Come, you who are blessed by my Father.
Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world
My Sisters and Brothers in Christ:
During our journey through the pandemic, what has God taught us? He has taught us about the treasure of each other. When the hurricanes and floods came, what is it that the people cling to? Their families, their neighbors. When the building collapsed in Miami, what is it that the search teams sought? Not things, but people. Jesus teaches us we are valuable, in and of ourselves because we are of God. We are the imprint of His being.
Knowing this we come before the Lord in the Sacrament of the Eucharist and receive Him to become His Presence on the earth, to be His blessing. Everything we have then is a blessing from God, from our rising to our sleep, we return to God what He has given to us in every measure.
Catholic Charities of Central Florida is an organization within the Diocese of Orlando whose staff leads us to live out God’s blessing. We use our time or our resources to help the poor for we are His mercy every day. We minister to and pray with parents in crisis pregnancies because we bring God’s compassion to them. We open our doors to those who have no homes just as we would welcome Joseph and Mary as they sought shelter to deliver Emmanuel into the world. We offer the salve of healing words to the stranger as we encounter Jesus. We counsel those who are lost and care medically for the forsaken. We are the body of Christ as we immerse God’s people with holiness.
During the pandemic, the staff of Catholic Charities of Central Florida asked God how to flourish this gift of COVID-19 and let their creative abilities offer God’s goodness. When the pandemic first arrived, many people were confused and needed counseling. Catholic Charities of Central Florida opened their doors to assist those who needed a listening ear. Father Anthony Aarons, Catholic Charities of Central Florida chaplain, listened to the staff’s voiced concerns for the people of God and assisted also with many inquiries.
While we waited in our homes for a safe return to our daily routine, Catholic Charities of Central Florida leadership garnered staff and volunteers to offer food to those in need and the need grew four times what it had been. Their harmonization with other ministries and reliance upon your good will allowed them to meet this need. God gave us an experience of feeding the 5,000 and still, there was some left over for the next crowd.
Theirs is not judgment, but a voice for the Word of God. Their advocacy for the Culture of Life did not stand quiet during the pandemic. The staff spent their time reinstating Project Rachel and began planning retreats for those who were suffering loss because of a previous abortion and prayed with them for their healing. Their work with our legislators preserves life from conception through natural death. They unite families who were separated because of economic loss or persecution.
As the effects of the pandemic simmer, the physical needs of the people of God are ever constant and ever changing. Catholic Charities of Central Florida staff continue to meet these needs with your help. During the weekend of November 20-21, I ask that you offer financial support to Catholic Charities of Central Florida for the annual collection. As we are called to “Come”, let us do so with salvific love that all might know the beauty of the body of Christ. May we be worthy to inherit the kingdom.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend John Noonan
Bishop of Orlando