Nov. 11, 2009
Upcoming Programs
Breaking the Cycle of Poverty

When the American Catholic bishops began the Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) in 1970, they gave it a mandate: to fund "such projects as voter registration, community organizations, community-run schools, minority-owned cooperatives and credit unions, capital for industrial development and job training programs, and setting up of rural cooperatives."

This month, the CCHD makes its annual appeal in Catholic parishes. For nearly 40 years, it has helped make a difference in local communities. The CCHD works in two ways: First, through Community Organizing Grants to groups committed to the dignity of the human person. These grants address the root causes of poverty, and seek to remove institutional barriers which keep marginalized and low-income people from reaching their full God-given potential. Second, Economic Development Grants support initiatives which include the voice of the poor and marginalized, develop new businesses with good jobs, and develop assets that are owned and enjoyed by local communities.

You may have heard news stories recently about Campaign-funded groups which do not operate in ways consistent with Catholic teaching. Earlier this fall, Bishop Roger P. Morin, Chairman of the CCHD, assured the bishops that the CCHD takes seriously any allegation that "[funded] groups... are not in compliance with Catholic teaching, or are participating in partisan political activity," and investigates and takes action when allegations can be proven.

Like many local communities around the U.S., my home in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati has reaped the benefits of the CCHD. Two locally funded agencies are close to my parish, and to my heart. A coalition of faith-based organizations and individuals working on many different justice issues, called the "Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center," is located down the street from my church. Each year I help them with their "Way of the Cross, Way of Justice," held in the center of our downtown.

Also located near my parish is the "Contact Center," started nearly 40 years ago by some of my brother Franciscans. Now independent, the Center is committed to changing policies to make it easier for people to get out of poverty, whether it be through income support, adequate housing, having health care or other means of poverty reduction. These are just two examples of 250 CCHD-funded groups around the country.

As we gather with our families to celebrate Thanksgiving, American Catholic Radio combines the theme of spiritual gratitude with the work of the Campaign, as it helps break the cycle of poverty, and invests in human development and institutional change, based on the Gospel's call to justice.

Father Greg Friedman, O.F.M.
American Catholic Radio: Upcoming Episodes (#09-47 , #09-48)
Use the links below to preview the shows or download them in MP3 format for broadcast.
Highlights from this episode include:

Living Faith
Stephanie Garza is the 2008 winner of the Cardinal Bernardin New Leadership Award, a prestigious award given annually by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. She was honored for the work she does with immigrant parents in the Parents as Mentors Program for the Southwest Organizing Project, or SWOP.

Ask a Franciscan
Father Hilarion Kistner answers questions: How does the Church reconcile the Genesis creation accounts with scientific theories such as evolution? Why does Jesus often tell those he has healed not to say anything about the healing? Why does John the Baptist not seem to know Jesus in St. John's Gospel? How were months and years counted in Jesus' time? How could Lot be considered righteous when he was involved in the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah?

Marriage Moment
Greg and Jennifer Willits, hosts of their own talk radio show called The Catholics Next Door, tackle the question, "What advice do you give couples preparing to get married?"

Exploring Our Faith
Since 2007, Ralph McCloud has served as head of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD). In his position, he leads and coordinates on a national level CCHD's grant-making and the promotion and integration of CCHD's domestic anti-poverty work. Mr. McCloud ran the peace and justice ministry in the Fort Worth Diocese and was also active in the civic community, being elected to four two-year terms to the Fort Worth City Council, and serving as Fort Worth's mayor pro-tem from 1999 to 2005. He was co-founder of the African-American Summit for Peace, Justice and Equality.
Highlights from this episode include:

Living Faith
Todd Lemieux founded The Sainthood Project. This project challenges you to live like a saint for 42 days. Todd is a full time missionary and evangelist who speaks to groups around the country. He also co-authored the book, 101 Things Every Catholic Teen Should Know with Mark Hart.

Ask a Franciscan
ACR host Father Greg Friedman answers questions: What does it mean for a saint to be a "Doctor of the Church"? Does God love the poor more than the wealthy?

Marriage Moment
Catholic psychotherapist and author Greg Popcak along with his wife Lisa Popcak, a professional educator and Life Coach, will answer the question, "How can we see our marriages as holy?"

Exploring Our Faith
Jesuit Father Mark Thibodeaux has been a spiritual director, retreat master, and preacher; served as a prison chaplain in Boston, a teacher in Atlanta, Houston, and Dallas, and aided refugees in Uganda. Currently, Fr. Mark is Director of Novices for the New Orleans Jesuit Province, helping to form young men preparing to commit their lives to Christ in the Society of Jesus, the Jesuits. He visited our studios earlier this fall to record his latest book, Armchair Mystic: Easing into Contemplative Prayer, published by St. Anthony Messenger Press, in audiobook form. Father Mark took time share with us on the seasonal theme of thanksgiving.
Franciscan Radio
Link to audio features Saint of the Day, Sunday Soundbites, and American Catholic Radio.
American Catholic Radio
A weekly half-hour catechetical program, in the popular style of the Franciscans.
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