Catholic Charities describes helping hands at the second Lenten lecture

Cindy Dobrzynski presenting on helping hands at the second Lenten lecture series in Grace Hall. (Dominique DiNardo / Asst. Lifestyles Editor)

Cindy Dobrzynski presenting on helping hands at the second Lenten lecture series in Grace Hall. (Dominique DiNardo / Asst. Lifestyles Editor)

Catholic Charities USA gives the lives of those suffering from poverty a little hope, senior vice president of mission and ministry said.

“Last year over 57,000 students were helped by Catholic Charities,” Cindy Dobrzynski said.

Dobrzynski visited Cabrini for its second installment of the lenten lectures. She is the senior vice president of missions and ministry at Catholic Charities.  The Boston College graduate discussed the history of the foundation dating back to the 2nd Vatican Council.

“Catholic Charities has a consistent pattern of being creative helping others come out of poverty,” Dobrzynski said.

Catholic Charities gives assistance to issues that are close to Cabrini’s mission.  The education of the heart is truly lived out here where volunteers can help families who are truly struggling economically or emotionally. They support immigrants and those who have been trafficked.  Victims such as these have been ripped of their rights and have virtually nowhere to go.  Catholic Charities is involved in health care, case management and legal help. Many situations will involve those trafficked in crimes that they do not have the means to afford aid.

“We offer life-saving services that ensure vulnerable youth doesn’t slip through the cracks,” Dobrzynski said.

She discussed Catholic Charities’ link to disaster response. Prior to Hurricane Katrina, they hardly had a team developed. During Katrina, Dobrzynski described Catholic Charities leadership in the nation-wide response effort.  Since then, the organization can be named the third largest response team nationally.

“The fundamental building block of society is family,” Dobrzynski said.

With a college degree being necessary for economic security, marriage levels are down. Couples are waiting longer to make the commitment because they cannot afford the joint lifestyle.  This causes families to be formed later on before they can become independent.

Even after an extended time for progression, many families have to work multiple jobs to thrive.  That, however, is just the case for most American families. The lives of migrant and trafficked victims are even more challenging.  That is exactly where Catholic Charities comes into play.

“Catholic Charities likes to adopt families as they are and provide what they can in assisting them,” Dobrzynski said.

When prompted with what we can do to help, Dobryznski discussed that if you know someone suffering through this, standing with them in solidarity is almost enough to help them get through it.  The weight of financial burdens weigh on families and individuals across the nation.  The unbearable debt builds up and makes them feel suffocated.  Every situation is different, Dobrzynski described it as not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ type of thing. Serve as a mentor and just stand by them through their struggle.

Sophomore Amie Kneedler-Roetz,education major, firmly believes in Cabrini’s mission to receive an education of the heart. “As an education major, I myself want to educate others. Giving a helping hand shows that you care for other people. Without that, you both won’t prosper,” she said.

“I want to set the right path for myself and my students someday.  I think future generations need to see that helping others is a way to help yourself,” Katie Duffy,sophomore education major, said.

Dobrzynski believes that every human wants to lend hands to help others.  Those who have been helped themselves, tend to feel empathetic and extend themselves to others who may be suffering.

Catholic Charities has been helping those in need since 1910 and hopes to continue their mission for many years to come.

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