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Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina releases its 2013 grant awards totals

COLUMBIA—The Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina has released its Grant Awards totals for 2013 in the areas of Health, Education, and Social Services.

Since 1996, the foundation has awarded close to $50 Million in over 1,700 grants in an effort to help families in South Carolina live out of poverty. These awards range in size, scope, and depth from the smaller Caritas grants, providing support to organizations dealing with situational poverty or crisis poverty, to the strategic grant, where the foundation comprehensively works with the organization in partnership to affect organizational and community and to enhance results, maximize resources and to insure that measurable change occurs.

In 2013, the foundation awarded $2.1 Million in 133 grants to recipients in all 46 counties of the state of South Carolina. In the area of education, the foundation awarded 24 grants totaling $659,500 to:
Anderson Interfaith Ministries       
Children's Museum of the Lowcountry    
City Year, Inc.    
Columbia College    
Felician Center Inc    
Fellowship of Christian Athletes    
Healing Species    
KidsGrow SchoolYard Garden Classroom    
Metanoia Community Development Corporation    
Midlands Middle College    
Midlands Technical College Foundation    
Miss Ruby's Kids    
Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach Services, Inc.    
Roscoe Reading Program    
South Carolina Afterschool Alliance    
South Carolina Association of Nonprofit Organizations    
St. Anthony of Padua Catholic School    
St. Martin de Porres Catholic School    
Student Action with Farmworkers    
Teachers Supply Closet    
The Family Effect Foundation    
Trident Literacy Association, Inc.    
Wings For Kids    
Winthrop University    

In the area of Health, the Foundation awarded 25 grants totaling $407,500 to:
Abbeville Free Medical Clinic    
Anderson Free Clinic    
Association for the Blind    
Camp Discovery    
Classy Smiles Inc    
Columbia Free Medical Clinic    
Dream Center Clinic Inc    
Friendship Medical Clinic and Pharmacy, Inc.    
Good Neighbor Free Medical Clinic    
Good Samaritan Clinic    
Good Samaritan Medical Clinic    
Good Shepherd Free Medical Clinic of Laurens County    
Healthy Learners    
Healthy Smiles of Spartanburg    
Med-I-Assist Inc    
Mental Illness Recovery Center, Inc.    
Palmetto Volunteers in Medicine Clinic    
Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands    
South Carolina Department of Social Services    
South Carolina Hospital Research & Education Foundation Inc    
South Carolina Research Foundation    
Springbank Christian Center Dominican Retreat House    
United Way of the Midlands    
Welvista, Inc.    

In the area of Social Services, the Foundation awarded 84 grants totaling $994,525 to:
Adams Northeast AME Church    
Allendale Correctional Worship Center    
Birthright of Georgetown    
Blackville CdC Partners For Progress Inc.    
Bluffton Self Help    
Caring And Sharing Inc    
Chapin We Care Center    
Charleston Area Senior Citizens Services Inc    
Christ Central Ministries Inc    
Christian Assistance Bridge    
Clarendon County Community Development Corporation    
Clean Start    
Coastal Community Foundation Of South Carolina Inc    
Coastal Rescue Mission Inc    
Community Development Corporation of Marlboro County    
Community Kitchen Inc. of Myrtle Beach    
DAV & Elderly Assistants For Life Inc    
East Cooper Meals On Wheels    
EmmanuWheel    
Family Promise of Anderson County    
Family Shelter    
Food Bank Of Greenwood County    
Fort Lawn Community Center    
Franciscan Center    
Freedom Within Walls    
From God To You Ministries Inc    
General Instruction for Tomorrow    
Georgetown County School District-Kensington Elementary School    
Golden Corner Ministries    
Good Samaritan House of Fairfield County    
Grace Ministries    
Greenville Area Interfaith Hospitality Network    
Greer Community Ministries, Inc.    
Hands Of Christ    
Happy Gifts Corporation    
Harvest Hope Food Bank    
Helping and Lending Outreach Support (HALOS)    
Helping Hands of Goose Creek, Inc.    
Homes of Hope, Inc.    
Jordan Crossroads Ministry Center    
Lab S Helping Hands    
Lancaster County Outreach Project    
Lowcountry Food Bank, Inc.    
M.K., Inc.    
Midlands Holy Family Fund Inc    
Midlands Housing Alliance Inc    
North Greenville Food Crisis Ministry    
Nurturing Center    
Oliver Gospel Mission    
Operation Home    
Our Lady of Mercy Neighborhood House    
Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Center    
PK Outreach Inc.    
Pro Bono Legal Services, Inc.    
Riverside Community Development Corporation    
Sewee to Santee Economic Foundation    
Sistercare    
South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families    
South Carolina Grantmakers Network    
South Carolina STRONG    
Southeastern Council on Foundations    
St. Christopher's Children, Inc.    
St. Cyprian Outreach Center    
St. Johns Episcopal Church    
St. Mary Catholic Church Social Concerns Outreach    
St. Philip the Apostle Catholic Church    
St. Theresa Conference of St. Vincent De Paul Society    
Teach My People    
The Action Council for Cross Cultural Mental Health and Human Services    
The Friendship Place    
The Lighthouse Ministries    
The Lighthouse Ministries    
The Naomi Project    
Trinity Assembly Of God    
Trinity Housing Corporation    
Under One Roof Services Inc    
United Center for Community Care    
United Christian Ministries Of Abbeville County Inc    
United Way of the Midlands    
University of South Carolina College of Social Work    
Upstate Family Resource Center    
Vital Aging Of Williamsburg County Inc    
Winfield Heights Baptist Church    
Zion Hill Missionary Baptist Church, Inc.    

