When In Rome: "Before we depart..."

Date 04.22.14

A travel blog by Catholic Charities staff member Lynn Grandon

Following Catholic Charities staff member Lynn Grandon as she travels to Rome, Italy for the April 27 canonization of Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII.

Lynn and her husband are leading a group of approximately 30 pilgrims from throughout the United States in a whirlwind itinerary.

Beyond the April 27 ceremonies, their group will explore the sights and sounds of Rome and Vatican City.

Listing of all blog entries:

"Basilicas, Basilicas, Basilicas!"

"The Miracle of an Incorruptible"

"The Big Day"

"The Coliseum"

"A side trip to Assisi"

"Exploring Vatican City"

"We have arrived!"

"Before we depart..."

Hello! My name is Lynn.

As a staff member for Catholic Charities, I oversee our Respect Life Resources Office, as well as our Lighthouse Women's Center in Denver.

I also serve as the Archbishop's Healthcare Liaison and on the Board of Directors for Divine Mercy Supportive Care.

Beyond those hats, I'm a wife, mom of 6 children, convert to the Catholic Church - and a professional musician. So, this blog may take a number of fun twists and turns as I observe everything happening around me!

My husband and I will be traveling with approximately 30 people from different parts of the U.S.. Some of these pilgrims have never been abroad before. But they are all deeply excited to be a part of this historic occasion as we honor two of our Church's most incredible and courageous popes!

Personally, the writings of Pope John Paul II (whom I'll affectionately refer to as "JP2" from here on out) left me dumbstruck, particularly his Theology of the Body.

After spending the greater part of my life immersed in the medical care field, I had never, for one second, considered many of the points he had made in the first few pages of that masterpiece. I can guarantee that this realm of thought will most certainly be mentioned as we travel together!

What must be said at the very beginning of this journey is that I have now learned that to be truly joyful and fulfilled, we must give of ourselves to others - when we feel like it, and when we don't.

For certain, this mentality is completely opposite to the cultural attitudes in America right now. Instead, America says: "You deserve...[fill in the blank]" and "What's in it for ME??," etc, etc...

As co-leader of our group of pilgrims, I will be constantly looking for ways to be of service and a blessing to others.

In solidarity with these two incredible soon-to-be saints, my traveling mantra will be:
      "May we be a Light and a Witness to all we encounter!"




2013 Thanksgiving Non-Event Charity Ball

Date 11.05.13

Join us for the 2013 Thanksgiving Non-Event Charity Ball in Support of the Guadalupe Community Shelter.

Staff and sponsors of the Guadalupe Community Shelter would like to personally invite you to sit back and enjoy our First Thanksgiving Non-Event Charity Ball in the comfort of your own home.

Buy your ticket now!

We know you are invited to tons of events all year long so we want to give you the opportunity to relax at home while still "attending our event."

This spectacular event features scrumptious food (made by you), exciting entertainment (chosen by you), and a glamorous guest of honor--YOU. 

Attire can range from casual to formal. The sky's the limit!!! Let your imagination run wild!

We are asking for a donation of $75.00 per person to join our celebration in support of the Guadalupe Community Center.

In addition, any gift over $100.00 may qualify for Enterprise Zone Tax Credit, which offers an additional 25% tax credit of the donation amount on your state income taxes! For example every $100.00 donated to the Shelter, can give you $125.00 deduction on your state taxes. To receive this credit please check the box titled "Yes! I want the Enterprise Zone Tax Credit." Learn more at www.ccdenver.org/EZTaxCredit.

To purchase tickets click here.

*Questions call us at 970-396-2930.

Your support is greatly appreciated and remember your donation is tax deductible!

Special thanks to the sponsors of the first Thanksgiving Non-Event Charity Ball.


2014 Pro-Life Essay & Artwork Contest inspires local youth in creation of prize-winning masterpieces

Date 03.26.14

Hundreds of local youth participated in the 2014 Archdiocesan Pro-Life Essay & Artwork Contest. The contest coincides each year with the Feast of the Annunciation - this year, March 25, which commemorates Jesus' conception in Mary's womb.

Sponsored by Catholic Charities' Respect Life Resources office, middle school and high school students were invited to submit entries in either, or both, of two categories:

  • An original essay on an issue of his or her choosing that articulates a pro-life view
  • An original drawing or painting that represents the Annunciation - the day of Jesus' conception in Mary's womb.

