Merry Christmas & Happy New Year from Catholic Charities

eCatholicSP 1196

More than 2,000 years ago, a carpenter and his expectant wife set out from Nazareth on the perilous journey across the Galilean highlands to the city of Bethlehem. For days, they navigated nearly one hundred miles of arduous terrain. When they finally arrived in Bethlehem, weathered and weary, they learned there was no room at the inn. Yet shelter of a stable was offered, and from these humble beginnings, our Savior was born.

Little is written of that journey in Scripture. The Gospels are sparse in detail, written originally for an audience that would’ve empathized with how grueling this trip would be for anyone, let alone a woman expecting imminent childbirth. And with the context of hindsight, we often overlook a key component of the innkeeper’s generosity: he had no idea to whom he was giving respite. For the innkeeper, the Holy Family were just a few more weary travelers among the masses.

This act of compassion was offered to these strangers not because of who they were, but because they desperately needed the help. He could’ve easily told them, “move along, we’re full”, but instead he extended a hand in service.

It is this same spirit of generosity that resides at the heart of our mission. Through our services, Catholic Charities of Chemung and Schuyler Counties provides relief to those suffering from hunger, homelessness, poverty, and those requiring advocacy. Working within our communities, we provide services to people of all faiths and are blessed with generous support from donors of all faiths. Through its programs and services, our agency continues to meet critical needs in our community.

Click here to read some highlights of 2021.

These services carry on in the compassionate tradition of charity exemplified by that innkeeper in Bethlehem so long ago.

I am very proud of what we have accomplished this year, thanks to the generosity of our community. I am proud, too, of all our staff, especially our heroic front-line workers, for embodying God’s call to compassion for those in need. The birth of our Savior brought to this world the hope of God’s promise fulfilled. It is in this spirit of His mercy that we strive to meet the needs of others.

For many of us, this year has been another challenging one. Like those travelers from Galilee, we’re navigating our way through unfamiliar terrain as best we can, a step at a time. It is my hope that those persisting through difficult times will find kindness at the end of the road, and that we will all do our part to see one another through.

Our Christmas Appeal has raised $32,606 to date, providing critical services like food, shelter, and personal care products to those in need. It’s not too late to join us in 2021! Click here to donate now. Your support is appreciated.

In Christ’s Peace,
Nancy Koons
Executive Director