efforts and conducting damage assessments, things that weren’t something they necessarily signed up for or something that falls under their job description, but it’s incredible to see so many step up and do whatever they need to do. They are tired, the stress level is high, but they know that they are part of a network of more than 65,000 employees, each willing to help in whatever way they can.

Some of this help comes from the donations we have received from people across the country for CCUSA’s disaster fund. These donations go directly to support such things as case management and emergency assistance, cleaning and house repair assistance, emergency evacuation assistance, and long-term recovery needs. During my visits, I was able to present agencies with $10,000 grants, a down payment which serves as a reminder that we are committed to doing what we can to help each of these agencies respond and recover. My previous experiences with such disasters as Hurricane Katrina have taught me that even though the storm has passed, the recovery efforts are just beginning. Thanks to our agency network and the continued generosity of the thousands looking to help those in need, we will continue to provide support to our local agencies until all those affected have rebuilt. n

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CCUSA National Office Houses Code of Support Foundation
In November, CCUSA began sharing its office space with the Code of Support Foundation. Code of Support is a relatively young organization whose mission is to ensure that all Americans understand and appreciate the service and sacrifice of the “1%” who serve in uniform, are committed to sharing responsibility for our national defense, and are actively involved in supporting our troops, our veterans, and military families. In support of its mission, the foundation serves as an advocate for the needs of our troops and for the community of organizations that address those needs, identifies and remedies critical and under-resourced troop support, and works to facilitate effective communication and cooperation within the non-profit troop support community and government agencies to increase their collective effectiveness. The foundation, with only three employees, including U.S. Major General Alan Salisbury, the organizational founder and chairman, and Kristina Kaufmann, its executive director, was in need of office space. Catholic Charities USA, wanting to do more to support military families and to develop our network’s services for military families, was able to offer office space.

Vatican Confirms Rev. Snyder for Second Term on Pontifical Council Cor Unum


Rev. Larry Snyder, president of Catholic Charities USA, was confirmed by the Holy Father as a member of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum for a second fiveyear period. In a letter informing Fr. Snyder of his appointment, the president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, Robert Cardinal Sarah, wrote, “While enclosing your letter of appointment, I avail the opportunity to express our wishes for a continued fruitful collaboration with this Dicastery of the Holy See, during this second term of this responsibility entrusted to you by the Supreme Pontiff.” Father Snyder traveled to Rome in January for the council’s Plenary Assembly. “It is a privilege to be given the opportunity to continue to serve the Church and Catholic Charities agencies across the country in this way,” said Fr. Snyder. “We are reminded of the powerful message of Christ to deliver charity to the millions in need. Through the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, we have the inspiration and coordination to manifest Christ’s love in these charitable works.” The Pontifical Council Cor Unum for Human and Christian Development is a council of the Roman Curia of the Roman Catholic Church devoted to human and Christian development. It oversees catholic organzation charitable activities.




• We’ve redesigned our home page so it is easier to navigate. It now features a rotating menu of items and allows quick and easy access to the information that our visitors most frequently use. • We’ve streamlined content on the site so that information is easier to find. We’ve also implemented the use of a third-party file sharing site so that you can download and share the vast library of resources—ranging from press releases and policy papers to prayers resources and backgrounders—available to our members and stakeholders. • We’ve added an agency spotlight section, a regularly updated feature on our home page that allows us to spotlight the incredible work our agencies are doing in communities across the country. Over the next six months, you’ll begin noticing additional new elements that are part of the second phase of the redesign process, where we will bring to life more complex and interactive elements such as searchable databases and interactive timelines and maps, as well as discuss solutions and best practices to keep the website up to date with fresh and timely information. We are grateful to everyone that played a role in the site’s redesign process and welcome your feedback and suggestions as we continue our efforts to address poverty in this country.

