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Catholic Charities serves the needy

February 25, 2007

Re "A free crypt from Cardinal Mahony?" column, Feb. 18

In his comments concerning Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony's role in directing Catholics to serve the neediest among us, Steve Lopez has offended the thousands of Catholic volunteers and staff who are providing services and programs to the area's homeless and other needy residents.

Since 1919, Catholic Charities has been one of the largest social service providers in Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.

In more than 50 offices and community centers, the agency rendered more than 1.2 million services during the fiscal year 2005-06. Nearly 95% of Catholic Charities' clients live in extreme poverty, with yearly incomes of less than $17,000.

Last year, the agency served 242,000 individuals, delivering quality services to them by leveraging community relationships and partnerships with other organizations committed to helping those in need.

Volunteers at the Cathedral Outreach Center make more than 1,000 lunches each Tuesday and Thursday, then deliver them to the homeless in the area. Catholics around Los Angeles have been actively and intimately involved in helping the homeless and others in need under Mahony's leadership.

The church believes that serving the neediest among us is not just a Lenten observance but a responsibility 365 days a year.

MSGR. GREGORY A. COX

Executive director

Catholic Charities

of Los Angeles

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