Two priests in front of a church

Messages of Mercy

Sharing the stories of the poor

Outreach Priests are an important part of the Cross Catholic Outreach ministry. Each weekend, they travel to parishes throughout the United States to assist parish priests with coverage while delivering inspiring mission-oriented messages, increasing parishioner engagement and deepening faith.

Outreach Priests share stories of faithful Catholic servants working in remote locations around the world transforming individuals and communities, while also providing the sacramental needs of a parish for mission-specific weekends, parish missions, special events, or during a pastor’s absence. One of their goals is to motivate greater generosity toward the poor and greater support of Cross Catholic Outreach project partners serving impoverished families overseas. In this way, they share the Gospel, and through it, the message of charitable work.

Here are a few links to some recent Cross Catholic Outreach Priests’ visits:

Homilies from the Fifth Sunday of Lent

Sts. Simon and Jude, The Woodlands, TX

Lent is a time of prayer – we are invited to pray more than before. We heard Jesus himself in the Gospel, leading by example – even though he was the Son of God, he was praying to his Father; prayer brings us closer to God our Father. Lent is also a time of conversion; we are invited to change our lives, to drive away evil in our lives, to make room for the Holy Spirit to dwell within us so that we can become the channel of Jesus’ blessings and Jesus’ graces to our loved ones and the people that God put in our way.

Listen to More Homilies from the Fifth Sunday of Lent

Guardian Angels, Oakdale, MN

St. Anthony of Padua, Park Falls, WI

Invite an Outreach Priest to Your Parish

Interested in hearing the message of mercy from a Cross Catholic Outreach Priest? Here are a few upcoming dates and parishes where you can hear the stories of the poor:

April 10-11 St. Anthony of Padua New York NY Fr. Bernard Olszewski
April 10-11 St. Ignatius Martyr Austin TX Fr. Frank Iacona
April 10-11 St. Pius X Norfolk VA Fr. Richard Kunzman
April 17-18 Sacred Heart Warsaw IN Fr. Pascal Kumanda
April 17-18 St. Theresa Tiverton RI Fr. “Mac” McLaughlin
April 17-18 St. Brigid Millbury MA Fr. Theophilus Okpara

Homilies from the Fourth Sunday of Lent

Church of St. Rose of Lima, Roseville, MN

St. Francis of Assisi: “It is in giving that we receive. It is in our generosity that we find out what our heart really is.”

Listen to More Homilies from the Fourth Sunday of Lent

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Bakersfield, CA

St. Patrick, LaSalle, IL (The Catholic Parishes of LaSalle)

Homilies from the Third Sunday of Lent

Most Holy Trinity, Fowler, MI

“In the flesh of the poor man on the streets of Chicago, the hidden presence of God in the poor was disclosed to me. I had seen, I had served and I had done “this” in memory of Jesus.”

Listen to More Homilies from the Third Sunday of Lent

St. Joseph & St. Patrick, Pascoag, RI

Our Lady of the Assumption, Strafford, PA

Most Holy Redeemer, Montgomery, MN

Homilies from the Second Sunday of Lent

Our Lady of Peace, Stratford, CT

“Cross Catholic Outreach begins with a simple idea; If you want to know what the poor need… ask them. And then ask for ways to meet those needs.”

Listen to More Homilies from the Second Sunday of Lent

St. Francis of Assisi, Lenoir, NC

St. John Vianney & Holy Family, Fairmont, MN

St. Patrick, North Platte, NE

SS. Peter and Paul, Easton, MD

St. John the Apostle, Monahans, TX

Holy Family, Galveston, TX

Homily from the First Sunday of Lent

St. Mary of the Purification, Houston, TX

An excerpt from homily by Fr. Alan Bower: Cross Catholic Outreach’s focus is to attend to our suffering brothers and sisters in Christ – the poorest of the poor. To enrich them materially and spiritually.

A distinctive quality of Cross Catholic Outreach is we approach the mission work quite differently than just about anyone else. Most put a Band-Aid on the problem. They don’t really work to correct it and to transform it.

