catholic relief services

Relief efforts uphold dignity of life, priest says

The teacher in a class in Lebanon connected with her students. The class included refugees from Syria. The number of people devastated by the Syrian crisis continues to climb as the conflict continues, but to the Catholic agencies helping the people “the statistics have faces.”

Msgr. Jack Schuler spotted a woman making the sign of the cross before she sang a song for guests at a Catholic Relief Services-supported program that helps migrant workers and refugees in Lebanon. He reached out to her and gave her a blessing.

The Catholic Church's concern for the dignity of all is seen in its response to the humanitarian crisis that resulted from the war in Syria, said Msgr. Schuler, Catholic Charities of St. Louis chaplain and pastor of St. Cronan Parish in south St. Louis. More than 70 percent of Syrian refugees are women and children, according to CRS.

Church leaders offer prayers, Mexicans pitch in after earthquake

Rescuers searched for survivors in the debris of collapsed buildings Sept. 20 in Mexico City. The magnitude 7.1 earthquake hit Sept. 19 to the southeast of the city, killing hundreds.

MEXICO CITY — Mexican Church leaders offered prayers and urged generosity after an earthquake struck the national capital and its environs, claiming more than 240 lives — including at least 20 children trapped in a collapsed school.

The magnitude 7.1 earthquake Sept. 19 added to the misery of Mexicans who suffered a magnitude 8.1 earthquake 12 days earlier. That quake left nearly 100 dead in the country's southern states and left thousands more homeless.

OUR GLOBAL FAMILY | Looking for opportunities to foster a culture of encounter

My friend Sister Maura worries about my travels to risky places for Catholic Relief Services. On the other hand, I marvel at how this soft-spoken and diminutive nun of 90 provides medical care in the toughest local neighborhood to which I have never traveled alone.

While CRS abides by strict security protocols, there is no greater "protection" than that offered by our local communities. Beneficiaries and staff know one another as people with names and families, quirks and humor, unspeakable losses and stubborn hope.

GUEST COLUMNIST | Rising with Christ in a broken world

Carolyn Woo

In my daily work at Catholic Relief Services, I routinely encounter suffering: the crisis of 60 million displaced people around the world, a number larger than those displaced in World War II; at least 50 million children not in school; human trafficking; slave labor; impending food shortage for a large number of Ethiopians; or the dry corridor in Central America with unpredictable bursts of torrential rain that eliminate growing seasons and sometimes wipe out complete plantings.

I generally plow on.

How to help Syrian refugees

Pope Francis and the Catholic bishops have called on the U.S. government and the international community to provide support to both Syrian refugees fleeing violence and to countries that have been at the forefront of this humanitarian effort.

Suggestions on how to help:

Donate to the collection at your parish

• Pray for migrants and refugees, for their plight and for peace.

Fresh quake rattles confidence of people, relief workers in Nepal

KATHMANDU, Nepal -- The second major earthquake in less than three weeks spread renewed fears and dented the confidence of people, said Church and charity workers.

"The death and devastation may be less, but the psychological impact is very high," Bishop Paul Simick of Nepal told Catholic News Service May 13. "They were slowly recovering from the shock and the trauma and (were) trying to restart (their lives). Now they have been stunned by this unprecedented quake."

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