April 9, 2021

Our Works of Charity / David Bethuram

‘Love’ is at the heart of the mission of Catholic Charities

David Bethuram

If you asked me why I love my job, I could go on and on about how I have rewarding work. I’m fortunate to make a living now doing something I find challenging and inspiring. My faith is strengthened by the process of working with gifted and caring staff and volunteers who truly care for people most in need in their communities and have faith in others. This is why I love Catholic Charities.

I love that we help children find a forever home. Children who have been abused physically or emotionally. Children who have the God-given potential to be saints, but who have been treated like leftovers are treasured here. We embrace them and come alongside them in seeking a brighter future.

I love that we have an open door for the homeless and people in crisis to seek help, even if they have no money, even in the middle of the night.

I love that we welcome the stranger, the refugee and the immigrant who is infinitely precious to God but is hated and slandered in our midst. We help this person get food, get educated, speak English, get a job and reunite their family.

I love that we counsel the doubtful, that we have talented and loving therapists in our archdiocesan Catholic Charities network to help people to see the truth that they are beautiful and they are capable, with God’s help, of enduring the trials of life and recovering the joy that God created them for.

I love that we embrace the mother and child, particularly when that child is in its weakest form, in the womb, subject to having its life snuffed out by a frightened world that questions whether life is worth living. I love that we provide help and give hope to this mother to strengthen her in her labor to see that this exquisite and unique creation of a child is given a chance to breathe and thrive.

I love that we offer services to an “at risk” child or teen who has had to grow up too early. They have experienced or witnessed substance abuse, physical and sexual abuse, illiteracy, anger control issues, sexual activity, teen pregnancy, suicidal thoughts, self-mutilation and low self-esteem.

I love that we feed the hungry. The working poor, the homeless, those of every culture and religious belief are welcomed to the table of plenty, the table of hope and hospitality, where joy-filled volunteers serve them and dine with them.

I love that we care for the sick, for the person whose life has progressed to a place of great weakness, where they depend on others for almost every need. I love that they can depend on Catholic Charities to be their friend, their companion in the daily tasks and joys of life, which is precious even when it is reaching its natural end.

I love that we care for frail and vulnerable older adults and adults with disabilities who need to have a safe place to be with others and are not alone while their caregivers can go to work or attend school.

And I love that we have volunteers of all ages joining us in service to our most in-need and vulnerable neighbors. Their caring hearts bring respect and dignity to all whom we are privileged to help, that the message we send is: There is still much to be done! We need your help! Come and join us!

Thank you for making Catholic Charities beautiful. Let’s go forward. We have more to do.

(David Bethuram is executive director of the archdiocesan Secretariat for Catholic Charities. E-mail him at dbethuram@archindy.org.)

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