Catholic Charities USA is proud to unveil our redesigned website, which makes it easier to browse, stay up to date with the latest Catholic Charities information, and be inspired by the work being done by CCUSA and the Catholic Charities network. This is just the first phase of a site that features fresh and streamlined content and interactive elements that will make it easier to engage with visitors interested in our work to reduce poverty in America. Right away, you’ll see that:

CCUSA and Catholic Charities of Paterson, NJ, Team Up to Distribute Turkeys
Just in time for Thanksgiving, Catholic Charities USA and Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Paterson, NJ, were able to restore one little piece of tradition for the thousands of families impacted by Hurricane Sandy. Around November 15, it looked like Catholic Charities Paterson would not be able to distribute turkeys at its Father English Center, as it has done for years. There weren’t enough turkeys, neither was there staff with the time to track some down. Executive Director Joseph Duffy shared this news with Catholic Charities USA during a disaster relief conference call. After hearing this news and hoping to bring some joy to a community already hit hard by Hurricane Sandy, CCUSA contacted its national partners to see what could be done. Just days later, on November 20, two days before Thanksgiving, 3,000 turkeys were delivered to the Father English Center. When a crowd of people at the center heard how CCUSA and people across the country had worked to get the turkeys to them, they applauded the effort, expressed their gratitude, and eagerly awaited a turkey to bring home. “Each person was individually greeted, and wished a Happy Thanksgiving,” said Duffy. “The joy was palpable.” n

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A Pa s t o r a l L e t t e r by

Bishop Michael J. Bransfield

Heather Reynolds of Catholic Charities Fort Worth Named CEO of the Year On November 9, 2012, the Center for Nonprofit Management in Dallas, TX, celebrated its 12th Annual “A Night of Light” Award of Excellence ceremony. Catholic Charities Fort Worth’s very own Heather Reynolds was honored as the CEO of the Year. This award of excellence is a testament to Heather’s leadership and commitment to the mission of Catholic Charities Fort Worth. The agency received a $5,000 gift from the center to continue its goal of ending poverty in its community. Congratulations, Heather!
A Pa s t o r a l L e t t e r by

Bishop Michael J. Bransfield

Loosening the bonds of poverty inWestVirginia

Bishop of Wheeling-Charleston Publishes Pastoral Letter on Reducing Poverty

Most Rev. Michael J. Bransfield, Bishop of Wheeling-Charleston, published in December a pastoral letter titled “Setting Children Free: Loosening the Bonds of Poverty in West Virginia.” The letter calls attention to poverty in West Virginia and its devastating effects on the state’s children. Bransfield also committed $100,000 in matching grants for parishes, schools, and agencies in the diocese who wish to implement local programs and outreach to address issues identified in the pastoral.

Loosening the bonds of poverty inWestVirginia
The bishop notes in his letter that West Virginia experiences higher incidents of low birth weight and infant mortality than the national average. The child death rate is higher, as is the percentage of children approved for free and reduced-price school meals. The child abuse and neglect rate is above the national average, as are the number of children with poor oral health, the teen birth rate, and percentage of births to unmarried teens. All of these statistics, taken together, he said, give a clear understanding

and hope,” Bransfield says in the letter. “At the same time, I want to invite you, dear brothers and sisters, to join me in compassionate care for the poor and continual solicitude on their behalf.”

“It is my hope to speak to the grief and anguish of the poor among us, especially the experience of our children and families in poverty, and offer to them a compassionate message of joy



of the experience of poverty among young people and its consequences for their health. “To help the children of our state rise from poverty will take a wide variety of approaches,” the bishop says in his letter. “Extending compassionate care to children means that we should work for policies regarding health and education which will give these young ones ‘long lives, full of well-being.’” Lidia Bastianich Joins Catholic Charities New York to Raise Funds Lidia Bastianich, the television chef, cookbook writer, and restaurateur, joined Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York and grocery store Shoprite to help those impacted by Hurricane Sandy by holding a benefit raffle at her Staten Island book signing. Born in Pula, a city in Croatia that was then part of Italy, Ms. Bastianich credits Catholic Charities for bringing her and her family from persecution to safety after World War II. Grateful for the help she received from this social service organization, she is now partnering with it. “Catholic Charities brought us here to New York...we had no one,” Chef Bastianich said during an ABC News interview. “They found a home for us. They found a job for my father. And ultimately we settled. And I am the perfect example that if you give somebody a chance, especially here in the United States, one can find the way.” At her book signing for Lidia’s Favorite Recipes held December 8, Ms. Bastianich raffled ten gift baskets.

