The awesome power to change lives rests with you


With one act of charity, you can support an effort that will make a real difference in the lives of more than 200,000 Rhode Islanders.

Since 1925, the Catholic Charity Fund, through the generosity of faithful Catholics like you, has provided desperately needed resources to support countless charitable acts throughout Rhode Island.

The mission of the Charity Fund is simple yet profound at a time in which many find themselves turning to the Church for basic assistance: To teach God's truth, to love our neighbor and to serve with grateful hearts. Through 39 ministries and programs guided by selfless clergy and laity, the Charity Fund is a critical helping hand to those in often-desperate need of human and spiritual assistance.

Last year alone, 45,700 youth were served though parish youth ministry programs; 43,528 individuals were assisted in homes for the aged, chronically ill or invalids; there were 15,000 referrals for elder services; 2,500 of the physically challenged received liturgy and advocacy; 1,565 low-income children were able to attend Mother of Hope Day Camp; 1,000 people were helped through the AIDS Ministry; 996 couples received marriage preparation counseling; 350 individuals and families received adoption assistance; 208 developmentally disabled received special religious education. The fund helps people in every one of our state's 39 cities and towns, whether through Catholic schools tuition assistance, housing help, soup kitchens, elder care, religious education and so much more. Beginning with the March 29 edition, and continuing indefinitely, The Providence Visitor is giving a face to those whose lives are changed and enriched by you through the Charity Fund. In many instances, we believe, their faith is also deepened or even renewed.

Interestingly, a poll released this week by LeMoyne College and Zogby International on Catholic trends indicates that 59 percent of all Catholics believe religion does not currently have enough influence in public life. One significant way to change that is by reaching out to our neighbors in need and, sadly, that need has never been greater than in this, the 83rd year of the Catholic Charity Fund Appeal in the Diocese of Providence.

The Gospel calls us to be the "eyes and hands of Christ." Indeed, our Saviour has clearly told us that what we do to and for our brothers and sisters, we do to and for Him.

This year's goal is $7.85 million. Please give generously. We leave our faith communities empowered by the Eucharist to spread the good news of Jesus Christ: Our God is a living God, and we are an Easter people!

(This editorial originally appeared in The Providence Visitor)