August means many things but for many it is the “unofficial” end of summer as the school year begins. Catholic Charities has been busy over the summer supporting newly arrived refugees and homeless families that enter our Self-Sufficiency program. Traditionally, we support the children of our families by providing a backpack stuffed with much needed school supplies.
Every parent and grandparent knows how expensive all these supplies can be. From calculators to binders, these items quickly add up! Our families are on a very tight and limited budget, Catholic Charities finds that by providing these needed school supplies, families can focus on paying their other bills and then experience the blessing of sending their children off to school ready to learn with confidence and pride.
We would like to thank St. Jude Thaddeus Parish, Our Lady of Annunciation Parish and the Church of Latter Day Saints (LDS) in Los Lunas for their kindness and generosity. Fr. Tien-Tri Nguyen, Pastor at St. Jude Thaddeus, went out of his way to coordinate the delivery of 70 backpacks directly to Catholic Charities. Their parish youth group, coordinated by Lori Ortiz, helped to collect and sort the needed school items. Our Lady of Annunciation Parish had the Catholic Charities truck on site over the weekend. Parishioners brought school items to Mass over the weekend and loaded up the truck for a special delivery. After receiving a call to support newly arrived refugees, we were contacted by the LDS Church in Los Lunas who wanted to support the back to school drive. With our wish list in hand, the LDS women’s group set out to find the needed items. Last Friday, boxes of school supplies were delivered just in time for our back pack extravaganza.
Our gratitude continues with our amazing volunteers and St. Pius students who helped us to sort, organize and create a special backpack for each child. To learn more about the back to school drive and how to support families in our community, please contact Kathy Freeze, Faith and Community Liaison, at email@example.com or at 505-724-4698.
Free Public Lecture: "Catholics and American Freedom: A Short History" presented by Dr. Kathleen Holscher
Our Center for Self-Sufficiency & Housing Assistance's Rental Assistance Program (RAP) -- which provides case management and rental assistance for those who are behind on rent or are experiencing homelessness -- is opening the phone lines for enrollment on Friday, July 15th.
This program serves Bernalillo or Sandoval County residents that are currently being evicted from their apartments or homeless. Individuals must meet additional qualifying criteria, as outlined in our RAP Program flyer below.
To receive a phone screening, interested individuals should call (505) 724-4611 at 8am (MST) o’clock on July 15th and leave their name and phone number, as clearly as possible, on our answering machine. Within 1 to 2 weeks, our staff will call back for a pre-screening over the phone to determine eligibility.
Join us in solidarity with Catholic Charities USA to support the people of Puerto Rico by urging your Senator to support Puerto Rico debt legislation.
The bill before the Senate represents the best opportunity to give the people of Puerto Rico the space needed to restructure their debts and begin the process of rebuilding their economies. Follow this link to act today: http://bit.ly/puertoricodebt
If you are a parent or guardian of a student who receives free healthy lunches during the school year, learn about the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Summer Food Service Program.
The USDA is working with states across the county to provide nutritional meals to kids and teens during the summer. Meals and snacks are also available to persons with disabilities, over age 18, who participate in school programs for people who are mentally or physically disabled.
Use this map to find a summer meal site in your neighborhood!
Prayer for Rain
ALBUQUERQUE, NM — Archbishop John C. Wester issued the following statement regarding the Dog Head Wildfire affecting portions of Bernalillo and Torrance Counties:
“I pray for all those in harm's way and for all first responders and volunteers fighting the fire. The Archdiocese of Santa Fe joins all in prayer and stands ready to support in any way those who are affected by this emergency.”
For the latest news regarding the fires visit:
· New Mexico Fire Information
· US Forest Service – Cibola National Forest & National Grasslands Facebook
Archbishop John C. Wester Expresses Deepest Sympathy and Profound Condolences Regarding the Orlando Mass Shooting
ALBUQUERQUE, NM – Monday, June 13, 2016-- Archbishop John C. Wester has made the following statement regarding the Orlando shooting:
"On behalf of all of us in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, I express our deepest sympathy and profound condolences on learning of the death of 49 people and more than four dozen more injured in Orlando, Florida. We are all reeling from this senseless, cruel and horrific attack on innocent people, our fellow citizens, our brothers and sisters. We offer our prayerful and sincere support to the family members and friends who are faced with this unimaginable suffering. Once again our country has been grievously wounded by violent hatred and terrorism, a wound felt by all of us and in particular by the gay community. We are earnestly praying for all those who are plunged into such awful suffering. We also recognize that this latest attack on innocent people has nothing to do with any one religion or ethnic group and we pray that the sickness of one individual does not spark further hatred by inappropriately placing blame where it does not belong.
I thank all our pastors, lay leaders and administrators for gathering your communities to pray for those who have died, those who are healing and all of their loved ones. This is certainly a despicable and explicable tragedy and yet we will not shrink from our resolve to find a path to peace that eradicates bigotry, hatred and violence from our world. We remain convinced that the Prince of Peace, our Lord Jesus Christ, will guide us in this endeavor and that one day we will all be united in a bond of love that conquers sin and death. May those who have died rest in peace."
Check out our latest episode of Dignity in the Community, featuring special guest, Sister Joan Brown. She speaks about her work as the Executive Director of NM Interfaith Power & Light, which works with people of all faith communities to care for creation and address climate change.
In our discussion, Sr. Joan highlights the complex and sensitive issue of "climate refugees" as a result of climate change and shares an inspirational story.
"For all of us...our faith is exemplified most radically in our lives and actions, and in what all of us are given to do." - Sr. Joan Brown