Dear Friends of Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans:
The 2019 Annual Report gives a voice to our clients who society has overlooked and whose stories might be hard to hear. If we found ourselves in a slightly different version of our lives, we could be experiencing the same obstacles as our clients. You may see your son in the expressions of our youth clients, hear the words of a close friend from our client who survived domestic abuse, or identify your neighbor’s ambition in the story of our workforce client starting a business.
Catholic Charities staff members do not have God’s power to transform our clients and the challenges they face. Instead, we act in partnership with our clients to uncover their strengths and walk with them on their journey to stability. We are not superior to them but work hand in hand with them. We do not share their stories so that they can wallow in past burdens or for pity. We share their stories so they can release the power of any shame or stigmas and stand proudly in their truth. Hearing these stories, others may feel less alone with their struggles and witness that growth after adversity is possible.
Studies prove the existence of the ‘cycle of poverty’ – if someone is born into a neighborhood with higher rates of murder, gang activity, drug use, failing schools, etc., it is more likely for those things to continue and less likely for a person to break out of this. I have to wonder if the opposite is true as well – that if we lend a hand to someone in need, they are that much more likely to do the same for someone else down the road. That every little bit of good we share compounds into an exponentially increasing movement – the ‘cycle of care.’ The compassion we show CCANO clients carries on to everyone they encounter in their lives. Our service does not stop at the individual who walks into our offices. It spreads to his or her family members, their neighbors, their coworkers, and their fellow Church parishioners.
When you support CCANO, our clients, in turn, will remember this kindness by assisting others in the future. By helping someone today, you end up making a difference in immeasurable people’s lives. We graciously thank you for working with us to bring peace and stability to over 70,000 residents of Louisiana.
God bless you,
Sr. Marjorie Hebert, M.S.C.
President & CEO