To be read at all Masses on Sunday, October 29th, 2023
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
In today’s gospel, we hear Jesus speak of the greatest commandment. He tells us that we are to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, soul and mind; and we are to love our neighbours as ourselves.
We are blessed to see this foremost commandment lived out in a unique way through the ministry of Catholic Social Services within our own Archdiocese. Inspired by God’s love, CSS works compassionately and tirelessly to be our neighbour’s keeper.
Nearly 20,000 vulnerable and desperate people turn to Catholic Social Services each year for a lifeline, and the hope of a new beginning. And, Catholic Social Services is faithfully there to welcome and serve them without judgment. The 2000 employees and 400 volunteers who work for CSS are well-known and admired across the province for the manner in which they treat every person they serve with the utmost humility, compassion and respect.
Each day, CSS offers safety to women and children escaping domestic violence, accompanies refugees resettling in Alberta after fleeing their war-torn homelands, serves people with developmental disabilities who require around-the-clock care, supports seniors living in isolation, gives a helping hand to pregnant girls with nowhere else to turn, and provides high-risk teenagers with a place to call home. Whatever their circumstances, at CSS people come face-to-face with God’s unending love.
Part of the agency’s success is powered by the generosity of our local Catholic community who volunteer time or make much-needed financial donations. Indeed, we are proud that CSS is a vital member of our Archdiocese family!
On this, our third annual Catholic Social Services Sunday, let us give thanks to Almighty God for this extraordinary home-grown agency, that we are honoured to call our own.
Sincerely in Christ,
XRichard W. Smith
Archbishop of Edmonton