Proceeds were used to benefit Catholic Charities’ Hurricane Sandy Relief efforts. Gift baskets include three signed cookbooks along with Lidia’s Pasta & Sauce and Shoprite’s private label Italian products. Two Dioceses Join Forces to Build Homes in Mexico

Precaido and Antonio Masoni, who organized the home construction. The cost of each home was about $8,000, plus the donated labor from the families and volunteers. The five simple homes were a drop in the ocean of sorrows the earthquake wrought, yet for the families receiving those homes, the modest buildings were a miracle for which they are deeply grateful. Their faces showed such pride as the group toured the simple rooms of these newly built houses, now nearly ready to be occupied. Bishop Flores and Bishop Kicanas presented each family with a set of doorknobs and keys to make their homes secure, and they blessed their homes and their families. One home was given to an elderly man whose wife died recently. As he awaits the completion of his new home, he is living in a makeshift house with no roof and only basic essentials. “This was the first project that the two dioceses have done together,” said Peg Harmon. “What beautiful things come of cooperation.” Diocese of Charleston to Build Maternity Home in Greenville The Catholic Diocese of Charleston plans to build a maternity home in the Greenville, SC, area within the next two years. St. Clare’s Home of Joyful Hope will serve women experiencing a crisis pregnancy. “In spite of our pro-life efforts, there are thousands of women every year who choose abortion instead of life for their baby,” said Most Reverend

Over the last two years, the Diocese of Tucson and the Diocese of San Diego have been working together to assist families in Mexico whose homes were destroyed by a 2010 earthquake. Through the generosity of parishioners in San Diego, who donated funds, and the Arizona Community Foundation, the two dioceses, with leadership from the directors of their diocesan Catholic Charities agencies, built five modest homes for families who lost their homes. On November 30, Peg Harmon, CEO of Catholic Community Services of Southern Arizona (CCS); Sister Betty Adams, CSJ, executive director of CCS in Western Arizona; Sister RayMonda DuVall, executive director of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of San Diego; Bishop Gerald Kicanas of the Diocese of Tucson, and Bishop Cirilo Flores, Co-Adjutor Bishop of San Diego, visited the almost completed homes, along with Eddie

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Robert E. Guglielmone, Bishop of Charleston. “Although our crisis pregnancy centers are doing great work, we have few safety nets in place for pregnant women who find themselves without a place to live. We foresee St. Clare’s giving women an alternative to aborting their baby.” St. Clare’s Home of Joyful Hope will be a safe place where expectant mothers can live and gain life skills while they are pregnant and for some time after giving birth. It will serve women over age 18 and, if needed, their already born children. The facility and its staff will provide housing, education, and care in a Catholic environment. While living at the home, residents will learn life and parenting skills and have the opportunity to further their education at either a high school or college level. At the conclusion of their stay at St. Clare’s Home, residents will have the skills to care for themselves and for their child or children. “There were 6,379 abortions in South Carolina in 2011. Based on the number of abortions being performed in the state, we know there is a need for this type of facility,” said Caroline Weisberg, director of Catholic Charities of South Carolina and chairperson of the St. Clare’s Home of Joyful Hope Planning Committee. Catholic Charities of Chicago Hosts Inaugural Benefit for Veterans On June 15, 2012, Monsignor Michael M. Boland, president of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago, welcomed more than 220

people to the inaugural Veterans in Need Dinner at the historical Union League Club of Chicago. The dinner raised over $80,000 in net proceeds in support of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago’s Veterans Assistance Programs. The keynote speaker was Admiral Vernon E. Clark, Chief of Naval Operations in the United States Navy, who offered some thought-provoking insights regarding the needs of servicemen and women as they leave active duty and return to civilian life. Proceeds were directed to the St. Leo Campus for Veterans, which includes the St. Leo Residence, a 141-unit building of affordable housing for formerly homeless veterans, a VA medical clinic and resource center, and a beautiful memorial garden. Because of this project, hundreds of formerly homeless men and women have had a safe and warm place to heal. Proceeds also went to Cooke’s Manor, an alcohol and substance abuse recovery home for formerly homeless male veterans located at the Veterans Administration Medical Campus on Chicago’s south side; the Bishop Goedert Residence, which provides affordable one-bedroom apartments to U.S. military veterans and/or their widows; and the Veterans Employment Project, which provides all veterans in Catholic Charities programs and from the community with individualized employment planning.

