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GET INVOLVED by volunteering with us!

We are looking for volunteers to help with specific efforts and positions.

Click the links below to learn more about the different opportunities to get involved. 

 

Store Merchandising

Accounting/Administrative Support

Development/Marketing/Events

Catholic Charities Marketplace Assistant

Board Members

Financial Literacy Advocates

First Communion Treasures of Faith at Catholic Charities Store

Support Catholic Charities while at the same time purchasing gift items to honor the first communion of your child. Come into the Store and see the variety of items we have in stock and if we don’t have what you want, we will get it for you.

 

2205 S. Main Street, Suite B, Las Cruces, NM 88005

Call (575) 527-0500

The Story of Norberto Muniz, Citizen: the Picking Game

The punch to his face must have hurt. Knuckles cracking against flesh is an inimitable sound words cannot describe. It is a violent thud-sound as a soul violates another soul out of greed against someone who has only one possession which he guards with his life. At first, I had not noticed the purple around his eye as his skin color was burnt like ebony or palo fierro, darkened woods from the hot Sonoran Desert sun. He had an indigenous almost Yaqui character to his face though he said his family came to this country from Zacatecas by way of Matamoros.

The eye was swollen and in the light I could see the injury was not as subtle. But his body swelled not as something visible but rather with an odor, an unmistakable perfume the poor often use to cover up the dense odor of pain, alienation and rejection in their lives. Norberto Muniz, a dark skinned Mexican American, a citizen, a Vietnam Veteran, a former migrant farm worker, and let the wind blow him and his guitar into town last night from Wilcox, Arizona. Norberto said most people call him Robert because it’s too hard to pronounce Norberto. He was there visiting his daughter who has terminal cancer. Norberto had the scars of all his battles beckoning. I told him I liked the name Norberto.

I always wonder how they find me. Me? I am no one important. It’s not like I have the greatest reputation in kWilcox Arizona or even in Las Cruces for that matter. I am not unpragmatic. I am in fact one of those cold hearts who doubts everything. And yet, somehow this ministry has eroded the granite stone of my heart into impregnable granules of sandstone, so that the cleansing water of Christ’s suffering could come gushing inward. And like Longinus, the water of Christ’s wounds washed the debris away that I might see Him in the person of Norberto, one who wreaks of liquor, and has not bathed in days. A person who like my own son, is a musician and who’s life is the joy of music even if he spent last night under a bridge only to be attacked by criminals who did him harm to take away his sole possession, his guitar.

Some here seemed a bit perturbed that this man would come into the lobby and begin playing his music as a sign he had something to offer and did not come empty handed.

I saw tears rolling down Norberto Muniz’ unshaven cheeks as he told me he met Cesar Chavez as a 9 year old boy . He had been in a family of farm workers in the central valley in California when Chavez came to eat beans and tortillas with them. The nine year old could not have possibly understood the significance of that encounter except afterward and now that he recalls how humbled his mother and father were that Chavez would sit witih the likes of tomato pickers paid $25 / day. How does a family of 6 even in the early 70’s live on $25/ day. And he spoke about he and his brother joyfully competing with others in the picking race because the more you picked, the more you made. He was joyful about the telling of the many victories he and his brother had over other families in the picking game.

this is the human story. This is not a war of rich versus poor. It is a war within our own selves to “be poor in spirit” when life has given us every advantage to proclaim we are indeed “prosperous” and that is a sign God is with us. To that, I say, beware. Beware that the prosperousness we experience that such prosperous might make us drunk and numb. The time of our visitation is ever so brief. It is upon that short visitation experience that we will be judged.

At the bus stop. I gave Norberto his ticket. I gave him some cash. (Not Catholic Charities Cash), but rather my own cash lest the bean counters who keep watch on how we spend our money be concerned. I embraced him hard. I drew him close so the perfume of poverty could somehow baptize me. And you say, “oh, how heroic”. Stop that. When Norberto began holding me tight, me, who wreaks of pride, sophistication, education, presumptuousness, a home, a bed to sleep in, a blanket; me, a Pharisee in the company of the man beat and left for dead. Norberto was Francis of Assisi, the troubadour and minstrel, giving me a visitation to see how I would witness to him.

