Written in preparation for the 2010 centennial of the national organization Catholic Charities USA, Faith. Works. Wonders. introduces the mission, scope, and impact of Catholic Charities agencies in communities across the nation. This book also describes the work, motivation, and spirituality of the three hundred thousand staff, board members, and volunteers in local Charities agencies; this network composes the largest voluntary social service network in the country. In addition, the author draws on the broad experience of Catholic Charities and his long association with Charities to explain the sometimes-surprising positions of the organization and its leaders in our continuing national discussions on social welfare, faith-inspired organizations, and the appropriate roles of the private and public sectors in promoting the common good and caring for the least fortunate.
Within the framework of the registered slogan of Catholic Charities of the archdiocese of Washington DC, the nine chapters in turn lay out
Faith-the mission, identity, and power of Catholic Charities rooted in the Scriptures, experience, history, and Catholic thought.
Works-the focus of agencies and people on service to people in need, advocacy and empowerment for justice and compassion, and convening religious and civic partners to create a better society.
Wonders-the who, what, and why of volunteers; the quest for quality and innovation; the stance of determined pluralism in the Church community and public square; and the miracle of virtue and spirituality born in the service of others.
Appendices provide 1) an outline of the history of Catholic Charities in the USA dating back to 1727 in the author's hometown of New Orleans, and 2) the principles developed by Catholic Charities and other voluntary-sector leaders for the protection of the sector in this country.