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One Faith, One Hope, One Love

Financial Reports

Agencies Meet Food Needs through Unique Programs and Partnerships

By Sister Eileen ConnellyCatholic Charities_3

Thanks to collaboration, unique programs, and support from donors and volunteers, Catholic Charities Southwestern Ohio (CCSWO) and Catholic Social Services of the Miami Valley (CSSMV) have continued to meet the needs of hungry individuals and families during the pandemic. 

April Hoak, Food for All coordinator for CCSWO, said the agency was approached last year by Cincinnati’s Freestore Foodbank to partner with them in local distribution of the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farmers to Families Food Boxes. The USDA established the program in cooperation with farmers, ranchers, food processers and distributors, and non-profit organizations to ensure all Americans have had fresh and wholesome food during COVID-19. 

“The Freestore reached out to us since we’re familiar with mobile food distribution and had faith we could make this happen in our community,” Hoak explained. 

Catholic Charities organized drive-thru distribution of the Farmers to Families Food Boxes on six dates in 2020, and held three so far in 2021. Between 1,200 and 1,400 boxes containing a variety of packaged and fresh food have been given away on each date, Hoak said. 

What’s unique about Farmers to Families is that no identification is required, and there are no income or family member restrictions as with other programs. “There are no questions asked. It’s a very dignified process,” Hoak noted. “We trust that people will do the right thing with the food and share it with neighbors or family members who need help. People have been so grateful and said, ‘Thank you. Bless you for doing this.’”

“I’m so proud and grateful that we’re involved,” she added. “Volunteers from the local Catholic community have come out to help. It’s a reminder to me that all of us, from our clients to our donors, are connected by the love of God and as members of the body of Christ.” 

In Dayton, volunteers and staff came up with the idea of filling drawstring to go bags with essential food items, such as peanut butter, rice, and fruit, to give to clients until they can make a regular monthly pantry visit. 

The bags have taken off, said Mike Hoendorf, parish and community relations coordinator for CSSMV, thanks to enthusiastic support from neighboring parishes and schools. St. Charles Borromeo, St. Albert, and Incarnation, along with Chaminade Julienne and Carroll high schools have made bags and/or collected supplies. Approximately 400 bags have been assembled so far, with the goal of having 500 in stock at the pantry. 

“People have definitely been appreciative of the bags on days when there is bad weather,” Hoendorf said. “The bags are easy to carry and give them their essentials.” 

An added bonus, he explained, is that the to go bags have stimulated additional conversation about parish engagement in CSSMV’s efforts. “This gives the parishes something concrete they can do and addresses a very specific need. It’s really given the parishes the opportunity to get a glimpse of our everyday operations and how our work affects our clients,” Hoendorf explained. “I think it helps the parishes and all our donors understand how important their support is to our mission. That’s something we’re very grateful for.”


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Seminary Expansion Offers New Opportunities

By Eileen Connelly, OSU 

Growth at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary & School of Theology (MTSM) has led to increased opportunities for programming, prayer, and community building. 

Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr blessed and dedicated the new Fenwick Hall on October 13, 2019. Named for the first bishop of Cincinnati, the residence facility has 31 rooms for either seminarians or overnight guests. It is the first new building at the seminary since 1959, and is considered a practical necessity to address current and future growth. 

Renovations to the Marian Courtyard were completed in August 2020, and include a new statue of the Blessed Mother under the title of The Immaculate Conception, patroness of the seminary. “Our goal was to create a space veFr. Keller's outdoor class - fr. tonyry much like a European piazza or square, a space that easily lends itself to hosting events and socializing, as well as study and reflection,” said Father Anthony Brausch, president and rector of the seminary. “Having the statue of Our Lady present in the midst of all of this creates just the right atmosphere and focus.” 

The expanded facilities made it possible for the seminary to launch summer programming for the continuing formation of priests this year. “We hosted multi-day and week-long events in June for: priests ordained at least one year and not yet pastors; priests who have been pastors for at least one year and in their first pastorate; and priests interested in continuing theological education,” noted Father Brausch. “The participants were able to stay in the Fenwick building, and the conference rooms were used for the presentations.” 

To round out the weeks of June, MTSM hosted a retreat group of 30 priests and lay people. In July, the Sacred Music Institute, directed by Mary Catherine Levri, director of music at the seminary, held a three-day conference with 40 overnight participants who made use of the Fenwick building and piazza for fellowship and discussions. 

“In sum, the new facilities have provided us with the opportunity to offer summer programming in beautiful, integrated venues: accommodations, refectory, outdoor spaces, and the chapel,” Father Brausch said. “The reaction to the campus and the facilities has been overwhelmingly positive from both those who live and study here and the one-time visitors.” 

 

Father Brausch expressed his gratitude for those who supported the expansion projects, saying, “The contributions to the One Faith, One Hope, One Love campaign made it possible to conceive and plan for the future of the seminary with a great degree of confidence. It allowed us to think of not only what we needed to do to maintain the institution and its work, but to enhance its effectiveness and impact.”