“A Cardinal’s Christmas” Raises Funds for Catholic Charities of Galveston-Houston

Children excitedly joined His Eminence Daniel Cardinal DiNardo on stage to hear him read a story of the true meaning of Christmas at Catholic Charities of GalvestonHouston’s fourth annual fundraising luncheon, “A Cardinal’s Christmas,” on Dec. 8, 2012. The holiday tradition drew more than 340 guests and grossed more than $250,000 to support Catholic Charities’ children and family services. Before the festive luncheon, children from the St. Anne’s Choir and St. Catherine’s Montessori School Orchestra filled the air with holiday music while young guests and those young at heart had fun creating Christmas-themed arts and crafts mementos. Rev. David Bergner to Lead Catholic Charities of Milwaukee Rev. David J. Bergner, SDS, was recently named as the new executive director of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, replacing James M. Brennan, who retired in August. Bergner most recently served as Provincial for the Society of the Divine Savior, USA Province, in Milwaukee, WI. Previously he served as executive director for



Commonwealth Catholic Charities in Richmond, VA; chaplain in the United States Naval Reserve; and director of D.C. Charities. “After serving in leadership posts with Catholic Charities for 30 years on the East Coast, I am delighted to lead Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee,” said Bergner. Fr. Bergner has a Ph.D. in social work administration. His doctoral dissertation, “Towards a Leadership Style for the Twenty-First Century,” mirrors his servant-leadership style. “Through my ministry with Catholic Charities, I can readily align my mission as a Salvatorian ‘to proclaim and teach by all ways and means the goodness and kindness of our Savior’ with that of Catholic Charities’ mission ‘to provide service to those in need, to advocate for justice, and to call upon others to do the same,” said Bergner. Tucson’s St. Elizabeth’s Health Clinic to Offer Orthodontic Care St. Elizabeth’s Health Center, an agency of Catholic Community Services of Southern Arizona, is now providing orthodontic care to children with severely misaligned teeth. This unique program will give children ages 10-16 in families with financial hardships a beautiful and healthy smile and confidence in their future. This unique opportunity was created through the support of long-time local orthodontists Dr. Larry Leber and his son Dr. Eric Leber, who will volunteer their time to provide braces to children through St. Elizabeth’s Dental Clinic. While standard braces

cost $4000-6000, eligible families will receive braces for their children for $500-$1000. This includes 2-3 years of braces, retainers, and one-year follow-up. The program is linked to strong school performance. Each child must write a brief essay explaining why braces would be important to them and, through teacher reports, show continual improvement in math and English. Good grades will provide further financial incentives to reduce the overall cost of their braces. St. Elizabeth’s Health Center, founded in 1961, provides medical and dental services to low-income families. Last year, St. Elizabeth’s provided care for over 14,000 uninsured and underserved individuals. Known as “St. E’s,” the clinic is run by a small paid staff with more than 100 volunteer dentists, dental hygienists, physicians, and other medical professionals. Galveston-Houston Names Cynthia Colbert New CEO Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston recently announced the selection of Cynthia Nunes Colbert, MSW, as the new CEO effective January 2013. Colbert, with a master’s degree in social welfare planning and administration, has dedicated her career to social services administration. Before coming to Galveston-Houston, Colbert served as executive director of Catholic Charities, Inc.–Diocese of Wichita, Kansas, and also as executive director of Catholic Charities of Central Texas in the Diocese of Austin from 2005 through 2010.

Board Chairman David Harvey, Jr., who headed the Selection Committee, said, “After interviewing Cynthia, it was pretty evident that she had the background with the Catholic Charities systems and the mindset and skills to not only manage our programs, but also relate to the management staff and help maintain relationships to key benefactors upon which we are critically dependent.” Catholic Charities Fort Worth Assumes Red Cross Transportation Services

Starting on September 1, 2012, the American Red Cross transitioned its transportation services over to Catholic Charities Fort Worth (CCFW). The 36-vehicle fleet, which provides service in Tarrant County, is currently up and running under the name of Catholic Charities Fort Worth Wheels. As part of a new Red Cross structure, programs not strategically aligned to the mission were transitioned to other community partners. CCFW was selected to take over the approximately $1.5 million program for several reasons, including the history of launching and scaling a transportation program, the scope and capacity of services offered, and the importance of transportation to CCFW’s

