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In his historic visit to the United States in late September 2015, Francis laid out a blueprint for many Americans – for lawmakers, for families, for dreamers. He did not shy away from tough topics, and he fraternally avoided the division such topics usually bring.

Continuing with themes common in his papacy, Francis often brought up the poor and marginalized. He offered encouragement for those mired in spiritual and material poverty, and he also encouraged all of us to offer help to those in our midst who need it.

That’s where we come in: Catholic Charities is a place where we try to live out the Holy Father’s call to serve the poor. Our mission is to bring mercy to the margins of society, whether immigrant or prisoner, homeless or outcast. We work closely with our parishes to reach those most in need.

Catholic Charities had more than 1,500 volunteers last year

Catholic Charities had more than 1,500 volunteers last year

Will you join us?

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing some of the Holy Father’s most poignant statements from his trip to the United States.

It is our hope that you will read his words and use our tips for practical ways to incorporate them into your daily life.


“A grateful heart is spontaneously impelled to serve the Lord and to find expression in a life of commitment to our work. Once we come to realize how much God has given us, a life of self-sacrifice, of working for him and for others, becomes a privileged way of responding to his great love.”  

Pope Francis, Homily at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, New York

Can you serve the Lord and His people as a Catholic Charities volunteer? We can accommodate individuals, families, and groups of any size. We have varied jobs and locations. Visit our volunteer website, or email Sally O’Dwyer at SOdwyer@ccda.net for more information.


“I would encourage you to keep in mind all those people around us who are trapped in a cycle of poverty. They too need to be given hope.”

Pope Francis, Address to Congress, Washington, D.C. 

Can you offer hope to those trapped in poverty with a financial donation? At Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington, 88 cents of every dollar goes directly to programs and services. Visit our donation page to make a one-time gift or pledge your monthly support. Gifts of every size bring hope to those in need!

Holy Spirit food drive

Parishioners from Holy Spirit donate groceries for the St. Lucy Food Project.


“All too often, and everywhere, those most in need of our help are unable to be heard. You are their voice, and many of you, have faithfully made their cry heard.” Address on Religious Freedom, Philadelphia

When Jesus is asked, “And who is your neighbor?” (Luke 10:29), he calls each of us to care for our brothers and sisters like the Good Samaritan. We are given a responsibility! Encourage charity among your family and friends, neighbors and coworkers. Get your ministry group involved in the work of Catholic Charities! Promote charitable organizations. Advocate for laws that care for the poor among us.


“Faith makes us know that God is at our side, that God is in our midst and his presence spurs us to charity. Charity is born of the call of a God who continues to knock on our door, the door of all people, to invite us to love, to compassion, to service of one another.” Address to Catholic Charities of Washington, D.C.

Above all, we must pray for the poor! Our works will only be helpful if they are the products of prayer. All good works depend on prayer. Let’s continue asking for the Lord’s grace to be compassionate and merciful to the poor. Pray when you pass a homeless person on the streets, pray whenever you offer a helping hand, pray when you recount how many gifts you have been given. Prayer is one of our Lord’s greatest and most powerful gifts!

To learn more about our programs and ways to support Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington, visit our website: www.ccda.net.