Grand Prize
by Sophomore Hope Hecker

[View High Resolution]

Grand Prize
by 8th Grader Dylan Devlin

[View High Resolution]

Judges selected this year's four winners - one for each category from each age group - from among 121 pieces of art and 101 written essays.

Winners were announced at the end of a special Mass celebrated March 23 by Msgr. Thomas Fryar, Vicar General, at the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception.

The 2014 Winning Entries

Grand Prize Winners

Grand Prize Artwork - High School
Pictured at right
Submitted by Sophomore Hope Hecker of Heritage High School

Grand Prize Essay - High School
"The Affliction of Abortion" [PDF]
Submitted by Freshman Mitchell Brinton of Holy Family High School

Grand Prize Artwork - Middle School
Pictured at right
Submitted by 8th Grader Dylan Devlin of St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School

Grand Prize Essay - Middle School
"Rachel has a right to life" [PDF]
Submitted by 7th Grader Joseph O'Hagan of St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School

Additional Prizes for Artwork

7th Grade Artwork Winners

1st Place: Adrian Quintero, St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School

2nd Place: Demitra Loukopoulos, St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School

3rd Place: Megan Hilbert, Blessed Sacrament Catholic School

8th Grade Artwork Winners

1st Place: Dylan Devlin, St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School

2nd Place: Jack Staib, St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School

3rd Place: Elizabeth Magolske, St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School

6th Grade Artwork Winners

1st Place: Ginger Jacobs, St. Joseph Catholic School (Ft. Collins)

2nd Place: James Alaimo, St. Joseph Catholic School (Ft. Collins)

3rd Place: Maggie Brady, St. Joseph Catholic School (Fr. Collins) 

Additional Prizes for Essays

6th Grade Essay Contest Winner

1st Place: Brigid McNamara, Good Shepherd Catholic School

7th Grade Essay Contest Winners

Tie for 1st Place: Joseph O’Hagan, St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School

Tie for 1st Place: Owen Noland, Good Shepherd Catholic School

8th Grade Essay Contest Winners

1st Place: Jorge Paredes, Good Shepherd Catholic School

2nd Place: Ben Beauvais, St. Joseph Catholic School (Ft. Collins)


Call to Charity: A Marian month for mothers

Date 04.25.14

Call to Charity: A Marian month for mothers

(This edition of Call to Charity appeared in the April 23, 2014 edition of the Denver Catholic Register.)

Mother's Day falls on May 11 this year and it is the 100th anniversary of this occasion in the U.S.

Create Mothers Day Basket ButtonLook back much further, nearly two millennia, to when the Blessed Virgin Mary said yes to God. She was a teenager who found herself pregnant and alone in a society that stoned women who found themselves in that situation. And yet, Joseph, through his honor and kindness, protected her and shielded her. They raised Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who died on the cross, and was resurrected for us, to save us from our sins, to bring us back to life.

So let's celebrate Mary—and all the mothers in our lives—throughout the Marian month of May, culminating in the feast of the Visitation on May 31. Say thank you to your mother, your sister, your wife for their yes to life and remind them how much you love them.

We are doing that at Catholic Charities and we invite you to join us. Starting this week, donors are making Mother's Day baskets for moms with children who are experiencing homelessness and beginning to rebuild their lives. The baskets will be delivered to homeless shelters throughout northern Colorado: Samaritan House in downtown Denver, Father Ed Judy House in south Denver, Guadalupe Community Shelter in Greeley and The Mission in Ft. Collins. The baskets may contain beauty items, gift cards and other goods.

With each basket will be a Miraculous Medal, also known as the Medal of the Immaculate Conception, plus a prayer card that states, "O sweet and lovely Mary, holy Mother of God, queen of all mothers, pray for us!"

This is our prayer. What is yours? How are you going to honor the women and mothers in your life? Will you teach your sons to respect, love and defend women, to appreciate everything they are and the amazing things they do? This is what we are called to do.


See a list of upcoming Marian eventsincluding donations of Mother's Day baskets.

Call to Charity: Contraception Deception

Date 07.15.14

(Larry's column appeared in the July 16 edition of the Denver Catholic Register.)

I read recently about a “remote control contraceptive chip” and wondered: where does it go after that, when is enough enough?

Sex is a beautiful, amazing thing. And the Catholic Church is an amazing proponent of it, within marriage, when it’s honored for what it is, which is a beautiful act of creation given to us by Jesus Christ and God our Father.

