Journey of serving the needy continues for Catholic Charities

By Dan Lowery, PhD

Dan Lowery Catholic CharitiesCatholic Charities of the Diocese of Gary is celebrating 75 years of service to the people of Northwest Indiana. So much has been accomplished. It would be difficult indeed to count the number of lives touched over the years by our staff and volunteers.
And the journey continues. Catholic Charities provides counseling services to troubled families, housing for the homeless, and material assistance to those at risk of eviction. It builds ramps for the disabled, assists families with adoptions, and prepares couples for marriage. And just this year, Catholic Charities opened a Women's Care Center that is now providing young women in difficult circumstances with an alternative to abortion.
As we look ahead, we should not expect the need for Catholic Charities' rich mix of services to decrease. The calls for government to step back from providing help to those in need are growing louder each day. Even those who hold the poor in their hearts recognize that public budgets are not sustainable over the long-term. We should not expect that this will change even as our economy continues its long journey back to prosperity. And yet the poor remain with us. Church-based organizations will be called upon to provide more and more services for the poor.
There is one other imperative that will not change: our collective call to discipleship. In Matthew 25, Jesus previewed the conversation he will have with all who eventually come to stand before him.

"Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me." Then the righteous will answer him and say, "Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?" And the king will say to them in reply, "Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me."

On behalf of Catholic Charities, thank you for your support, your encouragement, and your prayers. Thank you for responding to the call to discipleship. Without you, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Gary could not fulfill is its mission to feed the hungry, to shelter the homeless, to counsel those in need of professional services, or to engender hope in situations in which hope is fleeting or altogether absent.


Dan Lowery is the chairman of the board of directors of Catholic Charities and president of Calumet College of St. Joseph in Whiting.


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