Catholic Charities: Boldly serving Central Texas
November is National Veterans and Military Families Month. We pay tribute to those who have given of themselves to protect the freedoms and opportunities that we enjoy as Americans. We honor the spouses, children and parents who sacrificed precious time apart from their loved ones, who have served our nation in their own way by offering up pieces of their hearts for the greater good.
The word that comes to mind when I think of our service members and their families is bold: not hesitating or fearful in the face of actual or possible danger or rebuff. Enlisting in the armed forces is a bold and courageous commitment. Unknowing what the future holds, military women and men freely accept the call to serve and protect our nation, placing the good of the U.S. above their own needs. Many of our veterans and military families who serve our nation pay a significant personal cost. They are challenged physically, mentally and emotionally. Relationships with spouses and children are stretched. Some lay down their lives in the ultimate sacrifice.
“This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (Jn 15:12-13)
We know that we can never repay our veterans for their service and protection, but we honor their sacrifices when we work to strengthen our own families, communities and society.
In the St. Michael’s Veteran Services program at Catholic Charities, the work that we do not only honors the sacrifices of our veterans, but also that of Christ whose own bold sacrifice changed the course of history forever. To follow his commandment, we must love boldly. We must step out of our own comfort zones to meet our clients where they are — places of trauma, pain and despair. We have the privilege to accompany our veterans and their families on healing journeys to repair relationships, process traumatic experiences and navigate their transitions back to civilian life. In this work, we imitate Christ who gave special attention to the suffering, the sick and those on the margins of society.
To carry out our vision of a Central Texas in which every person thrives in their God-given gifts and dignity, Catholic Charities must offer services that are bold: beyond the usual limits of conventional thought or action. We know that if money alone was enough to end the cycle of poverty, it would have been broken long before now. Complex challenges require holistic solutions.
At Catholic Charities, we are proud to provide wraparound support that meets the financial, educational, social and spiritual needs of the families we serve. We constantly strive to improve and expand our service delivery in ways that are new and innovative so that we can fulfill our bold mission of ending poverty in Central Texas. In this work, we honor and support those who have boldly served us, and all those they have worked to defend and protect.
To learn more about the work of Catholic Charities of Central Texas and St. Michael’s Veteran Services, visit www.ccctx.org.
Sara Ramirez is the executive director of Catholic Charities of Central Texas. She can be reached at (512) 651-6100 or firstname.lastname@example.org.