You’ve probably heard of people who have gone on a mission trip and talk about building a health care clinic in a developing country and then go home. Certainly a wonderful gesture but sadly the untold story is these ventures typically end in failure in within the first year.

These fail for two simple reasons — first, people who intend to do good did not understand or appreciate how uneducated these people are. They don’t have the where-with-all to take care of what’s been given to them. And the second obvious reason is they do not have the financial resources to maintain and sustain it, so it dies a quick natural death.

Cross Catholic Outreach works with the local bishop who helps us identify the neediest parts of his diocese. Then we enter into a dialog with his missionaries, his good priests, his deacons, religious sisters and Catholic lay leaders and we work to develop a plan of action that will span the course of years.

Homily from the Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

St. Francis Xavier Cabrini, Savannah,GA

This pandemic has given to all of us an idea of what those people go through in third world countries. How they fear the next day. Will there be food? Will there be water? We get a lot of introspection since the beginning of this pandemic. Some people sat home and were just filled with fear. I won’t go out! I won’t speak to anyone! But then then destroyed their own self because they were like Job – unable to see that this too will pass if we are smart and if we are faithful. To all the viewers at home, we have to always remember that we are in the world but of God. We are connected to all Catholics everywhere who are in this great time of challenge. Our poor brothers and sisters are in it all the time day in and day out. $25 to us is something we cherish, but, to our poor brothers and sisters, it is like gold.

Homily from the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

St. Joseph, Leitchfield, KY

A beautiful story from Fr. Robert Sherry’s homily – When I was in Central America a couple years ago on a mission trip with Cross Catholic Outreach, we went to a place where Cross Catholic had just built 11 homes. Eleven of us priests were on this mission trip pilgrimage to this little town and they had us 11 priests gathered together in this little chapel before we had to meet all the people of this little community. I was so impressed! The priest there had 35 parishes there he had to serve. This was just one of them where he met us that day.

When we met the people from this little town who just had the new house built for them – it was one of the most memorable meetings of my life because these people who received these new houses – I’ve never met people who’ve been so grateful for something. They came up and hugged and kissed us priests. You know they treated us like we had paid for these houses and built them ourselves. They were just so grateful! It’s amazing! And part of it might be they were grateful people for anything because they were so poor.

One man said “Father, you gotta come see my house!” So we walked down the trail, and compared to the houses they had been living in, and some people were still living in the cardboard shacks and whatever else they could put together to make their houses, and when it rained, the floor would become mud or if it was windy, the cardboard walls would fall over – but when we got to this guy’s house, it and was smaller than the size of a 2-car garage – he was just beaming with pride! “I’m a dad now and providing for my family through Cross Catholic Outreach’s help.” Then he explained how all 15 in his family was using this new home smaller than a garage. It’s just amazing. So grateful! To feel like human beings instead of living like animals in the woods.

The happiest people I know are the most generous people I know. What does the Lord say to us? Whatever you have done for the least of my brothers and sisters, you have done for me.

Homily from the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

St. John Neumann, Canton, MI

We have been given a mission. It’s an amazing mission! It’s a mission to renew the face of the entire world.

This week’s first reading from Jonah and then in the Gospel of Mark, both have a message. And the message is meant for people who do not come to church. So here’s the message today I hear … Change! One thing God is for sure doing is changing all the time. He called Jonah to change his way. And he called Simon and Andrew and Peter, John and James to change their way. So he’s all about change. Have you ever felt like he changed things in your life? Well, why are you wearing a mask? Change! God is changing. Are we willing to change for God? Now the message is meant for people who do not come to church. So, who are the messengers? Good morning! Hello! Here we are! We’re all the messengers. That’s why we are confirmed. We are the ones to teach others how to know better. Because until they know better, they can’t change.

