Catholic Charities embraces this statement and calls its leadership and staff to bring God’s promise of life and its fullness to all people, rich or poor, young or old, male or female, born or unborn, regardless of race or color.The mission of Catholic Charities is multifaceted: direct services, advocacy, and public consciousness raising.
There is a direct relationship to parishes with the Diocese of Jackson, but the mission extends to the larger community of the state, nation, and even beyond to the entire human family. Services are provided for all people regardless of religions affiliation, race, color, or country of origin.
To live out this mission, Catholic Charities will:
- Assist parishes of the Diocese so that they may be a visible and active sign of Christ’s love for all people, especially the poor, the needy, and the most vulnerable.
- Provide direct services in a professionally skilled manner. Catholic Charities will conduct programs for assistance and services to address the needs of people in all socioeconomic groups, but to have a special concern for the neediest and most vulnerable, to serve as their advocate where it is necessary and to help them develop the capacity to become independent and self-sufficient.
- Work in cooperation with the Catholic Community and in collaboration with the greater community toward the construction of a more just social order, focusing on public social policy and the strengthening of the family’s role in society. This includes participating in social legislation at the federal, state, and local levels, monitoring public budget processes and studying their impact on the family.
- Provide education, increased public awareness and cooperation efforts, both within the Catholic Community and within the larger community, so that all may be more active participants in bringing about a more just and compassionate social order.
“Catholic social teaching is a central and essential element of our faith. Its roots are in the Hebrew prophets who announced God’s special love for the poor and called God’s people to a covenant of love and justice. It is a teaching founded on the life and words of Jesus Christ, who came ‘to bring glad tidings to the poor . . . liberty to captives . . . recovery of sight to the blind'(Lk 4:18-19), and who identified himself with ‘the least of these,’ the hungry and the stranger (cf. Mt 25:45). Catholic social teaching is built on a commitment to the poor. This commitment arises from our experiences of Christ in the eucharist.
As the Catechism of the Catholic Church explains, ‘To receive in truth the Body and Blood of Christ given up for us, we must recognize Christ in the poorest, his brethren.’
Catholic social teaching emerges from the truth of what God has revealed to us about himself. We believe in the triune God whose very nature is communal and social. God the Father sends his only Son Jesus Christ and shares the Holy Spirit as his gift of love. God reveals himself to us as one who is not alone, but rather as one who is relational, one who is Trinity. Therefore, we who are made in God’s image share this communal, social nature. We are called to reach out and to build relationships of love and justice.
Catholic social teaching is based on and inseparable from our understanding of human life and human dignity. Every human being is created in the image of God and redeemed by Jesus Christ, and therefore is invaluable and worthy of respect as a member of the human family. Every person, from the moment of conception to natural death, has inherent dignity and a right to life consistent with that dignity. Human dignity comes from God, not from any human quality or accomplishment.
Our commitment to the Catholic social mission must be rooted in and strengthened by our spiritual lives. In our relationship with God we experience the conversion of heart that is necessary to truly love one another as God has loved us.” —Catholic Social Teaching: Challenges and Directions