Loading
Catholic aid organization seeks to transform lives
Catholic Cross Outreach president Jim Cavnar in Vietnam.
Catholic Cross Outreach president Jim Cavnar in Vietnam.
By Kevin J. Jones
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- A Catholic foreign aid organization aims to advance the “integral development” of people it helps around the world by serving both their physical and spiritual needs.

Jim Cavnar, president of Cross Catholic Outreach, said the Boca Raton-based organization was launched in 2001 to help Catholic missions in developing countries “grow and supply their outreaches to the poor.”

Cavnar told CNA May 14 that a project is successful when it shows “transformative power” in people’s lives, as when suffering children become well, poor students graduate from school, and communities gain access to safe water or health care.

“These practical changes are accompanied by spiritual guidance from our partner churches or missionaries, so even more positive changes follow. Men, women and children come to Christ, and through his teachings, they experience a change of heart that will last,” he said.

Its programs include a Daughters of Charity project in Ethiopia that helps 70 women and girls from rural towns become financially self-sufficient. Another program in the Philippines helps 1,000 poor families build faith-based businesses through micro-loans and weekly fellowship groups, the organization said.

The outreach organization has supported feeding centers, water projects, home construction, health care, education and job training in over 40 countries. In ten years it has distributed $2 billion in aid, with organizational and corporate gifts of supplies like medicine playing an important role.

Cross Catholic Outreach is an affiliate member of Catholic Charities USA. It has worked with the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, which handles humanitarian outreach for the Pope. The organization previously focused on helping Cor Unum’s response to disaster relief and refugee needs, though more recently it focuses on large projects for impoverished communities.

It is the sister organization of Cross International, which raises funds for Protestant-run aid programs from Protestant sources.

Cavnar said Cross Catholic Outreach works through existing churches in a way that is cost-effective and that “empowers indigenous Catholic leaders.” Local bishops and clergy often refer the outreach organization to suitable local partners.

He said donors can fund specific projects, such as an orphanage in Mozambique, a fresh water well in Kenya, or a school for the poor in Haiti.

Cross Catholic Outreach has “felt the direction of God” in its work, Cavnar said. Its assistance has often arrived at struggling local ministries “just when they need help most” to keep from closing.  The organization has sometimes  received large and unexpected donations to help meet its own commitments.

“These experiences show us that God is in our work and that he is using CCO to answer the prayers of the poor,” Cavnar said.

The outreach’s website is www.crosscatholic.org.

Tags: Catholic aid

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
Dec
21

Liturgical Calendar

December 21, 2014

FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 21:23-27

Gospel
Date
12/15/14
12/14/14
12/13/14

Daily Readings


Gospel:: Lk 1: 26-38

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
12/15/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 21:23-27

Homily
Date
12/15/14
12/14/14
12/13/14