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overall goal of ending poverty in this community. “Transportation is a vital link in getting people back to work and in better health. It’s a huge barrier to the clients we serve who might be able to find employment, but can’t get there,” says Heather Reynolds, CEO and president of CCFW. “Now, we can offer a multitude of options to help our clients help themselves.” Catholic Charities of Southeast Texas Hosts Harvest of Hope Fundraiser

The Tortorices were praised by speakers at the event for their excellent qualities of servant leadership. They commented during their remarks that they had come to realize early in their business careers that they had a duty to ensure their business not only satisfied customers, but improved the lives of its employees. A Jason’s Deli employee interviewed during a video tribute to the Tortorices emphasized that point, stating that she has often heard Joe Tortorice remark that he is “in the people business. I just happen to make sandwiches.” Mayor Becky Ames of Beaumont honored the Tortorices and Catholic Charities with a special city proclamation praising the business contributions of the Tortorices and the diverse services of Catholic Charities. Carol Fernandez, president and CEO of Catholic Charities, accepted the honor. Catholic Charities Idaho Opens Center in Honor of Angela Magnani-Wood

Charities, establishing the Angela Magnani-Wood Memorial Fund. The gift includes a $1 million endowment to provide funding for CCI’s services to Eastern Idaho in perpetuity. Magnani-Wood was the daughter of long-time Idaho Falls residents Seeley and Marianne Magnani. She died in 2010 at the age of 33 after a battle with carcinoid syndrome. “The fund recognizes Angela MagnaniWood’s giving heart and continues her spirit of helping others as she did during her life,” said CCI executive director Landis Rossi. To ensure that Catholic Charities of Idaho’s services are tailored to the needs of Eastern Idaho communities and do not duplicate those provided by other service agencies, Catholic Charities conducted an extensive community needs assessment to identify how the agency could best serve. Based on the completed assessment, Catholic Charities will be providing services to strengthen families through group, marriage, and individual counseling and education programs, along with immigration legal services for which the community has expressed a great need. Brian Cain Retires and Welcomes New Leader to Madison Catholic Charities Brian Cain, president and CEO of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Madison, WI, retired at the end of 2012 after 24 years of service. During his tenure, the agency experienced tremendous growth: the budget grew from $1 million in 1989 to $18.5 million today, programs expanded from 4

Catholic Charities of Southeast Texas in the Diocese of Beaumont held its 10th Annual Harvest of Hope Benefit in November, raising almost $220,000 for its seven programs. The net revenue was a record for the event, pushing the cumulative total of funds generated by this annual fall event to more than $1.5 million. The Harvest of Hope selects honorees from the Southeast Texas community and recognizes them for their serviceoriented contributions to the region. This year’s honorees were Shelley and Joe Tortorice, the founding family of the national restaurant chain Jason’s Deli, with 240 locations around the country.

Catholic Charities of Idaho recently celebrated the opening of a new Family Strengthening Center in Idaho Falls, ID. The center was made possible through a $3 million anonymous gift over 20 years to Catholic



to 40, and staff increased from 30 to over 300 employees. “In looking back, although I didn’t realize it at the moment, I realize that this was my passion and my life’s calling: to work for the Church and help others,” said Brian. Brian’s service to the church was recently recognized with a papal award. At Catholic Charities Madison’s annual awards dinner in November, Bishop Robert C. Morlino of the Diocese of Madison presented Brian with the award, the Knight of the Order of Pope St. Sylvester. With Cain’s retirement, Catholic Charities appointed Jackson Fonder as the new president and CEO, effective January 1, 2013. Jackson has served as the executive vice president at Catholic Charities since March 2012. His background includes significant leadership roles in non-profit organizations, financial services, and government service. In addition, he is an active community leader in the greater Madison area. “I am honored and pleased to be assuming this leadership role,” said Fonder. “It is a privilege to be affiliated with the largest network of nonprofits serving those in need and reaching out in the name of Catholic Social Teaching.” Chicago Junior Board Celebrates Ten Years “There’s always something going on!” This is the way director Lisa Pauletto describes the Junior Board of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese

of Chicago. That non-stop “something” started in 2002, when Catholic Charities initiated an organization that unleashed an explosion of charitable energy: The Catholic Charities Junior Board. A bold new effort, the Junior Board was envisioned as a vibrant organization of young adults, ages 21 through 45, committed to assisting and promoting the compassionate works of Catholic Charities. The goal was to encourage and develop leaders in the church through effective community action that includes volunteer service, social fundraising, and theological exploration. Practically speaking, the mission of the Junior Board is to create advocates for the poor, who not only help their brothers and sisters in need – of all faiths and racial and ethnic backgrounds, but also spread the word about Catholic Charities’ mission and programs in their communities. As Catholic Charities’ Junior Board celebrates its 10th Anniversary, 350 members are actively assisting Catholic Charities clients and programs throughout the year, serving thousands of seniors, children, and families, and our hungry and homeless neighbors. Over the years, they have donated thousands of dollars and thousands of volunteer service hours. Many have gone on to become members of the Board of Advisors or the Board of Directors of the agency. For young adults who want to stay connected via common values, service to those in need, and social events, the Junior Board is the place to be.

Catholic Charities of West Tennessee Hosts Christmas Concert On December 15, Catholic Charities of West Tennessee (CCWTN) hosted its annual John Angotti and Friends Family Christmas Concert. Over 1,400 attended this wonderful melding of music, praise, and fellowship in anticipation of our Lord’s birth. This year, CCWTN partnered with the Archdiocese for Military Services USA and to broadcast the three-hour concert from the Cannon Center For the Performing Arts in downtown Memphis, TN, to all U.S. military installations around the world. Viewers from over 67 counties joined the live stream of the concert, and countless more will have the ability to see the concert on demand at and The military salute portion of the concert included a taped message from Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the Archdiocese for Military Services, USA; a blessing from Bishop J. Terry Steib, SVD, bishop of Memphis; and priests of the Diocese of Memphis, along with a live Skype link between Sophie Bougeois, a choir member who was on stage from St. Benedict at Auburndale High School in Memphis, and her father, Lt. Colonel Enrique Bougeois III, who is stationed in Afghanistan. Sophie, Bishop Steib, the diocesan priests, John Angotti, and the audience all serenaded Lt. Colonel Bougeois with a special version of “Silent Night...For the Troops,” as adapted by John Angotti. n

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Working to Reduce Poverty in

Valerie’s physical health also improved during her stay at Daybreak Center. As a diabetic, she admitted that she wasn’t taking very good care of her body and nutrition. Becoming more mindful of her diet, she lost 22 pounds while at Daybreak. Gail Flatness, kitchen coordinator at the shelter, learned about Valerie’s dietary needs and paid special attention to Valerie to ensure that she ate a balanced and healthy diet. Valerie finally received great news that she got a new job working in the shipping department of a local factory. Everything in Valerie’s life began to improve and she’s thankful that Daybreak Center gave her the tools she needed for a new start. “If you’re willing to help yourself, Daybreak will help you,” she explained. Now, Valerie is eager to take the next step in her journey by moving into her own home. She’s carefully apartment hunting, looking for something small, practical, and private. Although she has had a positive and life-changing experience at Daybreak Center, Valerie explained that she misses the privacy of living independently. And there’s one more thing that Valerie told me she’s looking forward to—“A hot bath!” “After a long shift working on my feet at the factory, I can’t wait to come home and soak in my own bathtub!” n


his isn’t who I am.” Valerie McClure’s voice trailed off and her eyes had become sad. “This isn’t how it’s supposed to be.” She spoke softly about being homeless and her stay at Catholic Charities’ Daybreak Center in Joliet, IL, the largest homeless shelter in the area.

Now 53, Valerie talked about her stable and happy childhood. She had always made good choices—she had never drunk alcohol, smoked, or used drugs. As an adult, she enjoyed her job as an administrative assistant for many years. The work matched her warm and charismatic personality very well. But after being laid-off, she was unable to pay her bills and lost her apartment, car, and worst of all, she said, her peace of mind. Panicked and with nowhere else to turn, Valerie contacted Daybreak Center. In addition to providing emergency shelter, Daybreak Center also provides help and services for residents to regain self-sufficiency. When Valerie arrived at Daybreak, she had a difficult time processing the reality of her situation and how quickly things had spiraled downward. “I cried for four days,” she said. Initially, Valerie was resistant to the idea of receiving counseling and participating in group therapy sessions. However, she quickly realized, “There’s nothing wrong with talking to someone and releasing the pain to free yourself.” Valerie discovered through counseling that she struggled with anger issues and started attending anger management classes, which she found to be extremely helpful. “It saved my life,” she said.



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