Fighting Global Poverty Through Integral Human Development

Father Raúl Monterroso leads a family in prayer outside their new home in Guatemala’s Diocese of Santa Rosa de Lima.
Father Raúl Monterroso leads a family in prayer outside their new home in Guatemala’s Diocese of Santa Rosa de Lima.

Cross Catholic Outreach to Build 107 Homes in Guatemala

For two decades, Cross Catholic Outreach has been fighting global poverty through integral human development, an approach that addresses both material and spiritual needs. This strategy has been incredibly successful and has helped Catholic missions worldwide transform lives, families and communities. 

One of the countries benefiting from this approach is Guatemala, where one in four people earns less than $3.20 per day and nearly 60% of families have fallen below the country’s poverty line. In the Diocese of Santa Rosa de Lima, for example, even the homes children grow up in perpetuate poverty, because the living conditions are unsafe, unsanitary and rob families of hope. Visit the area and you will find entire communities of broken-down dwellings cobbled together with sticks, scrap metal and bits of plastic. Virtually all of these houses have leaky roofs, and when it rains, beds are soaked and the floors turn to mud.

Facing these challenges, poor families can feel like they are in a struggle for survival.

Thankfully, Fr. Raúl is on a mission to transform lives and shepherd their souls to heaven. His life-changing Caritas Santa Rosa ministry works tirelessly to bless children and families with physical and spiritual sustenance, delivering Christ’s mercy and love to the most impoverished corners of the diocese. Through his ministry’s partnership with Cross Catholic Outreach, Fr. Raúl has already made a profound impact, but he knows there is much more to do to lift up the poor. Commenting on how the Lord is moving U.S. Catholics to transform lives in Guatemala, Fr. Raúl said, “For me, faith and hope represent believing in something much more beautiful — in a God who will never abandon us, a God who is always by our side and who changes our hearts.”

This Advent season, Cross Catholic Outreach is partnering with U.S. parishes to sponsor the construction of 107 homes in the Diocese of Santa Rosa de Lima. Learn more about this mission at CrossCatholic.org/Advent.

5th Annual World Day for the Poor

“The poor you will always have with you!”

Pope Francis selected these powerful words — spoken by Jesus in the Gospel of Mark (14:7) — as the theme for this year’s World Day for the Poor. This year’s event, held on the Thirty-Third Sunday of Ordinary Time (Nov. 14), will be the fifth observation of World Day of the Poor, established by Pope Francis to focus our love on the cries of those in need.

In his message for this year’s event, Pope Francis writes: “The poor, always and everywhere, evangelize us, because they enable us to discover in new ways the true face of the Father […] Jesus not only sides with the poor; he also shares their lot. This is a powerful lesson for his disciples in every age. This is the meaning of his observation that ‘the poor you will always have with you.’ The poor will always be with us, yet that should not make us indifferent, but summon us instead to a mutual sharing of life that does not allow proxies. The poor are not people ‘outside’ our communities, but brothers and sisters whose sufferings we should share, in an effort to alleviate their difficulties and marginalization, restore their lost dignity and ensure their necessary social inclusion.” 

Summing up his hopes, Pope Francis concluded, “It is my hope that the celebration of the World Day of the Poor will grow in our local Churches and inspire a movement of evangelization that meets the poor personally wherever they may be. We cannot wait for the poor to knock on our door; we need urgently to reach them in their homes, in hospitals and nursing homes, on the streets and in the dark corners where they sometimes hide.”

Proceeds from this campaign will be used to cover any expenditures incurred through June 30, 2022, the close of our ministry’s fiscal year. In the event that more funds are raised than needed to fully fund the project, the excess funds, if any, will be used to meet the most urgent needs of the ministry.