Strengthening Families. Building Communities. Reducing Poverty.
November is the month of Thanksgiving – the time we take stock of what we have and gather with family and loved ones to give thanks for the blessings God has bestowed upon us. We each give thanks in our own way for the things we have and the people who have touched our lives in various ways.  It seems appropriate then that we also celebrate National Adoption Month this month. Adoptive families have much to be thankful for in the children who were placed with them. Their joy and happiness is probably expressed each day in their family, but this is a time to acknowledge and promote adoption more publicly. Many people have probably told adoptive parents they think it is wonderful that they have adopted children. In the next breath, some of those people have expressed the same sentiments held by much of society – “How could anyone give their baby up for adoption? They must not have loved it very much.” If adoptive parents hear this occasionally, I can tell you that birth mothers hear it a lot. Women are often encouraged to have an abortion as a “quick fix” to an unplanned pregnancy. They are seldom given

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The first Sunday in October is Respect Life Sunday, and this kicks off the Respect Life Month of October each year, which also begins a new Respect Life Program for the year. The USCCB Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities publishes new Respect Life Program materials each year to highlight various Respect Life issues. These Respect Life Program materials respond to the needs of parishes, schools and other ministries for basic presentations of life issues. This year’s theme is Every Life is Worth Living, which not only sheds light on the sanctity of life at all stages (in response to the renewed push for legalizing assisted suicide in many states), but it is also applicable to the wide spectrum of life issues. The program is emphasized in liturgies and featured through numerous programs and events that take place not only during Respect Life Month, but also throughout the whole year. The events occur at various locations-including parish, local, diocesan, state, and national levels. Just a few of these events include: Life Chain: This is an international, peaceful, prayerful, pro-life, public witness where Respect Life advocates join together and stand outside along streets, hold signs, and pray in silence for the unborn, for those

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September is a wonderful time of the year when we get to leave the summer heat behind as the air gets crisp and the leaves begin to change. We look forward to the Major League Baseball playoffs that will soon be taking place and to the football season ahead. This time of year often brings families and friends together to share their love of sports and outdoors. It is a time that grandparents pass down their love and knowledge of the game but most importantly a time where memories are made and relationships are strengthened.          Be sure to mark your calendar! September 13th is National Grandparents Day. Take this opportunity to send a card, make a phone call or plan a visit or outing with your grandparents. Don’t forget to let your grandparents know how important and special they are to you! The first day of fall, September 23rd is National Falls Prevention Awareness Day. This day sponsored by the National Council on Aging is designed to raise awareness about preventing fall-related injuries among older adults. The theme for 2015 is “Take a Stand to Prevent Falls”. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one

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Sometimes it’s hard to hear the truth, whether it’s about yourself or someone you care about. It’s hard to keep an open mind and to not feel judged. It’s even harder when you experience an unplanned pregnancy. All kinds of thoughts run through your head: “Who should I tell? Should I tell anyone? Can I do this alone? What if I need help? Where will I go?” Oftentimes, these questions go unanswered for months-maybe because you’re in denial, or angry, or even scared. Maybe you’re struggling financially or experiencing homelessness. How can you care for a child when it seems you don’t have the resources to care for yourself? A lot of our clients face this very same situation. They can be any age, from any economic background, and of any ethnicity. Our clients are from all walks of life. But they all have the same goal. To have a healthy pregnancy and to provide the best life they can for their unborn child. Catholic Charities Diocese of Charlotte is here to help. We provide pregnancy support services to those experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. Services can include community referrals, case management support, assistance securing baby items, and emotional support. We can

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“Let’s go.”They wanted to climb the waterfall.“We only have 40 minutes before we need to head home. How about we just hang out by the stream until we go?”There was no conversation to be had. In spite of the fact that the Refugee Youth High School Program participants (14 teenagers) and three brave staff had just climbed up and down a 2,000+ foot mountain on a humid summer afternoon, many of the youth were ready for a new challenge.So they climbed and I climbed slowly behind…up several hundred feet of stairs in just 20 minutes! But it was worth the struggle. By the time “Mr. Patrick” finally reached the observation deck, the kiddos were already happily snapping selfies/group photos and generally enjoying the grandeur of the roaring water pouring over the rocks below. When the Waterfall Expedition finally returned from their sprint up and down the falls, we found the rest of the group relaxing by the stream and enjoying a hard-earned rest.Everyone was a little exhausted (staff mostly, if we are being honest…) but also content. It was Summer Break and the teenagers got to take a moment to relax from the grind of adjusting to a new life. Not
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