January 29, 2016
For Catholics, the upcoming season of Lent is a time of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. We spend more time communicating with God through prayer, we fast to get a deeper appreciation of Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross, and we give of ourselves to those in need.
For more than 30 years, Catholic Charities of Tennessee has seen this liturgical season as a perfect opportunity to ask the Catholic community in the region to financially support its mission of caring for the neediest among us. Catholic Charities’ annual Lenten appeal raises funds for its programs supporting the poor and elderly.
“Lent is a time of penance. Lent is a time of sacrifice. We are all called to change our ways,” said Bill Sinclair, executive director of Catholic Charities. “During the season of Lent, the call to do so is even greater. Some choose to give up something during Lent; a Starbucks coffee once or twice a week, for example, or a dinner out or a daily afternoon candy bar. In reducing consumption, savings are generated. Rather than just pocketing the savings, many will share the savings with neighbors in need in the community or, to be more precise, with agencies such as Catholic Charities … that work with our neighbors-in-need.”
The agency serves roughly 60,000 Middle Tennesseans and provides 70,000 individual services every year. The money raised through the appeal supports Catholic Charities programming that is often strapped for cash. Many of these programs benefit the elderly and individuals and families who are living in poverty.
“The dollars raised will be used to support many of our safety net programs meeting basic needs for lower incomed populations, such as Loaves and Fishes Community Meals for the Homeless and Hungry or North Nashville Outreach, as well as other programs, such as our Senior Enrichment Center (formerly known as the Adult Day Program) that are critical to our mission, but are challenged for outside funding,” Sinclair said. “By receiving these unrestricted dollars, we are able to apply the funds to areas of greatest need.”
The appeal raised $30,000 dollars last year. The directors of Catholic Charities are hoping that donors will be equally or more generous this year.
“It’s amazing to see how far that money can be stretched for North Nashville Outreach or the Senior Enrichment Center or Loaves and Fishes to provide critically needed services for those most in need,” Sinclair said.
Catholic Charities is grateful for the support it receives every year. “We are always deeply appreciative of any type of support provided by community members, whether it be financial, through time, or simply by praying for our clients and staff,” said Mark Barry, director of mission advancement of Catholic Charities. “Everything is critical to providing support for our service to our neighbors in need.”
To learn more about participating, Tennessee Register readers will receive an appeal envelope in the mail. Announcements will also be made in parish bulletins across the diocese, as well as on Catholic Charities’ LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter networks. Donors may also visit the Donations page on Catholic Charities’ website at www.cctenn.org/donate.cfm.
All checks should be made out to Catholic Charities Lenten Appeal, ATTN: Mission Advancement. The address is 2806 McGavock Pike, Nashville, TN 37214. The appeal lasts from Ash Wednesday on Feb. 10 to Easter Sunday on March 27.