Finally, I did do one thing that was more a test of my faith than a test for Norberto. I asked him, “Have you been to Mass lately?” Some of you might say, hmmmm, isn’t that proselytizing? My answer is “yes”. It is witnessing that the softened heart that was answering his prayer was not mine own but belonged to the man in the box in the chapel — the incarcerated Christ who awaits so that one day, when He asks “When I was in prison did you come to see me?”, Norberto could say, “yes”. He had been waiting for a witness that made sense as to the importance of the Mass for many years. I could see the reflection of Christ in the tears exuding from his busted  and bruised eye. This man could now see. Norberto will play a song for me on his way to heaven as I fear his life will be in much more physical danger than mine. But, on the other hand, I do not fear for his soul — I often fear for mine own.

The Touchability of Poverty

I am responding to a recent article published in the Las Cruces Bulletin by Christopher Erickson, Ph.D., a professor of economics at New Mexico State University. The article is entitled: “50 Years later: U.S. War on Poverty largely won.” The “war on poverty” has been waged for many centuries before President Johnson’s well known 1964 State of the Union address cited by Professor Erickson. While Johnson did declare a “war on poverty,” he never defined poverty to be solely “malnutrition”. The larger condition of“poverty” is a much more complex phenomenon than Dr. Erickson’s simple equation of “Poverty equals malnutrition.” Declarations of war on the condition of poverty skim the surface of what is required to act justly with regard to those suffering that condition. Two thousand years ago Jesus of Nazareth recognized that “the poor will be with you always. (Matt 26:11) Christian tradition teaches its members that true justice concerning the poor is derived from the remarkable cornerstone of an intrinsic dignity of the human person seen by Jesus Christ. Neither the Church nor secular humanitarian approaches have ever reduced understandings of poverty to be physical hunger alone.

Various modes of governance have approached alleviation of poverty in public policy as part of the governance’s responsibility for the “general welfare.” “The poor” are not a faceless class to be easily forgotten, ignored and treated as political pawns in the chess game of prosperity. For this reason, Judeo-Christian traditions have approached the problem of injustice and its effects proactively and in the front lines. Only by such face to face interaction can we be compelled to reflect upon the poor as individuals with an indelible dignity and right to freedom. The success of our endeavors regarding poverty rides heavily upon what we consider to be just action in regard to human dignity under the weight of affliction. This is the role the Catholic Church has championed for so long. Christians and humanitarians alike, lunge at the high goal of alleviating and even eliminating poverty as a condition. Regardless of faith perspective, we must attempt to alleviate the condition of poverty to the individuals who suffer its ramifications: hunger, loneliness, homelessness, depression, disease, prejudice, alienation, violence, among many others.  The “fish net” underlying the Christian perspective toward the poor is that there is no shame or net loss to the inherent dignity of those who suffer it. Rather, the poor have faces and names. They rise to a special status and are to be interacted with as Christ’s “little ones” (Luke 6:20) as a priority. 

The present reality of poverty in America defies draconian equations like “poverty equals hunger.” The condition of poverty arises from underlying societal injustices. To be sure, it is both an individual and a societal problem. Injustices of any kind assault human dignity. In the wake of injustices, the poor starve for more than food. The poor starve for fairness, opportunity, work, and especially recognition of their given dignity as children of God. In the end, such a war must be fought by each of us as a matter of personal and ethical responsibility to act cooperatively answering “yes” to the question: “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Or better yet, let’s keep in mind the parable of the Good Samaritan as the model of determining “who is my neighbor” in response to the commandment that we “love our neighbor as ourselves.” (Luke 10:25-37)(Lev 19:13) 

The poor live and struggle within our own back yard here in southern New Mexico. I interview individuals and families who present their cases to Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Las Cruces. I witness the specter of homelessness, unemployment, underemployment, and substandard living. I am not alone in this to be sure. A quick tour of some of the colonias in our own southern New Mexico area will very quickly give a dramatic picture that impoverished conditions are real. The number of people availing themselves of soup kitchens and food banks is growing in southern New Mexico. In spite of it oil rich resources, educational institutions, and defense related research laboratories, the southernmost 10 counties of New Mexico are considered among the poorest in the nation. The colonia communities of Columbus, Vado, Anapra, and Chaparral are remote geographically to be sure. However, those who live in these communities are further alienated by virtue of their present struggle to thrive even in the most prosperous nation on earth. Our public policy indecision relative to immigration from Mexico and Central America has intensified and complicated these effects locally. 

The Church’s 2000 year old war has never been on poverty, but rather, upon the specter of social injustice. Ultimately, such a war is waged within each of us to stop or lessen our individual and societal proclivity to harden our hearts toward our neighbor in need. Pyric victories as declared by Dr. Erickson result in an individual and societal blindness to reality, or worse, an indifference to it. Christianity, other main stream religious traditions, and even secular humanitarianism, demand vigilance against this tendency.

