"Not only is justice not extraneous to charity, not only is it not an alternative or parallel path to charity: justice is inseparable from charity, and intrinsic to it.
Justice is the primary way of charity or, in Paul VI's words, "the minimum measure" of it, an integral part of the love "in deed and in truth" (1 Jn 3:18), to which Saint John exhorts us.
On the one hand, charity demands justice: recognition and respect for the legitimate rights of individuals and peoples." -- Pope Benedict XVI, Caritas in veritate, 2009.
The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) is the domestic anti-poverty, social justice program of the Catholic bishops in the United States. CCHD addresses the root causes of poverty in the United States through the support of community-controlled, self-help organizations of poor and low-income people and through education that changes hearts and minds.
Founded in 1969, CCHD's pastoral strategy is empowerment of the poor through a methodology of participation and education for justice, leading toward solidarity between poor and non-poor as impelled by the Church's biblical tradition, modern Catholic social teaching, and the pervasive presence of poverty in the United States. This ministry for justice is rooted in our baptism and faith commitment.
The grants, economic development, and education for justice programs of the Campaign, implemented in collaboration with local dioceses, are supported from an annual collection in U.S. Catholic parishes.
During its history, CCHD has funded more than 4,000 projects across the United States. These projects know no racial or religious boundaries. They are all focused on helping people find a way out of poverty for a lifetime
There are many short-term "fixes" to situations of poverty: food banks, homeless shelters, clothing drives. Year after year Americans give generously of their time to "help the less fortunate." But why do our volunteer hours continue to be needed? Our works of charity will continue to be needed because the state of American poverty needs long-term solutions like a strong educational system for every student, job training and economic development opportunities, and access to affordable housing.
CCHD helps break the cycle of poverty by encouraging individuals to work together to strengthen their neighborhoods and create new economic opportunities for themselves, their families, and neighbors. CCHD provides grants to make long-term changes in U.S. communities. CCHD's focus on the root causes of poverty builds upon the direct-service role of other agencies. In addition, CCHD is a visible sign of solidarity between the poor and the non-poor. Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento, chair of the USCCB-CCHD subcommittee, gave a ringing endorsement of CCHD in this 2013 story.
"It will be necessary above all to abandon a mentality in which the poor -- as individuals and as peoples -- are considered a burden, irksome intruders trying to consume what others have produced" - Pope John Paul II, 1991
The Metuchen CCHD program is responsible for promoting empowerment initiatives within the four counties of the diocese. These initiatives generally fall within the areas of community organizing and small business development.
The annual fall CCHD collection in parishes provides funding for CCHD local grants, so please give generously to this second collection when it occurs in your parish. 25% of the funds raised for CCHD nationally stay in Metuchen for such use.
Or, you can give directly to the CCHD program in Catholic Charities by sending a check to "Catholic Campaign for Human Development," Catholic Charities, 319 Maple St., Perth Amboy NJ 08861.