At the heart of the Gospel is the command to care for others. Jesus proclaimed, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind” and “you shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37, 39). As part of our Christian duty to love our neighbor, we are called to help those who suffer the bondage of poverty and who do not have access to basic human essentials such as food, clean water, housing and education.
At Cross Catholic Outreach, we collaborate with Catholic bishops around the world in identifying and supporting Catholic missionaries on the front lines of serving the poor. Since our founding 20 years ago, over 100 Catholic bishops in the United States have endorsed our work. In just the past few months, we’re pleased to have gained the support of:
In his letter of support, Cardinal Dolan wrote, “The work of Cross Catholic Outreach, which provides material poverty alleviation in the developing world, is an inspiration and an example of Catholic social teaching actualized.… Your Box of Joy® ministry is especially heartening, as it provides Christmas gifts to children suffering the bondage of poverty in Latin America and the Caribbean.”
“As we approach the fourth annual World Day of the Poor, I am reminded of the work of Cross Catholic Outreach and your mission to hear the cry of the poor,” wrote Archbishop Rozanski of the Archdiocese of St. Louis. “When the Holy Father Pope Francis instituted the World Day of the Poor three years ago, he quoted Psalm 34:6, ‘The poor man cried, and the Lord heard him.’ In accord with Catholic social teaching, Cross Catholic answers the call of serving the poor through collaboration with the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development…. I am pleased to endorse this work of serving the poor who find themselves on the margins of society.”
Archbishop Hartmayer wrote, “The ministry of Cross Catholic Outreach in keeping the plight of the poor in front of the Christian community and supporting Catholic missionaries serving on the front lines is an admirable example of stretching out your hand to the poor in accord with Catholic social teaching.”
Bishop Raica commented, “Your ministry exemplifies the charitable work of the Church, which is so important as we are experiencing a global pandemic. Ministries such as yours offer an opportunity for the laity to engage in works of mercy, responding to the Holy Father’s call to be missionaries and advocates for the poor.”
Writing just months after being appointed the 12th Bishop of Cleveland, Bishop Malesic wrote, “I am pleased to endorse the work of Cross Catholic Outreach for hearing the cry of the poor, and I encourage you to continue efforts to work through Catholic missionaries on the forefront of fighting to alleviate poverty. Be assured of my prayers for you and those who assist you in your work, as well as those on the margins of society.”
For two decades, Cross Catholic Outreach has supported Catholic missionaries around the world under the guidance of our board of directors. Last November, the board elected a new chairman to replace Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi, who stepped down from the role after nearly a decade. Comprised of seven U.S. Catholic bishops, the board elected Bishop Ronald W. Gainer of the Diocese of Harrisburg as the new chairman.
Commenting on his new role, Bishop Gainer said, “My time on the Cross Catholic board of directors has been a rich blessing. It’s heartening to see the love for the poor in the heart of Cross Catholic donors and to see how they are empowering Catholic missionaries all across the world. As Pope Francis often reminds us, we must be a Church that looks outward and takes God’s love to those on the margins of society.”
Born and raised in eastern Pennsylvania, Bishop Gainer was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Allentown in 1973. In 2003, he was appointed bishop of Lexington by Pope John Paul II. He was later appointed bishop of Harrisburg by Pope Francis in 2014.
Archbishop Aymond was voted onto the board on March 18, joining six other U.S. Catholic bishops in providing episcopal oversight to the ministry.
“We’re very pleased to welcome Archbishop Aymond to our board of directors,” said Jim Cavnar, President of Cross Catholic Outreach. “His guidance and leadership will be a wonderful blessing for our ministry as we continue to promote integral human development and community transformation around the world to improve the lives of the poorest of the poor.”
Archbishop Aymond is currently the 14th archbishop of New Orleans. He holds the unique distinction of being the first New Orleans native to serve as archbishop of New Orleans in the 216-year history of the local Church. He also served as bishop of Austin from 2000 to 2009.
Every month (on the 25th)
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.