Charity begins when we stop objectifying our spouses. It begins when we stop forcing one another to contracept. It’s in not sleeping with your spouse-to-be. This has to go both ways. Men and women have to take responsibility.

That’s where charity begins. When we do that, then we will start to be charitable in a way that matters with the people we love the most. And when you’re charitable with the people you love the most, guess what happens? Then you’re charitable to other people, whom you may not love quite as much or know quite as much. But then you’ll start to understand charity and then you’ll start to share it.

All these things are being ripped away from us in society as the family breaks down before our eyes, in large part because of the contraceptive, narcissistic, commercialization of sex.

And who pays the price? Women in poverty.

In remarks to the Knights of Columbus, to young people at Theology on Tap and on EWTN, I’ve discussed aspects of this sad scenario. First we ask women to contracept. If that contraception fails, we ask them to abort. And if they decide not to abort, then what happens? At Catholic Charities, we have a bird’s eye view of this. They may be ostracized and suffer domestic abuse from their partners, who don’t want them to keep the child. If they live with their parents, who don’t want them to keep the child, then they’re kicked out of the house, which leaves them homeless.

So now they’re pregnant and they’re homeless and they have no one who loves them to care for them.

That is a human tragedy. And it won’t be solved by remote control.

Call to Charity: Time for brave hearts

Date 04.01.14

(Larry's column appeared in the March 26 edition of the Denver Catholic Register.)

"We treat Jesus and refer to him all the time as if he's just a woman, feminine all the time: he's weeping all the time and he never picks a fight and he certainly never wins any, and he's just so nice, like a greeting card...No! He is a lion, he is fierce. There is a reason that every single man I have ever met on the planet loves the movie 'Braveheart.' And every single normal woman I have ever met on the face of the earth loves every single man like that."

That's Gianna Jessen, who spoke to 850 people March 8 in Denver at the Catholic Charities Beacon of Hope Gala for Lighthouse and Women's Services. Jessen is an abortion survivor who says she has the "gift of cerebral palsy" and refers to herself as "God's girl." The gala raised more than $500,000 for a range of women's services provided by Catholic Charities, including the Lighthouse Women's Center, which offers a lifeline to women in crisis pregnancies, right across the street from Planned Parenthood.

Following Jessen on stage, I remarked that the new face of poverty is a single woman and her child, and that the thing that is missing is men. They're just not there.

We need men to focus on their families and to provide an example, to stand up and be counted as the Christian men that we are, to not be afraid to use the word 'Jesus' in a daily conversation, to bring our faith into our daily lives.

This is an era of absent men.

It takes a brave man to be charitable and to put his family first. Because society tells us to put yourself first. To be a steward, to be a warrior for Jesus, a man must defend and protect his family. Are you loving your family and raising your sons to be honorable men, to love women, to defend women? Are you raising your sons and daughters to be chaste and—if called to marriage—to seek a spouse for lifelong marriage? Are we open to God's gift of children and not mangled in the false promises of contraception and abortion?

It's time for brave hearts.

With three weeks left in Lent, resolve to write down your answers to those questions, one each week.


See videos and a media gallery from the Lighthouse and Women's Services gala.

Calling all Prayer Warriors

Date 04.09.14

Click here for information and registration for Savers of Souls. Here is more background on the effort to pray for an end to abortion.

Colorado Gives Day an amazing success

Date 12.17.13

By Julie Filby (December 11, 2013, Denver Catholic Register)

Some 88,000 Coloradans came together to raise more than $20 million for 1,442 nonprofits during Colorado Gives Day, a 24-hour online fundraiser, held Dec. 10 on the website www.coloradogives.org.

This year’s $20 million display of generosity exceeded last year’s donations of $15.4 million during the 24-hour window.

Of that total, more than $144,000 was donated to Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Denver. 

“We’re overwhelmed with gratitude for the response,” said Lori Kennedy, vice president of development for Catholic Charities. “Colorado Gives Day is a perfect opportunity for Catholic Charities to connect people with a ‘need to give’ with those with a ‘need to receive.’ 

“God is good!”  

The amount donated to Catholic Charities—which helps fund their 30-plus ministries throughout northern Colorado—has continued to grow each year the agency has participated in Colorado Gives Day: last year’s total was $104,000; in 2011 $50,000; and in 2010, their first year to participate, $20,000 was raised.


Dec. 10: Colorado Gives Day

Date 10.24.13

What is Colorado Gives Day?

