October 9, 2012
“It shall be the duty of the local committee: first, to investigate and assist charity cases in their own locality; second, to solicit from local sources materials for such aid wherein cash expenditures may be avoided; third, to solicit funds for the purpose of defraying local needs; fourth, the pastor in each instance shall be responsible for the organization of the local committee, and shall have the supervision of money collected and expended.”
—Constitution of the Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Amarillo, adopted Aug. 15, 1932
Amarillo—Just over 80 years after its establishment in the Diocese of Amarillo, the name Catholic Charities will once again be prominent.
A press conference is scheduled Tuesday, Oct. 9 at 10:00am at the Guyon Saunders Resource Center at 200 South Tyler to announce a name change for Catholic Family Services, Inc. to Catholic Charities of the Texas Panhandle.
“In 1932, the Constitution of the newly created Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Amarillo stated that its object of organization ‘shall be to awaken interest in the spiritual and temporal welfare of our neighbor through charity, based on the principal of Catholic Action,’” said CCTXP executive director Nancy Koons. “Our mission statement has evolved over the years, yet will remain the same as it was stated under the name of Catholic Family Service, Inc.”
The mission statement now reads:
“Catholic Charities of the Texas Panhandle supports the value and dignity of human life by working to promote self-worth and independence, and strives to meet the ever-changing needs of the community.”
“Both statements broadly reflect the tenets of Catholic Social Teaching as outlined by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops,” Koons added. “It seems, however, that our original 1932 objective had a stronger emphasis on engaging the community (“awaken interest”) throughout the diocese; this was a daunting task, as the diocese then included the now-Dioceses of Lubbock and San Angelo. It is our goal to not only re-engage the faithful in our mission, but to also support parishes in their social concerns activities.”
Koons said the agency currently provides shelter to children who do not have or have been removed from their homes.
Jesus said, “Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Mt 19:14)
“We also provide food to elderly and disabled citizens of our community so that they not only receive nourishment, but so they can then afford other necessities such as medicine,” said Koons. “Affordable housing is available to those who struggle with paying rent.”
“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me. Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.” (Mt 25:35-36, 40)
What will a name change do for the agency?
“In this, our 80th year, our Catholic Charities name is reflective of our history and the area in which we are called to serve; it’s taking us back to the roots of our beginning,” said Koons. “We were founded 80 years ago as a Catholic Charities organization and are once again a member of the Catholic Charities USA network. Additionally, we are providing service throughout the Texas Panhandle and our new name reflects this.
“In addition to our two sites in Amarillo (a main office and an Emergency Youth Shelter), we have an office in Dumas that provides services from our Refugee Resettlement as well as our Citizenship and Immigration Divisions. We are also providing monthly Citizenship and Immigration services in Hereford and Perryton, and have received requests to provide these services in other areas of the Panhandle, in Childress, Borger, Dalhart and Pampa.
“Our new name, Catholic Charities of the Texas Panhandle, is a reminder that the work of our agency, steeped in Catholic Social Teaching, goes far beyond the city limits of Amarillo.”
Koons said the greatest need for Catholic Charities of the Texas Panhandle is re-engagement.
“We need re-engagement with our Catholic community and an increased understanding of our many programs and services,” she said. “Recent parish food drives have proven to be a tremendous help to our Inter-Faith Hunger Project, as well as our Youth Shelter.
“Engaging the Catholic community and working with local parishes enable us to learn more about the needs in the local areas so that we may work to assist in filling gaps throughout the Panhandle community where services are not currently provided.”
The phone number will remain the same, 376-4571, but the agency’s website address has changed. As of Oct. 9, the new website address is www.cctxp.org. For additional information, contact Koons at the number listed above, or via email, firstname.lastname@example.org.