"There are a lot of needs in society," he said. "Catholic Charities, as part of their mission, strove to try to meet those needs."
"As we thought they would, they've been reaching out to their various communities. They've been creative. They're raising money."
One diocesan agency has expanded its capacity to help resettle migrants and serve their needs. Another agency has reached out to its diocese's parishes and Catholic high schools after learning that counseling services were needed.
Another Catholic Charities agency sought and received a grant from Wal-Mart.
"They are now using that money to purchase a couple of vehicles where they go around and deliver food to people who are in need," Gilligan said.
While some critics, including some Catholics, have questioned whether the Catholic agencies should be using taxpayer money, Gilligan endorsed the practice.
"In and of itself, taking money from the state to assist in helping the most poor and vulnerable is a good thing, and it continues," he said. "But as we saw in the case of Catholic Charities, sometimes the state is encroaching upon our religious beliefs."
"Where we can, we take public money. And if we can't, and it seems like increasingly that is the situation, we don't do it."
Most of the diocesan agencies in the state are taking public money, Gilligan said.
However, he noted that the charities are not simply social service agencies.
"We provide services to the poor because it's part of our Catholic mission," he said.
(Story continues below)
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