The Coat Games
Group: St. Gabriel's Catholic School
Diocese: Diocese of Austin, Texas
St. Gabriel’s Catholic School celebrated Extension Day by participating in an original activity called “The Coat Games” to collect coats for those in need. “Our Extension Day extends the Church’s presence by giving back to others as a community and loving everyone around us,” one student said. This charming film shows the children playing a wonderful game of “musical chairs.” They are all wearing the many coats they brought from home to donate. When they lose their seat, they joyfully give up a coat by placing it in a box. This small group of children donated 719 coats and had a great time doing so!
Carnival for the Immigrant Children in Detention Centers
Group: Office of
Diocese: Diocese of El Paso, Texas
Every year, more than 150,000 children from Central and South America cross the U.S. border and are caught by the border patrol and sent to detention centers. While they are here in El Paso, the parish collaborated with the center by creating a carnival to offer these children a moment of happiness and joy. “We are extending the Catholic Church by giving joy, love and time with the one who suffers,” one volunteer said. “Every child has a story to tell. If we heard more of these stories, we would change immigration laws,” said the pastor.
We Dance – for the Kids
Group: Lexington Catholic
High School Service Club
Diocese: Diocese of Lexington, Kentucky
“Our Extension Day is extending the Church’s presence by joining the battle against childhood cancer! We are Lexington Catholic High School, and we are united for a cause that brings love, hope and healing to the sick. Our Dance Blue Mini Marathon raised over $68,000 for the Kentucky Children’s Hospital Hematology/ Oncology Clinic. We are committed – we danced – we made a difference – and we made noise! We are Lexington Catholic High School, and we don’t take childhood cancer sitting down!” An entire gymnasium full of children danced, sang, shouted and rocked out – all for a good cause! Their shirts say, “We’re All in This Together!” And, they are!
Teens Put Themselves in the Shoes of People Less Fortunate
Group: Dodge Youth Ministry
from the Cathedral of
Our Lady of Guadalupe
Diocese: Diocese of Dodge City, Kansas
The young people from Dodge City created a very dramatic film in which they asked two questions: Have you ever given money to the homeless? Have you ever worried about what they would do with it? They then dressed up as homeless people and begged for money on behalf of a family in need. With generous donations in hand – cash! – they headed straight to a building supplies store and bought supplies for the family. “We extended the Church’s presence by using the money that we begged for to fix up the home of a family in need,” one said.
Justice for All, Seeking Reform
Group: Hispanic Youth and
Young Adult Groups
Diocese: Diocese of Stockton, California
This fast-paced film needs no words – only wonderful scenes of the youth from the Diocese of Stockton taking to the streets for a cause near and dear to their hearts: immigration reform. Stockton is one of the most productive growing regions in America, and it is home to many immigrant farmworker families. To make noise, the young adults met at the Church, marched, said NO to the separation of families, and peacefully and passionately called for reform. They recalled the words in Leviticus: 33-34: “When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God.”
Group: Fuerza Transformadora
Diocese: Diocese of Little Rock, Arkansas
“The Lord hears the cry of the poor; blessed be the Lord.” Such comforting words are sung, and they are the mission of the group that created this powerful video. The group, Fuerza Transformadora, was born out of the real-life experience of a drug dealer turned Catholic lay minister in Little Rock. Jaime Torres, the founder, took his experience and is using it to save others who are caught in the quagmire of drugs, depression and addiction. Jaime and others know they were saved, and they are trying to save others. As Jaime said, “We are extending the Church’s presence to those who are often overlooked – the poor, the drug addicts and gang affiliated, not only through prayer but through service.” Fuerza Transformadora also goes door to door, searching for the suffering, spreading the Good News to those in need.
"Do not be afraid to go and to bring Christ into every area of life, to the fringes of society, even to those who seem farthest away, most indifferent"
Catholic Extension enables Catholics across the United States to reach out to each other and to share their gifts. Founded in 1905, Catholic Extension first provided funding to build churches in areas of the country that were poor and isolated – mission dioceses – and needed outside support to establish faith communities. Today, Catholic Extension’s mission has expanded to invest in people, their ministries and their churches by supporting a variety of needs. These include seminarian education, lay leadership training, youth and young adult ministries, salaries for priests and women religious, and much more.