The Poor and the Catholic Campaign for Human Development

The theme of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) is “breaking the cycle of poverty.”  Unfortunately, its financial grants in the past have been directed almost exclusively towards those who are seeking to help the already poor, frequently by making them more politically active.  That doesn’t break the cycle.

There is a familiar saying about taxes and subsidies: what you tax you will get less of, and what you subsidize you will get more of.  I suspect that the latter applies also to the various ways to fight poverty.  For example, Aid to Dependent Children was and is envisioned as way to help needy children whose poverty is no fault of their own.  However, when a single mother has one surprise-pregnancy child and then another and then another…, the program becomes for some a subsidy for having children out-of-wedlock.

Judie Brown of the American Life League has recently written that in 2013 the CCHD made grants to “over 20 problematic grantees,” that is, organizations to which Catholic money should not be given.  On the good side, some previous grantees are no longer on the list, and the CCHD made one helpful step in the right direction—a $500,000 grant to the Birth Choice Health Clinic Network in California.  This is an anti-abortion association and, to its credit, it has a program on parenting.  However, even the grant to Birth Choice is still part of the overall problem of little or nothing being done to reduce the rate of new fornication-caused families.

The bottom line is that if the leadership of the Catholic Church in the USA wants to break the cycle of poverty in this country, it needs to focus on ways to stop the start of fornication-caused families.  Planned Parenthood and others have been trying for many years to address this issue with contraception and abortion, but that failed approach has served chiefly to increase the rate of fornication, out-of-wedlock pregnancies (OWP), abortions and out-of-wedlock births.  In 1965 the white OWP rate was 3% and the black OWP rate was 24%.  Enter government funded birth control.  Currently the white OWP rate is 24% and the black OWP rate is 70%.

The Catholic Church needs to use the CCHD and other vehicles to get across somehow or other the biblical idea that sexual intercourse is intended by God to be exclusively a marriage act, and that it should be a renewal of the love and commitment the marriage covenant.  Then the Church will truly lead the way in breaking the cycle of poverty.

John Kippley,

P. S.  Allow me to share the following letter that brightened my day.  I have been giving free rosary booklets to prisoners, and some of them really appreciate it.

“I have been saying the Rosary every day since I was incarcerated in May of 2012.  It was the traditional [way] until September of this year when Ernie Pavlock had you send me the “Seven Day Bible Rosary.”  Now I pray it every day.

It has brought such freshness and insight to my life I would like to share it with my parents.  They are both 86 years old, and faithfully drive 130 miles every week to come visit me in prison, and while they drive over they always say the Rosary.

I would love to share the Seven Day Bible Rosary with them.  If you would please send a copy to them, I would be so appreciative and grateful.

Thanks very much.  Stan H.”   11/16/2013

The rosary will be sent.  For more information, click on Rosary at the top of the page.  If you know a prisoner who might like this, just send me his name, number, and address.  Bur first check with her or him; I don’t want to be accused of sending unsolicited religious materials and thus be banned from any particular prison.

If you want peace, Pray the Rosary

October 7 is the Feast of the Holy Rosary, and next Sunday, October 13, marks the 96th anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun on that day in 1917 in Fatima, Portugal.  The miracle was witnessed by over 70,000 people and was well reported in the secular papers.

Part of Our Lady’s message at Fatima was to pray the rosary every day for World Peace, for the Conversion of Russia, and for the Conversion of Sinners all throughout the world.

Sometimes we are tempted to wonder if all that praying is having its desired effect as we look around and see continued conflict and increasing acceptance of immorality.  So it was with great joy that I read recently that President Vladimir Putin thinks that the introduction of Christianity to Russia in 988 A.D. is the best thing that ever happened to Russia.

In my opinion, that represents a very real conversion, the result of millions of rosaries.  It is certainly far from complete, but it represents a tremendous change from the Russia of 1917.  A recent article (see by a distinguished Catholic philosopher started with this sentence:  “The economist Yegor Gaidar, in his authoritative study, Russia: A Long View, has shown convincingly that ‘the Soviet Union of 1989, the Russia of 1992, and particularly the Russia of 2008 are different countries.’”

There remains much to be done.  There are still many Catholics who are not doing what Our Lady told us to do.  War is hell, and the price of avoiding it includes this small sacrifice.  This week, bracketed by these feasts, is a wonderful time to renew a commitment to pray the rosary daily for the Fatima intentions.

An old saying was transmitted for centuries in Latin:  Si vis pacem, para bellum.  If you want peace, prepare for war.  The new saying is this:  If you want peace, do what our Lady has told us to do—pray the rosary daily.

For those wanting an expanded version of the rosary with a bible verse before each Hail Mary, click on The Seven Day Bible Rosary at the top of this page,  Easily distracted people like myself find it helpful.

Further ideas on how to pray the Rosary

The following thoughts on praying the Rosary appear in the “Introduction” of The Seven Day Bible Rosary.  –John Kippley

VarietyNot only children but also some adults experience restlessness with the rosary, so you may find it helpful to introduce a certain amount of variety into your family rosary.  For example, one week you may want to read everything.  The next week you might omit the meditations.  Another week you may want to spend a few minutes discussing one mystery, read the verses for just that one mystery, and announce only the title, an intention, and a selected Bible verse for the others.

Announce the mystery, read at least one key Bible verse, and state the intention.  This combination will help to keep your mind and heart engaged.

Our Lady’s request. Start the rosary by specifically praying it in response to Mary’s request at Fatima.  For example:

“Dear Blessed Mother, we pray our rosary today for world peace, for the conversion of Russia and for the conversion of sinners throughout the world as at Fatima you asked us to pray.”

In the family rosary setting, that makes it clear to everyone why you are praying the rosary as a family: it is not your idea; it’s our Lady’s.

Prayer intentions. I suggest making several other intentions that are of universal importance—a stop to abortion and contraception, a rebirth of chastity, and authentic reform and renewal within the Church.  Perhaps you will want to pray also for other large-scale intentions such as the conversion of Islam, the conversion of the Jews, peace in the Holy Land and the rest of the Middle East, the missionary work of the Church, the conversion of those who oppose the Church, and the conversion of the nation in which you live.  Then mention your special family intentions and invite each family member to join in—perhaps with at least one prayer of thanksgiving and one of petition.

Our Lady of Fatima never told us that we had to enjoy praying the rosary, and many people who do not really enjoy praying the rosary continue to do so simply because Our Lady told us that if we want peace, we must pray the rosary.  On the other hand, if various techniques can help you or me to pray the rosary with fewer distractions and greater devotion, then let us use them.

I hope that some parents will find this form of the rosary helpful in praying the family rosary with their children.  Perhaps the combination of a wider series of meditations, the scripture verses, and a variety of ways to pray The Seven Day Bible Rosary will prove helpful to children as well as to adults.

It’s also possible that weekly meditation on the importance of priests and their vocation to administer the sacraments and to preach the Word of the Lord may stimulate vocations.  Perhaps weekly reflection on the permanence of marriage may have beneficial long-term effects on Christian married couples.

I make no claim that this form of praying the rosary is “better” than the usual method.  I can say only that it provides more of the events in the life of our Lord for meditation and that some people find it helpful.