Friday, April 17, 2009

Catholic Charities USA holds summit in St. Paul to grapple with poverty in America

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One of the nation's largest charities is leading an ambitious brainstorming session in St. Paul on fighting poverty.

On Monday, Catholic Charities USA convenes and engages civic leaders, elected officials, philanthropists, service providers, and the public in a conversation that seeks to identify how to cut poverty by 50 percent by the year 2020.

The charity's "Centennial Leadership Summit: Working to Reduce Poverty in America" will be held at the College of St. Catherine.

The St. Paul gathering is the first in a series of summits across the country that will culminate with a national meeting in Washington, D.C., in September 2010. Catholic Charities USA celebrates its centennial in 2010.

Among the participants Monday will be the Rev. Larry Snyder, president, Catholic Charities USA and member of the President's Council of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

"In a country as prosperous as ours, it is simply unacceptable that 37.3 million people, including 13.3 million children, continue to live in poverty," Snyder said. "Catholic Charities agencies are taking their knowledge of the causes, scope and ramifications of poverty to seek a sustained national commitment that will ensure economic prosperity for all Americans."

Also in attendance will be St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and the Rev. John Estrem, CEO, Catholic Charities of St. Paul-Minneapolis.

Accompanying the summit will be a special photo exhibition called "U.S. Poverty in the 21st Century," featuring the work of top American photographers. The exhibit examines the daily struggles of those living in poverty in the United States.

View the full summit schedule at: www.catholiccharitiesusa.org/NetCommunity/Page.aspx?pid=1519.

Catholic Charities USA is made up of more than 1,700 local Catholic Charities agencies and institutions nationwide -- serving nearly 8 million people a year regardless of religious, social, or economic backgrounds. Star Tribune
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