A prominent national figure in the battle against poverty paid a visit to Catholic Charities headquarters on Delaware Avenue Friday. Ralph McCloud is the Director of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, an anti-poverty program supported by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. He was presented with an award of appreciation from Catholic Charities of Buffalo CEO Dennis Walczyk.
"Thank you for the work that you all do," said McCloud. "To find out the work that you have done is really heartening to me. To be able to leverage the donations with the lives that you're touching, that's where the difficult part is." The CCHD Director told a gathering of about thirty local clergy and outreach advocates that he was inspired by the words of Pope Francis who said that shepherds need to 'smell like the sheep', "We have to be where they are, where they live, where they interact, where their pain is, and we must do that in a sense of compassion. We've got to feel the pain," said McCloud.
Over the past twenty years, CCHD and the Diocese of Buffalo have directly supported the work of VOICE-Buffalo and the Niagara Organizing Alliance for Hope (NOAH) to carry out the stated mission of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. Over the past two years, CCHD has funded an initiative launched by Catholic Charities of Buffalo to work with local refugees and immigrants. As part of Friday's stop, McCloud also visited Back to Basics Ministries and met with VOICE Refugee Leadership at Our Lady of Hope Parish.
The 2016 Catholic Charities campaign is approaching the final weeks, but is still short of its goal of $11 million. Click here to donate.