“The Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina’s vision is that families in this state have the resources to live out of poverty,” said Tom Keith, president. “These organizations are addressing poverty in South Carolina through their programs and services. We hope this funding will help strengthen and support their work as they serve those in need.”

Organizations wishing to apply for funding should visit sistersofcharitysc.com.

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The fork in the road

The Scriptures seem clear in describing human life as a choice between two directions. On the sixth Sunday of the Liturgical year, beautiful selections from both the Book of Sirach, the first Letter to the Corinthians, and the Gospel of Matthew will bear this out.

Jesus assures us that He has come to fulfill the Old Testament Law, and in doing so He makes it more observant. Ultimately Jesus’ whole life is about God in-the-flesh living under His own law, suffering because it was disobeyed, and assuring us all the while that it is never too late to switch directions.

In teaching that it is what comes from within us that defiles humanity, not what we consume, Jesus declared all foods clean. This is one change of the old law, but His teachings on marriage, adultery and divorce are restored to God’s original vision.

If Jesus’ life can be said to illustrate God living under His own law, then it means that He intends for His way to protect and keep us in stable peace. This is the gift that no political system has been able to achieve. Sometimes it is what comes from outside the soul of humanity that corrupts it; not what comes from within.

There is a natural human desire to know the divine, as evidenced by the multiplicity of religions in the history of the world. Every great culture has held beliefs about the Creator.

Jesus makes clear that the direction He offers must run through the altar. He says if, while on the way to the altar, we recall a dispute with any neighbor, we should attempt
reconciliation before offering our sacrifice. It is clear that Jesus saw His path as one characterized by consistent divine worship.

In the old law, the worshiper always had to do some action. The observant Jews had to procure, prepare, and consume the Passover lamb. For those who follow the cultic admonition of Jesus to “do this in memory of me” in the New Covenant, we have to bring ourselves to the altar of the new temple, which, when celebrated, is to take us sacramentally to the foot of the cross on Calvary.

Jesus didn’t abrogate Sabbath worship, or make it a suggestion to be done occasionally. The worship He fulfills and purifies is a school in which we learn about love’s true depths. The in-fleshed God, Jesus, has left us a representation of His love and has died for us so that our inevitable tombs may one day open as well. It is here that we see how to love one another, and the reason for worshipping our God with inspired song.

If we cannot love the way God loves us, then we make it hard for others to love us authentically and the more we choose the path of self the worse it will become. We can exchange our religion for another, or adopt some new age life-philosophy, but any system that purports to offer a sacrifice-free existence of selfreference and narcissistic obsession is necessarily fl awed.

The one true living God asks us to probe love’s true depths accomplished by a journey down His path of true worship. There is no time like the present to make Jesus’ reconciliation our own so that our sacrifices will give God the utmost glory.

FATHER BRYAN BABICK is the vicar for Divine Worship and the Sacraments for the Diocese of Charleston. Email him at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

Earning religious emblems connects faith and Scouting

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COLUMBIA – Catholic scouting has opened up a whole world of new possibilities for Stas Watson of Mount Pleasant.

The 18-year-old shared his experiences with the crowd at the annual Catholic Scout Convocation on Feb. 2 at St. Joseph Church in Columbia. The event honors Scouts who have earned religious emblems during the previous year.

Watson, a member of Venture Crew 1907 at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Charleston, said he is an example of how the religious emblem program helps prepare young Catholics for a life of commitment to the faith.

“I’ve learned about the importance of vocations and considered a vocation to the priesthood, I became an altar server, I went on retreats and I took part in the St. George Trek at the Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico,” he said. “…I’ve learned that God has called each and every one of us in a special way. We all have a duty to work for our country and for God.”

