Everyone is a child of God

In 2010, nearly one in six persons in the U.S. was living in poverty, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In a report release in September 2011 it was noted that 46 million people (15%) now live in poverty in the United States. Sixteen million of our children (almost one out of four) are growing up poor. And the recent unemployment numbers continue to hover above 9 percent nationally and over 13 percent here in Nevada.

These numbers represent real people; they are parents who cannot feed their children, families that have lost their homes and jobless workers who have lost not only income, but also a sense of their place in society.  For us, each of these persons is a child of God with innate human dignity and rights that deserve respect. These numbers bring home to us the human costs and moral consequences of a broken economy that cannot fully utilize the talents, energy and work of all our people.

This is not time to make excuses or place blame.  It is a time for everyone to accept their own personal and institutional responsibility to help create jobs and to overcome poverty, each in accord with their own abilities and opportunities. Individuals and families, faith-based and community groups, businesses and labor, government at every level, all must work together and find effective ways to promote the common good in national and economic life.

Every day, we serve ‘the least of these’ in our midst. In our Catholic parishes, schools, charities, hospitals and other ministries, the poor, the underemployed and the unemployed are not issues, but people with names and faces.  It is an essential part of our work as Catholics to build a more just society and economy.

In these tough economic times, we turn to the God who loves us.  We pray for those who need work.  We lift up the poor and suffering.  We ask God’s guidance for our nation.  This is not a time to give into discouragement.  It is a time for faith, hope and love.  Faith offers us moral principles to guide us in the days ahead.  Christian hope gives us strength.  Christ’s love calls us to care for those left behind in this broken economy.

(Letter to bishops on economic situation, September 15, 2011, USCCB)

About the author: Deacon Chuck

Deacon Chuck was ordained into the permanent diaconate on September 17, 2011, in the ministry of service to the Diocese of Reno and assigned to St. Albert the Great Catholic Community. He currently serves as the parish bulletin editor and website administrator. Deacon Chuck continues to serve the parish of Saint Albert the Great Catholic Community of the Diocese of Reno, Nevada. He is the Director of Adult Faith Formation and Homebound Ministries for the parish, conducts frequent adult faith formation workshops, and is a regular homilist. He currently serves as the bulletin editor for the parish bulletin. He writes a weekly column intended to encompass a broad landscape of thoughts and ideas on matters of theology, faith, morals, teachings of the magisterium and the Catholic Church; they are meant to illuminate, illustrate, and catechize the readers and now number more than 230 articles. His latest endeavor is "Colloqui: A journal for restless minds", a weekly journal of about 8 pages similar in content to bulletin reflections. All his reflections, homilies, commentaries, and Colloqui are posted and can be found on his website: http://deaconscorner.org. Comments are always welcome and appreciated. He is the author of two books: "The Voices of God: hearing God in the silence" which offers the reader insights into how to hear God’s voice through all of the noise that surrounds us; and "Echoes of Love: Effervescent Memories" which through a combination of prose and verse provides the reader with a wonderful journey on the way to discovering forever love. He regularly speaks to groups of all ages and size and would welcome the opportunity to speak to your group.

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