September 16, 2005

Catholic Charities’ local summit will feature agency’s national president

By Brandon A. Evans

Archbishop Daniel M. Buechlein will join Father Larry Snyder, president of Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA ), at an upcoming Catholic Charities summit in Indianapolis.

The Secretariat for Catholic Charities and Family Ministries of the archdiocese is hosting the summit, titled “We are Family,” on Oct. 5 at the Archbishop O’Meara Catholic Center, 1400 N. Meridian St., in Indianapolis.

A prayer service will begin at 10 a.m. at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral, followed by comments from Father Snyder across the street at the Catholic Center at 11 a.m.

A lunch will be provided at noon. All are welcome at those events, during which the new Catholic Charities video will be publicly shown for the first time.

An R.S.V.P. is required by Sept. 30 and may be called in to Sue Sandefur at 317-236-1500 or e-mailed to her at

Following lunch, there will be a special discussion session at 1p.m. for Catholic Charities staff, volunteers and advisory council members.

Father Snyder will also give a presentation, followed by a question and answer session, at 7 p.m. on Oct. 4 at St. Monica Church, 6131 N. Michigan Road, in Indianapolis. He will speak on the seven themes of Catholic social teaching. No R.S.V.P. is required.

David Siler, archdiocesan executive director of Catholic Charities, said that during the Oct. 5 summit, Archbishop Buechlein will share his vision for Catholic Charities in the archdiocese.

Father Snyder will offer a nationwide perspective on the work of Catholic Charities, Siler said.

“He will share with us trends that he sees developing across the country with regard to services that are growing and shrinking as well as general trends of poverty in the United States,” Siler said. “Due to the current crisis created by Hurricane Katrina, I am sure that we will also hear about his firsthand account of the devastation and the national response being undertaken by CCUSA .”

He noted that calling together a gathering of those involved with Catholic Charities is difficult because people are spread all over central and southern Indiana.

“We are calling this a summit because for the first time in our local history we are calling together all of the staff, volunteers and advisory council members to one place,” Siler said. “We have chosen the theme of ‘We Are Family’ to help us focus on how we belong to the family of Catholic Charities in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, the family of the archdiocese itself and the family of the larger Church.”

On the afternoon of the summit, the archdiocesan Catholic Charities staff and volunteers will break into small groups to discuss what the archbishop and Father Snyder said and to share their reflections with the larger group.

Also, Siler will introduce “A Plan for Spiritual Renewal,” which grew out of a leadership development program co-sponsored by CCUSA and the University of Notre Dame in late 2004 and early 2005.

“We intend to reconnect to the roots of our mission,” Siler said, “which is essentially rooted in the mission of Jesus Christ.”

All people though, he added, especially those involved in parish work, are invited to attend the first portion of the summit because “we need the support of the entire Catholic community.”

Siler said he wants the work that Catholic Charities does to have a strong connection to parish life throughout the archdiocese.

While in Indianapolis, Siler said Father Snyder will also meet with staff from the various Catholic Charities agencies to learn more about our local programs and services. †


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