Colorado Gives Day is an annual, 24-hour "virtual" fundraiser through which Coloradans support local charities with online donations.

Thousands of non-profits participate each year.

Last year, Catholic Charities of Denver raised over $100,000 in just ONE DAY! Donations to Catholic Charities via Colorado Gives Day support all 30 of our ministries and programs, serving an average of 50,000 people each year.

How does it work?

  • Donations can be scheduled ahead of time starting Friday, November 1st. To preschedule your donation visit www.coloradogives.org/CCDenver  
  • Donations to Catholic Charities can be processed online only at www.coloradogives.org/CCDenver 
  • Donations made to Catholic Charities on Colorado Gives Day, Tuesday, Dec. 10th will have NO CREDIT CARD FEES!

Why give this way?

Colorado Gives Day is the perfect way to process end-of-year donations!

All donations made via Colorado Gives Day on Tuesday, December 10th:

  • Are INCREASED through Colorado Gives Day incentive program
  • Can be scheduled at any point for withdrawal starting Friday, Nov. 1st


Feel free to email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 303-742-0828, or visit www.coloradogives.org/CCDenver

Dec. 18: Lou from Littleton Radio-A-Thon

Date 12.13.13


[Click Here]

Donate by Phone | Call (303) 996-6087

Donate by Text | Text "LOU" to 50155

Donate Drive-By | Drop donations at 2310 Lawrence Street in downtown Denver

**Gifts of $250 or more qualify for 25% Enterprise Zone Tax Credit on state income taxes.

ONLINE AUCTION: Click to place bid

About this event 

Every year, Tom Manoogian, better known as ESPN Radio's "Lou from Littleton," reserves a full day to broadcast live from Catholic Charities' Samaritan House Homeless Shelter.

Included among this year's distinguished radio guests will be the Denver Broncos and Denver Nuggets' great Bill Hanzlik.

Lou will also take a special peek into life at Samaritan House by interviewing several of the shelter’s current staff and residents.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

5:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

LISTEN LIVE on ESPN Denver FM105.5 or FM102.3

LISTEN LIVE ONLINE at http://www.espndenver.com/

Online Auction of Sports Memorabilia

Are you a sports fan? Don't miss our online auction. 

Click here to peruse this year's auction items featuring a variety of collectible sports memorabilia!

Many auction items will be publicly displayed at Samaritan House on Wednesday. Swing by the shelter anytime on December 18. Go shopping - and see firsthand how your donation will help the homeless men, women and children living at Samaritan House!

Lou from Littleton 2011 Auction Item at Samaritan House

Support the Homeless

It costs $9,000 a day to run Samaritan House, so we need your support!

Funds raised during this year's Lou From Littleton Radio-A-Thon will help to feed, shelter and clothe the homeless men, women and children living at Samaritan House.

Samaritan House supplies approximately 50% of the shelter housing available to families in the Denver area. The shelter operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, rain or shine, and continually operates at full capacity.

Learn more about Samaritan House Homeless Shelter at www.ccdenver.org/samaritanhouse.


Gifts of $250 or more qualify for the Enterprise Zone Tax Credit, which offers a 25% cut on your state income taxes. Learn more at www.ccdenver.org/EZTaxCredit.

Click here to DONATE ONLINE

To make a donation by phone, call (303) 996-6087.
(NOTE: this number is only active on the day of the event)

To make a donation by text message, text "LOU" to 50155.

To make a donation in person, please drop off your donation at Samaritan House Homeless Shelter, located at 2301 Lawrence Street in downtown Denver.


Please call 303-742-0828 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Denver Catholic Charities awarded $1.8 million to help with flood relief

Date 11.22.13

Charities’ 3-year, long-term recovery program to build on earlier efforts

Denver Catholic Charities awarded $1.8 million to help with flood relief

Catholic Charities USA has named “Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Denver” as recipient of a $1.8 million grant, in support of their extensive and ongoing relief and recovery efforts surrounding Colorado’s recent flood disaster.

September’s week-long series of massive storms devastated significant portions of northern Colorado, with flooding and mudslides damaging or destroying nearly 20,000 homes. In total, 24 counties in Colorado – over 4,500 square miles – were negatively affected, with Boulder, Larimer and Weld counties experiencing the greatest damage.

Denver Catholic Charities’ President and CEO Larry Smith expressed his sincere gratitude upon announcement of the award.

