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What We Do Locally

  • The logo of the CRS Rice Bowl program.
    CRS Rice Bowl posted a record year in 2014.
  • Harvest of Hope Dinner honorees, 2013.
    CCST stalwarts Ana Bonilla, Jim Ryan, Melissa Chedid, Joseph Kerrigan, Austin Kosik, Ernie Revoir.

“Concern for our neighbour transcends the confines of national communities and has increasingly broadened its horizon to the whole world.”   Pope Benedict XVI, Deus Caritas Est.

Catholic Charities Solidarity Team strives to serve Metuchen Catholics through the following faith-in-action areas:

Education and Prayer for Solidarity --  We cannot authentically put our faith in action without the constant nurturing of our belief through prayer and formation.  CCST sponsors monthly prayer services and other regular presentations in the hopes of opening our minds and spirits to both the world and the world without end.

CRS Rice Bowl -- CRS Rice Bowl is the official Lenten program of Catholic Relief Services, the overseas humanitarian agency of the U.S. Catholic community.  CCST actively promotes CRS Rice Bowl in Metuchen parishes, schools, Catholic Charities centers and other institutions.

CRS Rice Bowl Grants Program -- The CRS Rice Bowl Grants Program provides funds for food assistance, community food security and global solidarity initiatives in the Diocese of Metuchen. Monies for this program come almost entirely from the annual CRS Rice Bowl drive.

CRS Fair Trade -- CCST provides local support to CRS’ efforts to promote the participation of consumers in social justice.  At its heart, fair trade is a dignified, just and committed way for producers and consumers to relate.  CRS has a wide range of products and partners who participate in fair trade practices.

Catholic Campaign for Human Development --  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.

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.

Each fall, a CCHD collection is taken up in parishes, providing funding for CCHD local grants as well as support for the national program.

Justice for Immigrants Campaign --  the Justice for Immigrants Campaign is a program of the USCCB seeking to educate and activate Catholics and people of goodwill around church teaching on immigration and the need for just, comprehensive immigration reform.  Many dioceses, including the Metuchen Diocese, have their own Justice for Immigrants committee.  In Metuchen, a coalition convened by PICO runs the campaign. CCST members and the Office of Hispanic Ministry are key participants.

Additionally, many of our members are versed in emergency response and disaster relief. For example, several team members (Kerrigan, Kosik, Revoir, Ryan) actively served the Diocese of Metuchen as either employees or volunteers in steering the Superstorm Sandy response in Central New Jersey from 2012-14. In the event of global emergencies, Catholic Charities Solidarity Team takes on an added informal role of alerting the diocesan community in ways to direct assistance through the expertise of Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Catholic Charities, and/or the Caritas Internationalis network in the host country.

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