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 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. “

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:

Date Parish City State Outreach Priest
Sept 19-20 St. Mary Cathedral Austin TX Fr. Antony Samy Savarimuthu
Sept 19-20 Christ the King Tulsa OK Fr. Pascal Kumanda
Sept 26-27 St. Aloysius Hickory NC Fr. Frank Iacona
Sept 26-27 St. Francis de Sales Purcellville VA Fr. Pascal Kumanda

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.”

Homilies 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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