Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Love is Mom's Hot Dog Casserole

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Guest Post from Father John
President and CEO
Catholic Charities

We all have our own special Christmas memories. Believe it or not, one of my most cherished is my mother’s Hot Dog Casserole!

It’s a memory time cannot erase. I can still see my brothers and sisters – all thirteen of us! – crowded around the tree…

Jean and Carol are playing Sorry or Monopoly. Jerry and me read from our big book of Bible stories, and Eileen and Brenda sit in front of the hearth with their paper dolls.

I remember Dad in his big chair, smiling contentedly from behind his newspaper as he looks out at his happy family.

And Mom's in the kitchen, humming to herself as she prepares her famous Hot Dog Casserole. For us kids, it was one of our favorite holiday treats!

It was very simple fare. In a house bustling with thirteen kids, there was not a lot of fancy stuff. But there was a lot of love. And Mom and Dad raised us to understand that Christmas was not about how much we could get, but how much we could give.

That simple but powerful principle – that it is more blessed to give than to receive – has stuck with me my whole life. And today, it is the very foundation of my work at Catholic Charities.

I hope you’ll participate in this year’s 2012 Christmas Fund Drive. It’s one of our most important campaigns of the year. And it’s your opportunity to turn your faith into action for the thousands of brothers and sisters here in our own Archdiocese who need you.

As I write these words, more than a quarter million people in our area live in poverty. And many thousands more struggling families are facing the fear of it.

I know you agree with me that, as Christians, we cannot, and will not, leave suffering people with nowhere to turn.

And because you help, those are the very people we reach every day.

Our annual Christmas Fund Drive is critical to our ability to bring life-changing help and hope…to mothers and children who find safe refuge at our shelters…to families struggling with hunger, who receive nutritious food… to men and women who have lost their jobs, and are restored to the dignity of honest work.

As we prepare for the holiday and joyfully anticipate the coming of our Lord, let us remember that He too, was born in the most humble of places:  a manger of hay.  Let us respond to our neighbors in need as He would want us to. 

Please give a gift today to our 2012 Christmas Fund Drive!