CEO Honours Volunteers
A Volunteer Appreciation Event was held on Saturday, May 11, 2013, at the One World One Centre community hub in Edmonton. Honouring volunteers throughout Catholic Social Services and Catholic Charities, CEO Stephen Carattini extended the following message -
Good afternoon everyone! This is the day the Lord has made; let us be glad and rejoice in it!
As some of you may know, my wife Michelle and I are recent arrivals to this beautiful city and to Catholic Social Services. Our welcome here has been incredibly warm and gracious.
I can honestly say that we now have a new found and deep appreciation for springtime!
One of the many blessings that I have experienced as a new member of our agency is to be able to meet and work with so many kind and compassionate people just like you who are committed to caring for our brothers and sisters in need.
As an agency, our task is to express God’s love through our ministries to our community. We literally could not do this without each of you.
Last year more than 2000 of you volunteered with us and provided over 58,000 hours of love and service. This represents an extraordinary commitment and dedication and speaks directly to the generosity of you, your families, and our entire community.
The range and scope of the activities that you engage in each day is equally astonishing and incredibly inspiring.
Whether it be helping a newcomer, like me, to feel welcome and to practice a new language; or preparing tax documents; assisting children in our group homes with their homework; facilitating Aboriginal healing circles; providing child care so our parents can attend classes and workshops; organizing donations; conducting cooking classes; teaching computer literacy skills; improving sign language capacity; translating; or helping at our special events, all of you are angels of mercy in a world in great need of our love.
We are all blessed by your service and by the fact that you have chosen to put your faith into action. Blessed Mother Teresa once wrote that although there are many in the world dying for a piece of bread, there are many more, especially in our community, who are dying for a little love.
And this is why what you do is so important. When you volunteer you are making a statement. A statement not only to a world which might question the use of your time but most especially to those you are serving. I believe that what you are saying is that it is in fact better to give than receive and that if God is our father then everyone is our brother and sister. And none of our brothers and sisters should go through life without knowing kindness, and compassion, and love.
You are all an example and a witness to the world. You chose to humble yourselves; to serve without monetary compensation or material benefit; you even serve sometimes without gratitude from those you help; and yet you choose to serve anyway.
Like the Good Samaritan in the Gospel of Luke you choose to see the wounded in our midst, and like the Good Samaritan you are moved with love and you choose to act. And I believe that because of what you do there are many people here and in heaven who are advocating for you.
It is our pleasure and our special privilege to be able to honor you this day. Please know that you are a treasure beyond compare and truly a sign of hope for our agency and our community.
May God bless you, and your families, and your loved ones and may His peace be always with you.
Stephen J. Carattini, CEO
Catholic Charities/Catholic Social Services