Archbishop Lori’s Remarks: Catholic Charities Breakfast

Catholic Charities Breakfast
December 7, 2017

In the season of Advent, the light of God’s love dawns upon a people living in darkness. This is Advent season in the City of Baltimore. So often, all we see or hear about Baltimore is gloom and doom. The news is mostly about violence, drugs, homelessness, and poverty. These are very real and heartbreaking problems which we cannot ignore. What kind of people would we be if these things didn’t break our hearts?

Yet a broken heart is not enough. We also need to have a hopeful heart and there is hope aplenty all around us – as this Kianna’s beautiful talk showed us. I would say that goodness is on the rise in Baltimore and beyond and that Catholic Charities is leading the way. It isn’t about talk. Catholic Charities is all about action. It’s all about acting on the bedrock conviction that each person is endowed by God with dignity, indeed a spark of the divine exists in the depths of each person. This is what drives programs that face head on the very real human problems all around us – Our Daily Bread, job training, Safe Streets, housing, behavioral health programs and so much so – services delivered effectively and professionally but also with a heart, services delivered with faith and love.

This morning I thank Bill and Lisa Stromberg who chaired our breakfast. I am grateful to Mary Ann Scully and the entire Board of Catholic Charities and especially to Bill McCarthy and his wonderful team at Catholic Charities.

Yes, goodness is on the rise, right here in Baltimore. Unfortunately that is a well-kept secret. I suppose that gloom and doom sells and thus we are living in an era of negative narratives – internationally, nationally, and locally. Negative narratives feed on themselves, become self-fulfilling prophecies, and only deepen our problems.

We in this room, the friends and supporters of Catholic Charities, can do something about this. All of us have influence in greater Baltimore. All of us have networks. We have the power to change the negative narrative about Baltimore. Instead of gloom and doom, the narrative we embrace is that goodness is on the rise. The narrative we embrace is that by journeying together we can create a brighter future.

This morning I thank you for your support of Catholic Charities. Thank you for your care and concern for the poor. Thanking you for helping goodness to be on the rise here in Baltimore and beyond. May you experience the fullness of joy and the greatest of blessings during this Holy Season of Christmas!