Scripture makes an urgent appeal on behalf of the poor, and at Cross Catholic Outreach, we work hard to support that mission by empowering the many dedicated Catholic ministries that bring hope to the suffering in our world. Far too many families remain in bondage of poverty, so we also make every effort to share the challenges and successes of Catholic missions overseas, in the hope that greater awareness will stir a deeper level of compassion and add many more supporters to this important cause.
In our mission, we work with bishops around the world and we are deeply grateful for the support of the many U.S. Catholic bishops who continue to bless and encourage us in this effort. In the past few months alone, nine bishops have written to show their support. Washington, D.C.’s new archbishop, Most Rev. Wilton D. Gregory, in his endorsement letter wrote, “The work of Cross Catholic Outreach continues to be an instrument of God’s grace. With your focus on helping the poor through Catholic missionaries throughout the world, you are fulfilling the call of Pope Francis to remember those who are poor and show them the love of God.”
Archbishop Gregory went on to say, “I am pleased to endorse Cross Catholic and I am especially encouraged by your new partnership with Populorum Progressio Foundation and your continued collaboration with the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development under the leadership of His Eminence Peter Cardinal Turkson.”
Bishop Oscar Cantú of San Jose wrote, “I am happy to endorse the mission of Cross Catholic Outreach. I pray for the continued growth of your ministry so that you will be able to expand your outreach through Catholic missionaries around the world.” Bishop Cantú also supported our work earlier, during his time as Bishop of the Diocese of Las Cruces in New Mexico.
Cross Catholic Outreach formed a special bond with the Diocese of Pensacola- Tallahassee by providing financial support to recovery efforts after last year’s devastating Hurricane Michael. “You are the heart and hands of the Catholic Church in the United States with your ministry to the poorest of the poor worldwide,” wrote Bishop William Wack of the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee. “I thank you for the outreach to the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee during the devastation suffered last year from the effects of Hurricane Michael. You were one of the first to respond to the needs of the Panhandle communities of Northwest Florida.
The missionary service offered by Cross Catholic during that difficult time in our diocese will not be forgotten. I pray that the endeavors of Cross Catholic are fruitful and the Lord grant much success in your efforts to help others both here and in other countries.
Bishop Roger J. Foys of the Diocese of Covington wrote, “I wish to commend you for the work your organization does in feeding the hungry, caring for the sick, and providing spiritual development programs.”
Bishop Michael G. Duca of Baton Rouge put the topic of supporting the work of Cross Catholic to a vote of his Presbyteral Council. In a letter dated July 29, 2019, Bishop Duca wrote to inform us “the membership [of the Presbyteral Council of the Diocese of Baton Rouge] voted to endorse our important work of helping the poor.”
Helping the poor is a command found in the Gospel, and our Catholic Social Teaching tells us we are to perform both corporal and spiritual works of mercy,” wrote Bishop George V. Murry of Youngstown. He went on to write, “I am pleased to endorse your work of feeding the poor in the developing world and providing them with other forms of support including housing, clean water, medicines and educational programs. It is especially good to know your work through Catholic missionaries includes a spiritual component as well.”
Echoing that sentiment, Bishop Michael J. Hoeppner from the Diocese of Crookston wrote, “I appreciate the good works done by Cross Catholic Outreach in helping the poorest of the poor in the developing world by providing them with medicines, food and other relief supplies. I join with my brother bishops in encouraging the donation of medical supplies and food from corporate donors so that you can continue supporting Catholic missionaries around the world.”
Bishop Mark Spalding of Nashville wrote, “the plight of the poor should be close to the heart of all Christians as Pope Francis has reminded us on many occasions. I’m pleased to endorse Cross Catholic Outreach and your mission of providing the Corporal Works of Mercy to those most in need.”
Cleveland Bishop Nelson J. Perez wrote, “Your effective charity… is a reminder to us in the richest locations in the world to never forget our responsibility to be a Missionary Church.”
For nearly two decades, Cross Catholic Outreach has been playing an important role in the development and expansion of Catholic missions in developing countries, and its track record for success is evident. Now, as the ministry begins its next stage of growth, even larger and more extensive projects are being planned that will transform lives in entire towns and regions. This strategy of community transformation through integral human development will be the next major thrust of the ministry.
As Cross Catholic Outreach continues to share its plans and progress with Catholic bishops and parishes throughout the U.S., it will continue to rely on the source of its original inspiration — Scripture’s urgent appeals on behalf of the poor.