Matthew 25 Partnership at Catholic Charities

Have you ever had a project that began with laying a foundation?  If you have, then you know how important it is to place each stone or brick in a way that, when used together, will support your project.  Alone they won’t be the foundation needed, but all of them together can build the lasting foundation you hope for. That was what Executive Director Jean Dresley and the Catholic Charities board of directors intended when they launched the Matthew 25 Partnership last year. It is that monthly commitment, the bricks that support all six programs of assistance of Catholic Charities of North Louisiana, they had in mind. The message of Matthew 25 resounded with each of them and is the impetus for this important initiative.

At his weekly address on August 6, Pope Francis asked that we as Christians remember the beatitudes and *“impress them on our hearts.” He also reminded us that living our Christianity requires us to follow Jesus’s teachings as directed in Matthew 25.  “At the end of the world, we will be judged and what will the questions be that the judge will ask? They are listed in Matthew 25: 35-36: Did you feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, welcome the stranger, clothe the naked, care for the sick and visit the prisoner?  Living according to the beatitudes and the criteria listed in Matthew 25 should fill each Christian with joy because together they make our Christian life a beautiful and credible witness to the love of God for all the brothers and sisters we meet each day.”

When our doorbell rings at Catholic Charities and we greet an individual or family that has come to us seeking our help, we understand that God has brought us another opportunity to live Matthew 25!  The poor are accustomed to being shuffled about, ignored or mistreated and often they accept those conditions because they feel they have no choice. We see their faces full of anxiety and desperation and know the simple act of listening is important, but along with listening, we understand the significance of following the Matthew 25 teachings in everything we do for the most vulnerable among us. That is our ultimate goal and we do that by offering education to move people forward toward a life less filled with crisis and stress, one in which they have shelter, clothing, food and other basic needs met. We do it by teaching them how to budget income, how to care for their infants and small children, how to prepare healthy affordable meals for their family. We help them learn English and assist with the paperwork necessary to live and work in this country. Ultimately, all our programs and all the assistance we give measures up to these reminders made so clear in Matthew 25.

We ask that you prayerfully consider becoming a partner with us in this work and join Matthew 25.  You can learn more on our web site, or by calling 318-865-0200.

*Catholic News Service August 2014

by Theresa Mormino, Catholic Charities of NLA

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