The Wings of Love
The Story of Catholic Charities of Los Angeles, Inc.
San Gabriel Pastoral Region
Produced, written and directed by Gerard Thomas Straub
Ours is a broken world in turmoil, a world in desperate need of the restoration and wholeness promised by Christ. As disciples of Christ, we need to be doing the redemptive work of Christ. The mission of Catholic Charities is just that: to manifest Christ’s spirit by serving the poor and vulnerable.
Catholic Charities provides for the most vulnerable members of the San Gabriel pastoral region, a vast area east of downtown Los Angeles. Every year, they offer food assistance to more than 40,000 hungry people. But they do much more than feeding people. For many people in the San Gabriel region, housing is so expensive and incomes so low that the loss of a job or an unexpected expense can thrust a family into homelessness. By providing utility, rental, and other financial assistance, Catholic Charities helps keep a roof over their heads. Staying housed is not only essential for sanity; once homeless, the process of acquiring housing again is insurmountable. Searching for housing, saving money for a security deposit, and staying clean and warm simultaneously is all but impossible as all funds go toward hotel stays and all time and energy go toward managing school, work, and other inevitable changes caused by homelessness.
To help break the generational cycle of poverty, Catholic Charities offers an array of educational programs for adults and at-risk youth, such as parenting, money management, and English as a Second Language classes. For seniors and the disabled, Catholic Charities provides transportation and other support services. The San Gabriel Region also operates a seven-bed transitional housing facility for homeless women with children.
When people have to beg, or go hungry, or sleep outside, they are forced to live like animals, not people. Catholic Charities provides what people need so that they understand and live their dignity as children of God. Catholic Charities is a vibrant example of the necessity and power of compassion.