Our Agency held its annual Fall Celebration on Tuesday, September 12, giving thanks to the wonderful work of our staff and the support of our donors and benefactors. Hosted at the old Royal Alberta Museum, we were joined by several of our colleagues, board members, and community partners for an evening of fellowship and reflection.
“We are truly blessed by everyone’s faithful and dedicated support. Whether you are an employee, volunteer, or financial supporter, you are helping Catholic Social Services realize our mission to care for and bring hope to people in need,” said Interim CEO Michelle Christie at the Fall Celebration.
This year’s event reflected on the theme of fulfilling God’s work through our own work and interactions with others in our everyday life. Ministry managers Vera Fischer of Gianna Centre and Karen de la Salle of St. Joseph’s House were invited to speak about the work they do to help those receiving support for unplanned pregnancies and end of life care.
Leading our guests through the evening’s reflection was keynote speaker Father Stefano Penna from Newman Theological College. He discussed the evening’s theme further by explaining what it means to meet God's calling of providing dignity through work—no matter the job.
“The dignity of work allows us to help people with many different needs,” Father Penna shared. “Serving God and being with other people isn’t an idea—it’s flesh. Something happens to us in our work. We don’t go away when we see the right way, and we don’t go away with narrow ideas. But rather, we discover that in the eyes of the one that is touching us back, a different way at looking at ourselves: through Christ’s eyes. And through God’s eyes? We see how loved we are and meaningful our life can be.”
In addition to our keynote speaker, Catholic Social Services Chairperson John Caputo expressed a few words of gratitude for the support our Agency has received in the past year.
“It takes a large dedicated group to achieve the extraordinary mission entrusted to our Agency,” John Caputo said in his address. “Every day, we have been entrusted with a sacred duty to transform the lives of people who come to us for hope, compassion, and respect.”
John Caputo also took a moment during the program to acknowledge former board members and colleagues for their service and dedication to our Agency, including outgoing CEO Stephen Carattini.
“His service can be captured in our core values of integrity, compassion and respect,” John reflected on Stephen’s time at the Agency. “Whether it was our new logo, the renaming of our ministries, or the creation of Gianna Centre, St. Joseph’s Home, or Mercy Counselling, Stephen fully supported our identity as a Catholic Social Services Agency.”
We thank everyone for continuing to share their support for our Agency and for our mission of serving those in our community who are in need of a helping hand.