The Catholic social teaching emphasizes on the support provided for the needy, poor and the afflicted communities through corporal and spiritual works of mercy. Charity deriving from the Christ’s living days in the form of a human being initiating the deacons to care take the oppressed in the society whilst supporting the livelihoods of the people through spiritual teaching. Catholic charities or charitable organizations operated under the leadership and guidance of Catholic officials are of multifold spread across all parts of the world. These charities are mainly established to caretake the orphaned children, elderly abandoned by families and differently-abled communities. Most of the Catholic charities are mainly funded by the respective dioceses under whose ownership they are being operated. Furthermore, tremendous degrees of donations reach these charitable organizations to provide more financial support. Catholic charities are mainly operated under the close scrutiny of priests and other clergies.
Various Catholic charities are available in the world such as Aid to the Church in Need, Catholic Charities USA, Missionaries of Charity, Catholic Home Missions, Caritas Internationalis, Jesuit Refugee Service, Society of Vincent de Paul, Divine Mercy Care, Franciscan Works, Salesian Missions, Catholic Relief Services, Renovabis and Talitha Kum. Caritas, Jesuit and Vincent de Paul Society are most commonly found in major parishes across the world. These charities are involved in constant social welfare activities such as providing homes for the needy, looking after the disadvantaged communities in the parishes, cash and dry ration donations for families with financial scarcity. The majority of these Catholic charities accept volunteerism where the volunteers are welcome to support in respective projects. These opportunities could be identified through Catholic Volunteer Network that list down the potential volunteer opportunities available in Catholic charities. Volunteerism is commonly accepted for fundraising, teaching and programme coordination.
In the US, Catholic Charities USA is a massive not-for-profit organization based on a net donation value of USD 714 million as at 2020 catering for the basic needs of the communities. Below highlights few more Catholic charities that are effectively managed in the world;
- Save a Family Plan: a Canadian-based international non-profit that supports to build self-sufficient, strong and empowered communities and families, thereby assisting in creating a sustainable economy. Their mission incepted from India helping poorer families to establish an income stream for themselves.
- Christian Foundation for Children and Aging (also known as Unbound): operations spread across 21 countries in the world support more than 300,000 children, families and the elderly to overcome the challenges in life due to poverty struggles. Unbound is involved in their mission through the provision of scholarships, disaster assistance and microloans.
- Aid to the Church in Need: actively run by the Nigerian sisters who help the poorest families and involves in teaching the children.
- Mary Queen of Heaven Missionaries: mainly focused on saving young girls from sex trafficking and prostitution due to severe poverty-stricken society.
- The Guiding Star Project: a charitable foundation that travels further across physical donations as it is involved in teaching women the whole-life approach to honor their bodies and embrace their natural beauty.
- Missionaries of Charity: established by Saint Mother Teresa in 1950 as a mission to provide service for the poor wholeheartedly. As of today this charity is widely spread across 100 countries and initiating a congregation of sisters under Mother Theresa’s teaching of chastity, poverty and obedience.
- Sisters of the Good Shepherd Ministries: widely spread across various countries possessing homes for the elderly mainly and children. Good Shepherd sisters further operate education institutions and schools with strict discipline building daughters with obedience and faith.
- Angel Foundation for Learning: mainly serves the needs of students in Toronto, Canada. Their mission is to support vulnerable students by nurturing them through nutritional, educational and spiritual programs. These include class trips, bursaries, student nutrition programs, leadership activities and social work emergency needs such as food vouchers.
In considering the success factors of the charities found across the countries, Catholic charitable organizations consist of a profound and appropriate line of processes laid to caretake the needy. It derives from the basic teachings the sisters and the clergy received from their early priesthood educational backgrounds where they are taught to live a life with minimal comfort whilst only satisfying basic needs. Catholicism teaches on the greatness of showing love and compassion for the needy and underprivileged communities in the world, hence the Catholic charities operated by the clergy are meticulously well-maintained despite minimal funding and donations.
Despite the existence of many charities in the world, the core success factor remains on the ability to sustain with effective work. Certain charities do not disclose transparency of funding and allocation of donations, due to such resurgence of conflicts the movement of funds for these organizations has halted. However, Catholic charitable organizations are mainly audited and controlled by the diocesan and congregations unto which it belongs and hence the transparency of dealings and effectiveness of their social service is widely visible for any individual.
In recent times the existence of Catholic charities has tremendously supported to make this world a better place for the disadvantaged communities who are often abandoned and forgotten by the majority. Catholic charities are always taken care of by the church communities attached to it and thus the possibility of deprivation of funds or resources is minimal. In considering the charities to volunteer, it is prominent to choose an organization that can truly be benefited from your strengths. An individual with a talent for teaching is best to volunteer in charities that are specialized in the teaching arena. Thereby the personal feelings of goodness could be obtained in fathomless degrees, it is considerate for one person to volunteer in taking care of the elderly and abandoned children or perhaps the differently-abled individuals with special needs. As you visit and spend the day with them, you will begin to realize the goodness of the Good Lord who blessed you with so many luxuries, comforts, and fulfillment in life to lead a beautiful journey.