“Without Catholic Charities USA, our efforts to help those in need would have been greatly limited. We are grateful for the opportunity to expand our program capabilities, in an ongoing effort to assist victims in regaining and sustaining their physical, social, economic and spiritual well-being.”

Nevertheless, Smith notes that the need is still great, not only for additional donations to support long-term flood relief but the rest of Charities’ ministries as well.

"While this $1.8 million grant is great news, Catholic Charities still faces a shortfall,” said Smith. “We're seeking to raise an additional $1 million by the end of this year to securely fund all our ongoing ministries, many of which directly support our efforts towards long-term flood recovery."

“True recovery – whether from natural disaster or personal crisis – can take years,” Smith concluded. “But with the invaluable support of our community’s time, talent and treasure, we trust that we can help all those in need, every step of the way.”

Thanks to nearly $700,000 in donor support thus far, Denver Catholic Charities has acted as one of Colorado’s primary early responders to the disaster, assisting approximately 1,300 households in Boulder, Larimer, Weld and other affected counties with financial assistance, distribution of donated goods and relocation to nearby temporary housing. All of these services have occurred in addition to and in coordination with Charities’ broader spectrum of ongoing ministries in Family and Childcare Services, Women's Services and Shelter Services.

Charities’ 3-year, long-term recovery program will build on earlier efforts to provide financial assistance in the form of rent and deposits, utilities, fuel and household furnishings. Case management and counseling will assist victims in locating affordable housing, replacing or filing legal documentation, and employment services. Counseling will also address any expressed emotional, psychological and/or spiritual trauma surrounding the disaster. All of this work will continue in collaboration with Charities’ local partners, including local Red Cross and United Way chapters and various federal, state, and county offices.

As the charitable arm of the Archdiocese of Denver, and inspired by God’s love and compassion, Catholic Charities extends the healing ministry of Jesus Christ to the poor and those in need. We serve people of all faiths, or no faith, with equal dignity, respect and compassion in imitation of Jesus Christ. For more information, visit www.ccdenver.org.


Gala mobilizes time, talent, treasure for women in need

Date 03.24.14

Over 850 guests gathered March 8 for the 3rd Annual Beacon of Hope Gala, in support of Catholic Charities' Lighthouse & Women's Services.

Together, they pledged time, talent and treasure in a remarkable display of support for women and children in need, particularly those vulnerable to abortion, homelessness and poverty.

  • Raised $500,000 in fund support. 
        Your donation is appreciated. Click here to donate.
  • Mobilized 264 prayer warriors.
        Want to join? Contact Volunteer Coordinator Mark Hahn at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Inspired 104 volunteers to give service.
        Want to volunteer? Contact Volunteer Coordinator Mark Hahn at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Video Archive | 2014 Beacon of Hope Gala

Lighthouse & Women's Services | Saving Women & Children

Event proceeds will collectively support the following Catholic Charities ministries:

Media Archive | 2014 Beacon of Hope Gala

Join our Monthly Stewardship Program

Date 09.16.13

Join our Monthly Stewardship Program

We are kicking off our stewardship program for monthly giving. Join today to help us continue extending Jesus’ love and compassion to the poor and those in need within our community. Your monthly commitment secures your continual support of our mission.

For more information or to enroll, contact Wendy Oldenbrook by calling
720-377-1383 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Join our Mother Teresa Prayer Society!

Date 06.16.12

Join our Mother Teresa Prayer Society!

The mission of the Mother Teresa Prayer Society is to foster organized, spiritual support for Catholic Charities’ staff, volunteers and those we serve, and to pray for those who ask for our prayers.

Why Mother Teresa?

Mother Teresa of Calcutta provides a perfect example for how we must pursue our own mission here at Catholic Charities. She constantly insisted that “everything begins with prayer.” 

Ultimately, it was her prayer that strengthened her to love like God and to serve like Christ as she tirelessly served the poorest of the poor. She is the perfect model for us!

What do members do?

Members are asked to pray for Catholic Charities and those we serve on a daily basis.

New members will receive a prayer card to guide them in their daily prayer, along with a Mother Teresa necklace medallion, which will serve as a reminder of their commitment to the society.

General intentions will be emailed to Society members once each month, and specific intentions will be emailed as necessary throughout the year.

Catholic Charities will accept members’ prayer intentions and offer them during our weekly Mass in our chapel. They will remain near the tabernacle for several days after having been presented.

How to sign up

Please email your full name, preferred email address, mailing address and phone number to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Please mention “Website” in your message so we know how you heard about the society!