Working Together for God’s People

CityDelegatesThis morning I met with several members of the Baltimore City delegation of the Maryland General Assembly to share with them how the Church is present in Baltimore City and to hear from them how we might work together to address additional unmet needs, especially in West Baltimore.

Almost six months after the unrest of this past spring, the Church continues to provide important services in the areas of healthcare, education, job training, housing, hunger, joblessness, and violence prevention. Catholic parishes, schools, hospitals, and social service agencies are working together to provide these critical services.  They are also working with our government and private sector partners to address the many problems that threaten the human dignity of our sisters and brothers in our city.

I am grateful to our elected officials for their service and their love of our city and to the many outstanding Catholic partners we have who are serving with joyful and faith-filled hearts so many people in need.

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A New Chapel for the Little Sisters

LittleSistersIt was my pleasure to bless and dedicate the newly renovated chapel at St. Martin’s Home for the Aged, which is operated by the Little Sisters of the Poor.  The chapel is the ultimate engine that makes St. Martins Home what St. Jeanne Jugan, Foundress of the Little Sisters, wanted it to be and what it really is.  It is a place of faith, a place of love and a place of hospitality.  The Little Sisters are a tremendous blessing for those they serve with such selfless dedication and joy and to our Church for their staunch, loving and courageous defense of religious liberty in the United States.  I share with them tremendous gratitude to all who supported the renovation of their chapel, which is part of a $25 million renovation that includes the independent living, assisted living and skilled nursing facilities, as well as the sisters’ convent.

Synod on the Family—Stay Informed

SynodFamilyYesterday was Day 7 of the Synod on the Family, which is meeting for much of this month to discuss how the Catholic Church can better support the pastoral needs of Catholic families around the world. There is much to know about the Synod and many places to turn to for updated information on what’s happening in Rome. One comprehensive source for Synod news is Our Sunday Visitor, which has compiled a number of great resources and sites with information and updates. Another is the website of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, which offers basic information about the Synod, as well as prayers and other resources for Catholic families, individuals, and parishes. Please join me in praying the following prayer for those participating in this Synod on the Family:

Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
in you we contemplate
the splendor of true love,
to you we turn with trust. 

Holy Family of Nazareth,
grant that our families too
may be places of communion and prayer,
authentic schools of the Gospel
and small domestic Churches.

Holy Family of Nazareth,
may families never again
experience violence, rejection and division:
may all who have been hurt or scandalized
find ready comfort and healing. 

Holy Family of Nazareth,
may the approaching Synod of Bishops
make us once more mindful
of the sacredness and inviolability of the family,
and its beauty in God’s plan. 

Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
graciously hear our prayer.

Center for Pregnancy Concerns

Pregnancy Center Clothes & ToysI had the pleasure of visiting the Center for Pregnancy Concerns in Essex, Maryland today. This pro-life pregnancy center, which receives support from the Archdiocese but is not a Catholic apostolate, was founded in 1980 to aid women in unplanned pregnancies by providing them with free services and goods. The Center’s mission is “to protect the physical, emotional and spiritual lives of women and their unborn children.” Among the services provided to the women who turn to CPC for assistance in carrying their baby to term, include confidential peer counseling, prenatal development information, and access to ultrasound technology, as administered by a certified nurse sonographer. The Center also provides women with maternity clothing, formula, diapers, clothing, and many other necessities. In short, CPC and similar pro-life pregnancy centers help women choose life! The Center is a true a ministry and a blessing to the women who turn to them with few or no options, and to their unborn children. May God continue to bless the Center and all who work and volunteer there on behalf of life.