Your support of the Charity and Development Appeal transforms the lives of thousands of individuals and families in Arizona.
By Catherine Mulhern, Together Let Us Go Forth Magazine
When it comes to ministry, Jesus is hands on.
The Gospels are filled with marvelous stories where the hand of the Lord actively reaches out to His neighbors — pressing into the eyes of the blind man as he regains his sight, lifting the woman off the dusty ground as He declares, “neither do I condemn you,” and pulling up a chair to His table for someone on the outskirts.
Jesus calls every Christian to love our neighbors with this same active and intentional love. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus sums it up with a beautiful proclamation, “You are the salt of the earth. … You are the light of the world.”
The body of Christ is called to be the salt that heals, preserves, and enhances life to the full and to be the light that warms, guides, and brings hope in the darkness. Aid to Women Center, FSL, and Holy Spirit Newman Center — three Charity and Development Appeal (CDA) supported ministries in the Diocese of Phoenix — are beautifully answering this Gospel call.
Aid to Women Center — enhancing lives through accompaniment
Jamie, a 23-year-old, first-time mom, enjoyed a donut as she excitedly awaited her ultrasound appointment. “I can’t wait to see my son again!” she said, smiling.
This would be Jamie’s second ultrasound. The first had taken place when she and her husband first stepped into Aid to Women Center. Uninsured, they had been seeking out a free pregnancy test, but they found so much more at this clinic that quickly became a place of support for their growing family.
“It’s been such a gift to receive care here,” Jamie shared. “I’ve learned so much!”
At Aid to Women Center, pregnant mothers are accompanied through life-sustaining resources including ultrasounds, prenatal care, peer-counseling, and parenting classes in which parents can earn free diapers, baby clothes, and other essential items.
This meaningful work is especially crucial in our post-Roe v. Wade society. In 2021, Aid to Women Center counseled 1,000 abortion-minded women, and they recently opened a much-needed third location.
“We are opening the new center to serve low-income women of South Phoenix, providing women’s health care and prenatal services. This new center will provide a viable option for women who cannot get to our Tempe center,” said Joe Kendra, executive director of Aid to Women Center.
Staff members at Aid to Women Center are the hands of Jesus, preserving life and bearing a light of hope amidst difficulties.
As Jamie watched her son doing flips on the ultrasound screen, she couldn’t stop beaming. While a staff member joked that her baby boy probably loves donuts, it was also a beautiful reminder of the Gospel passage in Luke, where John the Baptist leaps for joy in his mother’s womb. What a fitting image for Aid to Women Center, a place where pregnant women are championed, and new life is celebrated.
To learn more about Aid to Women Center, visit aidtowomencenter.org
FSL — enhancing lives through dignity
Sitting contently in her usual chair at ReCreación — FSL’s day-program for the elderly and other vulnerable adults — Theo got to work on her daily word searches. Today’s puzzles were themed “Ice Cream Flavors” and “The Wizard of Oz.”
Theo is one of about 45 “members” who regularly attend the west valley ReCreación center; the central Phoenix and east valley centers serve an additional 75 members daily. Here, individuals spend their day in a safe and engaging environment while receiving intentional care.
Mornings at ReCreación start with lively music and light exercise and soon break out into activities such as gardening, baking classes and Bible studies. In addition to planned activities and a daily meal, ReCreación also provides nursing care, health monitoring, rehabilitation and social services.
At FSL, everyone who walks through the sliding doors is seen, valued and respected. The care that members experience here can be summed up with one word: dignity.
“I feel safe here,” Theo shared, as she colored in the word “cookie dough” with her dark blue pencil. “I know if I need something, I can go to the staff members who will help me out.”
Theo feels the impact of the Gospel call to be salt and light that FSL is so generously answering.
To learn more about FSL’s ReCreación day program, visit fsl.org/recreacion
Holy Spirit Newman Center — enhancing lives through relational community
On any given day, dozens of Grand Canyon University (GCU) students can be found stepping through the bright purple door across the street from campus. Dropping their backpacks in the entryway and being greeted with a huge smile from Father David Loeffler (pastor), Sister Clare, SCTJM, and Sister Kelly, SCTJM, students find solace in this humble house that has become like home.
The Holy Spirit Newman Center was founded in 2015 to help foster a rich Catholic community for GCU students through the sacraments, personal formation and intentional relationships.
More than 80 students regularly participate in the growth opportunities that are offered here — eucharistic adoration, Mass, Bible studies, retreats and community nights — and it’s no wonder why!
Sister Clare, Sister Kelly, and Father David — whose hearts are set ablaze with love for Jesus — can always be found laughing and growing in relationship with every student who steps into the Newman Center.
“I just want to introduce these students to my best friend, Jesus!” Father David shared, smiling. His are the hands of Jesus, reaching out to young adults, helping them see that they are loved, known, and have a great purpose.
In the midst of the uncertainties of life, Holy Spirit Newman Center students know three things: they are loved, they belong and the bright purple door is always open to them.
To learn more about Holy Spirit Newman Center at GCU, visit gcunewman.com
Be salt and light
Through the efforts of Aid to Women Center, FSL, Holy Spirit Newman Center and more than 70 additional CDA-supported ministries answering the call to be salt and light, the hands of Jesus can still be found reaching out to His neighbors today — guiding the ultrasound to reveal a baby in the womb, sharpening a colored pencil for the next word search puzzle and embracing college students as they walk through the door.
When you give to the Charity and Development Appeal (CDA), you support the efforts of more than 70 ministries, transforming the lives of thousands of individuals like Jamie, Theo and many college students in the Diocese of Phoenix. Together, we can be the hands of Jesus to our neighbors in need. Visit give.dphx.org to make your gift today.
We invite you to participate in discipleship and evangelization efforts at the Diocesan level, including the Together Let Us Go Forth ~ Juntos Sigamos Adelante campaign, the Charity & Development Appeal, the TV Mass, Catholic School Support 365, and through supporting our seminarians and Nazareth House. If you would like to receive the magazine at your home, we invite you to support the mission by participating in one of these efforts. You may also call our donor services team at (602) 354-2235 to receive future issues or provide one of our team members with an updated address.