Pope St. John Paul II said in the year 2000, a generation ago, that US bishops, I want you to now change the way you’re caring for the poorest of the poor. I have found the cause of violence (back in the year 2000) is poverty. Now poverty has has 3 faces — one is physical and we all know what you’re doing for that and we really appreciate bread for the world and all the ways you care for the poor. Mental poverty – that’s education so people can learn how to reflect before they react. They can ask the question why before they ask how. The deepest and third poverty is spiritual poverty. Spiritual poverty is when I don’t know how to forgive or I don’t know forgiving is the response to violence. So I want you to build the church among the poorest of the poorest countries where they have no social security, and I want you to work in every country you are in currently, and I want you to do in 20 years and by the year 2040, all the countries that are currently depending upon the US will be able to be self-sufficient. And so that’s when Cross Catholic Outreach was created.

Homily from the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Lubbock, TX

Are we aware we have been called by God to belong to him — to take him to the world — to live in this world in such a beautiful way that the people may see Jesus Christ in each one of us? We are not baptized people because our parents are Catholics or the home I grew up in was Catholic. There is somebody behind all those things telling us “come to me, belong to me, show me to the world.” Jesus called us! And our mission in this world is through our way of being that the people may see in each one of us, you, how Jesus is.

Homily from the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

Holy Spirit, Indianapolis, IN

Hospitality is a biblical virtue. Thank you for welcoming me in your midst. I leave you with a blessing … May the poor whose lives you have touched and changed be the first people to greet you at the hour of your death. May they sing and dance with you all the way to the throne of God and may you hear the voice of your Savior “Well done good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Lord. Amen!”

Homily from Epiphany Sunday

St. Martin of Tours, La Mesa, CA

As a special treat for the new year, Fr. James Quinlan, Cross Catholic Outreach priest visited St. Martin of Tours Parish in La Mesa, CA, and shared this fun reflection. Enjoy!

“Hello, welcome to Flight #2021.
We are prepared to take off into the New Year.
Please make sure your Positive Attitude and Gratitude are secured and locked in an upright position.
All self-destructive devices; pity, anger, selfishness should be turned off at this time.
All negativity, hurt and discouragement should be put away.
Should you lose your positive attitude under pressure, during the flight, reach up and pull down a Prayer.
Prayers will automatically be activated by Faith.
Once your Faith is activated you can assist other passengers who are of little faith.
There will be NO BAGGAGE allowed on this flight.
The Captain (GOD) has cleared us for takeoff.
Destination – GREATNESS!

Homily from the Second Sunday in Advent

Holy Family, Modesto, CA

“Watch; Be Awake; Rejoice and Behold – Carolina, a 9-year-old girl, sat in the back of a classroom as Fr. Hilario was talking with parishioners about what they would like to see from the Spanish Mass that is being planned to start in a month after Christmas. The adult parishioners gave ideas about what they expected and would like to see happen. We’d like to have after the Masses you have the novena for El Cristo de Milagros. And we want the prayer of Our Lady of Guadalupe. And pray the Holy Rosary before Mass, then the group of the Divine Mercy wants to pray that in Spanish too, and quinceanera ceremonies on Saturdays and Sundays. And for the next year, we want to celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe but we need a mariachi band … all things within the church. Then in the least expected moment, Carolina the 9-year-old girl who was in the back drawing and coloring, and raised her hand. She told Fr. Hilario and the parishioners to be concerned about the children who have no roof over their heads. Help the children who ate only once a day. Or those who have to go to bed without eating. And above all to be concerned about what she thought was the most necessary thing was education. Fr. Hilario was shocked! What the parishioners said and requested were all those things we are going to do inside the church. But Carolina had a different vision of the faith. A different vision of our work in the church. She told us about what we are going to do outside the temple. At only 9 years old, she fulfilled watch and she is very much so awake to receive Emmanuel – God among us”

Homily from the First Sunday in Advent

St. Mary Star of The Sea, Freeport, TX

“When we reach out to those in need, we in fact believe we reach out to our brothers and sisters in Christ. Be alert! Be ready! We need to open our eyes with the eyes of faith so that we can see Christ when he comes in the poor, when he comes in the abandoned, when he comes in the hungry, thirsty.”

Homily from the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

St. Leo the Great, Cleveland, OH

“Today when we hear about Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, we think about glory, extravagance, power of this man. But it’s completely different! He’s not the king of glorification. He’s not king of extravagance. He is a king who is a shepherd. A shepherd king who is going to love his people. Take care tenderly of his people.”

Homily from the Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

St. Charles Borromeo, Gretna, NE

“In today’s gospel about talents – we all have received many talents and blessings from God. Do you count your blessings and gifts or sometimes waste your time comparing your talents and blessings to others? Today is an opportunity for each one of us to think about it. To count our blessings and gifts and be thankful for them. And the second thing that Jesus is saying is that the talents and blessings we have are not ours. They are given to us by God, Our Father out of love. God gave us those talents and blessings so we can use them ourselves and for our families throughout our journey on earth. But also to be able to multiply those blessings and talents shared with people around us who are in need.”

Homily from the Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Holy Rosary, Saint Marys, OH

“These final Sundays of the current liturgical year, we always focus upon that eternal kingdom in which we are called to be a part of and to dwell in the presence of our God forever. We need to prepare ourselves as we do not know the day or the hour. Scripture theologians encourage us to look at the oil as not being the oil that can be procured from a local merchant, but the oil is God’s love that is given to us and we respond to that love in love. Like Peter, we are commissioned to share that love with one another and in sharing it, we end up having sufficient love, sufficient oil to do the work of God here and now.”

Homily from the Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

St. Cletus, Saint Charles, MO

“On this feast of the Solemnity of All Saints, we have that beautiful and powerful reading from Matthew on the beatitudes. Such beautiful words. But perhaps we read or hear them and soon forget them. We tend to focus on the ten commandments. Perhaps we can make a comparison of sorts briefly by analogy, say to a college education. Now some will go to college to get an education to prepare for a career so that they may live a good life. Others will go to college to get an education but not necessarily just to prepare for a career but to discover more about themselves, their passions, their dreams, their priorities. Not just to have a good life, but the best life. The commandments are like the rules of life. To guide us on doing good and avoiding evil so that we might have a reward somewhere down the road. Of course, you know our Lord gave us his commandment. He said to us, “I give you a new commandment. Love one another as I love you.” And then he gave us the beatitudes. Not rules of life but principles of life. To have the mind and heart, the compassion of Christ.”

Homily from the Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Odessa, TX

“In today’s gospel, I see unselfish love. Unselfish love from God himself because despite everything that we do in our weaknesses, he is there for us everything single day to keep us safe and to provide for us. Unselfish love, I see also to you fathers and mothers, grandparents here present. Every single day you make sacrifices to go out in the midst of the pandemic to work very hard to provide for your families. Today, I would like to invite you if you can consider expanding that love because it is about loving our neighbors. There are some neighbors you cannot see but who are part of your family and part of your community. We belong to the bigger family of the children of God, and we have our sisters and brothers all over the world.”

Homily from the Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Nativity of Mary, Bloomington, MN

“Welcome to all on World Mission Sunday! 90% of the world doesn’t live the way we live. They don’t have what we have. If you are feeling grumpy someday, just remind yourself of that. The scripture is a message we can take home with us. Every day if we just realize an attitude of gratitude, we’d be a lot happier than we are right now. We’d be a lot more at peace. And we’d be counting our blessings with an attitude of gratitude. Everything good comes from God. Charity and justice you might say then is the rent we pay for living on this earth. In other words, it’s up to all of us to give something back to those who have so much less.

Many of you have given to your families, to your children. Many of you have received from your parents or grandparents. It’s so important to give beyond even our family and those who can give us back something. To give to the poor who cannot say thank you. To give to the body of Christ. Sister Joan Clare is passing out bread in the orphanage in the Philippines for handicapped children.

1 John 3:16-18 – We know love by this, that Jesus Christ laid down his life for us – and we ought to lay down our lives for one another. How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses to help? Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action.”

