Renewal of CCHD leads to stronger emphasis on Catholic teaching
Published: August 17, 2012
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- A little self-reflection every now and then never hurts. Some call it prayer; others a retreat. Peter Maurin and Dorothy Day, co-founders of the Catholic Worker, called it "clarification of thought." No matter how it's pegged, something worthy usually emerges. Stephanie Gyldendan, head organizer for ESTHER, a faith-based organization addressing social justice concerns in Neenah, Wis., finds such reflection a good thing. Members of the organization, a recipient of funding through the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, have begun to reflect more deeply on their work at the behest of the campaign, the U.S. bishops' domestic anti-poverty campaign. And they liked what they saw, Gyldendan told Catholic News Service. "It really brought in a rich discussion on why our faith traditions call us to engage in the community and work for justice," Gyldendan said. Under revised guidelines developed in 2010 as CCHD underwent its own "review and renewal" after a period of reflection, organizations seeking church funding for anti-poverty work are being asked to consider how work on affordable housing, immigrant rights, police protection and school reform enhances Catholic moral and social teaching. ESTHER, which stands for Empowerment Solidarity Truth Home Reform, is an interfaith organization that includes seven Catholic parishes as partners. Gyldendan said CCHD's new guidelines provide "room for conversation" to better understand how faith motivates action. CCHD-funded organizations are finding that the revised guidelines leave no doubt that Catholic teaching must be upheld in all activities and affiliations.
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