 

 


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A Life Lived with Love

By Eileen Connelly, OSU 

Father Joseph Beckman passed away on July 19, 2021. This article in its original form appeared in the bicentennial edition of The Catholic Telegraph in June. Sr. Eileen interviewed him in the spring. Joe Beckman

World War II veteran. Journalist. Advocate for the poor. World traveler. As he approached his 100 birthday in November of this year, Father Joseph Beckman reflected on a life filled with travel and unique experiences, devoted to God and a mission of love.

A native of Hamilton, Father Beckman graduated in 1939 from the then Hamilton Catholic High School where he was educated by the Marianists. He spent the next three years working at a local machine shop while discerning a vocation to the priesthood. A Marianist priest rather bluntly told the young man to “get off the fence and make a decision,” recalled Father Beckman. “But I was about to be drafted, so I decided to go into the Army Air Corps, and if I came back alive, I would go into the seminary.”

At the age of 20, he started training as a navigator aboard a B-24 Liberator. He flew 44 combat missions out of Guadalcanal, along New Guinea, and into the Philippines. The experiences gave him his first exposure to the plight of the poor in those countries and led to a lifelong interest in writing about world poverty and the Church’s global mission. “The people had serious health problems: elephantiasis, malaria, dengue fever, malnutrition,” Father Beckman said. “Many lived in thatched roof huts, on dirt floors, and without electricity and toilet facilities.”

Throughout his military service, Father Beckman kept a high school Latin book close by as a reminder of his calling. Remaining true to his pledge, he entered the seminary after being discharged from the Army Air Corps and was ordained in 1954. The new priest’s first assignment was teaching at Purcell High School in Cincinnati. He went on to serve as a chaplain for the Brown County Ursuline Sisters, and from 1964-71 as a chaplain at Miami University. “This was during the Vietnam War, Kent State, all kinds of unrest,” Father Beckman explained.

Feeling “beat up and burned out” by the turmoil, he traveled to Mexico to study Spanish. Before long, he was traversing the globe as a freelance journalist. With his notebook and camera in hand, Father Beckman visited 100 countries over the years, documenting the lives of the poor, listening to and sharing their stories, and interviewing missionaries who ministered among them. More than 65 publications, both secular and religious, including The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune and Kansas City Star, Our Sunday Visitor, America, Catholic Digest and St. Anthony Messenger, featured his articles and photos.

In 2011, at the age of 89, Father Beckman made his 13th trip to Haiti, at a time when the impoverished island nation was still recovering from the January 2010 earthquake that left 300,000 people dead and another 1.5 million homeless. Accompanied by a representative from the “Parish Twinning Program of the Americas”, Father Beckman’s goal was to see the progress made in Haiti as a result of twinning partnerships with Catholic faith communities in the United States. The Haitian people hold a special place in Father Beckman’s heart, and he shared his experiences of this journey with The Catholic Telegraph upon his return.

Father Beckman never served as a pastor, but did assist at various parishes over the years, including St. Rose Church in Cincinnati, from 1995-2017. As he neared the centenarian mark, he said, “I say Mass every day in my room, and I remember all of you in my prayers. I hope God will bless all of us and someday take us to a better world of perfect happiness.” 


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CEF Awards $2.2 Million in Tuition Grants

By Eileen Connelly, OSU

In an archdiocese with the sixth largest Catholic school system in the country, it is clear that the residents hold their Catholic values dear and want to see them passe
d on to the next generation. That is why the need-based grants from the Catholic Education Foundation for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati (CEF) are so critical and meaningful. 

CEF has awarded just over $2,230,000 in tuition grants ChurchFront1to students in grades K-12 for the 2021-2022 school year,” noted Vince Woodall, deputy superintendent for operational vitality at the Catholic Schools Office. “These awards impact over 2,100 students within the 19 counties of the archdiocese. All of this was made possible through the generosity of the faithful to the One Faith, One Hope, One Love capital campaign.” 

 

“The tuition assistance offered through CEF has been a blessing to thousands of families,” he added. “These funds have also allowed parishes and schools to stretch their own tuition dollars a little further in order to benefit even more families. We are truly grateful that these funds have been made available to the students and families that we serve.”  

 

Those grateful students and families include Carly Braun, who has two children attending Our Lady of Visitation School. 

“A faith-based education is a must for our children, and that is exactly what the Catholic Education Foundation has given our family,” she said. “We believe it is important for young minds to grow within a Catholic school to be closer to God and become important members of society. Being a lower-income family, none of that would have been made possible without receiving [tuition assistance] from the Catholic Education Foundation. Their generosity is a blessing and is ensuring our children will be able to grow in their faith and love for Jesus Christ. We now have a loving, caring, and faith-based community surrounding us that would not have been possible without the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. We will be forever grateful for this opportunity.” 


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Campaign Approaches $140 Million!

One Faith Hope Love _ Summer 2021 Update Bulletin

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Campaign Reaches $137 Million in Pledge Payments

Thanks to generosity of thousands, the One Faith, One Hope, One Love capital campaign has reached $137 million in pledge payments! Check out the bulletin insert below for more details about the continued success of this historic campaign. Click here for a PDF version of the bulletin insert.

One Faith One Hope One Love _ Winter 2020 Bulletin

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One Faith, One Hope, One Love Campaign Contributions at Work

ONE FAITH ONE HOPE ONE LOVE stats

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