As we were preparing this issue of the magazine on the work for racial justice, the encyclical Fratelli tutti by Pope Francis was released. The main theme of the encyclical is fraternity and social friendship, which Pope Francis exhorts the entire human community to embrace and practice following the model of the Good Samaritan (Nos. 56-86).
The pope laments that “Instances of racism continue to shame us, for they show that our supposed social progress is not as real or definitive as we think” (No. 20). However, he also points to the response of many service providers during the Covid-19 pandemic as a cause for hope. As he says, they put “their lives on the line” to save others (No. 54).
As you read and listen to the stories in this issue of Charities USA, I hope you will be inspired by the leaders and staff members of Catholic Charities agencies who spend their lives trying to realize the gospel’s truth that the human race is one family, brothers and sisters all and made in the image of God. Among the contributors to this issue are the following diocesan directors/CEO’s: William McCarthy, Catholic Charities of Baltimore; Margaret Peterson, Catholic Charities East Bay; Theresa Ruzicka, Catholic Charities of St. Louis; and Wanda Thomas, Catholic Charities Jackson, Mississippi.
Whether the effort takes place in the work environment ensuring that people are treated according to the dignity they deserve as God’s children or on the streets helping those who have been forgotten by society to know and live by their inherent worth, the Catholic Charities ministry has – for more than a century in the United States – worked to be the Good Samaritan to all those in need (Lk 10:25-37).
Charities USA (ISSN 0364-0760) is published by Catholic Charities USA. Address all correspondence to the Managing Editor. © 2020 Catholic Charities USA, Alexandria, Virginia.
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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 almost 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.
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