Homily from the Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

St. Paul Catholic Church, St. Paul, MO

“Fight the good fight of faith. Do not rely on so uncertain a thing as wealth. Trust in the God who provides us richly with all things for our use. Do good. Be rich in good works and generous. Sharing what you have. Thus you will build a secure foundation for the future for receiving that life, which is life indeed. And here at the end, Paul is emphasizing it’s our generous nature in this life that will secure eternal life in the kingdom that is coming. That’s how we show thanks and gratitude to our God – is to live out this call to be mindful of others and to do our part to help them with their misery and hopefully give them relief.”

Fr. Bower also offers a wonderful communion meditation at all Masses he celebrates. We hear of Mother Teresa, now known as St. Teresa of Calcutta, shares this insight with us:

‘My dear children, without our suffering, our work would just be social work – very good and helpful but would not be the work of Jesus Christ – not part of the redemption. All the desolation of the poor people, not only their material poverty but their spiritual destitution must be redeemed and we must have our share in it. Yes, my dear children, let’s share the sufferings of the poor for only by being one with them, we can redeem them – that is bringing God into their lives and bringing them to God.’

Homilies from the Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

St. Patrick, Armonk, NY

“The gospel today is about to give profit to the Lord. Each one of us has a banker. Each one of us has a tenant. Because we receive a spiritual gift and material gift every day. We need to give something back. If you die right after mass today and meet Jesus face to face? What do you have in your hands to present to the Lord? It’s not only good to go to the Masses and only pray the Rosary. It is also good to help people in need. To extend your hands and give support to people in need. 

Every day, in different places around the world, before the pandemic, between 30 and 45 thousand people with the same dignity like everyone here, used to die. Not because of war, violence, AIDS, cancer – no – of starvation. Out of that number before the pandemic, every four minutes, a child used to die of starvation. What can we do today for people who have nothing to eat? What can we do today for people who can’t even afford to buy a mask per work orders like in India, in Africa, in my country in Venezuela, in the Philippines? We are living in a very, very bad situation — but even being in bad situations is the time, and it’s our responsibility to share our spiritual gifts and material gifts with other people who truly have nothing.”

St. John the Apostle, Minot, ND

“We know the gospel. We know the message our Lord gave to us, and sometimes we do indeed seem to be oblivious to it. Maybe because love has become diluted. Because we love so many things! Look at this day, isn’t it beautiful? We LOVE it. I don’t know who your favorite football team is, but, boy, you love your team! 

What did our Lord mean when he said love one another? But he gave us a very good clue. Because the last time he got together with Peter, John’s partner in the fishing business, John’s partner in the missionary work. The last time he got together with St. Peter according to scripture, he said to Peter, ‘Peter, do you love me? Peter, if you love me, feed my lambs, feed my sheep, feed my family.’ It’s as if for our Lord, the word love and feed are synonymous. He could just as easily say to us, ‘I give you a new commandment — feed one another as I feed you.'”

Homilies from the Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

St. Joseph & Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Chisolm, MN

“We are reminded constantly that wickedness is a self-centeredness and it’s turning away from any kind of meanness in our life — any kind of separating judgement that keeps us from loving our neighbor, near and far away. Sister Joan Claire ministers at an on orphanage in the Philippines and Cross Catholic Outreach allows you to bless that orphanage by supporting them. This is helping your neighbors. Helping them have dignity by giving peace and love. 1 John 3 — we know love by this, that Jesus Christ lay down his life for us and we ought to lay down our lives for one another. Children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and action.”

Fr. Bernard Olszewski and Fr. Tulio Ramirez

St. Jude, Erie, PA

“Jesus tells us we need to change. God gives us great space and ability to change — to understand what we must do to fulfill God’s will. John Cardinal Newman – To live is to change. To be perfect is to change often.” We must be willing to change ourselves and be agents of change so that two things can be accomplished. God can be loved above all things – mind, body, soul and heart. And love of neighbor as ourselves may be our motto. For the achievement of those two great loves is the achievement of perfection.

