November 2015

Pope Francis on 'Family Spirit'

Dear Friend:

As our Nation pauses to give thanks to Almighty God for all the blessings we have received, I take this opportunity to thank you too for all that you have done in support of the Church.

Your personal, spiritual, and financial support of the Church allows it to carry on its mission -- a mission that gives glory and praise to God and loving service to our brothers and sisters.

The Psalm says: "How can I repay the Lord for all the good he has done for me? I will raise the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord." (Ps 116:12-13) In that spirit, dear friends, when I celebrate the Holy Mass and "raise the cup of salvation," in a particular way I will remember you and your families. May you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and may God bless you always!

Thomas J. Tobin
Bishop of Providence

Answering God’s Call to Serve


Families throughout Rhode Island will soon come together to enjoy each other’s company, to savor a delicious meal, and share many of life’s cherished memories. Thanksgiving day. A day we show gratitude for all we have. A day to thank God for the blessings in our lives.

But on this special day, we should also remember that, when most of us will escape the cold air to feel the warmth of a cozy home with family or friends, there are men, women, and children within our own community who will have nowhere to turn. For far too many people, Thanksgiving will be like any other without food, without shelter, and without the care and love many of us may take for granted.

Pope Francis asked us to have compassion for those in need when he spoke during his recent visit to a homeless shelter in Washington, DC:

“Faith gave Joseph the power to find light, just at the moment when everything seemed dark. Charity is born of the call of a God who continues to knock on our door, the door of all people, to invite us to love, to compassion, to service of one another.”

God calls on us to love one another with compassion and to serve those who need us most. Being kind and helpful is especially urgent during the holidays when it’s cold outside and, as Catholics, it is our duty to answer God’s knock on our doors to help others.

Answering His call is why the Diocese of Providence supports numerous Catholic ministries within Rhode Island. Volunteers, supporters, and donors to the Catholic Charity Appeal provide the Providence Diocese with the foundation to serve those who depend on and turn to our ministries.

Ministries supported by the Catholic Diocese of Providence include Fruit Hill Adult Day Care, Mother of Hope Camp, Keep the Heat On, AIDS Ministry, Dire Emergency Fund, Apostolate for Handicapped, Office of Religious Education, Rejoice in Hope Youth Center, and many others.

At this time of year, one of our most important ministries is Emmanuel House.

Since 2010, Emmanuel House in Providence has made a difference for those in the greatest of need in our state, especially during the holidays and cold winter months when the need for shelter, care, and warmth increases for so many of our homeless neighbors.

Caring and compassionate Catholics answer His call and provide the Diocese of Providence with resources to cover the costs of insurance, maintenance, heating, electricity, and many other helpful services at Emmanuel House.

This Thanksgiving and each night throughout the year, thanks to the kindness of the Catholic community, homeless Rhode Islanders have a place to turn for shelter, for food, for warmth, and care.

“You tell us that to love God and neighbour is not something abstract, but profoundly concrete: it means seeing in every person the face of the Lord to be served, to serve him concretely. And you are, dear brothers and sisters, the face of Jesus. Thank you!”

Pope Francis
Visit at the homeless shelter "Dono Di Maria"

As we enter the holiday season, I hope you’ll continue finding it in your heart, during this busy time of year, to answer God’s call to serve others and help our neighbors in need. His call can be answered in many ways...A simple smile. Caring. Understanding. Listening. Sharing our time, talents, our experience and skills to serve and help those who need us most.

We answer God’s call by showing gratitude and being thankful for our families, our children, our parents, friends, and neighbors...and by thanking God, our Father, for the gifts he has granted us on Thanksgiving Day.

Happy Thanksgiving.

The Irreplaceable Role of the Family


Pope Francis addressed the importance of family on his recent visit to the U.S. You can view the video here:





Office of Stewardship & Development
One Cathedral Square
Providence, RI 02903
Ph: 401.277.2121