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Almsgiving

 

The foundational call of Christians to charity is a frequent theme of the Gospels.  During Lent, we are asked to focus more intently on "almsgiving," which means donating money or goods to the poor and performing other acts of charity.  As one of the three pillars of Lenten practice, almsgiving is "a witness to fraternal charity" and  "a work of justice pleasing to God." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2462).  

"I distrust a charity that costs nothing and does not hurt." — Pope Francis, Message for Lent 2014

In his Message for Lent 2014 Pope Francis asks us to pay particular attention to those who live in material, moral or spiritual poverty:

"Lent is a fitting time for self-denial; we would do well to ask ourselves what we can give up in order to help and enrich others by our own poverty.  Let us not forget that real poverty hurts: no self-denial is real without this dimension of penance." 

There are several special opportunities for almsgiving through donations to Church ministries for which collections are conducted during the Lenten season including:
Many dioceses hold special appeals for local needs during Lent and there are countless other ways to offer your time, talent and treasure to needy individuals and organizations during Lent and throughout the year.  For ideas, contact your diocesan Social Concerns office or your local Catholic Charities affiliate.

The USCCB Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development has a variety of Resources and Tools on the Church's social mission and the option for the poor, including an updated Poverty Tour.



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