The president of the Vatican's office for administering charitable aid will speak to a U.S. gathering of charities about the importance of faith as the root of giving. He has been invited by Catholic Charities USA as the keynote speaker for the celebration of their 100th anniversary.
The Holy See’s Press Office announced on Wednesday that the president of the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum,” Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes, will be the keynote speaker during Catholic Charities USA’s gathering in Washington D.C. from Sept. 25-28. Organizers are promoting the the centennial celebration as "a time to recommit ourselves to our mission, not only to assist those in need but to truly reduce poverty in America."
According to the Holy See’s statement, in his discourse Cardinal Cordes will provide a reflection on the roots of the Church’s charitable commitment in the faith and will refer to the message in Pope Benedict XVI’s first encyclical letter, “Deus caritas est,” to promote the necessity of nurturing the specific identity of Church organizations.
In addition to the keynote address, the cardinal will be giving lectures in the Archdioceses of New York and Newark as well as in Connecticut dioceses. He plans to focus his talks on charity, social doctrine and the priesthood.
In a message sent by Cardinal Cordes in anticipation of the event, he noted Benedict XVI’s prayer that the 100th anniversary “will be an occasion for gratitude to Almighty God for the abundant harvest of generosity, solidarity and good works reaped.”
Catholic Charities USA is composed of 1,700 member agencies and institutions which provide “vital outreach” in local dioceses, assisting around nine million people per year. It is "the largest private network of social service organizations in the United States" which "works to support families, reduce poverty, and build communities."
The centennial liturgy, presided over by Cardinal Francis George at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, will be broadcast live by EWTN at 2 p.m. EDT on Sept. 25. Cardinals Cordes and Theodore McCarrick as well as Archbishop Donald Wuerl, Bishop Michael Driscoll and Fr. Larry Snyder will concelebrate.