The convocation drew members of the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and American Heritage Girls, a faith-based girls’ group. Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone presented emblems to the young people and thanked them for their dedication.

“I am aware how much work goes into these emblems and that they are not easy,” Bishop Guglielmone said. “Wear your medals with pride, and remember you are not just Scouts but Catholic Scouts. In your Scouting lives, show that faith means something to you. It is that faith that helps us make sense out of our daily lives.”

Fifty Boy Scouts and Venture Crew members received the Ad Altare Dei emblem, and 23 earned the Pope Pius XII award. Eleven Girl Scouts and American Heritage Girls received the Mary, the First Disciple emblem, two Girl Scouts each earned the Spirit Alive and St. Agnes emblems, and six Boy Scouts completed Pillars of Faith.

Bishop Guglielmone said he was happy about the large group who earned the emblems, and challenged the Scouts to increase the numbers next year.

Tommie Robinson, 14, said he spent about six months working on the Pope Pius XII and Pillar of Faith emblems. He belongs to Boy Scout Troop 20 in Mount Pleasant and attends Christ Our King Church.

“It was a lot of work, but it gave me a chance to grow deeper in my faith and learn about different aspects of the church I didn’t know about before,” he said.

Emily Poplawski, 12, completed the Mary, the First Disciple program along with five other members of Girl Scout Troop 2074 at St. Paul the Apostle Church in Spartanburg. One of their projects included presenting live tableaus of scenes in Mary’s life for members of the parish.

“It was a really cool experience to work on the emblem because I learned that Mary was a real woman who went through a lot of different things in her life,” Emily said.

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Funding provides support to all facets of Catholic ministry

Beth VanVorpe found it a challenge to practice her faith once she started classes at the College of Charleston. The 21-yearold from Dayton, Ohio, didn’t know where or how to meet other Catholics her age.

Thanks to funding from the Bishop’s Annual Appeal, the college’s campus ministry program came to her rescue. VanVorpe now attends student Mass on Sundays, Bible study on Tuesdays and a newly formed Wednesday evening prayer group. She and other students participate in regular service projects, helping Neighborhood House, Habitat for Humanity, local food banks and animal shelters.

“It’s like a home away from home,” she said. “It offers something that is familiar: the spirituality and faith that you grew up with. It’s like a support group. When you’re not with your family anymore, you realize you have to make it on your own, and it’s very encouraging to have Catholic friends to get together with and have that faith connection.”

College ministry is just one of the important programs that rely on the Bishop’s Annual Appeal, which kicked off the weekend of Feb. 1-2. Pledge Weekend will be Feb. 15-16.

The goal for the 2014 campaign is $3 million and a 25 percent participation rate by people in the diocese. Last year, 24 percent of the diocesan community contributed to the effort.

“The appeal funds and offers resources to so many of our programs, and we’re continuing to have great demands in all areas of life in the diocese,” said Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone. “We’ve been able to do all that we do because people have been so generous, and we’re just asking them to help keep it going.”

Bishop Guglielmone said the campaign is important because donations have such a broad impact, from assisting the needy and retired priests to supporting Catholic schools and parish ministry.

It helps to pay for the education of seminarians, supports the 82 men currently studying for the permanent diaconate, and provides an important source of funding for the state’s 96 parishes and 22 missions.

Franciscan Sister Catherine Noecker, principal at St. Anthony of Padua School in Greenville, said the appeal makes Catholic education possible for many children. According to figures compiled by the Office of Stewardship and Development, more than 320 students received $385,000 in financial aid for the 2013-14 school year from the BAA and the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Endowment.

“Families face circumstances — health issues, the loss of a job — that make them unable to afford tuition,” Sister Catherine said. “There are some families whose children couldn’t be here otherwise. We count on the contribution from the appeal.”

Because of help from the BAA, Catholic Charities offices around the state are able to assist people with everything from emergency financial assistance and food to immigration services. One program, Save-A-Smile, even helps some regain the ability to greet the world — and prospective employers — with a confident smile.

Deacon Gabriel Cuervo, regional coordinator for the Piedmont Deanery, said Save-A-Smile has helped more than 600 people receive dental care and dentures in the past four
years. The program is offered in Greenville, North Charleston, Columbia and Conway.

“People that have bad teeth can have health issues because they don’t eat well, and they have self-esteem issues because they’re embarrassed about how they look,” Deacon Cuervo said. “We have had success stories in the Upstate where people who got new dentures through Save-A-Smile are working now because they felt more comfortable with themselves and were able to go out and look for a job. You can really change someone’s life with something as simple as a set of dentures.”

 

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