Option for the Poor and Vulnerable

Catholic Social Teaching

A basic moral test is how our most vulnerable members are faring. In a society marred by deepening divisions between rich and poor, our tradition recalls the story of the Last Judgment (Mt 25:31-46) and instructs us to put the needs of the poor and vulnerable first.

More on Option for the Poor and Vulnerable

Take Action

  • Make a donation to help support the families served by Catholic Charities of Central Florida
  • Volunteer at a Catholic Charities Food Bank
  • Volunteer at a Catholic Charities Homelessness Programs.
  • Learn how you can bring Open Table to your parish. 
  • Students in grades 7-12 are invited to participate in the annual Campaign for Human Development Multi-Media Art Contest
  • Encounter Lent with by supporting the annual Rice Bowl from Catholic Relief Services through prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Donations support hunger globally and locally (25% stays within the Diocese of Orlando)
  • Shop for ethically produced products that support workers, the environment and Catholic Relief Services. Check out the CRS Ethical Shopping Guide for everything from fair trade apparel to home décor.

  • Get your parish, school or university involved by hosting a CRS Ethical Trade event!

  • Participate in the World Day of Poor. Catholic Relief Services has created a parish packet with prayers, homily helps, general intercessions, and a bulletin insert to help parishes learn about and observe the World Day of the Poor.

  • Contact the Culture of Life office to get education materials on Option for the Poor and Vulnerable at CultureOfLife@cflcc.org

How can you encounter Lent?

We are called to build a culture of encounter. Lent is our time to encounter, to cultivate a spirit of global solidarity. CRS Rice Bowl is our tool, Catholic Relief Services‘ Lenten faith-in-action program for families and faith communities, a vehicle through which the stories of communities around the world can be shared, an invitation through which our prayers and Lenten sacrifices can change lives. CRS Rice Bowl is a 40-day journey, a journey of encounter with ourselves, our neighbors and our God.

  • Prayer – we encounter Christ, present in the faces of every member of our human family, so often still walking that long road to Calvary.
  • Fasting – we encounter our own obstacles, those things about ourselves that prevent us from loving God and neighbor.
  • Almsgiving – we encounter our brothers and sisters around the world, asking what we can give up so that others might have life to the fullest.

Catholic Campaign for Human Development

The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) is an instrument of the Catholic Church working to carry out the mission of Jesus Christ, “… to bring good news to the poor … release to captives … sight to the blind, and let the oppressed go free.” (Luke 4:18). It is “the domestic anti-poverty, social justice program of the U.S. Catholic bishops. Its mission is to address the root causes of poverty in America through promotion and support of community-controlled, self-help organizations and through transformative education.” – United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Each year, CCHD hosts a Multimedia Youth Contest to engage young people in grades 7-12 in learning about poverty in the U.S., its root causes, and faith-inspired efforts to address poverty, especially through CCHD.

In 2016, students in the Diocese of Orlando won second place in the 7-9th Grade Category for their piece called “Roots of Poverty” created by eighth graders Isabella Mendez, Regan Ritchey and Laysha Santillan-Perez from St. James Cathedral School. Their teacher was Ms. Susan Fay.