Relief leader explains how faith spurs action after storms

Reprint from The Advocate 

BY MARK H. HUNTER, Special to The Advocate,  May 07, 2012 

Soon after Catholic Charities disaster aid workers arrived in Joplin, Mo., following the catastrophic, May 22 tornado, children were telling them stories of butterflies.

“As we were talking to folks that only had half of a house and were living under tarps, and no running water or anything left of their life other than the clothes they had on, the more we talked to the children, the kids started talking about seeing butterflies during the tornado,” said Gabe Tischler, the disaster coordinator for Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri.

By David C. Aguillard, CCDBR Executive Director
April 27, 2012
Thirty-three percent vs -0.44 percent.  These numbers have nothing to do with the CATS election last week.  These numbers have everything to do with the CATS election.  They are the rate of growth of the Catholic Church in Africa (where it is growing faster than any place else) and decline for the Church in the U.S.  
When I visited Africa with Catholic Relief Services last year (Africa Pics & Travel Blog), I was envious.  I saw a Church deeply intertwined in transforming its communities.  It works across political boundaries with people of all faiths -- Muslims, other Christians, and traditional religions.    It teaches farming techniques, builds schools … and more.  The Church in Africa is challenging political, social and economic institutions to change.  It is helping to secure the rights of women and greater participation of all in economic and political processes.

Hammond, LA (April 25, 2012) -- In 2011, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Baton Rouge returned wages, goods and services valued at almost $675,000 to the people of Tangipahoa, according to a recent report released by the agency. 
“Every dollar dedicated by the agency to Tangipahoa resulted in $3 of benefit to residents of our parish,” said Stephanie Schulte, CCDBR Tangipahoa Advisory Committee Chair. “That’s an amazing return on investment!”   $223,000 spent delivered benefits in areas such as:
$242,000 of wages
$50,000 of savings in mental health services
$276,000 VISTA generated volunteer hours and services.

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