Temperatures fall, needs rise at Catholic Social Services
By S.L. Hansen

.- As the weather turns colder, more and more people across southern Nebraska turn to Catholic Social Services (CSS) for help. CSS is ready to respond with several different programs, each largely dependent on generous benefactors.

It’s hard to cite a most-urgent need. This time of year, it seems that every aspect of CSS’s multifaceted outreach is taxed.

Food is a constant want. CSS operates food pantries in multiple locations, plus a mobile food pantry that delivers truckloads of goods to every corner of the Diocese of Lincoln.

At the First Friday Fish Fry Nov. 5 in Lincoln (which supports another CSS project: St. Gianna’s Women’s Homes), any guest peeking into the pantry would have seen shelves more empty than full.

"Thanksgiving is coming up – and Christmas," said Father Christopher Kubat, director of Catholic Social Services.

As always, his plan is to give away the fixings for complete Thanksgiving meals.

"It’s not just the turkey," he said. "It’s the stuffing, the potatoes, the vegetables...."

CSS needs to stock up – and stay stocked – on these items and all other types of foods, including perishable items.

"Since we have these large walk-in coolers and freezers, people can donate cheese, meat and so on," Father Kubat said. "It’s good to give frozen meat, because we can throw it right in our freezer."

Speaking of freezing, outside temperatures are heading that way.

"We’re going to need coats, scarves, gloves, hats, boots. We do every year," Father Kubat said.

He recalled one client in particular, a young man who was living in Lincoln temporarily while receiving chemotherapy.

"He didn’t have a winter coat or any winter clothes, and he didn’t have enough furniture or food in his apartment. This kid needed help with everything," Father Kubat remembered.

The young man couldn’t even pay his utilities. He was trying to heat his little apartment by turning on the oven.

"The only thing worse than being in need is being alone and in need," Father Kubat said.

The CSS team went to work.

"We gave him a space heater to tide him over, and we were able to get his utilities taken care of," Father Kubat said. "We gave him food, a winter coat, gloves and so forth."

None of this would have been possible without faithful Catholics across the diocese who donate money, goods, time and talent to CSS.

"If it wasn’t for the help of our donors and volunteers, there would be a big gap in our ability to serve the 20,000 people we help in one way or another across southern Nebraska," Father Kubat stated.

The continuing generosity of these faithful supporters have enabled CSS to expand. In the last few years, CSS has grown all across the diocese with more brick-and-mortar locations, more travelling food pantries and travelling thrift stores.

CSS has also launched new projects, such as the Saint Gianna’s Women’s Homes for women who are abused, threatened or suffering the pressure to abort.

"Our ability to help people is growing every year," Father Kubat said.

In addition to the practical support of food, clothing, housing, vehicles, and help paying bills, CSS has an extensive clinical program that assists all people in southern Nebraska – regardless of religious affiliation, income level, or ethnicity – with family and mental health issues.

Thanksgiving, Advent, Christmas and New Year’s are all occasions that can make emotional and spiritual anguish more painful.

"We’re seeing more clients than we ever have at our Immaculate Heart Counseling Center and across the diocese," Father Kubat said.

He added that cash donations are critical to this program. CSS maintains a grant system that helps fund treatment for uninsured or underinsured people who need clinical services.

"We accept most insurance and Medicare," Father Kubat said, "But when somebody is uninsured or underinsured, where do they go for mental health needs? CSS is one of the few places I know of that they can be served."

Last year, he said, "We gave away almost 100,000 in grants. It’s a vital part of our mission."

Father Kubat reiterated his thanks to all CSS supporters again and again.

"I would be remiss in not stating my gratitude," he said. "There’s a lot of joy in this work… not only for me but for our staff and our volunteers. And I’m sure that’s true for our benefactors. When they donate to us, they know they are helping people who really need help."

Above all, Father Kubat is grateful to the intercession of the saints.

"We have many patron saints at CSS, and their intercession is powerful," he said.

He hopes that people across the diocese will join in with their own prayers to keep this important outreach going… and growing.

Printed with permission from the Southern Nebraska Register.

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


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

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Liturgical Calendar

April 19, 2014

Holy Saturday

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 28:1-10


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Gen 1:1-2:2
Gospel:: Mt 28:1-10

Saint of the Day

Blessed James Oldo »


Homily of the Day

Mt 28:1-10


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: