Respect for Life

A Reflection on Respect Life Month by Gary Tester, Executive Director Have you ever watched the news and said how can things be this bad, or, is it possible that the problems and violence of the world could get any worse? This is exactly what the Prophet Habakkuk says, “How long, O Lord? I cry for help but you do not listen!” (Habakkuk 1:2) The prophets of the Old Testament, like those of us in today’s culture, continue to ask the eternal question of why do bad things continue to happen. As God informs Habakkuk, he has a “vision” and plan for good and wholeness for the entire human family. Through God’s mercy on a sinful and broken world, we ...
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Give a Gift of Hope this Mother’s Day!

Imagine being a mother who can’t feed her child. She goes into the kitchen and realizes that there is nothing in the cupboard or in the refrigerator of nutritional substance. This mom is trying to keep a roof over her family’s head, and keep the lights on, and her budget only stretches so far. In the nine counties we serve, there are over 665,000 people who face food insecurity each year and more than 228,000 of them are children. Through no fault of their own, these children are facing the ravages of hunger. With your help, we can make sure that no child goes hungry. With your help last year the hunger relief services of Catholic Charities of Central Florida ...
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The Joy of Love

A Reflection on Pope Francis' Apostolic Exhortation on "The Joy of Love" by Gary Tester, Executive Director Pope Francis recently released a letter to families and those who minister to families called: “The Joy of Love.” In this document, Pope Francis affirms Church teaching that stable families are the building blocks of a healthy society and a place where children learn to love, respect and interact with others. At the same time, Pope Francis urges Catholics to care for, rather than condemn, all those whose lives do not reflect the teaching of the Church. When it comes to families living in poverty, he urges us to stretch our merciful hearts to provide the healing power of grace and the light ...
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Open Arms

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A Gospel Reflection for the Fourth Sunday of Lent by Gary Tester, Executive Director As I read today’s Gospel about the Prodigal Son I recognize that I’ve often thought how the love of the father in this story is so beautifully portrayed. We read nothing about harsh words when his younger son seeks his inheritance to go and see the world. We read nothing about the father venting hard feelings to his older son or anyone else. What we do read is that the father watches for his younger son to return and is overcome with love when he views him from afar. Those open arms mean everything. I think that is what I’ve quickly come to love and appreciate ...
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Catholic Charities is a Doorway to Mercy

In a reflection taken from “Through the Year with Pope Francis”, our beloved Holy Father states that the Church must be a place of mercy. As a part of the Diocese of Orlando, Catholic Charities of Central Florida must be, and is, a place of mercy. Coming through our doors, our guests must feel welcomed, loved, cared for and encouraged. People who enter are in great need of the love of God, consolation and hope. It is our privilege to be an instrument of mercy and we learn much from the poor who have experienced suffering as our Lord Jesus Christ experienced suffering. For some of us, we have walked in the footsteps of those we serve, whether experiencing hunger, ...
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Thank You Day

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We are thankful for you - our donors and volunteers - who make our mission possible. You sacrifice your time and treasure to make this ministry of charity possible. We thank you for the many ways you hear the cry of the poor and provide a compassionate response. You offer hope to God’s holy people through services which physically sustain individuals and families so that their hearts are touched by God’s steadfast love. The doorway into Catholic Charities is a door of mercy. People who enter are in great need of the love of God, consolation and hope. It is our privilege to be an instrument of mercy and we learn much from the poor who have experienced suffering as ...
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