Catholic Charities of Southern Illinois
The Church of Southern Illinois has a long and loving history of seeing people in need and responding to those needs. Throughout the 20th century, many charitable agencies and efforts came into being throughout this Diocese. Some of these initiatives were formally structured and organized, while others came about as parish outreach programs. Various other personal calls to action on the part of many people, priests and religious orders resulted in countless acts of charity, which, although undocumented, surely went neither unseen by God nor unappreciated by those in need.
During the 1990's, the Bishops of the Illinois Dioceses agreed that every diocese should have a Catholic Charities umbrella organization to coordinate the efforts of their various charitable agencies and institutions. The purpose is twofold:
Therefore, during the late 1990's, the Diocese of Belleville began considering how it might bring its many and varied charitable efforts together in a common direction. Since 1999, many caring professionals from various diocesan agencies have come together to offer insight on moving toward a shared vision. Thanks to the Future Full of Hope Campaign, start up funds for an office and a director were secured. A Board of Directors was formed to attend to long term visioning. The Board now also includes a representative from every agency in Catholic Charities. Those agencies are:
The mission of Catholic Charities of Southern Illinois is to reach out in Christian love to the people of Southern Illinois, to assist them with their basic needs, and to foster changes in self and in society that promote justice and human dignity.
This mission of Catholic Charities, approved and adopted by the Board of Directors January 23, 2002, contains three vital components:
We therefore believe in being proactive in ministering both charity and justice, as both are good and necessary in order to live a Christian life. For, there can be no love without justice: If we really love people, then we want all of us to have what is rightfully ours, and for each of us to become all that God intends us to be. If we really love, then we love people in times of crisis and we work together to change structures and systems which are harmful.
Although Catholic Charities is still in its infancy in this Diocese, the agencies and the people ministering to those in need are well-established and credible. Member Agencies support and participate in the process of moving from individual pockets of excellence to coordinated and collaborative ways of working together. Collectively, we strive together to solve today's priorities. As a group, we become aware of unmet needs, which become tomorrow's priorities. Working as one, we serve people in need and raise awareness of social justice issues.
We are not an organization that exists outside of parish life; rather, we are an extension of the love and concern already present in your own parish. We work with and support parishes in their social justice and community outreach, working with kind pastors and concerned neighbors. People who care-about children, about the elderly, about the unborn, about poor people in urban communities, about poor people in rural communities, about the sick, about keeping families together and healthy-caring people of all kinds are needed to work for charity and for justice. The place to begin is in your own parish, and the agencies of Catholic Charities of Southern Illinois are committed to helping you help others help themselves.
Thank you for visiting us today! For more information on accessing assistance, volunteering your time and talent, or making a donation in support of our ministries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org