Good timing: Catholic Charities Sunday focuses on strengthening, supporting families Print
Written by Mary Uhler   
Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014 -- 12:00 AM

Talk about good timing: we just watched the conclusion of the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family and this weekend we will observe Catholic Charities Sunday in the Diocese of Madison.

The bishops and Pope Francis — along with a number of married couples and other observers — spent two weeks in Rome discussing pastoral challenges facing the family in the context of evangelization. They talked openly about many issues involving families today.

Final message of bishops

In their final message at the conclusion of the synod, the bishops said that we must remember to practice charity by being near “to those who are last, marginalized, poor, lonely, sick, strangers, and families in crisis.”

They reminded us of the Lord’s words, “It is more blessed to give them to receive” (Acts 20:35). They mentioned that Christians should give gifts of goods, fellowship, love, and mercy and be witnesses “to the truth, to light, and to the meaning of life.”

This extraordinary synod is just the beginning of a year of preparation for the “ordinary synod” to be held October 4 to 25, 2015, which will continue the discussion on pastoral approaches to the challenges facing families. Prior to that synod in 2015, there will be a World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia in September. It will serve as a forum for debating issues on the agenda for the synod in October.

The work of Catholic Charities

In the meantime, we can clearly see that the staff members and volunteers working with Catholic Charities across the country and in our own diocese are already fulfilling the extraordinary synod’s call to practice charity and to help all those in need, including families.

As we observe Catholic Charities Sunday on Oct. 26, this is an opportunity to call attention to the wonderful work being done by Catholic Charities, which is celebrating 68 years of service to those in need in the Diocese of Madison.

As Bishop Robert C. Morlino reminds us in his letter for Catholic Charities Sunday,  “Catholic Charities exists to demonstrate Christ’s charity and truth by caring in faith for the human family.”

Catholic Charities serves more than 25,000 people each year through over 35 programs and services.

Helping families and children

Elderly persons in our families are strengthened through such programs as the Adult Day Health Center in Madison, the All Saints Neighborhood, caregiver training, companions and mentors, and respite care.

Catholic Charities helps individuals and families through its alcohol and drug treatment program, developmental disability services, marital and individual counseling, and its mobile food pantries.

Children are nurtured through Catholic Charities’ adoption program, autism specialists, and mental health and school counseling. Counseling focuses on such matters as parent-child issues, communication skills, parenting skills, conflict resolution, and problem solving.

The testimony of one adoptive parent shows how people appreciate Catholic Charities: “We are so thankful to the staff at Catholic Charities for helping us grow our family. We appreciate the hard work, friendliness, and strong communication you’ve all demonstrated. Mostly, we appreciate your compassion for all involved. Thank you!”

How we can help

We can all help support the work that Catholic Charities does to strengthen families. Volunteers and donations are always welcome.

Volunteers are currently needed in the aging and developmental disability programs in both the Madison and Janesville areas. Consider becoming an event sponsor for the annual Golf Event and/or the annual Faith in Action Celebration dinner.

For more information call 608-821-3100 or go to the website at You can also follow Catholic Charities on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube.