Helping a New Mom in Need

The men, women, and families who come to Catholic Charities are living paycheck-to-paycheck. They want to live independently but the reality is that rent for a 2-bedroom apartment in Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties runs about $2,500 per month. The average Catholic Charities client makes about $3,800 gross, per month. Imagine having to add utilities, food, gas, childcare, and medical expenses – to say nothing of clothing, school supplies, and more.

Carmen, a single mom who had her first baby in March, fell behind on her rent following her unpaid maternity leave. The child’s father had abandoned the family and refused to pay child support.

Carmen went back to work but couldn’t meet her July rent. She came to Catholic Charities Emergency Assistance (EA) ministry and received the financial help she desperately needed. But she also got a boost that will benefit her long after next month’s rent comes due: a free course in financial literacy.

“Our clients do a lot of financial juggling just to get by. When an unexpected expense comes up, they just can’t make it without help,” said Sherri Longhill, EA program director. “Catholic Charities wants to empower our clients to work towards long-term self-sufficiency while preserving their dignity and self-esteem."

But achieving self-sufficiency means knowing how to manage income, expenses, and financial planning. So Catholic Charities has teamed up with the nonprofit Britepaths, whose mission is to educate, empower, and move people toward financial stability.

Now Catholic Charities clients have the opportunity to attend classes taught by a trained financial coach, to learn about how to budget, reduce debt, set financial goals, and create action plans to meet these goals. Upon completion of the course each client receives a $100 gift card.

Two years after fall, Afghan refugees continue to arrive, need assistance

When the Afghanistan government fell two years ago, Afghans were forced to flee, leaving behind their homes and families. Parishioners throughout our diocese opened their hearts and shared their resources to help resettle refugee families. Donations of new mattresses, car seats, household goods, and more flooded into Catholic Charities offices. Others volunteered to serve as mentors for Afghan schoolchildren. Thanks to their generosity, more than 2,000 Afghans were resettled into their homes.

But as the world’s attention has shifted to other news events and crises, Catholic Charities continues to help Afghan refugees start a new life. A significant number of Afghans continue to pursue resettlement here, hoping to be reunited with family. Many Afghans, who have spent the last two years waiting in refugee camps and other border countries, continue to arrive in Virginia. Find out how you can help here.

Retreat for those who are seriously ill returns - register soon

For the first time since 2019, Catholic Charities will once again hold an in-person retreat for those experiencing a serious illness. The Oct. 6-8 retreat will be offered at San Damiano Spiritual Life Center in White Post, Virginia. This retreat offers a unique opportunity for those facing serious physical illness to participate in a weekend retreat of spiritual renewal and refreshment. Rev. Robert Cilinski will serve as spiritual director. The retreat is being offered free of charge, but space is limited. Register by September 15!

Offering prayers, community for those struggling with mental illness

Mental health issues are among the most-frequently referred services for Catholic Charities. Our counselling services are grounded in a Catholic understanding of the human person. On August 26, join Bishop Michael Burbidge for a day of prayer for those affected by mental illness at All Saints Catholic Church in Manassas. This event is for those affected by mental health conditions, their families and caregivers, mental health practitioners, and the diocesan community.

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