by Bill McCarthy 

Mission Awareness Month – January 2014 

I am pleased to announce that, in January 2014, we will celebrate our first annual Catholic Charities’ Mission Awareness Month.  As you are aware, we have been working over the last couple of years to make our mission, vision, values and philosophy of service more visible and to ensure that these concepts permeate all we do.  Although we have evolved and will continue to evolve as an Agency in response to our environment and changing needs, why we do this work (our values), the core of what we do (our mission), what we are working towards (our vision) and how we do our work (our philosophy of service) have not and will not change.  This tradition is our legacy as an organization, and it is a legacy worth celebrating.

I know every day as I travel throughout the programs and services of Catholic Charities that we successfully continue this legacy because of the hard work and dedication of some very special people.  We carry on because of you!

The purposes of Mission Awareness Month are to celebrate our continuing legacy of compassionate service to our brothers and sisters in need and to deepen our understanding of our mission and values.  We also want to thank all of the special people who make the important work of Catholic Charities possible.  And the theme of this first Mission Awareness Month will be the first of our values – Love.

Catholic Charities’ Mission Integration Committee is planning a number of different opportunities and activities for January.  We wanted to share a few highlights now so you know what to expect and pass on some information to provide the opportunity for you to plan ahead and participate more fully.  Some things we are planning are:

  • Announcement of 2014 Mission in Action Award Winners.  Nominations are due by Monday, November 18, 2013.  Although we will announce winners in January, we will recognize them formally at the Catholic Charities’ Annual Dinner at the end of March.
  • Celebratory Receptions.  Please join us for one of six receptions held across the Agency in January – at Our Daily Bread Employment Center in downtown Baltimore, St. Vincent’s Villa – Pot Spring in Timonium, the Jenkins Campus in Southwest Baltimore, Sarah’s House in Anne Arundel County, Villa Maria School in Harford County and Carroll County Head Start.  We will send out a formal announcement with detailed information about these receptions later this fall.
  • Service Opportunities for Staff.  .  Please review these opportunities, and contact the program contacts listed if you are interested.  If you or your team hopes to serve during work hours, please first discuss ideas with and obtain approval from your supervisor.
  • Catholic Charities Day in Annapolis.  Please consider joining us on Tuesday, January 28, in Annapolis for our annual advocacy day.  One of the ways we fulfill our mission is by working for justice at the State level.  CC Day in Annapolis allows staff and clients to share the stories and experiences of their programs with State policy makers.  The morning session will be full of opportunities to learn more about the General Assembly and the priorities of the Agency during the legislative session. Following the presentations, legislators and their staffs will join us for lunch and conversation.  More information will be sent out in November, but if you have any questions in the meantime, please contact Regan Vaughan at [email protected].
  • Spot Recognition Program.  We want to encourage you to recognize and thank each other for living our values and embodying what is best about Catholic Charities.  We will send out “Spot Recognition” forms in early January for use by employees, programs and service areas.  Each week during the month of January, our colleagues recognized during that week will be eligible for a drawing for a special prize.  Even though the prizes will only be given out during Mission Awareness Month, we hope that you like using these forms and continue to recognize your colleagues in this way after Mission Awareness Month is over.
  • Daily Reflections.  Each weekday during January, we will send out a special reflection written by one of our colleagues.  These reflections will consider questions like:  What does the first of our core values – Love – mean in the context of the work we do?  And how do you see that value lived within Catholic Charities and its programs?    We believe that these reflections will provide some insight and inspiration.  We will post to our Facebook page a lead for the reflection of the day, and it will link to the complete reflection on our website.  If you are interested in writing a reflection for Mission Awareness Month, please contact Kristen Kinkopf, Director of Mission Integration & Planning, at [email protected] or 410-547-5521, by November 8, 2013.

I hope you enjoy the activities we are planning, and I hope to have the opportunity to thank you for all you do in person during one of our January receptions!