Each year when the appeal is made for Crosscare we are reminded of the many ways the Church in Dublin is at the service of the poor and people in need here at home. The range of services Crosscare offers embraces many aspects of life dealing with hunger and homelessness, the needs of carers and educational supports for young people, supporting communities and in times of crisis, like COVID 19, rising to new challenges.
More than 50 years ago Archbishop Mc Quaid saw a need to have church and faith based responses to the challenges that affected the lives of members of our faith family and local community. He wanted people to know that when they had a need, their church was there to help. He knew that people looked at the magnificent treasures in the Vatican, and the splendid churches and houses, convents and schools of the local church and saw in them the success and strength of the church. He knew that many people could really only look in from the outside, that they felt excluded and rejected. Poverty can make people feel less than human, lack of resources can be seen in ragged clothes and unwashed bodies, shame often accompanies the poor and isolates them even from the company of the congregations who gather for Mass, prayer and praise of God. He wanted an end to poverty in this diocese. He prayed and worked towards taking steps in health, education and social services that would make a difference for Dublin’s poorest. His vision set in motion organisations and agencies that have grown and developed responding to changing needs and drawing on the gifts and talents of well trained workers. With the constant support of the people of our parishes, each and every year, the work of Crosscare is carried on.
I have always felt a surge of pride when I see one of the vans, with the Crosscare logo, bringing surplus food to one of the centres for distribution. When I went to Portland Row to take some pictures of the homecoming for Kelly Harrington with her gold medal I spotted the huge tribute to her from ‘all in Crosscare’, as their community café is close by her house.
It has always been inspiring to meet the young people who work for Crosscare, staffing all these many initiatives and hearing their stories of the difference they make in the communities they serve.
I hope we can be generous in our support for their annual appeal which replaces the Share collection this weekend.