During Advent, preparations for Christmas and the numerous end-of-year stresses at work and school often collude to narrow our focus on ourselves and our immediate tasks at hand. Immersed in demands on our time and energy, we easily sacrifice the global perspective that fosters our awareness of the interconnectedness of the human community and the countless hardships faced daily by the less fortunate. In the season leading up to the celebration of the birth of our Savior, it is important to recall that Joseph and Mary were in essence poor refugees, cut off from their livelihood and homeland, forced to flee the monstrosities of an inhumane government and become "displaced people" in order to give their unborn child, our Savior, a chance to survive.
Advent reminds us that hope is on the way, in the coming of our Lord and in the ways we reach out to our fellow humans each day. Below you will find links to some of the most prominent Catholic charities. Their tireless work, in bringing aid to desperate communities and fighting for social justice, continues each day during this holy season and every day, year-round. Explore these organizations and their missions this Advent. Discover ways you can immediately contribute to a local, national, or international cause. Let your gratitude for the blessings in your life transform you into a messenger of the hope that Jesus promises to all.
Catholic Relief Services
The official international relief and development agency of the U.S. Catholic community.
Catholic Charities USA
This highly-recognized Catholic social justice/charity organization provides social services to millions of needy Americans.
The Catholic Worker
Started by Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin in 1933, the Catholic Worker Movement maintains 185 communities through the U.S. and abroad "committed to nonviolence, voluntary poverty, prayer, and hospitality for the homeless, exiled, hungry, and foresaken."
The Cristo Rey Network
The national association of Jesuit high schools that provides "quality, Catholic, college preparatory education to urban young people who live in communities with limited educational options."
St. Vincent DePaul national organization
The national organizational Web site for the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.
A Catholic social justice lobby run by religious sisters in Washington, D.C.
A confederation of 162 Catholic relief, development and social service organizations working to build a better world, especially for the poor and oppressed, in over 200 countries and territories.
Pax Christi USA
The national section of Pax Christi International, the Catholic peace movement.