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Where our faith leads us

Parishioner contributions to the CRS Rice Bowl program have greatly assisted Catholic Relief Services, the humanitarian arm of the Catholic Church, and will continue to do so in the future. Take a look at how your donations support their operations.

In Tanzania, CRS is helping 11,250 soybean farmers to increase their harvest and connect them with marketing groups. Selling soybeans in bulk with other farmers has increased individual income and allowed families to buy healthy food.

In the Middle East, CRS is providing food vouchers to refugees of the Syrian civil war, and augmenting schools where displaced children can learn, play, and receive trauma counseling.

Thank you for your involvement in the vital work of CRS. To learn more about the 40th anniversary of the Rice Bowl, the CRS monthly giving program, and a new annuity program, visit

Families can return their CRS rice bowls to Church or Parish Center!

Catholic Appeal update

The 2014 Catholic Appeal campaign is well underway at St. Mary-St. Catherine of Siena! So far, 131 parishioners have participated, and together, we have raised $36,351 toward our parish campaign goal of $57,655. Thank you to all who participated up to this point. Your generosity will benefit hundreds of Pastoral, charitable, and educational programs at work within the Archdiocese of Boston and in our own Parish. Your gift to the Catholic Appeal moves us forward in hope as we work in unity to strengthen the ministries and mission of the Archdiocese of Boston.

If you have yet to participate in the 2014 Catholic Appeal, please pledge online at or complete a pledge form available in the back of the Church. Please note that you may make a pledge payable in monthly installments up until January 31, 2015. Thank you.

Tarps for homes

Plastic tarps are often distributed by Catholic Relief Services to homeless disaster victims around the world. The people of the Philippines have also received the waterproof material as temporary fixes for the roofs of their homes—roofs blown off by the tremendous winds of Typhoon Haiyan. More than 600,000 homes were damaged or destroyed in Haiyan’s wake, prompting a massive international mission to the region.

CRS is committed to help 100,000 people on Leyte and Samar with home repair, debris clearing, water supply, hygiene kits, carpentry training, and cash-for-work programs. Read more about overseas relief missions at

CRS responds to Filipinos with shelter materials

Typhoon Haiyan damaged or destroyed an estimated 600,000 homes in the Philippines. The tally of ruined structures has gone up as relief workers move further inland to survey the damage. Like Haitians and Americans who have escaped such disasters, Filipinos now require shelter to survive.

The roofs on many homes were ripped away by 195 m.p.h. winds, but the walls around these homes were left intact. Since their arrival on Leyte, Catholic Relief Services has distributed tarpaulins and nails to citizens in Ormoc and Palo and demonstrated how to set up temporary shelters with these materials. Water is running again in Ormoc, but things are not so well in Palo. The need for household items and public latrines is great, for like Haiti, proper hygiene must be restored to prevent the spread of disease.

Last week, Cardinal Seán O’Malley asked all churches in the Archdiocese of Boston to hold an emergency collection for relief operations in the Philippines. In St. Mary-St. Catherine of Siena, parishioners gave $2,352.50 for this critical effort. In an interview with CRS information officer Jen Hardy, Archbishop John Du of Palo said, “we are still hopeful that we will rise from this ordeal, because of the support of our neighboring dioceses, provinces and countries.”

To read more of the Archbishop’s comments and CRS operations in the Philippines, please visit

An emergency collection for the Philippines

“This is the worst storm ever to hit the Philippines.”

CRS Country Representative Joe Curry

Cardinal Seán has authorized a special collection this weekend in all parishes of the Archdiocese in support of the relief efforts to those areas in the Philippines and Vietnam that have been devastated by the recent Super Typhoon Haiyan.

All monies collected will be distributed from the Archdiocese of Boston to Catholic Relief Services. This special collection will assist persons directly impacted by this storm as well as the rebuilding of the Church in the affected areas, so that the Church may be restored in her ability to serve the people.

Please address any check donations to St. Mary-St. Catherine of Siena Parish, with “Typhoon Haiyan Recovery 2013” in the memo. We thank you for supporting this emergency effort.

For more updates on CRS operations in the Phillipines with CARITAS Phillipines, and to make donations online, please visit

Prayers for Syrians

Bombed-out vehicles in the city of Aleppo. (Voice of America)

Pope Benedict XVI once described the Arab Spring as a desire for “a renewed Arab identity.” Indeed, the revolution of voices in the Middle East had captured the attention of the entire world. But not every nation was remade from this season of independence. Now in their second year of civil war, Syrians have endured the greatest suffering of all.

Continue reading Prayers for Syrians

For CRS, 70 years is a triumph, and a call to do more

The humanitarian arm of the Catholic Church has good reason to enjoy its seventieth anniversary. Catholic Relief Services began its mission in 1943 with the transport of Polish refugees from Russia to their new home in Mexico. Since then, CRS has come to ground zero for some of history’s greatest disasters:  hurricanes in Honduras and Guatemala, tribal war in Sudan, drought in Somalia, and earthquakes in Haiti. With 5,000 workers in 91 nations, CRS is the ideal agency to confront poverty, hunger, disease, and other crises worldwide.

Continue reading For CRS, 70 years is a triumph, and a call to do more