THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR A GOOD SUBSTITUTE
You’ve had a family emergency and must leave your parish immediately. Your bishop requires your presence at an urgent meeting. You have been asked to make an important presentation at a Catholic conference hundreds of miles away. Or perhaps you’d just like to get away for that long overdue vacation — at last! Finding a substitute to fulfill your parish duties for these and similar situations can be a challenge. One safe and reliable solution for you is to host a Cross Catholic Outreach Priest to handle your responsibilities during your absence. Outreach Priests are ordained Roman Catholic priests in good standing who are qualified to celebrate Mass, hear confessions and administer all other sacraments. They are Virtus/Child Protection certified, and many are bilingual. They are selected by Cross Catholic Outreach for their skills as homilists, fluent English speakers, and they are always careful to accommodate parish customs and preferences during their visits. They preach on the readings of the given Sunday as well as about the ministry. Perhaps most appealing of all, they do not charge a fee or take a second collection.
CROSS CATHOLIC OUTREACH
Outreach Priests are sponsored by Cross Catholic Outreach, an official Catholic non-profit [501 (c)(3)] relief and development organization that in its 16 years of existence has given more than $1 billion of aid to help “the poorest of the poor” in more than 70 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean and other parts of the world. Cross Catholic Outreach has also collaborated with the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, which served as the Holy Father’s practical instrument to carry out special initiatives for humanitarian disaster relief and for integral human promotion. Through this 14-year relationship, Cross Catholic Outreach has served the poor with over $7,500,000 in aid. In 2017, Cor Unum was merged into the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development under its Prefect, Cardinal Peter Kodwo Turkson and Cross Catholic Outreach continues to support the charitable works of the Holy Father through this agency.
In order to help alleviate global poverty and promote integral human development, Cross Catholic partners with parishes and Catholic ministries in developing countries where bishops, priests, nuns and lay leaders have committed their lives to helping families in need. Their service produces wonderful benefits for impoverished communities, including food, water, medical care, homes, educational opportunities and programs promoting self-sufficiency, lifting individuals and families out of poverty. In the process, these families experience the sustaining power of Christ’s love. Since these faithful Catholic servants work with humility in remote locations, their stories are rarely heard and few Catholics know about their positive and inspiring outreach.
Cross Catholic’s Outreach Priests can share these stories with your parishioners while providing the sacramental needs of your parish during an absence. Of course, one of their goals is to motivate greater generosity toward the poor and greater support of those serving impoverished families overseas through their project partners. In this way, they share the Gospel, and through it, the message of charitable work. While no collection is taken during the parish visit, informational brochures are distributed so that parishioners may learn more about the global outreach of the Church and thus invite individuals to accompany Cross Catholic Outreach in this mission.