By Deacon Charles Rohrbacher – CCHD Diocesan Director
The annual collection for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) is taken up across the country on the Sunday before Thanksgiving. This is quite appropriate, as Thanksgiving is a time each year when we give thanks for all the ways in which our families and our country have received God’s abundant blessings.
It is also a day that throughout the country, we are mindful of all those in our society who, because of poverty, legal status or discrimination, struggle to provide for themselves and their families. In his encyclical, God is Love, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, writing about the virtue of charity and our call as Christians to be in solidarity with all those in need, taught:
“Within the community of believers there can never be room for a poverty that denies anyone what is needed for a dignified life.”
One of the wonderful things about our celebration of Thanksgiving is that communities all over the country go all out to make sure that even the poorest and most marginalized men, women and children in our society are included in the meal that we share. It is a beautiful example every year of solidarity in action.
But what about solidarity the other 364 days of the year?
The work of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development is one of the primary ways in which we, as a national Church, act in solidarity with the poor and the marginalized. CCHD helps the poor in their struggle to overcome the root causes of economic injustice and lift themselves out of the poverty, which affects over 40 million people in our country, many of whom are children.
Throughout the country, CCHD funds projects dedicated to increasing access to housing, strengthening schools, protecting worker rights, creating a more just economy, economic empowerment and job creation. CCHD also works to reform the criminal justice system, defend the rights of immigrants, protect the environment and expanding access to health care.
In our diocese, CCHD has provided grant funding to two anti-poverty initiatives in Sitka. The Sitka Community Land Trust, which is working to add to the stock of affordable housing and the Sitka Food Co-op, a cooperative dedicated to reducing the high cost of food for low-income and other members of the community.
Thank you for your generous gift to the annual collection for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development!