Reference Material:

The Church’s love for the poor… is a part of her constant tradition.” This love is inspired by the Gospel of the Beatitudes, of the poverty of Jesus, and of his concern for the poor. Love for the poor is even one of the motives for the duty of working so as to ‘be able to give to those in need.’” [Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2444]

The Church has to play her part through rational argument and she has to reawaken the spiritual energy without which justice … cannot prevail and prosper”. (Pope Benedict XVI, Deus Caritas Est, 28) According to Pope John Paul II, the foundation of social justice “rests on the threefold cornerstones of human dignity, solidarity and subsidiarity.” (Bl. Pope John Paul II, 1999 Apostolic Exhortation, Ecclesia in America, 55)

Catholic Church teaching zeroes in on what individual, social, political and economic foci should be: “In its various forms—material deprivation, unjust oppression, physical and psychological illness and death—human misery is the obvious sign of the inherited condition of frailty and need for salvation in which man finds himself as a consequence of original sin. This misery elicited the compassion of Christ the Savior, who willingly took it upon himself and identified himself with the least of his brethren. Hence, those who are oppressed by poverty are the object of a preferential love on the part of the Church which, since her origin and in spite of the failings of many of her members, has not ceased to work for their relief, defense, and liberation through numerous works of charity which remain indispensable always and everywhere.”248 (386, 1586)(Emphasis added) (2448)

 

 

The Mighty Widow and the Mite – Mine the Pocket of Your Heart

 Click here to make an ONLINE DONATION.

 

 We try to use 99 cents on the dollar of your offering to go directly to those in need.

Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Las Cruces needs your pennies, nickles and dimes. We humbly see the richness in the smaller offers of financial assistance because when the poor support each other, there is solidarity among all. Give what you can so that those who are afflicted can have hope. Click here to make an ONLINE DONATION.

We try to use 99 cents on the dollar of your offering to go directly to those in need. Remember the value of the “widow’s mite”… Luke 21: 1-4 respiciens autem vidit eos qui mittebant munera sua in gazofilacium divites vidit autem et quandam viduam pauperculam mittentem aera minuta duo et dixit vere dico vobis quia vidua haec pauper plus quam omnes misit nam omnes hii ex abundanti sibi miserunt in munera Dei haec autem ex eo quod deest illi omnem victum suum quem habuit misit. (And he looked up, and saw the rich men that were casting their gifts into the treasury. And he saw a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites. And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, This poor widow cast in more than they all: for all these did of their superfluity cast in unto the gifts; but she of her want did cast in all the living that she had.) Her mite became her “might”.

Imagine, as John Lennon’s song would have us do. Imagine each penny tossed into a pond. Imagine the number of ponds. Then imagine the number of ponds in one town or city. Then imagine the number of villages, towns, and cities in a nation. Then imagine the number of people throwing those pennies away only to rust at the bottom of a false hope that such an action results in “good luck.” Rather give the “mite” or “two mites” as we see in the Gospel. Those two “mites” elevated the stature of blessing for the widow for eternity. So imagine what your “two pennies” or your $5 or your $10 can do. Your penny offered will sanctify your giving hand and elevate you in the eyes of God to be among the “mighty.” …doing “mighty deeds.”  Click here to make an ONLINE DONATION.

DACA FILING FEE HELP

Financial Assistance for is now offered for DACA filing fees. Some are loans, others are grants in aide. Please click on the following links for more information!

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Who We are.  Our Commitment.

 

Vision

Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Las Cruces (CCDLC) is a non-profit Catholic-based ministry offering a broad range of social justice programs and solutions within the 10 county area of southern NM. CCDLC is chartered by the Diocese of Las Cruces to be the principal provider of social, legal, and economic assistance to people in need  regardless of faith, belief, ethnicity or cultural background. 

 

Mission

 

Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Las Cruces (CCDLC) is a social outreach ministry providing the following services: 

  • low cost citizenship and immigration related legal services. 
  • referrals for other legal matters and other social service needs. 
  • a store which generates revenue to support programs and which provides assistance to needy families.
  • emergency financial assistance of last resort with preference given to children, disabled, and the elderly, contingent upon availability of funds.

CCDLC’s goal is to expand the reach of its services to all counties within the Diocese of Las Cruces.

Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Las Cruces, Inc. (CCDLC)  creates hope when hopelessness is overwhelming. We offer services to people in need, allowing them to have breathing room in their time of physical, social and economic need. Our hope is to provide a helping hand. We advocate for justice within today’s myriad of socio-economic structures, and call all people of good will to do the same. To this end, CCDLC works with individuals, families, groups, and communities to help them meet their needs, address their issues, eliminate oppression, and build a just and compassionate society.

Ours is a Gospel Mandate

CCDLC’s work is driven by a power beyond our understanding. Its work is driven by something more than a platitude like “doing good”, or, “giving back”, or “paying it forward.” Its Legacy is a respect for human dignity regardless of economic or social status. CCDLC is thus the dream of real people who have done great things, sometimes in little ways. In the end, as Blessed Mother Theresa of Calcutta states, our legacy will be judged by five little words, each word placed on the five fingers of one hand. We will be judged by those five little words following the maxim, whatsoever you do to, or for the least of our brothers andsisters, invoking Jesus of Nazareth, “you did it to me.”

Charity is not anything more than allowing the heart to give time, talent, and treasure to the most needy. Unfortunately, we often think of those in need as being in far off places, across vast oceans, and on other continents. The poor are with us, among us; they surround us, and they pass us on the street everyday. In the end, this is what makes our Legacy Catholic, in that it is meant for the heart to love all of every faith in the tradition of the Good Samaritan we read about in the Gospel of Luke. Catholic means “universal.” It means all are welcome to the committment to care for those most in need.

Service Area

The service area of CCDLC depicted below (an approximately 55,000 square mile area) has a target population of 542,086 and includes the 10 southern counties of New Mexico: Doña Ana, Hidalgo, Grant, Luna, Sierra, Otero, Lincoln, Chaves, Eddy, and Lea. Catholic Charities DLC serves all people in need throughout southern New Mexico, regardless of their religious, social, or economic background.

Programs/Efforts

Legal Services Program

The mission of the CCDLC Legal Services Program (CCDLC-LSP) is to be the legal medium through which the foreign-born in the border area can transform their economic, social, and cultural potential into vital economic productivity and effective social and political participation. We accomplish our mission by providing professional immigration legal services to moderate and low-income residents of the ten southern counties of New Mexico. More recently, CCDLC-LSP has engaged in a partnership with the Archdiocese of Santa Fe and the New Mexico Immigrant Law Center to broaden the scope of our work to coordinate immigration law assistance with our neighbor counties to the north outside the Diocese of Las Cruces within the State of New Mexico.

Solidarity and Emergency Assistance

The mission of the Solidarity and Emergency Assistance department is to provide organizational support and channel additional resources and funding to emergency assistance groups committed to the poor and disadvantaged.

For information on how to get help, see our Get Help page.

Para obtener información sobre cómo obtener ayuda, consulte nuestra página Obtenga Ayuda.

Social Action

The mission of the office is to help people, especially faith-based communities, develop an understanding of the social issues in the service area and ways in which to respond such as direct service, economic development initiatives, community organizing strategies, and/or solidarity and advocacy efforts.

Store

The CCDLC Store operates now under the name ReCycled Treasures Catholic Charities Store. ReCycled Treasures is a retail store of new and used donated items (furniture, appliances, household items, and building materials) and unique products made by artisans and farmers trying to improve their way of life. A newer section of the Store contains Treasures of Faith which markets Catholic Christian holy reminders such as statues, rosaries, cards, books, bibles, jewelry, and icons. The Store also serves as a workplace entry/re-entry program for people with limited access to employment. Need help finding the Store? Click here.

Advocacy, Community Relations and Networks

CCDLC values advocacy, collaboration, and meaningful relationships that could help groups and individuals find effective solutions to local issues and problems, learn new skills, and leverage necessary resources.

Financial Education (and Homeownership Counseling)

Catholic Charities’ is beginning to explore implementation of a program dedicated to financial education for individuals as a way to achieve financial independence. The program will focus on educating and coaching/counseling individuals on basic financial management and homeownership concepts as they manage their debt, funds, and assets, navigate the housing market, and explore financial services and products. Expect this new program to become “fleshed out” soon and ready to make a difference.

