Voices of the Vineyard

Voices of the Vineyard

Voices of the Vineyard

While the primary mission of NCCF is to facilitate the engagement of individuals and families in Catholic philanthropy we also endeavor to bring to the attention of our community members the good works of organizations whose paths we routinely cross. These are the real ‘laborers in the vineyard’ and it is their mission to which this column gives voice.

Sacred Heart Center

I came to the United States on January 27, 2016. My mother came to the US when I was 8 years old, so I had not seen her since then. When I came, I tried to enter High School, but they told me I could not be accepted as I was 22 years old. My sister suggested that I reach out to Sacred Heart Center to pursue my GED. I started taking my GED class at night, as I was working during the day. I worked from 8 am to 5 pm so I could go to the Center to take my classes from 6 pm to 9 pm. After I finished my GED classes I started taking classes to work towards my dream of studying Software Development at a four-year college. -Johan Johan recently received the 2019 Ida Hill scholarship and is attending classes at J. Sargent Reynolds Community…

Mercy Home for Boys & Girls

Mercy Home for Boys & Girls is a Catholic organization answering the Gospel call to minister to children and families in need. Located in Chicago, Mercy Home has been a solution for kids in crisis since 1887. Through its residential, AfterCare, and mentoring programs, Mercy Home provides safety, therapy, education, and life-changing opportunities for more than 900 young people and family members every year. It helps children heal from the traumas of abuse, neglect, poverty, housing instability, and community violence while giving them the tools they need to build brighter futures. At the core of Mercy Home’s services for children are full-time living spaces, also known as youth residential programs. Mercy Home never closes – children live there 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. In order to tailor the living experience to the needs of kids as closely as possible, Mercy Home operates 14…

Carmelite Communities Associated

My name is Sister Robin of the Blessed Sacrament. Born in a beautiful suburb of Philadelphia named Wynnewood as Robin Stratton, and the firstborn of five children, I entered Carmel in 1958, a year after graduating from high school. I have lived as a Discalced Carmelite for more than 60 amazing years.  It has been a journey of prayer for God’s people on a road of light and darkness, of joy and suffering, not unlike the life of my sisters and brothers around the world. Saint Teresa believed that prayer is apostolic, that the energy of praying people reaches out to embrace all people, all situations, all circumstances.  Thus, as a friend told me when I was very young in Carmel: “Your life is not for yourself. In fact, it is not for your own consolation at all, but for God’s people. “This was a salutary lesson I have never…

Servants to All

Servants to All is a faith-based program and the Schuylkill County’s only emergency homeless shelter providing housing, case management, and material goods.  Servants to All provides supportive services to homeless individuals in Schuylkill County and the surrounding counties in Pennsylvania.  Established in 2012, the organization has grown from using mobile shelters and hotel/motel vouchers to having two permanent locations for its day program called My Father’s House, and an overnight shelter. My Father’s House is open to all community members in need.   Morning prayer and gospel reflections are held daily for anyone that would like to participate.  There is also chapel room for individual prayer.  Servants to All has a library of resources for spiritual support.  Servants to All also provides emergency food and clothing, transportation, computer access for job and housing searches, and case management. Individuals who have no other nighttime residence are provided emergency housing. There are no…

The Church United at FOCUS' SEEK

By Fr. Jeff Ryan Miraflor, SJ. It isn’t a new revelation that the Church is in a crisis. Rampant clerical sex abuse. Bishops have lost our trust. Public squabbling. Endless scandals and media revelations. What has been the result? Division. People leaving the Church. People like me wondering if there’ll be a Church for me to serve in the future. And yet, in the last five months I’ve found more reasons to hope. My most recent witness of hope was at SEEK 2019, the biggest conference in the country for Catholic college students, where I had the privilege to represent the Jesuits and promoting Jesuit vocations at our booth. SEEK was started twenty years ago by the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS), whose aim is “to know Christ Jesus and fulfill His Great Commission” by “win[ning] the hearts of college students, build[ing] them up in the faith, and send[ing] them out into…

Giving to Those Who Have Given Generously

David Brooks volunteers at My Brother’s Keeper in Easton, Mass. He recently established an annuity with Ignatian Volunteer Corps. I write this reflection during the Lenten season in which the Church calls us to prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.  I particularly want to reflect on almsgiving as a spiritual exercise in my life.