"The glory of God is that the poor may live." - Archbishop Oscar Romero
The Catholic Charities Solidarity Team actively relates to church partners and projects in two countries: Guatemala and the Philippines. As of the summer of 2014, we are in conversation about developing ongoing programming in Kenya.
Since 2004, we have directed the Metuchen Diocese’s participation in the Guatemala Community Projects initiative with the Santa Rosa Diocese in Guatemala. The relationship was originally fashioned by Catholic Relief Services as the Global Solidarity Partnership program.
On a smaller scale -- at the moment -- the devastating November 2013 typhoon Haiyan prompted CCST to activate around disaster response in the affected area. A Haiyan task force was formed, and after approximately $600,000 was raised within the Metuchen Diocese and sent to CRS for emergency response, CCST began its own long-term recovery efforts, which continue to this day.
In the past, another major disaster, the Christmas 2004 South Asian tsunami, became the occasion for CRS to guide Metuchen to the stricken Thanjavur Diocese in South India. CCST continued to work with Thanjavur on selected community-driven projects for nine years until ending the relationship in 2013.
CCST has also directly sponsored small, one-time projects in other countries, including: Argentina, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Colombia, Ghana, Lebanon and Slovakia.
In our overseas work, CCST seeks to emulate priority areas of service developed over decades of experience and faith by Catholic Relief Services, the official humanitarian agency of the U.S. Catholic community. Our local accent is to emphasize committed, faith-filled and mutually-enriching relationships wherever we go and in whatever we do. We seek counsel and support from the staff of the CRS Northeast Regional Office, located in Radnor, PA, along with staff from world headquarters, when needed, in downtown Baltimore, MD.
CRS’ holistic approach currently focuses on six priority areas of service: emergency response, hunger, education, health, peace-building, and, in the United States, education and advocacy. For more on the “how” of CRS, visit their site.