Global Solidarity: Charity begins at home. But as Christians, we are called to reach beyond our individual households and neighborhoods, and to live in spiritual solidarity with our brothers ancrsd sisters in our larger community and throughout the world. And as Catholics, we are given unique opportunities to make these broader connections through Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the official global outreach ministry of the U.S. Catholic Church.

Each month, this web page will feature different areas of the world where CRS is serving the poor and vulnerable. This will help us to learn more about these people, to express our solidarity with them, and to specifically pray for them both at home and at Mass.

This Global Solidarity page will also contain information about:

  • CRS Global Emergency Responses to natural or human-made disasters that may occur and call for our immediate attention
  • Rice Bowl – Our Lenten almsgiving opportunity to support the work of CRS
  • Bread for the World Corpus Christi Offering of Letters – our annual opportunity to join with other parishes and congregations in advocating Congress on behalf of the hungry
  • Fair Trade Sales – to help bring consumers into right relationships with producers in other countries

We encourage you to check this page and the parish bulletin regularly for these opportunities to be the compassionate face of Christ to the world.

Focus for January 2017:

The Coffeelands Project. Coffee is a preeminent smallholder cash crop. More than 2 of every 3 pounds of coffee are produced by smallholder farmers. The definition of smallholder includes growers in some countries who tend fewer than 100 plants. Even for smallholder coffee growers, whose farms are located in coveted coffee regions, poverty is the norm. CRS has engaged in coffee programming for 13 years, and is a leader in delivering positive impacts for smallholder coffee farmers. Critical in this CRS programming is upholding the dignity of coffee farmers, insuring they receive a fair and just wage for their crops. CRS has implemented 20 projects benefiting 50,000 farmers (250,000 people, including families). A thriving coffee sector is good development – it fosters social stability and inclusion, economic prosperity and environmental sustainability. Learn more at

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or suggestions:

Global Solidarity Ambassador for St. Thomas Aquinas Parish: Jacqueline Griswold,,  317-254-9646