God asks us to be those agents of change. To be the agents of the mercy and the love of God, which knows no boundaries. Which comes to us freely, not for anything we have done but simply because God is love. God has asked us to be agents of change to transform the world in which we live into his kingdom. A kingdom of light, peace, unity and love. Cross Catholic Outreach was founded to be an agent of change. To be the messenger of change for the poorest of the poor in developing countries throughout the world. We cannot cure world poverty. Jesus told us the poor you will always have with you. But never did I hear Jesus say, “Oh yeah, that’s okay.”

Homilies from the Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

St. Mary Cathedral, Austin, TX

“Brothers and sisters, God is generous! He loves us without limit. We must also love unlimitedly. As a young boy living in India, we would walk to a well to get water. The water was not clear, like the bottled water we have here in the US. It was colored and dirty. It was really hot weather — more than 100 degrees. We were so thirsty. We drank the dirty water. When I visited Haiti, people were walking nearly three miles up on the hills to find a stream of water. Their water was like mine when I was a boy — dirty. You can help!

Our Lady of Grace, Johnston, RI

“Above all, we need to love God but we need to also love our neighbor. Our neighbor is not just the people who live on the same street or in the same city. Our neighbors are those people like us around the world. At Cross Catholic Outreach, we help you bless those neediest of needy neighbors around the world by partnering with mission partners in developing countries to feed the hungry, provide water to the thirsty, build safe shelter for the homeless, love and education to the orphans, help those impacted with natural disasters, and so much more.”

Homilies from the Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

St. Andrew the Apostle, Apex, NC

“Jesus came to give us that God’s eye view of the world — where there is no difference between young/old, black/white, man/woman — it doesn’t matter in God’s eyes. We are all equal. And Jesus came to show us how to live in this diverse world accepting and loving one another. His message was especially most poignant, especially most pointed about caring and loving those who have less than we whether they be in prison, whether they are sick, and most especially whether they be poor. That’s the message of the gospel, that’s what each and every one of us as Catholics, as Christians are called to do. To allow ourselves to be transformed so that we can live within that kingdom that Jesus gave us.”

St. Columbkille, Wilmington, OH

“As we recognize God’s mercy in our lives to practice that mercy in our daily life with one another. Today I want to thank you for the many and varied ways in which you have recognized God’s blessings and God’s mercy in your own lives and you have shared those blessings and that mercy with those who we send to remote areas of our nation and even to the ends of the earth. Having been blessed to have served the Church as a foreign missionary, I can assure you that that which you have shared has gone a very long way to bring the light of Christ into the darkness of the world.”

Homilies from the Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Holy Rosary Church, North Mankato, MN

“What Cross Catholic Outreach does has tremendous results.  The goal of our organization is to ensure that the poorest of the poor have regular access to basic necessities through loving and caring agents – the priests and nuns who manage the projects we support.  I challenge you to consider a gift of building a house, and if you are unable to do that full amount, do half – push yourself to help the poor.”

St. Joseph, Owatonna, MN

“The word ‘catholic’ means universal. We are building bridges with believers around the globe who have it much worse than we do. Reaching out is so important to share the faith. We don’t just give money, we support the missions who work to share the faith and transform lives. A US dollar goes far when it’s done with the love of Christ!”

Homilies from the Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time

St. Ann, Charlotte N.C.

“I’ve literally supported hundreds of charities in my lifetime. I have yet to find one that can match Cross Catholic Outreach’s level of stewardship. Over 95 cents of every dollar goes exactly to where it is supposed to go. To the mission and not to administration. So you can trust you are going to get great value out of your support of Cross Catholic Outreach.”

St. Anthony of Padua, Dalhart, TX

“The Holy Father reminded us the world is suffering greatly because of COVID-19. He also reminded us we can become greater because of this pandemic or worse. Being myopic can harm us in the spirit. We need to take great care. We are brothers and sisters of the Lord and building up his kingdom. Our God does not leave us to ourselves. Blessed are the feet of those who preach the good news – those who make a difference.”

