Having been here in western Oregon for a full year now as your new archbishop and shepherd, I can tell you that one of my greatest joys has been to work closely with Catholic Charities and its wonderful work of caring for so many needs in our communities. It is just one of the aspects of the life of this local Church that I am so proud to be a part of.

The work of Catholic Charities is extended through its member agencies, Catholic Community Services of Lane County and Catholic Community Services of the Mid-Willamette Valley and Central Coast, Catholic Charities of Southern Oregon and the Catholic Youth Organization. The work of Catholic Charities is truly one that extends to wide parts of the Archdiocese and well beyond just the greater Portland metro area. It is something that we do together as a local archdiocesan Church in service to the people of western Oregon.

We have just come through this beautiful season of Lent, a season of incredible grace. Through our practices of prayer, penance and almsgiving we have prepared ourselves to celebrate the Paschal Mystery of Jesus Christ with our minds and hearts renewed. I hope we have all increased and extended during this time our outreach to the poor, needy and marginalized among us. Through giving of ourselves in this way, we help show the merciful face of Jesus to those who so long for love.

But this work of “almsgiving” and service to the poor is not something just for Lent. It must be a regular and active part of the life of every disciple of Jesus. The needs of people do not surface just during the 40 days of Lent. These needs are real and extend throughout the year. Now that Lent is over, let us not lessen our concern and care for the needs of people, but let us maintain and grow that concern.

One way for us all to do this is by supporting the Annual Campaign of Catholic Charities. Our support, yours and mine, for the important work of Catholic Charities and its member agencies is absolutely vital and essential for the work to continue and grow. It is an indispensable part of the New Evangelization called for by recent Popes. We will draw others to Christ through the witness of our mercy and love for the needs of people in our local communities.

Your generous support of Catholic Charities through this Annual Campaign helps us meet the following needs, just to name a few: care for the homeless, the working poor, refugees, families in crisis, new parents, children and youth, and adults with developmental disabilities. Imagine the good that can be done and the love that can be demonstrated through your kindness and generosity!

Jesus teaches us that a very important criterion for the judgment that each of us must face at the end of our lives in this world will be our care for the poor and those in particular need. “Whatsoever you did for the least of these brothers and sisters, you did for me.” We learn to see the face of Christ in the poor and we reflect his loving face back to them. Amazing!

A special word of thanks must go from all of us to those who work and minister as staff of Catholic Charities and its member agencies. They are truly on the “front lines” meeting the needs of so many people and showing them the love of God. That is what motivates them. That is what makes us different from many other social service agencies. It is the love of Christ that drives their action. They do the hard work. Can we together at least support them in that work through our generous contributions?

And so I ask you to be as generous as you can with this year’s Annual Campaign. Take pride and joy in being a part in so great a venture for the love of God and the love of our neighbor.

May God bless and reward your generosity!

The Most Reverend Alexander K. Sample, Archbishop of Portland in Oregon, is pleased to announce the following: Deacon Louis DeSitter appointed Deacon at St. Henry Parish, Gresham, effective February 28, 2014. Deacon James Pittman appointed Deacon at St. Philip Benizi Parish, Oregon City, effective April 1, 2014.
— Mary Jo Tully Chancellor