Simple Lenten Meals
Each Friday we collect donations to benefit a different community-based organization in Washington, DC. On Friday, February 12, the beneficiary will be Catholic Relief Services.
Consider spending your early Friday evening with St. Matthew’s family and friends - come for the 5:30pm Mass, 6pm Stations of the Cross, and end with a shared meal organized by the Social Justice and Community Services Committee, for this great opportunity of almsgiving.
Please visit the Catholic Relief Services website http://www.crs.org from which the following is excerpted and summarized:
ABOUT CATHOLIC RELIEF SERVICES
Catholic Relief Services (CRS) was founded in 1943 by the Catholic Bishops of the United States to serve World War II survivors in Europe. Since then, we have expanded in size to reach 85 million people in 101 countries on five continents.
Our mission is to assist impoverished and disadvantaged people overseas, working in the spirit of Catholic social teaching to promote the sacredness of human life and dignity of the human person. Although our mission is rooted in the Catholic faith, our operations serve people based solely on need, regardless of their race, religion or ethnicity. CRS maintains strict efficiency, accountability and transparency standards: 92% of our expenditures go directly to programs.
COMMITMENT TO CATHOLIC TEACHING
We protect, defend and advance human life around the world by directly meeting basic needs and advocating solutions to injustice. CRS is a pro-life organization dedicated to preserving the sacredness and dignity of human life from conception to natural death.
As part of the Universal Church, we work with local Catholic institutions around the world. [W]e also participate in humanitarian initiatives by a range of groups, including governments, other faith communities and secular institutions. Although some positions and practices of these institutions are not always consistent with Catholic teaching, CRS' work with these institutions focuses only on activities that are fully consistent with Catholic teachings. CRS employs Catholics as well as non-Catholics.
CRS carries out the commitment of the Bishops of the United States to assist the poor and vulnerable overseas. We are motivated by the Gospel of Jesus Christ to cherish, preserve and uphold the sacredness and dignity of all human life, foster charity and justice, and embody Catholic social and moral teaching as we act to:
PROMOTE HUMAN DEVELOPMENT by responding to major emergencies, fighting disease and poverty, and nurturing peaceful and just societies; and,
SERVE CATHOLICS IN THE UNITED STATES as they live their faith in solidarity with their brothers and sisters around the world.
As part of the universal mission of the Catholic Church, we work with local, national and international Catholic institutions and … other organizations, to assist people on the basis of need, not creed, race or nationality.
Approved by the Catholic Relief Services Board of Directors on September 11, 2008.
We put our faith into action to help the world’s poorest create lasting change.
Faith: Faith is our foundation. We have faith in the people we serve and our shared ability to build a more just and peaceful world.
Action: The desire to serve is not enough. We must act collaboratively to bring about real improvements in peoples’ quality of life and genuine engagement in building peace and justice.
Results: Using measureable outcomes, our actions must be effective in alleviating human suffering, removing root causes and empowering people to achieve their full potential.
As the official international Catholic relief and development agency of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, CRS draws upon a rich tradition of Scripture and Catholic social teaching, which serve as the foundation for CRS' Guiding Principles.
SACREDNESS AND DIGNITY OF THE HUMAN PERSON Created in God’s image, all human life is sacred and possesses a dignity coming from our creation and not from our own action.
Every person has basic rights and responsibilities that flow from our human dignity and belong to us as human beings regardless of any social or political structures, and duties and responsibilities to respect the rights of others and work for the common good of all.
SOCIAL NATURE OF HUMANITY [O]ur full human potential is not realized in solitude, but in community with others. How we organize our families, societies and communities directly affects human dignity and our ability to achieve our full human potential.
For us to grow and develop fully, a certain social fabric must exist within society. This is THE COMMON GOOD. Numerous social conditions - economic, political, material and cultural - impact our ability to realize our human dignity and reach our full potential.
SUBSIDIARITY A higher level of government - or organization - should not perform any function or duty that can be handled more effectively at a lower level by people who are closer to the problem and have a better understanding of the issue.
SOLIDARITY We are all part of one human family - whatever our national, racial, religious, economic or ideological differences - and in an increasingly interconnected world, loving our neighbor has global dimensions.
OPTION FOR THE POOR In every economic, political and social decision, we must weigh the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable. By doing this we strengthen the entire community, because the powerlessness of any member wounds the rest of society.
There is inherent integrity to all creation requiring careful STEWARDSHIP of all our resources, to ensure we use and distribute them justly and equitably - and plan for future generations.