The annual Charity and Development Appeal (CDA) in the Diocese of Phoenix provides opportunities for people like you and me to make a big difference in the lives of people we may never meet. This year, we hear in Saint Luke’s Gospel a beautifully succinct description of the beatitudes.And raising his eyes toward his disciples he said:
“Blessed are you who are poor, for the kingdom of God is yours.Blessed are you who are now hungry, for you will be satisfied.Blessed are you who are now weeping, for you will laugh.Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude and insult you, and denounce your name as evil on account of the Son of Man.Rejoice and leap for joy on that day! Behold, your reward will be great in heaven. For their ancestors treated the prophets in the same way...” (Lk 6:20-23)
These might sound like the opposite of what we typically strive for in our regular day-to-day lives. Perhaps they seem like lofty and noble goals meant for only those “really good people” we might know. Rather than becoming overwhelmed with these expectations, let us review our own lives and perspectives with the beatitudes in mind in order to see where our hearts and thoughts are focused. Maybe ask some questions of ourselves like, “why would it be a blessing for me to be ‘poor’ and in what way?” If the “poor” are blessed – am I helping to fulfill blessings in their lives? Each question – through the hungry, weeping, and hated – will perhaps show us areas of growth.
Then, read and meditate on verse 35: “But rather, love your enemies and do good to them, and lend expecting nothing back; then your reward will be great and you will be children of the Most High, for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.” When we give without expectation of return, we are fulfilling one of the greatest ways to be fully human: giving from our heart and soul!
The CDA, through the donations of many parishioners just like you and me, makes amazing things possible. Here are just a few examples:
Quality of Life and Aging with Dignity Sylvia is a participant in the Foundation for Senior Living (FSL) Adult Day Health Program. She benefits from meaningful activities, socialization and assistance during the day. Here, Sylvia spends time with familiar faces in a safe and secure environment, greatly enhancing her quality of life.
Cathy looks forward to her hot, nutritious meal deliveries from Walter, a driver for Foundation for Senior Living Meal Delivery program. Last year FSL saw a 14% increase in need, serving 705 seniors more than 60,000 meals!
When Catherine and Michael became engaged, they made it a priority to invest time getting to know each other more intimately and spiritually through marriage preparation classes. CDA funds help provide engaged couples workshops on conflict resolution, financial management, and Natural Family Planning. Transformed in Love: Marriage Preparation
Matt and Kerri didn’t follow a traditional path to a Catholic marriage. Eight years after a civil ceremony and two children, they yearned for more faith, grace, and respect in their relationship, to be better parents, and to be right with God. Deciding to be married in the Catholic Church, they attended marriage preparation classes and had a wedding witnessed by clergy.
Nick and Carrie have twice been blessed by adoption! Their youngest daughter was adopted through the Catholic Charities agency, Joining Hearts. This agency helps couples seeking private infant adoption, and also counsels and guides women through unexpected pregnancy.
The Condon family served as foster parents with Catholic Charities for many years, caring for about 15 children. Ultimately, they adopted four little boys who now live in a stable, safe home with a family who loves and embraces them.
The Hope Mobile Clinic is a 32 foot RV equipped to provide free pregnancy testing, ultrasounds, STD testing and gynecological services. Often positioned outside an abortion clinic, their team has saved hundreds of lives at the very last moment – right before a scheduled abortion.
An unplanned pregnancy can be daunting. Laura had decided on abortion when someone reached out and said, “There is hope,” suggesting help from Life Choices Women’s Clinic. That day, Laura received a free ultrasound, and upon hearing her baby’s heartbeat, was filled with love for her child.
Dulce first met the staff at the Aid to Women Center in Tempe seeking prenatal vitamins, then ended up receiving a lifeline of support. This wife and mother of two received pre-and postnatal care, then continued to attend parenting classes after giving birth. The center offers courses in baby development and care, and trains mothers in first aid, emergencies, and finances. By attending classes, she built up rewards which allowed her to earn items for her babies.
When Darren decided he wanted to take on a leadership role in parish ministry, he learned about the Kino Institute in the Diocese of Phoenix. Kino offers a two-year certification program including studies in the sacraments and liturgy, Theology of the Body and the Bible, which he now uses to serve in his role at St. Timothy’s Catholic Church in Mesa. Kino is dedicated to forming our diaconate, parish catechists, and Catholic School teachers, ultimately helping people grow in their faith. Even better, Kino welcomes any adult who yearns to gain a foundational understanding of Catholic teaching.
Three Catholic Newman Centers in our Diocese provide college students a place to encounter Christ, build friendships, and live out their Catholic values. Creativity during the pandemic led to outdoor worship events, courtyard confessions, and online rosary groups. When you give to the CDA, you help college students deepen their Catholic faith through mission trips, retreats, and engaging events.
Henry is a veteran who dealt with stress and homelessness upon returning from war. With help from Catholic Charities he rebuilt his own life. Paying it forward, he then helped other vet’s get back on their feet at Catholic Charities MANA House (Marines, Army, Navy, Air Force), a 76-bed transitional living facility for veterans experiencing homelessness in Phoenix. Here, vets rebuild their lives with supportive staff and volunteers.
For 30 years, St. Joseph the Worker has recognized that employment is the first step out of poverty and homelessness. They help individuals search for jobs, coach them for job fit, prepare for and locate transportation to interviews, and transition to life off the street.
Imagine… your gifts to the CDA, combined with the donations of so many others across the Diocese, become blessings for thousands of people all year long. Thank you for participating this year!BACK TO LIST