St. Leo of the Great, Cleveland, OH

“Cross Catholic Outreach not only gives the fish but also teaches the community how to fish. You can help break the cycle of poverty by blessing a family with a gift of $2,500 that will help build a sturdy and safe home for a family in need. “

Homilies from the Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

Fr. James Kramper

St. Joseph the Worker, Mankato, MN

“God sends enough for everybody, but he does give extra to some, so that they can have the joy of being generous towards others. There are children in Guatemala who, because of this virus, don’t have enough food to eat. So the $3,000 we had done fundraising for a youth retreat, we gave to Cross Catholic Outreach to feed these children who have a need right now.”

St. Bede, Williamsburg, VA

“We are all Jesus! On the day of our baptism, the Holy Spirit came upon us and we became children of God, just like Jesus was the Son of God. May your light shine before others so when others see the good that you do, they give glory to the Father. Jesus passed down to mission to us to save the world. You are all the hands, feet, body of Jesus. The way we live our life, speak to people, we need to be an example of Jesus.”

St. Philip Neri Catholic Church, Fort Mill, SC

“Our Lord told us what he meant by love. If you love me, feed my lambs, feed my sheep, feed my family. Whenever you do it to the least, you do it unto me. Feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, shelter the homeless, show love to the Lord by helping those in need.”

Homilies from the Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

St. Blaise, Bellingham, MA

“The purpose of our ministry is to know, love and serve God in this world and be happy with God in the next. The way to that path is by being aware of the human needs of those who are around us. Very clearly He says if we want to experience the fullness of the kingdom after life here on Earth, what we need to be doing is paying attention to the human needs of others. When we respond to their needs, we respond to God.”

St. Henry, Lake Charles, LA

“They did not do anything to deserve this. It’s not their misfortune they were born in a poor country. They are all family. All children of God. We need to open our hearts. During this pandemic in the past six months we’ve averaged 4,000 deaths a day. Unbelievable! During this same time in the pandemic of hunger, we average 25,000 deaths a day, each and every day for the lack of food.”

Homily from the Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Cross Catholic Outreach’s Day of Prayer takes place on August 15, the Feast of the Assumption of Mary, which this year was on a Saturday. It is fitting then, that this year’s prayer day was observed by staff on the Friday before which falls on the Memorial of St. Maximilian Kolbe, patron saint of volunteers, who died a “martyr of charity”. 

 “I pray you to tell the Brothers not to be afraid at all to love the Immaculate too much since . . . they will never love her like Jesus loved her.” ― St. Maximilian Kolbe

Sacred Heart of Jesus, Hartwell, GA

“Of all the gifts we are asked to give — and we Americans are asked to give many, many, many times — I have a problem trying to figure out, well, of these hundreds of requests I’m being asked for, big and little, how do I work it out? And I know in the mind and heart of our God, the most sacred of all the acts of kindness and charity that we can do will always be the to our brothers and sisters who are amongst the poorest of the poor. ‘I was hungry and you fed me. I was naked and you clothed me. I was without a home and you brought me in. Whatever you did for the least of my brothers and sisters, you did for Me.’ ”

St. Thomas, Tukwila, WA

“Do as Peter did. Come! Put our faith in Jesus. That is something we do at Cross Catholic Outreach all the time. Put our trust in Jesus. Two things you can do: 1. Pray for us! Even just 2 minutes per day. Pray for the missionaries of Cross Catholic Outreach. Your prayers are very effective. They open God’s heart and extend his mercy. 2. Good works in the form of donations. Only $25 can feed 167 children!”

Hear Homilies from Prior Weekends

St. Thomas More University Parish, Norman, OK

“Jesus has great faith in his disciples – that is us. God knows our potential and we have to tap into our potential that has been lying dormant. The power of your donation goes very far to help the poor – and you share a part of yourself with them. On behalf of Cross Catholic Outreach and the poor in the countries we serve, I most humbly say, thank you, thank you, thank you for your past donations and to beg you one more time on their behalf for your mercy, your compassion and your donation. Amen.”