OUR PARTNERS:

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The People We Help

    Since May 2012, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Las Cruces embarked on a new approach toward assisting those in need in our Diocese and has expanded beyond the bounds of our communities in Dona Ana County. We have established the Ryan-Bolman Fund for issuing assistance in a direct way to those who …

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Get Help

Always with hands cupped in the most vulnerable of positions…never grasping as though something is due, these reflections of Christ are many times our hour of His visitation. Let’s not miss it. For this reason, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Las Cruces reaches out its hands to give to them what you have given …

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Donate

  WAYS TO CONTRIBUTE FINANCIALLY DONATE to provide help and create hope…  Click here to make an ONLINE DONATION.Then hit the allocation button to determine how you wish your donation to be spent. This option allows donations through e-check or credit card (Discover, Master Card, and Visa only and allows for e-checks as well using …

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Get Involved

Always with hands cupped in the most vulnerable of positions…never grasping as though something is due, these reflections of Christ are many times our hour of His visitation. Let’s not miss it. For this reason, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Las Cruces reaches out its hands to give to them what you have given …

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9 comments

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  1. thomas reardon

    I am helping a young couple with two children get into a better living situation. My experience with the use of Credit Counselling is mostly not helpful to anyone except the counselling center. Would recommend a service that you would approve of. tel. number is 816-830-3100 thank you

  2. Admin

    Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Las Cruces is only beginning to explore the implementation of a service which gives the family useful information on estalishing an informational foundation to achieve financial stability. This would be using a program for which we are currently attempting to recruit volunteers to be trained. Once the trainers are adequately prepared, Catholic Charities DLC will be able to offer financial counseling directly using an approved training module. What we will be doing will not be credit counseling per se although that is one of the aspects of what we will assist the family in working through as they learn to establish a monthly budget and set goals for financial stability regardless of their income. If you are interested, please send me an email at dtb@catholiccharitiesdlc.org. Thank you for your interest. Deacon Tom

  3. Clifford

    I personally wish to save this posting, “Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Las Cruces
    (CCDLC) | Love in Action Built Upon a Foundation of Faith” on my own
    blog. Will you mind in the event that I actuallydo
    it? Regards ,Elizabet

  4. Admin

    No. Please. Go right ahead. Plagerism is the highest compliment :) Actually in spite of copyright issues, when it comes to our faith, I believe we should be allowed to cut and paste to the Lord’s heart’s content. Deacon tom

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  6. Admin

    Thank you.

  7. Alfonso Simental

    BENEFITS OF VOLUNTEERING FOR CATHOLIC CHARITIES.

    YOU MAY NOT EARN HARD CASH VOLUNTEERING FOR
    CATHOLIC CHARITIES BUT YOU’LL SURE MAKE A LOTS
    OF FRIENDS. YOU’LL ALSO BECOME PART OF A
    FAMILIY OF CATHOLIC CHARITIES. ALL VOLUNTEERS
    EARN SPIRITUAL PAY WHICH WILL BE DIRECT
    DEPOSIT INTO THE BANK OF HEAVEN WHICH IS
    MONEY YOU CAN USE ONCE YOU ARE IN HEAVEN.
    ONCE YOU JOIN OUR TEAM. YOU ARE MOST LIKELY TO
    BECOME ATTACHED AND NEVER WISH HAVING TO
    LEAVE. Garranteed!

    CATHOLIC CHARITIES PROVIDES EXCELLENT
    SPIRITUAL BENEFITS PACKAGES AND & COMPETATIVE
    SPIRITUAL PAY, GREAT FRIENDLY WORKING & LOVING
    ENVIROMENT.
    VETERANS & INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES ARE
    INCOURAGE TO APPLY.
    BENEFITS FOR VOLUNTEERING FOR CATHOLIC
    CHARITES ARE:
    COMPETATIVE HOURLY SPIRITUAL PAY
    SPRIRITUAL HOLIDAY PAY

    PLUS SPIRITUAL PTO VACATION TIME
    SPIRITUAL QUARTELY BONUSES
    PLUS BIRTHDAY BONUS.

    I KNOW FROM MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE BECAUSE I WAS A FORMER VOLUNTEER THERE FOR TWO YEARS AND IT FEELS LIKE I WAS IN HEAVEN WALING ON FLUFFY CLOUD, WALKING THROUGH THE STREETS OF GOLD UNTIL I RECENTLY HAD TO MOVE AWAY WITH MY PARENTS. THAT IS SOMETHING THAT I WILL DEARLY MISS FOREVER. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND ANYONE WHO WANTS TO VOLUNTEER. THIS IS THE BEST PLACE IN THE WORLD.

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  9. Admin

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DONATE YOUR TALENT AND YOUR TIME

GET INVOLVED by volunteering with us! We are looking for volunteers to help with specific efforts and positions. Click the links below to learn more about the different opportunities to get involved.    Store Merchandising Accounting/Administrative Support Development/Marketing/Events Catholic Charities Marketplace Assistant Board Members Financial Literacy Advocates

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