Church of the Holy Family, Hebron, CT

“Today’s readings instruct us that we have a moral responsibility to help and take care of one another. Cross Catholic Outreach invites us each day to come to the water. One of my brother Outreach Priests always says, ‘If I do not go out to preach, the poor cannot eat; if I do not go out to preach, the poor will not have clean water; if I do not go out to preach, the poor will have no home.’ ”

St. Therese, Midvale, UT

“Today’s Gospel message tells us – the field is both the world and our own heart.  We have the option of changing the world through our mercy and love. On, July 18 the Church celebrated Saint Camillus de Lellis who said, “the poor and the sick are the heart of God and in serving them we serve Jesus Christ”. 

Our Lady of Nazareth, Roanoke, VA

“At this time the entire world is affected in so many ways. We can be Jesus through our prayers, our love, our compassion and our generosity. We are here today to pray for our sisters and brothers who are starving and with our acts of generosity, we represent Jesus in this difficult time”

St. Paschal, West Monroe, LA

“The poor of the world do not have a stimulus package; no food stamps, no government housing. They are relying on us, as the stronger members of the Body of Christ, to be helpful to them. This is your opportunity to use well, your means, to help our brothers and sisters who need it the most.” 

Our Lady of Lourdes, Washington, MO

“The mustard seed grows so big and so strong – Jesus asks us to grow as strong, to extend a hand to reach out to people in need.  In the middle of this pandemic, you may ask what can we do today?  We are here to link the Catholic Church in the U.S. with our brothers and sisters in the developing world.”

St. Katherine Drexel, Mechanicsburg, PA

“Cross Catholic Outreach was founded to bring the vision of God’s glory more fully in the lives of the poorest of the poor in the developing countries of the world. We can’t cure poverty. Jesus told us ‘the poor you will always have with you,’ but never once did I hear Jesus say, ‘Ah, yeah and that’s okay!’ Cross Catholic’s structure provides 3 fundamental needs: adequate food; clean drinking water, and safe, secure shelter. Without those things, not much else can happen. When a community receives clean water – hygiene goes up and disease goes down – that is bringing about God’s kingdom in the world.”

Presentation of Our Lady, Denver, CO

“In front of the brochure, you can see a Franciscan nun. Her name is Sr. Clara; she lives and works in the Philippines. Every day, she goes to the streets of Manila to feed the poorest children. With your donation this weekend and from many other parishes around the country, Cross Catholic Outreach is able to provide support not only to Sr. Clara and those children, but many different life-saving ministries in the developing world.”

Mater Dei, Topeka, KS

“I look at myself and my brothers who go out and raise money for the poorest of the poor as farmers… because we help parishes plant seeds. Why do we plant them here? Because you, our Catholic family, are the ‘good soil.’ “

Holy Redeemer, Odessa, TX

“I have worked as a missionary for the poor all my life, traveling to many places that not many people want to go; you can also be missionaries for the poor from Odessa, where you can make your contributions to Cross Catholic Outreach, helping your neighbors in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, South and Central America to have food, clean water, education for those who have been marginalized and destitute from society. You can be the good soil that will bear good fruit as we read in the Gospel today.”   

Following Fr. Rivera’s visit, one donor sent the following email praising the ministry of Cross Catholic Outreach:

“I want you and the whole Cross Catholic Outreach team to know that I first heard a talk that Fr. Hilario Rivera did a while back in Big Spring, TX and I have never forgotten it. My wife and I have donated periodically to you over the years, but it was his talk of conviction, honesty and humor that re-ignited our desire to continue. I pray for the continued success of all the hard work you all put in to help those in need.”


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Our mission is to mobilize the global Catholic Church to transform the poor and their communities materially and spiritually for the glory of Jesus Christ. Your gift empowers us to serve the poorest of the poor by channeling life-changing aid through an international network of dioceses, parishes and Catholic missionaries. This cost-effective approach helps break the cycle of poverty and advance Catholic evangelization.

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